when the ten commandments were provided to the children of israel at mt. sinai, it was arguably a cohesive group of people. if we were to define them by racial characteristics. they were mostly from the levantine region or canaan. the group that left egypt included other racial characteristics.
the torah mandates that those who are different are not be mistreated. “[a]nd you shall not oppress a stranger, for you know the feelings of the stranger, since you were strangers in the land of egypt.” exodus: 23:9 thus, the torah does not seek disparate treatment based upon race.
with respect to the treatment of the poor, the torah mandates that “you shall not pervert the judgment of your poor man in his lawsuit.” exodus 23:6. thus, the torah prohibits the poor from having their justice compromised due to their lack of wealth.
despite mandates to protect strangers and the poor, the ten commandments mandates that “you shall not steal.” exodus 20:13.
moving to present day, a spokesperson for protestors and looters indicated in part: “i will support the looters ‘till the end of the day. if that’s what they need to do in order to eat, then that’s what you’ve got to do to eat …. the whole idea of criminality is based on racism anyway, because criminality is punishing people for things that they have needed to do to survive or just the way that society has affected them with white supremacist b.s.”
does this spokesperson think that wealth and skin color is justification for theft? is such a position is in contravention of the principals of the ten commandments and the torah?
there is a strong argument that the ten commandments rejects the belief that bad conduct is justified based upon one’s skin color or lack of wealth. it can be argued that these protestors and looters are well aware of the ten commandments and its prohibition against theft. perhaps, this explains why, in some of the riots, that churches and synagogues were attacked. churches and synagogues as they are the symbols of justice for all regardless of race or wealth.
would you rather live in a society that protects from theft regardless of your race or station in life or live in a system that green lights theft by virtue of skin color or lack of wealth? are people to be judged by the content of the character or the contents of their wallet?
if theft is green lighted, what will be the result? discrimination. with those circumstances, wouldn’t individuals and business run away from minorities and poor people in fear that they will be victims of crime? in such a system would poor people and minorities be stereotyped as thieves? how do this solve alleged racial and wealth injustice?
the torah recognizes that there will be strangers and poor within society. this will always be the case. strangers and the poor are to be treated fairly like all others. further, the torah mandates an obligation for those who have wealth to make portions of their land available from them to obtain food. part of owning property involves sharing of the wealth for those in need. “when you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not completely remove the corner of your field during your harvesting, and you shall not gather up the gleanings of your harvest. [Rather,] you shall leave these for the poor person and for the stranger.” leviticus 23:12
in our society which is in part bible based, has food stamp programs. It has various organizations offer up food banks. It has businesses that donate funds to various charitable organizations with food programs. the assertion that the need to eat is justified as part of the looting is questionable. why were protestors and looters burning down fast food restaurants versus asking them to make them meals? is hunger as a motivation being misused?
in sum, societies will always have problems that will need to be fixed. are there problems with sweetheart deals for some at the expense of communities? yes. this must be addressed within the scheme of politics. politicians must be held accountable to their constituency. if not, they should be exposed and thrown out of office. greenlighting theft based upon race and wealth is in contravention of the ten commandments. logically, it is a bad idea.
note: this spokeperson did raise concerns about business getting special deals in society at the expense of others. this is a legitimate complaint which needs to be addressed. both businesses and non-profit organizations get sweetheart deals from politicians at the expense of their constituency. many communities are punished by their politicians who disregard their needs for others.