On Violence

A great read.


Minneapolis burningHere is why, amidst the anguish of watching yet another black man senselessly murdered by someone who should have been protecting him, I am distressed by hearing people on the left–meaning my people–rationalize violence.

I’ve walked a German concentration camp in silence, absorbed as much trauma in the Rwandan genocide museum as I could handle and touched the ground by Cambodia’s killing fields. My lifetime has included the Balkan War, the napalming of Viet Nam, the brutalities of apartheid, and the Cultural Revolution.

It always starts this way–in legitimate grievances, in desperation–with frightened, wounded, angry people seeing no other path to wellbeing–in verbal dehumanization of the other, in violations of property with the first killings seen as aberrant.

It often begins among people shaken to the core by uncontrollable factors that feed resentment or futility: economic instability or stagnation, rapid cultural or demographic change, abrupt political shifts. In this gestalt…

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