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THE LONG HOT SUMMER OF 2012

Posted by Tim Bryce on April 17, 2012

– A perfect storm for violence?

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, click HERE.

The National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center is forecasting a hotter than normal summer, particularly in the Southwest, Southeast, and Atlantic seaboard up to and including New York City and Philadelphia. Between the temperatures and a country bitterly divided over racial, ideological and socioeconomic (class) differences, we may be looking at the perfect storm for violence this summer. In many ways, it may be reminiscent of Watts in 1965, Chicago in 1968, and Kent State in 1970, three ugly chapters in our country’s history. If the 60’s taught us anything, violence can easily erupt despite the best intentions for peaceful and nonviolent protests.

Incidents such as the Trayvon Martin shooting in Florida, the Wisconsin budget battle in 2011, and the Occupy Wall Street movement give strong evidence of how contentious the issues are, the mood of the people, and the fragility of peace. Throw in a hot summer, high gasoline prices and unemployment rates, an election in the Fall, a sensational press, and you have all of the makings for a potential disaster in the next few months.

There are three flash points to watch out for: first, the Supreme Court’s verdict regarding Obamacare. Whichever direction it goes, one side or the other will not be happy which will establish the tone of discontent for the summer. The second flash point is the Occupy Wall Street convention scheduled for July 4th in Philadelphia. This is where thousands of people will descend on Philly to lend support to their general assembly which aims to draft and ratify a “petition for a redress of grievances” to be presented to the government for action. Although it sounds peaceful in design, it could easily erupt into violence if the movement takes to the streets where they will likely face a showdown with police. The GOP and Democratic conventions represent the third flash point, first in Tampa on August 27th-30th (GOP), closely followed by Charlotte on September 4th-6th (Democrats). The Tampa and Charlotte police departments will undoubtedly be prepared for demonstrators. Nevertheless, a large number of protestors could present a serious challenge to their ability to maintain law and order, particularly in a hot summer.

These three incidents can be anticipated and contingency plans prepared, but there also exists the possibility of an unplanned incident igniting violence, particularly if it is somehow racially or religiously motivated, such as the death of an African-American, Latino, Muslim or some other group. Also, a confrontation between two disparate groups could prove disastrous, such as between Occupiers and Tea Partiers, or black and white extremists. Inflammatory rhetoric may also produce problems, particularly in the areas of voter identification, immigration, race relations, and anything pertaining to class warfare. Consider the words of Rev. Al Sharpton, “So if you won’t get the jobs bill done in the suite, then we will get the jobs bill done in the street!” Then there is the matter of the New Black Panther Party who called for a $10,000 bounty on the head of the shooter of Trayvon Martin who went into hiding. Such examples are suggestive of a country moving away from the rule of law to anarchy.

Fanning the flames of protest is, of course, the media who realizes this makes for excellent political theater, and fills their coffers. A little restraint by the media would go a long way to maintaining the peace, but I cannot imagine this happening as the press has proven to be quite irresponsible in this regard.

You certainly cannot envy the burden placed on the shoulders of the police. We’ve come a long way from the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago where the police and protesters fought bloody battles. There have been many new techniques and tools developed for crowd control, and I tend to believe the police are smarter today, but if they are pushed too far by demonstrators, don’t be surprised if extreme force is applied to maintain control.

I will be the first to hope I am dead wrong in my prophecy, that cooler heads and peace will prevail, but frankly I think plans have already been set into motion to prove violence is not only likely, but inevitable. Let us hope this division of the American people is only a temporary condition and doesn’t lead to a an overall fracture of the country as in the days leading up to the Civil War.

It’s been 47 years since Watts, 44 years since Chicago, and 42 years since Kent State. To young Americans, these events are nothing but obscure footnotes in our history with little meaning, but to the rest of us who lived through this period, they are an important reminder of the dangers of violence. So, as we watch our thermometers go up this summer, let us hope we have the wisdom not to allow history to repeat itself.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:
timbryce.com

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Copyright © 2012 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.


NEXT UP: 
WHY WE STILL DO NOT TRUST THE MEDIA – And why we depend on others to filter our news.

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4 Responses to “THE LONG HOT SUMMER OF 2012”

  1. mlmassn said

    You’re spot on here Tim and my prediction will be that much of the violence will erupt right here in sunny/hot Central Fla. between the Republican National Convention in Tampa and the Trayvon Martin trial in Sanford! There is no telling which way the Trayvon Martin case will go after Casey Anthony was acquitted, but either way lots of people will be angry!

    Like

  2. […] publications that caught my attention… * The long hot summer of 2012. * The crowds show that Ron Paul is winning (either way). * World Word Three is now in progress. * […]

    Like

  3. Tim Bryce said

    An O.B. of Macon, Georgia wrote…

    “The scenario as I see it as of today: The OWS is funded by and fueled by George Soros. This group will be non-violent until mid-August/late September, then the violence will start, first small skirmishes that can be put down by local law enforcement, then more violent until the Guard has to be called in and it will have it hands full as the battle will erupt on many fronts at once. Martial Law will be declared and the election set aside. The Florida shooting incident is part of the plan. From Tampa the group called service workers of America (the New Black Panthers) openly stated for CNN that they are suiting up and booting up to kill whitey. At Camp Blanding in Florida, near Stark, FEMA personel are being trained by the 100s to become law enforcement officers. The Executive order signed by the president gives him the right to declare a state of emergency in which he can draft ordinary citizens into a militia without pay. It also has provision for the ‘czars’ appointed by the current president, to take over almost every resource in the nation. Dr. Watson, there is something afoot. All this is not happening by accident. I see civil war before the end of the year. And I believe you won’t see an election for pres, for many years. Like you, I pray everyday that my findings are incorrect, but more and more I see the chess peices being put into place. The game is about to commence in full public view and it will not be a pretty sight. That’s my take on it.”

    A J.P. of Toronto, Ontario wrote…

    “Unfortunately, I believe your concerns are more likely to take place than not. The general situation strongly suggests a troublesome summer.”

    TIM’S REPLY: “The young people call me an alarmist, but I like to be prepared for any contingency. Unlike the young people, we’re both students of history and remember the 60’s well. The young people do not.”

    A C.H. of Tampa, Florida wrote…

    “A very well written article. The possibility for violence in the streets is approaching the flashpoint and may very well erupt into the scenarios you accurately depicted. We must all pray that cooler heads will prevail or our country is doomed and many “innocent bystanders”will be inevetibly caught in the maelstrom. I expect you’ll get many responses to this article. Keep spreading the word (even if it’s ominous).”

    A J.S. of Skidway Lake, Michigan wrote…

    “In 1967, Detroit experienced a race riot that was the beginning of a steady decline for that city. I’m not sure that kind of violence would be handled as well now. I was 15 years old then and not really afraid, but now I think of my children and grandchildren and hope this can be avoided. I agree that there is a tinderbox waiting for a spark to be fanned into flame by the media. Let us pray for peace.”

    A D.T. of Miami, Florida wrote…

    “I totally agree: ‘If the 60’s taught us anything, violence can easily erupt despite the best intentions for peaceful and nonviolent protests’.

    You also will not hear any mention of why America in 2012 looks a lot like America in 1776 in reference to the many being lorded over by the few. Obama may be the biggest scam every pulled on the American people, he should make Bernie Madoff proud. We must get back to a Federal government that simply protects America and Americans and turn everything else back over to the states, so politics can return to being local once more.”

    An A.O. of Palm Harbor, Florida wrote…

    “I have a feeling the Summer of ’68 political conventions will pale in comparison to the upheavel in store for this summer’s events. I TOO hope you’re wrong, Tim…. but I have a feeling you’re right on the money.”

    A C.G. of Cincinnati, Ohio wrote…

    “I just re-read this and it makes even more sense the second time. Let’s hope cooler heads prevail.”

    Like

  4. Jenn said

    Praying for a cool summer. Since when are weather forecasters right anyway??? LOL.

    Like

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