I have heard more about “riots,” supporting law enforcement, and preserving “our history” than I care to. It is obnoxious.
Folks, what has occurred in the days after George Floyd’s death and public demonstrations are FAR from “riots.” If you need to be reminded of what a riot looks like, there is a documentary on Netflix entitled 1992, watch it. That was a riot. Gatherings of people advocating a position is not a “riot.” It is a demonstration, or a protest. I don’t say I am going down to the horseshoe and riot for Ohio State. Characterizing public demonstrations, which have been largely peaceful, as “riots” is dismissive of not only the cause, but also people. Stop it.
De-fund the Police!
“De-fund the police is disrespectful to law enforcement.” No. It isn’t. “De-fund the police” is not anti- law enforcement. It is about reforming law enforcement. The wake of George Floyd’s death gave us a clear illustration that there are several approaches to dealing with tragedy, anger, frustration, grief and violence. Some departments showed up on the street ready for and provoking a war. Others showed up as human beings to say, “I am sorry for what has occurred, it was wrong, and I support you.”
The Stars and Bars!!
“Preserve our history!” Oh for crying out loud. Really? We do, it is in books, in a place called the library. Preservation accomplished!
NASCAR, a private enterprise, choosing to be done with the Confederate Flag is not infringing on freedom of speech. The first amendment protects the government from chilling speech. Show up at a baseball game, football game, or any other televised event waiving a symbol of racism, you’ll be asked to leave. Get over it.
And while you’re at the library, cherishing history, check out A People’s History of the United States of America, by Howard Zinn. There is no “spin,” no “narrative.” The first part of the book contains first hand accounts of slavery in written letters. Once you read it, you can’t unsee it, you can’t unimagine it, you can’t unknow it.
Finally, we do not celebrate Confederate “war heros.” Could you imagine if Germany erected a Camp Hitler or Fort Goebbels? Celebrating a history founded upon the oppression of human beings is not consistent with our stated values.
We need to end this toxic dialogue. It has never been productive.