Primitive Christianity Revived, Again
Oh, those outside agitators! Always making trouble!
"A spokesman for Ms. Roberts said she had requested and planned to review on Thursday a police dashboard video of the encounter with Keith L. Scott, the black man who was shot and killed here on Tuesday. But she said she would not make the video public.
"Around 10 p.m., the police ordered all civilians, including members of the news media, to leave parts of the Uptown neighborhood and threatened to arrest those who did not comply. When the crowd did not respond immediately, the authorities fired more tear gas within minutes. After that, it appeared that the crowd started to disperse, although some stragglers remained in the area.
"The unrest in Charlotte came after two other police-involved deadly shootings in the last week.
"First came the shooting of a teenager in Columbus, Ohio, who had been brandishing a BB gun. Two days later, on Friday, was the shooting death in Tulsa, Okla., of a man who had his hands above his head before an officer opened fire.
Protesters and the police clashed for a second night in Charlotte, N.C., after the fatal police shooting of Keith L. Scott.
"And then it was Charlotte, where Mr. Scott, 43, black like the other two, was shot by a police officer in a parking space marked “Visitor” outside an unremarkable apartment complex. On Wednesday that parking space was both a shooting site and a shrine, and Charlotte was a city on edge, the latest to play a role in what feels like a recurring, seemingly inescapable tape loop of American tragedy."
In San Diego we had all sorts of trouble from the head of the Ecumenical Council a decade or so back, when policemen firing from behind their cars shot and killed a homeless white guy who'd been menacingly waving a palm branch. The Council members saw the shooting right before them as they left a lunch meeting at the adjoining Denny's. This Council leader had recently negotiated an arrangement with the police department whereby they could access professional psychologists to de-escalate incidents involving anyone who appeared to be mentally ill; he did not feel that the department was following that policy very well.
The anger and violence of political authorites and the police nominally under their control... could certainly be reduced markedly if they were inclined to turn to the guidance of immanent Presence
rather than external remedies like uniforms, guns, and organizational forms.
The idea of calling in a talking psychologist rather than a shooting group of policemen might be substituting one external form for another -- but it is a better form.
Once shooting starts, whether of tear gas or anything else, nobody trapped in a large crowd can really tell who's shooting what at whom -- nor does the external remedy of tear gas befouling the air reduce hostility or panic, nor can anyone count on safely leaving the area, police orders or not, without suffering orderly violence.
We agree that the externals of the situation -- which certainly disturb everyone exposed to the news -- should be mitigated,
and it would be best for this if the people embroiled in the current fuss were instead turning to the presence & guidance of Spirit... but I would very much like to see this put in a form that doesn't presume that the "anger and violence" are mainly 'out there' embodied in 'political agitators' and 'those people'.
The larger society's fear, distrust of, slow violence against its black members over the years have done far more harm than these recent fruits of that condition.
Excerpts from a less 'mainstream' account:
"Video footage of another police shooting, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, that took the life of 40-year-old Terence Crutcher on Friday, has further inflamed the ongoing social conflict between police and Black communities nationwide. Video evidence released on Monday confirms that Crutcher -- a Black man -- had his back to police and his hands in the air at the time of the shooting."
[from one of those "activists"]:
We were marching in the streets, but when we marched into Charlotte's main intersection, at Trade Street and Tryon, we were met with a walls of riot police, decked out in SWAT gear. They were trying to box us in.
[Pathak paused, yelling was heard in the background.]
I'm sorry. I'm running here. This cop has been chasing us. [Paused again to catch his breath.] They tried to stop us from marching. When we took over the intersection, they tried to box us in. People were protesting outside the Omni Hotel, making a lot of noise, and the police were intense and angry.
What can you tell us about the shooting? How close were you when it happened?
What did you see?
I didn't see the actual shots being fired, but I also didn't see anyone with a gun other than the police, and I talked to plenty of people afterwards and nobody saw a gun in the crowd.
How has the shooting affected the tone or behavior of people in the streets?
From what I have seen, people are outraged, but also a little bit scared.
Do you think the shooting will slow the momentum of the protests?
I think for at least the next week or so, people will be out here. I think the shooting -- this moment -- is going to galvanize the movement in a powerful but tragic way.
Is there anything else you want to people to know right now, about what you're all experiencing and feeling on the ground?
Yes. There are so many people, scattered throughout the city of Charlotte. We're out here, and at every turn, we're being met with an army. They're dropping tear gas and throwing flash bombs. They're firing rubber bullets, trying to disperse people, and people are not backing down. This is a rebellion, because people just can't take it anymore.
There is a liberal Quaker meeting (with a meetinghouse) in Charlotte--> Charlotte Friends Meeting.
Although there are several branches of Quakers in North Carolina and plenty of Quakers all over the state, I think there is only liberal Quakers in Charlotte (a member of Piedmont Yearly Meeting).
There is a vicious cycle established between people who live in the area and those who've been designated by outside authorities to force their order on those people. To lay the burden of de-escalation on one side or the other suggests that one element of that cycle is more responsible for the conflict than the other.
I do believe personally that there's been a long pattern of misconduct by those outside forces that needed to be brought out and addressed;
but for ending the problem that exists -- It's best if both elements feeding this cycle can avoid triggering further rounds. For that to be possible, someone involved in the conflict will certainly need to turn to God... but I wouldn't take it for granted that they haven't been.
There seems to also be a cycle of action & reaction going between you and me... and I would certainly prefer to keep that interpersonal cycle nonvicious... Does it occur to you that I've been providing a necessary corrective to external influences on your own thinking which you'd been insufficiently aware of? A certain pervasive slant to the media coverage, perhaps?
My personal and intuitive experience says that the significant money is from people who benefit from ongoing cruel inequalities, and that it goes to support think tanks and other defenders of the secularly powerful.
There is a long tradition of crediting 'agitators' for stirring up our happy darkies to misguided resentment against white people shooting them for their own good...
Inward and outward sources are both able to offer both good and bad information and models of what's going on and how best to respond. Nothing reaches us, inwardly or outwardly, without the ongoing workings of Spirit -- and an idolatrous attitude towards one mode of transmission over another simply facilitates both deception and self-deception.