Al Sharpton's “no peace” was an implicit threat of civil unrest

Al Sharpton’s Baltimore “No justice, no peace” finally blew into an urban riot.


‘No justice, no peace.” In Baltimore now, they’ve got both. When Al Sharpton popularized the chant, “No justice, no peace,” it was unmistakably clear that “no peace” was an implicit threat of civil unrest. Not civil disobedience, as practiced by Martin Luther King Jr. Civil unrest. Civil unrest can come in degrees. It might be a brief fight between protesters and the cops. It might be someone throwing rocks through store windows. Or it might be more than that. Whenever groups gathered in large numbers to start the “no justice, no peace” demonstrations and listen to incitements against “the police,” we would hear mayors, politicians, college presidents and American presidents say they “understood the anger.” They all assumed that any civil unrest that resulted would be, as they so often say, “containable.” Meaning—acceptable.
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