Welcome to Bookmarker!

This is a personal project by @dellsystem. I built this to help me retain information from the books I'm reading.

Source code on GitHub (MIT license).

Liberal commentary on riots, especially on those carried out by young, black and poor people, often becomes hypercritical of the choice of targets of damage. There is marginally more sympathy for the act of smashing a Walmart window than a local mom-and-pop setup. Certainly, I’d rather see a retail giant, famed for worker abuses, smashed and burned than I would a small, local business. But above that, I also privilege the political force of a riot over the preservation of shop windows. Collective fury, inscribed onto urban terrain in the form of property damage, can be an assertion of presence and power in the face of authorities who would rather these young people remain invisible, silenced, imprisoned or dead. The disruption and destruction says it all, and it needs little accounting for in this instance. Revolutionary theorist Frantz Fanon put it well in his 1961 Wretched of the Earth: “When we revolt it’s not for a particular culture. We revolt simply because we can no longer breathe.”


To tell a furious community that their riotous actions are counterproductive patronizes the very groups who know too well that “acceptable channels” of political engagement have failed, again and again, to deliver dignity and justice to black life. Further, it ignores, as Osterweil notes, that major riots (and the threat of more) during the civil rights era helped force JFK’s hand in calling for historic legislation: “To argue that the movement achieved what it did in spite of rather than as a result of the mixture of not-nonviolent and nonviolent action is spurious at best.”

—p.39 Riots for Black Life (35) by Natasha Lennard 4 years, 4 months ago