Obama Condemns Baltimore Rioters
President Obama, as expected, appeared on TV and stressed the criminality of rioting. As expected, just as certainly as it was expected of the sun to rise in the East today, what he emphasized in his remarks about the events in Baltimore was the looting and setting fire on buildings and vandalizing cars, not the fact that every single day in this country someone gets beaten, injured or killed in the hands of a militarized police that views the population as “the enemy” and acts like an occupation army.
My point from mentioning this is that he, just like the Mayor and Police Commissioner and other government officials who condemned the rioters do so because they know they have to, as part of their job that was given them by the corrupt and racist to the core US military industrial complex that’s owned and controlled by the class of billionaires, who ultimately hire these officials to serve them and the system that makes them rich. This doesn’t mean that Obama or the Mayor or other top officials who give the ruling 1% the appearance of diversity don’t feel the way they speak out in public. They may or may not. But, their personal views are irrelevant, just as the personal and private views of a company manager who fires people on behalf of the shareholders are irrelevant. What matters is what they were hired to do and what the job requires of them. That may not necessarily be in their written job requirements, but it’s implied and understood.
Likewise, when the government goes to clergy and asks them to help calm people’s anger and to tell them to go home, that’s also their function. If government authorities ask for calm because their job requires of them to do, the clergy do it because their philosophy, if we can call it that, their worldview and their interests prompts them to. And ruling classes realized that a long time ago and always went to them and asked them to play that role for them, and with some rare exceptions, such as some Catholic priests and nuns in Central and South America in the 1980’s when the ruling oligarchy was massacring peasants in the thousands with the help of the CIA, they almost always complied.
What’s happening in Baltimore is the continuation of what happened in Ferguson and following that in New York: oppressed people of color are revolting. This doesn’t mean it’s a revolution, or the start of a revolution, but it is a people’s revolt. While the ruling class justifies the killing of hundreds of thousands of people overseas to accomplish a regime change to extend the hegemony of their empire, they call all those sacrificed lives “collateral damage”, which means secondary and necessary in order to achieve their main goal, but when people revolt and riot, the property damage becomes the main focus. Here, too, all those shot and killed or paralyzed or choked to death are “collateral damage”, as far as the ruling class is concerned.