It’s been difficult for me to watch very much of the protest video because it is both disturbing and it reminds me of how little we’ve improved since the days of Bull Connor in the early 1960s. My friend and colleague, Susan Long recently remarked how she thought we’d moved further away from those days.
The other thing that bothers me terribly is the wanton violence that is far too common. While I can understand the emotions I can’t approve the acts. So, here’s what I decided to do. There is no denying the police violence against unarmed black men. I have done the research and the numbers are there for everyone to see. Given that, here are some random thoughts:
- The vast number of protestors are non-violent and they have legitimate grievances.
- They have a Constitutionally guaranteed right to peacefully assemble and redress the government.
- Those protesting must come to understand the teachings and methods of Martin Luther King. They must see and accept that they only further damage their cause with violent behaviors.
- If and when violence breaks out, the legitimate protesters must physically distance themselves and permit the police to deal with it.
- There is ample evidence that America’s police forces contain far too many “bad apples” and that they need major policy and training changes.
- The police have to stop engaging in acts of prevarication. During one of the riots, I saw two cops subduing a perp and one immediately put his knee on the man’s neck. The other cop quickly removed the guy’s knee and appeared to sharply reprimand him. Obviously one cop does know and the other doesn’t, what got them to where they were.
- America absolutely has to get serious about our race problem. We have a systemic and institutionalized racial problem and the first thing we need to do is recognize it.
- We need to stop providing an audience for the mongers of hate. Rush Limbaugh said this week that he can’t understand why blacks are still so pissed, after all, they had Obama. And Trump has behaved no better. He is a racial divider and the evidence is in his words. Those who protest are labeled thugs which is code for blacks who don’t know their place. He insights hatred by employing hurtful words and phrases from the past such as, “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.” Trump either doesn’t know or doesn’t care that such words divide, not unite. They give a license to the racists in America.
So here’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to remember as much of our nation’s history as I can. I’m going to keep myself updated as to what America has promised all its citizens. I’m never going to forget that all Americans are guaranteed equal protection of the law and that every politician and government employee is held to seeing that such occurs. I’m going to speak out against the haters and the extremists of all sides, I’m going to do all I can to see that we have a Democratically controlled White House and Congress come January 20, 2021, and I’m going to hope we don’t go back to where we were before Trump and the far-right captured the GOP. We need to go forward to a place we always said we wanted but have never reached.
One thought on “Thoughts on protest, riots, and looting”
You know I have many thoughts and no words to express how I feel about all that is happening. Heartbreaking. Disturbing! Critical of handling by anything of tRumpo’s admin? Always. This is more than orange trud. This is our country, not just a Southern problem, but the Country at large. Had knowledge of the upper North West being racist due to an incident that happened when we lived in Colorado with a CONOCO employee that was sent to that area to worked with the “jobbers”. He met with the 1st “jobber”. After their meeting the man asked the “jobber” were was the best hotel to get a room. If you haven’t guessed, the CONOCO employee was a person of color. The “jobber” answer – “If I were you I would just leave town – you will not find a hotel here were you will be comfortable or welcome”. This was the late 90’s.! It would seem that area is more racist even then the South. This incident of course made the rounds in CONOCO Corp in Houston as well as the Office in Denver, CO. Many questions were asked. Why did they send this man up there? Did not his boss know? We never heard an answer. Am I shocked about all of this, I guess not. Would seem that the powder keg has exploded.