I’ve been thinking about what to write about the Baltimore uprising. This isn’t it, but it is very good.
As much as I hate to think of violence as a solution, these riots really are necessary for change. On a personal level, I totally get it that if somebody isn’t respecting a peacefully expressed boundary, sometimes the only way to enforce that boundary is violence. Everything I have ever been taught says to never escalate.
But one thing I’ve learned is that the concept of “escalation” has to be weighted according not only to the moment you’re in, but according to the relative power levels of those involved, and the larger pattern between them. My Mom taught me that if a man beats his wife with his fists, she’s not escalating if she hits back with a frying pan – and if he can hit her with his fists at any time, maybe it’s fair if she has to wait until he’s not hitting her to get her swing…
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