OP-ED: The Last Riot

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“Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called children of God.” Matthew 5:9

 

Peace is hard to find during this so-called season of peace. A suicide bomber killed nine in Afghanistan this week. Suicide bombers killed 70 last week in Nigeria and rioting still continues all across this nation in response to the St. Louis Grand Gury’s decision to not indict Darren Wilson for killing Michael Brown.

 

Thousands have been arrested. Looters and rioters continue to terrorize the streets. On Sunday November 30th, Zemir Begic a Bosnian man who recently moved to St Louis was brutally attacked after he confronted some of the protesters.

Police said, “Begic was in his vehicle about 1:15 a.m. in the 4200 block of Itaska when several juveniles approached and began damaging his car. Begic got out to confront the juveniles, who began yelling at him and hitting him with hammers.” Begic, 32, suffered injuries to his head, abdomen, face and mouth, died at St Louis Hospital.

Natalie Dubose, an African-American small business owner of Natalie’s Cakes was in tears when she realized her store was one of the ones damaged during the riots.

 

Robert Chabot, president of the local school board and small business owner in downtown Ferguson said, “There are going to be a lot of businesses that don’t reopen, I’m sure of that.”

 

History has already validated the concerns of Mr. Chabot. Thomas Sowell stated in his recent National Review article “If the history of other communities ravaged by riots in years past is any indication, there are blacks yet unborn who will be paying the price of these riots for years to come.

 

Sometimes it is a particular neighborhood that never recovers, and sometimes it is a whole city. Detroit is a classic example. It had the worst riot of the 1960s, with 43 deaths — 33 of them black people. Businesses left Detroit, taking with them jobs and taxes that were very much needed to keep the city viable. Middle class people — both black and white — also fled.

 

Two economic historians, Robert Margo and William Collins, studied owner-occupied housing data to see how much of those cities’ economic declines could be attributed specifically to riots.

 

In places where severe rioting occurred, property values fell, Collins says, “by about 10 percent relative to where we think they would have been in absence of a riot, or in comparison to places with that had much less severe or no riots. Property owned by blacks saw values drop by as much as 15 percent. But what was most surprising was that these losses lasted through the 20 years they studied. Some cities still haven’t recovered.”

 

We must choose a different way. Nothing of value has ever been gained from these riots. The losses are more than just life and property lost in the fires of the riots. We also lose a part of our soul. Join me next week as we continue the discussion to ensure that the riots of Ferguson are the last American riots.

 

 

 

 

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