by Gail Hunn
Changed the world? Really?
Martin Luther King was murdered while trying to work WITHIN THE SYSTEM to help Black people.
Malcolm X was murdered while trying to work within the system to help Black people.
James Chaney, Michael Schwerner, and Andrew Goodman were tortured and murdered for advocating for civil rights for Black people.
And the world isn’t so different now for Black people than it was then. That is, in fact, the entire point of these protests. Black people are being murdered by police, on the street, in their own homes, in their cars. Unarmed Black people. Innocent Black people. Male, female, children. Executed for petty crimes without judge or jury. Executed because police entered the wrong house. Executed for having a legally registered firearm. Executed for no reason at all. Nothing has changed for the better. And, as often as not, the penalty for the murderer is a brief suspension with pay, then back to work with a gun in their holster.
Colin Kaepernick knelt peacefully during the Star-Spangled Banner to protest these acts. He tried to work within the system. He was reviled and condemned and labeled unpatriotic.
How do you “work within the system” to stop and redress the wrongs committed BY the system when you’re justifiably AFRAID of the system, because it’s the system that is most likely to kill you?
Check out some of the photos and videos of these protests, somewhere other than FOX News, CNN, or MSNBC. You’ll see cops shoving unarmed, peaceful protesters to the ground, shooting them in the face with rubber bullets, spraying them in the face with teargas while they stand quietly with hands raised, trampling them with horses, tackling an old man with a cane to the ground, driving cars into crowds of people, beating people who are trying to help other people. THEY are inflaming the situation as much as anyone is.
Check out the military-grade armaments and defenses worn by the police and the National Guard as they shove, shoot, and beat people who have NO defenses or weapons of any kind. Check out the damage that rubber bullets do to humans, especially when they hit the face or head.
View the videos of white people with shaved heads and white supremacy tattoos as THEY set fire to buildings and cars, smash store windows, and start looting during these protests.
Then watch videos from the cities where police put down their riot gear and march WITH the protesters. Watch the lack of violence in those cities.
To those who would say it’s wrong to riot and loot and burn buildings regardless of the justification, I say it’s wrong to kill unarmed people, wrong to kill people because of their color, wrong to condemn victims while lionizing the people who are victimizing them, wrong to allow these injustices to continue, as they have since Martin Luther King was murdered 52 years ago.
It’s wrong to be MORE upset over the loss of property, which can be replaced, than we are about the irreplaceable loss of life this system causes.
It’s wrong to virtue signal about the horror of looting a Target store while we happily accept that our entire system is built around allowing banks and corporations to loot the working class.
It’s wrong to place the value of property over the value of people who are afraid to live, to go to work, to walk or drive down the street because the system is more likely to kill them than help them.
The police aren’t the victims here. Target isn’t the victim. Certainly, innocent people and shop owners are being harmed during these riots, and the riots must stop. But what will happen then? Will we go back to the “normal” that caused this pressure cooker to erupt? Business as usual? Murder more black people? Blame the victims of decades of abuse for fighting back, then continue abusing them? If we don’t change this system, we will have only ourselves to blame the next time this happens.