A Missouri state Democratic representative was arrested on Black Friday while taking part in a protest in St. Louis.
The protest was aimed at raising awareness for the alleged mistreatment of black Americans in the St. Louis area, but it looked a lot more like an anti-capitalism protest.
State Rep. Bruce Franks Jr. was one of seven people apprehended as part of the protest that took place inside the Galleria mall as demonstrators chanted “Shut it down!” while they marched, the St. Louis Post Dispatch reported.
What a beautiful day to go shopping! Together pic.twitter.com/JUCEZEiFXP
— Bruce Franks Jr (@brucefranksjr) November 24, 2017
Franks is a controversial figure who, it was reported in October, had a previous life as a gangster rapper who rapped about murdering snitches.
“I off them if they snitch, I put a shotty to their body, send them straight to the reverend!” he rapped. “I put them in a body cast, put them in a body bag, tie them to the bag of the Chrysler then it’s body drag! A ni**a speak my name, he will get slain!”
On Friday his message was more subdued, but destructive nonetheless.
“No justice, no profits,” he told the crowd.
“If people got to be a little bit mad because they can’t shop as much as they want to, cool. If they mad cause they stuck in traffic on a Saturday, cool,” he said. “We gonna keep affecting the economy.”
If Franks and the protesters believe that injuring business is the way to help the black community they ought to read the words of abolitionist Frederick Douglass who rallied for capitalism and against socialism in his day.
In 1848, at a Rhode Island Anti-Slavery Society meeting, Douglass listened to a socialist speaker, and then schooled him.
The speaker compared what he called “wage slavery” to “chattel slavery,” which Douglass described as “arrant nonsense.”
“The attempts to place holding property in the soil—on the same footing as holding property in man, was most lame and impotent,” Douglass declared. “And the wonder is that anyone could listen with patience to such arrant nonsense.”
Douglass believed, correctly, that government power was directly at odds with individualism and freedom and that individual economic liberty was important to liberty in general.
His pro capitalist stance is evidenced by several of his quotes.
“I have no sympathy for the narrow, selfish notion of economy which assumes that every crumb of bread which goes into the mouth of one class is so much taken from the mouths of another class.”
“We may explain success mainly by one word and that word is WORK! WORK!! WORK!!! WORK!!!! Not transient and fitful effort, but patient, enduring, honest, unremitting, and indefatigable work, into which the whole heart is put.”
“The non-producers now receive the larger share of what those who labor produce. The result is natural. Discontent culminates in exactly the same ratio that intelligence sustains aspiration.”
Capitalism is also the great equalizer for the poor.
In 1820, 94 percent of the world’s population was in poverty. In 1981 it was 53 percent, but by 2011 it was only 17 percent, according to statistics compiled by the Daily Wire.
“Since the onset of industrialisation – and as a consequence of this, economic growth — the share of people living in poverty started decreasing and kept on falling ever since,” Oxford University’s Martin Roeser wrote of those numbers, directly linking capitalism to the destruction of poverty.
Between 1988 and 2008 people in lower income brackets watched their average pay increase by 40 percent as the gap in life expectancy between the rich and poor narrowed.
None of this matters, or is likely even known, to someone like Franks who, like Rep. Maxine Waters, Al Sharpton, DeRay McKesson and others, makes his living pushing the narrative of injustice and inequality.
Causing employers in the St. Louis area to have their profits stunted will do nothing to help the black community in St. Louis.
But it will get Franks’ name in the newspaper.
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