Ta-Nehisi Coates On Baltimore: “Wisdom Isn’t The Point Tonight. Disrespect Is.”

When nonviolence is preached as an attempt to evade the repercussions of political brutality, it betrays itself. When nonviolence begins halfway through the war with the aggressor calling time out, it exposes itself as a ruse. When nonviolence is preached by the representatives of the state, while the state doles out heaps of violence to its citizens, it reveals itself to be a con. And none of this can mean that rioting or violence is “correct” or “wise,” any more than a forest fire can be “correct” or “wise.” Wisdom isn’t the point tonight. Disrespect is. In this case, disrespect for the hollow law and failed order that so regularly disrespects the rioters themselves.

Atlantic columnist Ta-Nehisi Coates has written a must-read piece on the events in Baltimore, his hometown, over the last few days, starting with peaceful protests this weekend and rioting last night, in response to the death Freddie Gray (his spine was severed) at the hands of police officers. Read the full piece here.