First-time readers, this blog is set in the future (sometime after the year 2020).  Each entry assumes there has been a 5th revolution in the US — the Revenge Revolution.  More about Revenge Revolution and author, Entry #1.  List and general description of entries to date.  Annual assessment whether Revolution plausible.

Note: most characters appear in a number of entries, with many entries building on previous conversations.  Profile of characters.  You’ll catch on quickly.  Thanks for your time and interest…and comments.

Scene: Jordan’s office in Washington, DC.

Jordan (Answering phone):  “Jordan Abel.”

092615_2031_Characters11.pngMatt:  “Jordan, its Matt.  Got a few minutes?”

Jordan:  “You picked a good time to call.  What’s up?”

Matt:  “You know Greenie is writing a series on the causes of the Revenge Revolution.  She realized there was no article about the riots in Charlotte in 2016.  She asked me to do some research.”

TurtleneckJordan:  “And you want me to provide some insight, right?”

Matt:  “You’ve lived in Charlotte for a while and I thought you would be a good place to start.”

Jordan:  “OK, I’m not sure I can help but I’ll try.”

Matt:  “As I’ve looked back over the material, the riots seem to have been ignited by the police shooting a black man.”

Jordan:  “That seemed to be the trigger.  The police were serving an arrest warrant on someone else in the same apartment complex as the guy who was shot.”

Matt:  “What was this guy doing?”

car_sedan_blueJordan:  “As I understand, in his car in the parking lot and smoking some weed.  The police ask him to get out of the car.  When he gets out he’s got a gun in his hand.”

Matt:  “I read that members of the victim’s family claimed he was holding a book and not a gun.  Any evidence to support that claim?”

Jordan:  “None.  Even a phone video made by the guy’s wife has voices of the police telling the guy to drop the gun.”

Matt:  “Seems hard to confuse a book and a gun.”

Jordan:  “I agree.  Why the family claimed it was a book, I don’t know.”

Matt:  “Also, from what I read, the police asked the guy a number of time to drop the gun.”

PoliceJordan:  “On the family made phone video, the police ask the guy seven times, yes seven times, to drop the gun.  They might have asked even more.”

Matt:  “Did this guy ever fire at the police?”

Jordan:  “No evidence.  But if you ask someone with a gun to drop it at least seven times and he doesn’t, what are the police supposed to think?  Gee, let’s just wait ‘till this guy starts firing at near point-blank range, then we’ll fire back.  The police were in a very difficult situation and this guy was clearly an unknown commodity.”

Matt:  “Was all this info known to the public right away?  My research indicates info came out in dribs and drabs.”

facebook_circle_color-512Jordan:  “The dissemination of information turned out to be a real problem.  For example, right away the family made the claim the victim had a book in his hand and not a gun.  That info spread quickly on social media.  Unfortunately, for several days the police stayed quiet and never offered any hard evidence to the contrary, even though they had a video from a body cam.”   

Matt:  “Thus, without any evidence from the police, the black community…at least part of the black community…views the family’s version as baseline and believes the police shot a black man unnecessarily.  But, still, why the riots?”

Jordan:  “I’m the wrong guy to ask that question.”

clt-riotMatt:  “Maybe, but what do you think?  Why the riots?  And especially why did the rioters damage cars, buildings, and businesses in their own neighborhood?”

Jordan:  “It makes no sense.  To me the rioters in Charlotte are a classic case of ‘stupid is as stupid does.’  Looting businesses and burning buildings in your own neighborhood, which they did the first night, is as dumb an idea as I can think of.  If I’m a rioter I want to make sure the companies that employ my neighbors and provide services to the neighborhood are damaged.  Duh?”

Wrong WayMatt:  “Aren’t you being overly harsh?  Many blacks were very frustrated.”

Jordan:  “Look, a lot of people were frustrated.  Being frustrated doesn’t give you the right to break the law.  In case no one told the rioters, damaging property and looting are breaking the law.”

Matt:  “What should these people…and I suppose even more important…what should the black community have done?”

Jordan:  “Matt, I’ve used the analogy many times over the years, and it seems appropriate now as well.  Remarkably, some people just don’t seem to get the gist of it.  I’ll start by asking, ‘Do you drive a car?’”

Matt:  “Of course.  Why?”

Jordan:  “When you’re driving, do you look mostly out the windshield or the rearview mirror?”

CarMatt:  “That seems like a silly question.”

Jordan:  “Well, I’ll ask again.  When driving do you look out the windshield or the rearview mirror?”

Matt:  “The windshield, of course.  You can’t go very fast looking out the rearview mirror…and that would be dangerous besides.”

Jordan:  “Exactly.  If you go through life looking mostly through the rearview mirror, then you cannot go very fast and you’ll miss all the opportunities that lie ahead.”

Matt:  “Unless you look through the windshield, all those opportunities will pass you by.”

Jordan:  “Now you understand why I asked the question.”

Matt:  “What about addressing problems from the past?”

blameJordan:  “I’m not trying to discount the problems of the past.  Blaming someone else for those problems might make you feel good.  However, running around blaming someone else for problems does not provide a solution.  The solution…”

Matt:  “…lies with the individual and lies ahead.  To solve the problem you’ve got to start looking through the windshield and quit spending all your time looking through the rearview mirror.”