I am old enough to remember the riots of the 1960s. During that decade, there were hundreds of demonstrations, turned destructive riots in many urban areas. Is 2020 the start of another decade of urban destruction?
George Floyd, a black man, was killed in Minneapolis on Memorial Day. The next day, a crowd formed to protest that the policeman involved in his death wasn’t arrested. By dark, agitators infiltrated the group, and it became a mob bent on destroying the area. As of last night, the media has reported at least 170 stores looted, and some burned down in the city’s third district. The destruction included the burning of the police stations when the police withdrew from the area.
Minneapolis is not the only city with crowds demanding justice for Mr. Floyd. St. Paul, New York City, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Memphis, Louisville, Baltimore, at the White House, and more have seen the initially peaceful demonstrations turn violent. What productive is gained by the riots? The question should be what is lost.
The most significant loss is the reason for the demonstrations. The name of George Floyd rarely is mentioned by the reporters covering the mobs. But, history will attach his name to the urban riots of 2020. His name will join Rodney King riots of 1992 in Los Angeles, and Freddy Grey in the 2015 Baltimore riots.
I sit here watching tonight’s rioting in Atlanta, where they have destroyed multiple police cars. In Minneapolis, where the mayor and governor established curfew to be enforced by state police, city police, and national guard. The curfew is being ignored and nothing done—the most recent is cars on fire in New York City. A new building fire in Minneapolis, and more.
I don’t know how or when this will end. I only hope it is before anarchy becomes the rule of the day. The damage is confined to the cities, but it could move into the suburbs like where I live.
A final thought, any person in those mobs who are injured have no one but themselves to blame. One looter was killed by a store owner two nights ago. Other business owners in Minneapolis have armed themselves to protect their stores. God willing, there will be no other deaths.
Your thoughts, please share!