Of Riot Upswings, and AR-15s, of Cabbages and Kings
"The time has come," the Walrus said,
"To talk of many things:
Of shoes—and ships—and sealing-wax—
Of cabbages—and kings—
And why the sea is boiling hot—
And whether pigs have wings."
Lewis Carroll - 1832-1898
The poem, "The Walrus and the Carpenter," by Lewis Carroll, is an even more interesting read today than it was when I was young. Back then, I didn't understand politics or morality, at least not in any depth, and the general moral of the poem was lost on me besides the generic, "be careful whom you trust." Yet, in retrospect, I wish I had better understood the nuances of what Carroll was attempting to say. Things like listen to the older and wiser, be content with what you have, don't seek after fun and adventure at the cost of your safety, and other morals that I could wax poetic about. These are all contained herein, and they are all great and important lessons for us to learn, even if belatedly.
Which brings me to today and the growing threat of violence in the streets of our country. You see, how you feel about Kyle Rittenhouse, and the "Defense Militias," is going to depend entirely on how you see the riots. If you see the riots are justified and okay, then you are angry and livid that someone would stand up and kill someone in order to stop them. If, however, you feel that these riots are wrong and morally repugnant, then you see his actions as not only justified, but righteous.
Now, I'm going to attempt to leave religion out of it, because I could write you a thirty page paper, but instead I'm going to focus on the social ramifications of where we find ourselves, and how we might dig our way out. It won't be fun, and it won't be pretty, but if we're going to save what's left of our civil union, it's likely necessary.
First, we have to stop the violence. Now, I usually abhor Federal intervention, however that is because I usually believe that local governments can do the job better than the Feds. This time it appears that is not the case, and in fact, it appears that the local governments are complicit in attempting to socially "remake" our country. This means that the alphabet soup of agencies needs to step up and quell the riots and restore peace to the streets. We can deal with the rest only once that's happened.
Secondly, we need to address policing policies. We need some level of standardization for things like the non-use of choke holds, the requirement of no visual confirmation of a weapon, no shooting, and we need an end to "predator" type police training and a return to community based policing (beat cops) instead of car patrols that emphasize traffic enforcement and fiat-tax revenue generation through ticketing. Ensure the police KNOW the community they police PERSONALLY.
Thirdly, the second point by itself won't work unless we are speaking a strong and solid conservative message into the black community and are offering them hope and the means to be their own solution. That means a dedicated task force that will engage the black community in entrepreneurship with tax grants, capital grants, and mentorship programs for black business owners who will address food deserts and the lack of banking opportunities for minority communities, as well as other needed services.
You see only when we engage this issue on multiple fronts, at the same time, are we likely to be successful in addressing the issues. Yet, we find Walruses and Carpenters on both sides leading the oysters of their own ilk down the path to violence, and then wonder why we are seeing this violence today. It is as if we've accepted that violence, and violence in response to violence, is the only thing that can or will work.
On one side, we're told the violence won't stop until ALL of the objectives of the "movement" are achieved. On the other side, we're told that the violence won't stop until ALL of the threats are gone. Absolutes only guarantee conflict, but then again, these walruses and carpenters only see and accept violence as the answer because they see complete victory as the only acceptable outcome.
Simple solutions are rarely the right ones, and they rarely avoid long term and prolonged damage. Violence? It's a simple solution. Like punching the guy who stole from you rather than seeking proper justice. Does it make you feel better? Maybe, but now you face an entirely new set of problems brought on by your embracing of violence. Violence ONLY ever brings more conflict, unless you're prepared to see that violence all the way through to pacification by force, and that is the inevitability that these extremists on both sides are pushing.
Kyle Rittenhause is a response to Garrett Foster, Michael Reinoehl, the protester who shot Secoriea Turner, Darius Sessoms, and the scores of others injured or who have lost everything in the wake of these riots, even if indirectly. He didn't fire the first shots of this brewing war, nor is he likely to have fired the last as Michael Reinoehl executed a man in cold blood not long after the episode in Wisconson.
Until we look to broad based solutions to the issues giving rise to the riots, and at the same time, take every reasonable method to enforce a civil and peaceful societal co-existence, we can, and should expect more of the same. The only HOPE we have in this entire mess is for the oysters on both sides to wise up, see the trap that's coming, and back down from the violence that they have chosen to embrace.