Doug's Darkworld

War, Science, and Philosophy in a Fractured World.

WHY PEOPLE RIOT, WHY I’M ANGRY, WHY?

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What a terrible few days it’s been. A cop kills a suspect, George Floyd, in Minneapolis. Him and the other cops standing by him are fired almost immediately. Demonstrations and protests break out, violence and destruction ensues. And has spread across the nation now to varying degrees. The actual killing cop has now been charged with murder. Granted it was already a terrible year with the Covid-19 pandemic, but widespread rioting unseen for decades, yeah, going into a crazy bad summer.

Personally, I find this all simultaneously terribly depressing and enraging. Depressing, because people are dying, and every death leaves family and friends coping with sadness and loss. Enraging because so much of what is going on shouldn’t be, and is a clear sign that we still have some major problems and misunderstandings in America. At this point though, our political discourse is so laden with hatred and misunderstanding, maybe I’m pissing into the wind. Still, I have to try, some of my oldest best friends are Trump supporters. This is for them. The ones that can still listen and engage. We are all in this lifeboat together, whether we like it or not.

Is understanding possible? Trump and his supporters often style themselves after Lincoln. Lincoln spent the entire war corresponding with President Davis, president of the southern rebellion, tring to end the war. Some Trump supporters are now saying things like “The only good Democrat is a dead Democrat.” Rush Limbaugh has been saying similar for decades. Not sure how to get through to people like that, not sure how they think discourse like that is helpful. Democrats are your friends and neighbours and family, they are your fellow humans.

Back on point, OK, first major point of misunderstanding regarding George Floyd. I’m still seeing a lot of people saying “If he could talk, he could breath.” One of the officers on the scene even said that! This one’s easy, the statement is simply wrong. Yes, if one’s breathing is cut off completely, one can’t speak. However, if one’s breathing is just restricted, it can take 30 minutes or longer to die, and the victim can speak the whole time! That all media outlets haven’t cleared this up is a shameful commentary on our so called modern media. That cops don’t know this is shocking. And in any event, how can someone think that kneeling on someone’s neck for nearly nine minutes is a safe and appropriate way to restrain them?

This isn’t a one off incident either, there are countless incidents of police unjustly killing blacks. Yes, there are also senseless killings of others, but blacks are disproportionately the victims of police violence. White people don’t have to teach their kids how to stay safe around cops. That alone should clue people in that there’s a problem. The fact that whites frequently point guns at cops and live to tell about it, blacks never, should also clue people in that there’s a problem. And it’s not an unsolvable problem either. I’m not blaming white people, just asking them to see that police violence is a problem in America, or at least a symptom of underlying racism problems.

For one thing, police in the US are very poorly trained. And for another thing, the courts have given American police way too much leeway when it comes to police killings. The problem (police violence) is not being addressed. Most major cities budget millions every year to settle police brutality lawsuits. Wouldn’t it make more sense to just freaking train police not to use excessive force?

A lot of people are claiming that, OMG, why don’t they protest peacefully? A number of points to rebut that. First of all, conflating property damage with police killings is a bit of a stretch. If burning stores bothers the reader as much as George Flyod essentially being lynched by a cop, they might want to think about that. Given a choice between losing a loved one and losing a building, pretty sure most of us would choose the building. Making this comparison basically is saying black lives don’t matter much. Really?

Also, for God’s sake, peaceful protest was not exactly getting anything done. In fact Colin Kaepernick started just such a protest. His career was ruined and  he was widely reviled by the right for doing so. Even by the freaking vice president who basically spat on Mr Kaepernick for protesting peacefully:

Lastly, we really don’t know who is starting the fires and such. And no, I don’t believe it’s the deep state or other such conspiracy nonsense. There are however plenty of people unhinged enough to want to do such. Hard core anarchists, just plain criminals, and there’s always a lunatic fringe. Police riots actually are a thing too, I mean, the police aren’t exactly stepping up to the plate to fix “the bad apples,”, so it’s not out of the question that police might attack protestors. My point here, is that assuming blacks are all thugs and criminals just waiting to riot if the opportunity arises is, well, simplistic at best. Racist at worse.

Millions of people already stressed out about the country’s state of affairs are furious about George Floyd’s killing and countless others. That includes me, a freaking cop basically murders a guy in public, and three other cops present just watch?

Yes, the Amish are protesting.

Thugs is the new n-word. Trump isn’t helping by making threats and taking a hard line. This is not a Trump post though, let’s just say I don’t think he’s going to handle this crisis any better than he is handling Covid-19. The country has grave problems with police brutality, oppression,  racism, and inequality. This is what is underlying the protests. It’s not a law and order problem, it’s an injustice problem. No justice, no peace.

I know, a disjointed post. Disjointed times. Swinging between anger, tears, and depression. Not conducive to writing. Stay safe, stay sane everyone. A hopeful image to end the post on:

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: The top image is white people lining up between police and black protesters. The others are self explanatory. I think all are public domain or otherwise bereft of copyright issues.)

Written by unitedcats

May 30, 2020 at 7:48 pm

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