I’ve been putting off talking about what’s been happening in England the past ten days. Honestly, I’ve just been beyond myself. It’s upsetting. I’ve been furious, and it’s not even my own country. But I love England. I can’t talk enough about what an extraordinary adventure I had there last May, and to see and hear about the riots in the media for me personally is nothing short of devastating.
What went wrong?
One of my friends who was over there at the time said it best:
“The riots tonight are not about race. They are about kids who are using a peaceful protest and turning it into an opportunity to steal and burn down their own communities. They are nothing but thugs and are a disgrace to the people who protested.”
For those who are not familiar with the story, I will brief it for you. A man named Mark Duggan was shot dead by police last Thursday (August 4th). It was called a “race issue” or an “act of racism”. That Saturday, there was a peaceful protest held in Tottenham over the the death. It was after that event when chaos broke across various boroughs in London.
I personally don’t understand how anyone could have seen the riots as a connection to the death of this man. I can see how people would use it as an excuse, but burning down people’s shops and homes has nothing to do with the police killing a man, whether it be justified or not. While there were injured police officers in the past ten days, there were also injured civilians, so to say it was an attack on police isn’t correct either in my opinion.
As my friend stated, the people involved in these acts of crime of disorder are in fact a disgrace. Not just to the people who protested, but also to their communities, cities and country as a whole. To break into people’s shops and steal their goods is one thing, but to go even further and burn down facilities escalates the level of disrespect and disorder that select citizens have, most of which are young.
That being said, it would be unfair to place judgment on English youth as a whole. While there are hundreds being charged (total is presently over 700), there are thousands upon thousands who have nothing to do with and even condemn these acts. I can only hope that people in England and across the world can look at this situation and not place blame or judgment on the youth as a whole, but rather as individuals.
Could this have been predicted?
After providing a historical look on the history of English violence, The Telegraph’s Tim Stanley stated:
“Alas, the British record is one of compromise. We’ll probably have an official report and a few arrests before we get back to quietly hating each other again. In time, the old pattern of popular violence being met with state violence will resurface. There is no resolution to the eternal unrest in British society. Never has been, never will be.”
(Full article can be found at this link.)
(P.S. Mom – I just sourced a conservative. You should be proud.)
Thank you, sir, for that input, but I don’t entirely agree with you. To say that we should expect an outrage whenever something builds up enough is to say that there is no hope in a country, and that we are merely beasts awaiting the opportunity to strike. I say that it could have been predicted that one day enough people would wake up and say that enough is enough and something needs to be done, but in my opinion that doesn’t mean fire, abuse and looting. People are angry. The economy is rubbish, there are no jobs, and the educational aid is not something to brag about, but that doesn’t mean people should get together and destroy good, innocent people and their homes and businesses.
I have pride for England, which in turn means I have hope for it. I encountered nothing but good people while I was there for two weeks last year. This situation could never keep me from returning, and I can only hope that it won’t keep anyone else out either. Those involved in these horrible acts will have to face the consequences of their actions. And as people continue to gather to clean up not only London, but also places like Birmingham, Liverpool and Manchester, the world will be able to see just how great England truly is.
How do you feel about the happenings in England?
What can the country you live in take away from this?