Race Riots in America
As America and Britain grapple with the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, anxieties are escalating and tempers are flaring. With human nature being what it is, this combination of stress and desperation too often leads to violence—often along ethnic lines. The worst race riot in Wisconsin state history occurred on August 4, during the opening night of the Wisconsin State Fair. As darkness fell over the fairgrounds, hundreds of African-American youths swarmed out into the parking lot, seeking out Caucasian fairgoers. According to news reports, these black youths rampaged through the district, smashing car windows, throwing rocks and beating passersby with whatever blunt instruments were available.
This riot came only a month after a similar occurrence in the same city. During a Fourth of July celebration in Milwaukee’s Kilbourn Reservoir Park, some 60 young people beat and robbed a smaller group that had been watching fireworks. According to witnesses, the injured people were white and the attackers were African-American. One of the victims, Shaina Perry, remembers being punched in the face before having her debit card and cell phone stolen. “They just said ‘Oh, white girl bleeds a lot,’” she said.
In the past two years, Philadelphia has been tormented by several flash mobs composed of poor black teens who decide to meet at predetermined locations and then commit assorted acts of mayhem. The latest event, which took place in late July, saw 20 to 30 youths descend on Center City after dark to punch, beat and rob bystanders. One was hospitalized with a fractured skull after being kicked savagely in the head. Mayor Michael A. Nutter recently imposed a 9 p.m. weekend curfew on all minors in an attempt to curb the ongoing problem posed by these flash mobs. Nutter, who is African-American himself, then issued some tough talk to the black teens in his city, telling them that their actions had “damaged” the reputation of their own race.
It is human nature that creates prejudice, jealousy, envy, competition, strife, vanity, lust, greed, resentment and all the evils that always end up leading to violence. This means that race relations will continue to deteriorate as the economy worsens.
During the height of the American civil rights movement, the renowned educator Herbert W. Armstrong wrote from a unique perspective—not white or black, but based on the eternal truths of the Holy Bible. Mr. Armstrong taught the way to true peace and correctly identified the problems plaguing race relations. Yet, he also understood what the Bible prophesied for the near future. Basing his predictions on these prophecies, he wrote in the October 1963 Plain Truth: “Make no mistake! This is no light matter to pass over casually! Race war is coming! Racial tensions, passions and hatreds are being deliberately stirred by organized planning. It will explode into mass violence that will stagger the imagination! It will be whipped into an accelerating crescendo until human blood runs like rivers!”
Unfortunately, the human race will have to endure an untold amount of violence and suffering before it is willing to embrace en masse the way to true peace. For more information on the future of race relations, read Chapter Four of our booklet Ezekiel: The End-time Prophet.