I wrote a piece on my blog not too long ago, that caused my one reader—to be fair, I probably have somewhere between three and ten that read what I say with some frequency—to react in a way that made it quite clear he wasn’t at all happy with what I had to say.
The article, titled “What Appears Versus What Is” can be found here.
The point of that piece was to make plain, something that was rapidly becoming obvious to me at the time.
What I intended to say (and you need to know, that I either did a bad job of saying it, or was misunderstood regardless having done a good one), was that the longer people rioted and looted in cities around America, regardless the righteousness of their cause, the less they were going to find people behind what they were doing.
I extended that concept to say a couple of things.
The first was that, if it came to be known that the rioting and looting didn’t even support viable purposes, many folks would tend to be even less willing to accept the legitimacy of what was going on.
It’s certainly bad enough to riot and loot to begin with. That’s most assuredly true if you can’t argue the places being burned down, the people being physically accosted, and the stores and other businesses being looted and destroyed, had nothing to do with that thing against which you’re supposedly lashing out.
It has come to light that many of the causes celeb of the current unrest (particularly that which is violent and destructive), have very little to recommend them as appropriate and proper reasons for the current level of ire.
The obvious recent example, is that of Breonna Taylor. There’re any number of factors that make it pretty clear, she was embroiled in things that would’ve caused police to at least want to bring her in for questioning.
On top of that, the current argument that law enforcement had a “no-knock warrant,” but knocked anyway, and claim to have announced themselves, before finally breaking down the door and being shot at by Ms Taylor’s then-boyfriend before firing back, certainly seem to change the situation pretty markedly.
There are yet other factors that many people are pointing out, that seriously cause one to question whether any wrong was done in this case, past an officer potentially using his weapon in a way that endangered those dwelling in neighboring apartments.
That activity is under investigation. He may be tried, or at the very least, removed from the force or from patrol duty as a result of his actions. In my way of thinking, considering it was a hostile situation with weapons discharge occurring, I seriously question whether any of that will come to be.
All of this considered, I wanted to get to my other point mentioned earlier. In my prior piece, I made it clear that my warning was not just one that could or necessarily would apply only to those intent on damage of persons and property, or theft.
It might also be found to be the case, where truly peaceful protesters were concerned.
The obvious reason being that, again, the things being bandied about as causal to the non-violent activity, still mostly appear to be invalid.
Yes, George Floyd can be said to be an exception, though it’s questionable things are actually as they initially appeared. Still, at least the protocols in place ought to be brought into question. If for no other reason, this should occur because at least twice I’m aware of, people have died in similar circumstances who might still be with us today, had other actions been taken.
I want to stress that I’m no expert, hence my suggestion of review.
Should anybody be charged for Mr Floyd’s death? That again, is a matter for investigators to answer, not me.
But the point is this. If every case cited were entirely valid—and you may rest assured, the vast majority seem not to be—the numbers would still be negligible.
Does that mean action shouldn’t be taken in the cases found to have issues of one sort or another? In fact, even when it appears there are no problems, investigations should be the norm to ensure nothing untoward happened.
Put another way, when police-involved deaths occur, someone should be going behind to ensure no wrongdoing occurred.
In the end though, there appears to be no data to indicate that any police department is systemically racist in their dealing with various situations.
Where you can say the numbers on a percentage basis are higher, in terms of black deaths to white ones, for example, seeing the body-cam footage does a great deal to explain why that’s true. Black folks are sadly far more prone to act in inappropriate ways when dealing with law enforcement.
This says nothing about the idea that black people—most particularly when considering the percentage of the population at large they represent—seem to be more inclined to be involved in various kinds of criminal activity; and this appears to definitely be true where violent crime is concerned.
Regardless all of this, any loss of life is tragic. Be the decedent a murderer, a violent criminal of some sort, whatever. You can be completely sure, most people don’t want to see another human being killed when it can be avoided.
It would take pretty simple survey to confirm this is the case. For most folks, color is not a factor either. There’s a general bad feeling about having any human being die unnecessarily, at the hands of cops or not, race aside.
Even though I want to be clear, that unwarranted death of anyone by anyone is largely counted unacceptable, I need for folks to understand, why I’m writing the piece I currently am. I’m not doing it in order to say, “I told you so.” Why am I writing it? Because years of experience have made certain things clear to me, I want others to realize. One such thing is this. Protracted unrest even for valid reasons, will cause the public at large to become weary. If it’s not for good cause or if it’s violent in nature, this process will likely be faster, and the resultant backlash, more rapid, and harsher.
Thanks for reading, and may your time be good.