Of course riots don't help, the same way that telling the spedhead in the IEP meeting to fuck off doesn't generally help either. I always discourage that style, teaching more effective advocacy. But those of us who have had some experiences in spedworld should have no trouble understanding how we can be provoked to be that stupid.
You special ed parents see how it is when they rip off your kid, when they do outrageous and even criminal things to him and you know for certain that it will be difficult or impossible to hold anyone accountable. And the perps, doing this to your kid under color of authority, know that they have the support of their administrators to cover it up.
Now sit still a minute and grok how that feels.
Now consider what it's like for black people, who face this all the time and everywhere, not because it happens all the time, but it always may, and when it does, it's school district sly and the whole system will support it. How easy would you find it to play that right, knowing that it will never end, never be any different, that the majority around you will never get a clue, never have, and clearly don't want to?
As I reflected and wrote on these things the past few days, I understood that the way no one would listen to me when I suffered injustice as a little kid has given me the capacity to understand the elements of justice that we owe to black people. I know on my own hide, intermittently, what black people endure all day, every day, and as a little kid I found even that slight and occasional injustice more than I could endure. When I consider it, I don't know how black people have held it together in this place for 400 years.
As I pondered these things, I saw that it's fitting for me to be thankful for these experiences. They have enabled me to become somewhat human, not completely blinded and bewitched by my white privilege as most of my fellow white folks have proven in the past few weeks to be.
And here's another thing. By doing justice and speaking the truth in the past few days about injustice to black people, I was made able to reprocess my own experience and become grateful for the instruction in justice and mercy that these traumatic things have given me. Doing a little justice has helped me with some serious trauma in my life, teaching me gratitude in place of bitterness.
You never know what might happen when you do a little justice, but such healing is exactly what Isaiah 58 tells us to expect. Try it a little yourself. You'll be well compensated for putting up with the hatred of those who don't want to hear it.