People are rioting. They are rioting and protesting. I keep on reading language that promote a false dichotomy between protest and violence, as is the only way that one can protest is nonviolently.

One CAN protest nonviolently. But the delegitimization of citizen violence as a rational act of resistance to state violence is a political project designed to protect state power.

There is no rational reason why we should wait patiently for a civil solution to state violence carried out daily against Black and Brown bodies, when the state has flagrantly ignored our cries for decades. I would argue, that it is in fact irrational to expect the state to change or for white supremacy to stop taking lives under any circumstances than the threat of violence.

That some of us don’t is the result of socialization, not rationality.

The decision of some protesters to stand against armed, armored, and organized state actors with only sticks, stones, and their own bones is a rational political strategy in the context of the perpetual physical and psychological vulnerability that characterizes Black life in Baltimore and nationwide. Only in the face of ongoing police and other state sanctioned brutality would such blatant mismatch of power appear preferable than silent complicity.

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