Category Archives: August, 2011

Oh, Those Silly Little Englishmen

(image taken from

A couple of weeks ago London, and a few other cities throughout the UK,  experienced what has been considered to be some of the worst rioting in over 25 years.  Not since a similar race incident took place in 1985, which also involved police brutality and alleged bias on the part of the local justice system, have Londoners had to endure quite so much looting, vandalism, arson, and blood shed.  Sparked by the police shooting of a yet another black resident and father of four – and a man with possible ties to organized crime – Englishmen of every race, neighborhood, and demographic level have since joined forces to “crush the bobbies,” level whole metropolitan city blocks, and maybe just “get us some watches” in the process!

While the resentment shared by many non-Caucasian Londoners is understandable considering their white-dominated police force serving in a white-dominated country, whose laws were most likely passed by a white-dominated government and intelligentsia (many of whom were rich white males, to be exact, and who are probably now dead), is taking an originally peaceful protest and perverting it into violence and vandalism really the way to speak out against your establishment?  To put it in more cliche and melodramatic terms: “Is rioting really the answer?” I would like to think not – especially when you consider that Great Britain remains one of the world’s greatest, as well as most enduring, democracies!

I admit.  Breaking stained glass windows, setting shops and businesses ablaze, beating strangers up, and stealing off with some first rate goods can all feel pretty good in times of distress, inequality or mass hysteria.  And even if who, or what, you happen to be inflicting delightful pain and suffering on isn’t actually associated with the system you also hate, who’s gonna know, and who’s really gonna care if you already blend in with the throng like “Where’s Waldo?”  It is especially tempting if everyone happens to be “Waldo,” the security camera’s knocked down, and everybody’s clad in the same peasant garb, bandannas, and Molotov cocktails as you!  Hell….  It may even be an amusing story to someday tell your grandchildren!   (…if you can still find a way make your actions all seem justified…!)  But, once again, even if you really do have a pretty darn good reason to riot – and you’re not simply a silly sheep or opportunist who’s running with the crowd – what does rioting ever really accomplish???

If anything, you might just prove those higher class elitists or closet-racists right.  Yes, that’s it.  Maybe you really are just a bunch of wankers, scamps and hooligans who have only jeopardized the public safety; hurt your own community, local economy, and not to mention infrastructure more than anything; as well as proved to local authorities that you will always be a bunch of unruly gorillas, riffraff and chimps who do nothing but squander any social services or opportunities the government does grant to you…  While I imagine it is difficult to succeed in a world that doesn’t appreciate you, and all around you are instances of people who are undeservedly more fortunate, examples of “paupers” doing the best they can with what little they do have, or utilizing whatever talents or special abilities they do possess to rise above the odds, should always be a much better way to get the world’s attention – as well as make a difference – than mindless hell raising and mayhem!

If you still don’t believe me, here’s an alternative example of a man faced with many of the same demons and challenges in life.  He was also a man greatly effected by the actions of British government, back when parliament controlled not just a significant population in the British Isles but nearly the world, and injustice, class struggles, and oppression – and racism – were commonplace.  However, I don’t think he was ever known for being a badass….

>>> Michael Bok, co-founder of