Riots, looting, criminal activity, and chanting in nearly every major American city right now serve no purpose other than to destroy the human and physical infrastructure of our society.
That’s it in a nutshell. It cannot be denied or ignored. Justice and peace being screamed for will not arise from this asphalt war being waged. The soldiers on this battlefield are sadly misguided and ignorant as to what really is going on around them. They function as nothing more than tiny little insignificant cogs in a broken, unfixable system.
A native Minnesotan, I lived in various cities across the state. I spent nearly 20 years of my life in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area – The Twin Cities. I know the territory and people like the back of my hand.
There are few other cities in the United States that have as much to offer but time, weather, and the passive aggression of its population wore me down and I saw an opportunity to seek out different and new pastures. Not greener ones – I’m not that idealistic. Certainly newer ones could offer something different.
Perhaps my vacating was some sort or premonition of the worst yet to come.
This is what I know: George Floyd moved from Houston, TX to Minneapolis, MN after having served five years in jail for an armed robbery conviction. Media has mysteriously failed to mention that the man had a criminal background.
He left behind a six-year-old child in what would seem to be a wake of escaping a chequered history that he had forged for himself.
At the time of this “incident” – his attempting to pass a counterfeit $20 bill at a convenience store – he was unemployed. When his attempted forgery was unveiled, he bolted from the store and was apprehended by four Minneapolis police officers who had been called to the scene by the store owner.
Here is where things get blurry. I wasn’t at the scene to see it for myself. I’ve never been trained or served as a member of law enforcement. Therefore, I can only imagine the astronomical challenges that accompany a job that draws just as little praise as it does salary.
I suspect a great many of millions of people spouting off on social media are those who were not there, know nothing about Minneapolis, nor are they now nor were they ever cops or lawyers, yet they seem to be law enforcement and legal experts in these matters.
They’re not – not even remotely.
What ultimately transpired from this entire event was the death of an individual.
To date, there is no definitive proof nor can an absolute direct correlation be made from the police’s actions to the man’s demise.
Argue all you want. Until an exhaustive investigation and thorough autopsy provide a clearer picture of events of that evening, it is all conjecture, guessing, and personal opinion.
However, in the few skewed details trickling down through biased media, George Floyd’s blood – per the autopsy – contained “intoxicants”. His underlying health issues were determined to have ultimately played a role in his death and the coroner has reported no evidence of strangulation or asphyxiation attributing to George’s death.
Those facts will piss off a lot of people. Right now, everyone just wants to be mad. Everyone wants to be right and everyone wants their way.
That isn’t justice. The end result will not be peace. It is mob rule.
I find myself becoming numbed to the entire episode. This takes place so frequently that it can hardly be a surprise to anyone anymore.
It’s always about race. Always.
Funny thing, racism. Everyone is guilty of being a racist. Everyone. Everyone has been a victim of racism. Everyone.
Those who missed that or have failed to see it are the biggest racists of all.
But why? Couldn’t it be about culturism? Individuality? Circumstances and life choices? Of course it could.
Statistics reflect that more than twice as many white people, 55% versus 27% black people, are killed by police during altercations. That number is 19% for Hispanic, though the latter account for the majority committing crimes.
To that end, questions of logic arise and require answers. Here are mine:
Question: If the police’s actions were prompted by race, why have there been no hate crimes charges levied against them?
Answer: Because the cops’ presence had NOTHING to do with race. It had everything with them doing their job in responding to a crime in process and no evidence points to hate being an underlying element clouding this apprehension. Should prosecutors attempt to make that charge stick – and they’ve obviously chosen not to at this stage – not only would they fail, they would lose their entire case and probably be disbarred.
Question: The owner of the convenience store was a man of color. If this entire incident was predicated on race, why wasn’t the store owner charged with a hate crime?
Answer: Because his call to the police had NOTHING to do with race. It had everything to do with a crime being committed against him and his business that he was trying to protect.
Question: Why has/haven’t the party/ies standing by and watching this entire scene unfold – while videoing it with their phone – been charged with a crime like the individual in the case of Ahmaud Arberey?
Answer: I have no idea, but they should be.
Question: Why, when three years ago a black Minneapolis police officer with a LONG history of professional infractions and misconduct was found guilty of murder and sent to jail for shooting an unarmed white woman, did people not take to the streets and riot? What was different then and in that case?
Answer: The victim was a white woman and the police officer was black. Don’t ask me how that makes any sense or why it even remotely matters, but this seems to be the focus. Also stemming from that entire debacle was the public calling for, and ultimately getting, the resignation of the Minneapolis Chief of Police. She was a white woman.
Question: Why is no one calling for the head of the present Minneapolis Chief of Police? Isn’t he responsible, too? He manages, trains, and is ultimately responsible for his officers’ actions – good, bad, or otherwise.
Answer: Could it be because he’s black? I know that’s a question to a question, but ask yourself why his culpability isn’t just as damning. Life being an equal balance, this issue should be reviewed from both sides. However, it is imperative that this high-ranking officer’s performance should be scrutinized, as well, if for no other reason than he is responsible for his officers.
Question: Why would ANYONE listen to Minneapolis’ mayor, Jacob Frey? A Democratic millennial from Virginia, this man has been in his role for less than two years. He has lived in Minnesota for barely a decade. His demands for dismissal and prosecution of the police officers in question are just as insane, unjust, unwarranted, and misguided as Trump suggesting that people drink disinfectant to protect or cure themselves of the coronavirus.
Answer: I don’t know, but I do truly believe that he is beginning to grasp the severity of a situation that he has absolutely no comprehension how to address, control, or end. What he hasn’t taken into consideration is the potential for a massive wrongful termination lawsuit that could be brought against the city by the police officers. Having axed them in less than 24 hours of this incident, they could very well have an iron-clad argument on their hands, one that could result in Minneapolis having to lick their wounds in the form of a massive financial payout and apology.
What a hollow victory that would be, considering that the mere release of those police officers’ names to the public has already ended their lives as they knew them.
Question: Why are people so quick to play judge, jury, and executioner based upon mostly conjecture, speculation, and gossip spread across media rags?
Answer: Don’t. Stop it. Take caution in wrongly administering the exact law of the land that applies to us all…whether you believe that or not.
Question: As you watch people breaking store windows, setting on fire any inanimate objects in their path, destroying city vehicles, battering others around them – do you put yourselves in the shoes of anyone in history facing a jury trial and ask yourselves: “Is this REALLY whom I would trust to sit on a jury of MY peers???”. Would you want them to be?
Answer: Not in this life or the next.
No one can justify this current madness unfolding before our eyes. As Minnesota’s governor said this morning, this isn’t about justice or protestation anymore.
Destroying an entire city is never about justice. Civil unrest reflects little more than the disrespect, lack of self-discipline, and absence of morality in any city’s people.
I made the mistake of reading some Twitter comments recently, those that reflected – en masse – the sheer disregard for the destruction that is running rampant through American cities right now.
“Who cares if Target gets destroyed? They have insurance. They’ll be fine”.
Hardly the point, don’t you think? There isn’t any reason for people to act like animals simply because they want to or somehow think they are entitled.
I also saw on social media a woman’s organization bragging about using their “privilege” to support those around them.
I don’t think I can put into words how ridiculous and degrading that should be to any gender OR race.
What is this “privilege” of which everyone speaks? Where can I sign up to get some? It seems like it’s a pretty fantastic thing or else it wouldn’t get so much attention.
This “privilege” concept incenses me. Fuck you. I’m not privileged. I’ve worked for everything I’ve gotten in my lifetime. I have sacrificed and suffered more than most out of integrity and self-respect. When I don’t “get what I want”, I don’t go destroying everything and everyone around me.
Grow up and shove your “privilege”.
While you’re at it, save the reference to “400 years of anger” as some excuse for violence and retaliation. Unless you or someone you know is 400 years or older, there can’t be any validity to such an argument.
I see a great many people defending and standing up for injustices they perceive before them.
I think that’s wonderful. I am a humanist who believes that all lives matter. What I do not buy into is an individual of any one particular race who believes it necessary to condemn and trash their own race simply to defend another race.
Under what circumstance could any human be effective in defending ANY race by chastising ANY race? They can’t be. Either support all or destroy all. There is no in-between. We are the HUMAN race. Period.
Even if you refuse to stand up for something that you do not believe in does not give you the right to condemn or destroy it – just as much as you wouldn’t want your beliefs destroyed by your dissenters.
I’ve never known what it feels like to be another race. I never will nor could I ever pretend to. That goes for us all. I find it remarkable that so many social media profundits believe that they can directly relate to what everyone else is seeing, feeling, and living.
They can’t and endorsing such a perception is madness, delusion, and hubris. It’s fantastic if you want to support another human – just don’t pretend to be them.
I thought long and hard about putting my thoughts to paper recently. This entire event troubles me greatly. I do not pretend to have any answers and – if social media is any indicator – my perception and opinions of this will not be received very well, I believe.
I boil this down to objective thinking; that which is not the commodity of the masses. The voice of dissension rarely has an audience that applauds.
Because I do not hold a majority opinion does not mean that my voice is not worthy of being heard.
Think about that for just a second: that previous sentence is the entire basis of our entire country in upheaval right now.
People believe there is a voice not being heard.
It is unfortunate that a life was lost. It is unfortunate that jobs were lost. It is senseless that people are destroying their own villages.
But I don’t feel the need to march anywhere, break anything, set fires, or kill other humans to make sure my voice is heard. Martin Luther King, Jr. preached peace against all of that. It got him assassinated.
Conversely, Malcolm X based his movement on gaining equality “by all means necessary”, meaning he was advocating violence. His aggressive stance got him killed, too.
Education, objective thinking, and humanity are the only elements that can save us. History has constantly proven to us how badly humans still have yet to grasp those concepts.
Until we start upholding geniuses and scholars instead of destroying our livelihoods in defense of criminals; until we reject the corruption of leaders in positions of power – peace cannot be attained.
Until this understanding, this enlightenment is reached, the human race is doomed to continue to repeat its downfall and degradation; not by how they are treated, but by how they treat those around them. How easily it is to fight to be treated well while losing sight of doing onto others.
Until each person on the planet takes full responsibility and is held directly accountable for their individual actions and words, division will continue to widen.
Imagine such significant changes taking place.
Louis Armstrong wished for us all – what a wonderful world it would be.