“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.” ~JFK
For the first time in three months, the news is not dominated by the global pandemic. Instead, it’s covering the protests and riots across the country sparked by the latest instance of police brutality leading to the death of yet another Black person. Peaceful protests, some turning into violent riots, in over 30 cities across the country.
Many (White) politicians in all levels of government are condemning the rioting, as are several (mostly White) people across social media. They say things like, the protests have “little to do with the memory of George Floyd” and “is no longer about George Floyd.”
No… It’s never been just about George Floyd. It’s about the hundreds of Black people brutalized and killed by the police and White Supremacists. George Floyd is the last in a long line of fatal brutality.
“We won’t fix or remove all the obstacles and stressors that are affecting people’s health and wellbeing — especially ones like racism — over night. That doesn’t mean we mustn’t try at all,” (US Surgeon General) Adams tweeted.”(Who is remarkably a Black man!)
Um. The USA has had over 50 years since the Civil Rights Movement and over 150 years since slavery was abolished with the 13th Amendment. So this not overnight.
The Minneapolis Mayor said, “This is no longer about verbal expression. This is about violence and we need to make sure that it stops.”
Um. It’s always been about violence. Police violence, and YES that needs to stop. Sadly, he’s not talking about police violence. He’s talking about the protests turning into riots. Of course, had he done something after any one of Chauvin’s previous 18 COMPLAINTS, these riots wouldn’t be happening now and George Floyd would still be alive. Thao, the bystander cop who watched Chauvain murder Floyd, was also part of a 2017 excessive force lawsuit, and yet, he was still on active duty.
You, Mayor Jacob Frey, are why these riots are happening. You, another privileged White man who can turn a blind eye to violence perpetrated again people of color and other marginalized people but protect your fellow White men who perpetrate and advocate violence.
The protesters are now being criminalized.
If you are an innocent bystander going out there tonight, you will be swept up in this,” (Minnesota Gov.) Walz said at a news conference on Saturday. “What the curfew does is it gives us a legal authority to make arrests of people out there.”Source
For over 35 years I’ve been an active advocate for peace and justice. I’ve spoken out, protested, made documentaries, and written articles about Social Injustice, Human (and Animal) Right violations, and abuse of power. I even experienced police brutality first hand when I was violently knocked to the ground by a kettling police line for filming them during a protest in 2003. Now, at 50, I finally accept that the only thing this country and its government understands is violence, and it breaks my heart.
Since 2015, 1252 Black people have been shot and killed by (mostly male White) police officers, and this doesn’t include the number of Black people who have been killed by White Supremacists, like Ahmaud Arbery. Authorities haven’t listened. Politicians haven’t listened. Nothing has been done by way of #hashtags, legislature, change in police policy, etc.
People are outraged and they speak out, but no one listens. After a time, they go back to their daily struggle of working (sometimes multiple jobs) to pay for rent and food because they need to survive. There isn’t time or energy for Social Justice action. Now, in the midst of a Global Pandemic, there is time. There is pent up energy from weeks in quarantine. They’ve been furloughed or fired. They’re losing their businesses and homes. This anger and frustration is added to decades of anger over racial injustice and feeling unseen, unheard, and forgotten.
Government didn’t listen when millions of women took to the streets either. They ignore the horrific number of rapes perpetrated by (mostly) men at the rate of one person (often children) every 73 SECONDS in the USA. The government and people turn their heads because the truth is too horrific to see, and yet, these (mostly) men continue to perpetrate violence on (mostly) women and children. 2,237 murdered by intimate partners in 2017, and the numbers grew in 2018, 2019, and domestic violence has increased even more during the lockdown. (Data not yet fully compiled for total numbers since 2017.) People of color and other marginalized people experience these assaults at a higher rate, as well.
I’m calling for Zero Tolerance for the violence perpetrated by (predominately) White Men. I’m calling for gun control NOW.
ZERO TOLERANCE for police brutality. First report, not 18th, fired without severance along with assault charges. This should include reports of excessive force, abuse of power, racism/racial slurs, and sexual misconduct.
ZERO TOLERANCE for gun violence. Mass shootings in USA to date in 2020: 109 instances, 125 dead, over 400 wounded. In the past 10 years, as of this article, there have been 180 school shootings with 356 victims.
Now that these people are rioting, people in power are starting to listen. Well…at least they were listening for about 5 minutes, but now they are establishing curfews to criminalize protesters and mobilizing the National Guard in several cities (and even military in Minneapolis, not to mention a strike drone hovering over the city last night) to stop protests and riots.
Here is a better idea to stop the riots: STOP KILLING BLACK PEOPLE
1. Fire and prosecute violent cops, at the first offense
2. Crack down on gun control
3. Arrest and prosecute White Supremacists / Nazis / Proud Boys
4. Focus “domestic terrorist” efforts against these ^^ groups
5. Protect marginalized people and women from toxic male violence
But, of course, they won’t do those things because all these men understand is violence.