When you read about what happened to George Floyd, it is hard to not get angry. How do you keep a knee on someone for nine minutes when they aren’t struggling? How do you keep on knee on someone’s neck for three minutes after being told they can’t find a pulse? Is it because you don’t see them as a person? Why do other cops simply stand around and watch? Is the code so strong that not one of you could have done the right thing and made this guy ease up?
And I see people quoting Martin Luther King who, in an interview, did say “.. a riot is the language of the unheard.” As if there is tacit approval there for the violence the erupted out of the anger. They completely ignore that in that same interview Dr King also said that he would never change his basic idea that non-violence is the most potent weapon available. Or, that in that same interview he hoped there wouldn’t be riots because “… riots are self-defeating and socially destructive.”
I need to stay off of Twitter but it keeps sucking me in. What really hurts is to see the reaction from people who are now hurting because their neighborhood is destroyed. Not just business owners but people who relied on those businesses which are now gone.
Something I can’t unsee is a homeless man – I believe from Austin. A group of people had started a fire because you have to burn everything and then someone tossed a mattress on the fire because who needs an old mattress. Except it was his and he had to pull it out of the fire and try to keep it from burning. Then, turning to someone who was videoing the thing, he started screaming that he lives there and what right do they have to do this?
Is that type of “collateral damage” acceptable? This homeless guy isn’t a part of any oppressive power structure. How is burning his mattress going to provide justice?
I get that the leaders of these big cities are in a difficult position. Nobody wants to be the one who gives the order for the cops or national guard to open fire. But then I see pictures of people taking up arms to defend their neighborhoods or businesses and that won’t end well either. I don’t know if anyone can step in and defuse things or if we just have to hope that this was enough of a release of pent up rage that it fizzles out on its own. I’m not sure that is going to happen though.
I can totally empathize with the anger and frustration of people who see an unjust system and want it changed. But burning and destruction doesn’t get you there. I really just want to shut out the real world completely.
And, for some reason, these lyrics keep going through my mind.
You say you want a revolution. Well, you know. We all want to change the world. You tell me that it’s evolution. Well, you know. We all want to change the world.
But when you talk about destruction. Don’t you know that you can count me out.
You say you got a real solution. Well, you know. We’d all love to see the plan. You ask me for a contribution. Well, you know. We’re all doing what we can.
But if you want money for people with minds that hate. All I can tell you is brother you have to wait.