“Riot is the language of unheard.” What else can you expect from people who see their fathers, sons, brothers and even sisters and mothers brutalized, often without recourse or consequence?
For those who mention Black-on-Black violence during these talks, your thinking is a part of the problem. The fact that same-race killing exists (in all communities!) does not justify this type of brutality. It is NOT ok.
The overarching issue is that some police not only feel like they’re above the law, but are treated accordingly. The issue is a system of institutionalized racism that makes 13% of the population the victims of 70% of police killings (not all completely unjustified, but those numbers are staggering.) The issue is people who would rather stick their head in the sand than stand up, consistently, for what is right and/or who refuse to seek to do something that, even in some small way, makes a difference. The issue is people who fail to see the problem until it hits close to home.
Not all cops are bad, by any means, but to render them all irreprehensible is irresponsible and is what gets us where we are now. People are tired. They’re tired of waking up each morning to learn which Black man lost last night’s lottery. They’re tired of being told that they’re whining and complaining about nothing…which essentially translates to “your life means nothing.” They’re tired of being on this enduring societal treadmill that shows no matter your power, strength, intelligence, fortitude or spirit, you’ll on get “this” far. They’re tired.
I do not condone the looting and rioting, but I will not disparage it or the tired people who are simply asking to be heard, seen and valued. If we spent as much time and energy condemning what got us here, perhaps then we could start making some real progress.