By Stephen Balkaran
Evaluating the series of constant protest throughout the country at times violent, but mostly non-violent has left a deep uncertainty on the role rage, race and rebellion that continue to plague many African American communities. These events continue to voice the frustration of upward economic mobility, social despair, disregard for black lives, police brutality and many other social ills that many African American communities are embedded in.
The recent riots only addressed police brutality but gone from the discussion that should be taking place are the continued economic class warfare that has plagued many of these inner city communities. The access to upward economic mobility in many African American communities is the underlying cause of their frustration that has manifested itself into a race rebellions and riots. The discussion that America must address is how do we increase upward economic mobility in a community that has been denied their rightful piece of the American pie. Gone from the dialogue is the upward economic mobility and its impact on the riots, gone from the dialogue is the continued social oppression that plague these inner cities, gone from the dialogue is why are many African Americans and their communities continue to plague with economic starvation and poverty? These frustrations played an important role in many of the riots in the 1960’s which was often labeled race riots and not class rebellions. The social uprising were part of the economic warfare and disparities that haunted many African American communities, yes race was a factor in the 1960’s but not the main underlying source of the frustration found in many African American communities.
In the 21st century there are still many facets of oppression that exist and are prevalent in many African American communities, silent and not overt racism exists in their school systems, employment, poverty, healthcare, prison system, and other sectors of their societies. Class disparities continue to be an important element that define many black and brown inner cities and compelled with the lack of upward economic mobility opportunities this can be easily use to gauge many African American communities. These economic and class disparities permeates our society in ways we don’t even realize and plays an important role in the frustration that plague many inner city urban communities that African Americans call home. This access to upward economic mobility is more important today than in any other time in our history and will be the key to bridging many of America’s socio-economic and racial dilemmas.