I suppose it could be argued that breaking into the Footlocker last night and making off with tennis shoes and clothes was some sort of symbolic tribal equivalent to throwing your enemies’ shoes over the telephone lines. For my money, it was not an anarchist statement, as has been inferred in the Sfgate today. Nihilist maybe. Or, maybe as one demonstrator on TV last night said, it was “ignorant”.
Whatever it was that caused the degeneration of a lawful street protest over the conviction of Johannes Mehserle for the shooting of Oscar Grant; it failed. It failed to support, advocate or advance the cause of those who felt they had legitimate grievance in the outcome of the trial.
So, if not legal justice, what did those shoes represent? Tennis shoes aren’t jobs, food or a chance to get ahead. Nor will they solve the inequities of race. Rather, they represent a failure of consumerism. They are symbols of the oligarchs’ greed, to which so many of us, of all races and gender have fallen. We don’t need them, we only thought we wanted them. Were any of those shoes made in the USA? Did they help to build our country? Did they make us strong?
Grab yourself together and take the shoes, clothes and other items back, apologize and do penance for your actions. Render unto the taxman the coin of the realm, and free yourself from the oligarchs’ bonds. Summer is not yet half over, it’s already hot. There is death in the Gulf air and death in Afghanistan. Our country is in the grasp of the greedy. There is pain and rage everywhere to be found. Hold yourself together, find your strength and, Keep your eye on the prize.
We are all going to need clear eyed vision this summer.