I am for violence if non-violence means we continue postponing a solution to the American black man's problem just to avoid violence. — Malcolm XOne hot day back in 1963, I was cooling off in the reflecting pool while MLK delivered his "I have a dream" speech. Even then, though, I doubted that non-violent protest would accomplish much. I still suspect that the urban riots of the later sixties accomplished more for black civil rights than the interminable choruses of "We Shall Overcome." Riots draw more attention than parades.
It seems that the Baltimore rioters are mostly high school boys, and high school boys are temperamentally inclined to be assholes. Nevertheless, nobody should doubt that some real, well-justified rage is at the root of the disturbances. The likelihood that a black, Baltimore high school boy has been harassed by cops has to be close to 100%. Yes, some of those high school boys probably joined in "just for fun," but "just for fun" just might be why the Baltimore cops did whatever they did to kill Freddie Gray.