Social chaos is alive and thriving in Ferguson, Missouri. Looting, rioting, burning down buildings and showing total disregard for the law has quickly inflicted the city. The murder of 18-year-old, Michael Brown has thrust this small, St. Louis suburb into a mindset of violent unrest and incivility.
And if you are looking for a logical reason for it, don’t bother – looters and rioters don’t need a reason to steal, burn and smash windows or throw molotov cocktails at police.
Once the madness gets into their blood, it is like a wild animal that quickly consumes them and takes over.
In Ferguson, Missouri, the theory that you can reason with the mob mentality has been proven false. It doesn’t matter if you are the Governor of Missouri, an understanding, state police captain like Ron Johnson or even the mother of the slain teenager that started the madness.
Obviously, in Ferguson, walking peacefully with law-abiding citizens in daytime protest only gives the nighttime looters and thugs more incentive to lose control.
Calling for peace and calm once rioting begins, is like trying to reason with a group of hungry alligators hiding in a Louisiana swamp. When people want to riot for the sole purpose of free, materialistic gain, they are going to do so no matter who tries to intervene.
When Michael Brown was gunned down by a local, white police officer, irate, black civilians took to the streets to convey their outrage. That reaction should have been expected; it has happened before in other cities, and it will happen again when claims of racial injustice ensues and people feel the need to vent their anger.
Protesting is an American citizen’s right and one that is protected by the United States Constitution.
But is that a logical reason for smashing store windows, burning down buildings or stealing TVs, iPads, iPhones and hair extensions?
Of course it isn’t.
Whether the excuse is damning videos, transparency, aggressive police tactics, stalled investigations or curfews, greed will sometimes overcome common sense for the sole purpose of obtaining free merchandise.
A quick “smash and grab” seems more rewarding than sitting down in a community outreach meeting to achieve a peaceful, compromise.
Also, when news media organizations inflame racial issues, and activists looking for their 15 minutes of fame incite anger, the mentality of the mob takes over.
The message of the political, insurrectionist becomes more powerful than the cry for calm, and one which causes it to fester with each passing hour.
So, what is the solution?
There is no solution, except for all-out law and order. Police have to use any means available to quell the uprising and bring the community back under control.
There is, unfortunately, no other peaceful strategy.
In a society, there are two types of people – the law-abiding citizen and the one who has total disregard for the law. Expecting one to co-exist with the other is an exercise in futility.
Calmer heads can never prevail – unless the violent ones are removed quickly.
Joseph E. Rathjen is a freelance writer and an Opinion Writer at 1World Online – America’s Fastest Growing Social Research Engine.