As Minneapolis Burns, So Does Reason

Thousands of rioters and protesters took to the streets of Minneapolis following the death of an African American man, George Floyd, in Police custody this week.

The disturbing footage of the arrest shows Mr. Floyd being aggressively detained. Floyd repeatedly tells the arresting officer, Derek Chauvin, shown pressing his knee firmly to the back of his neck, “I can’t breathe”, until going unconscious. Medical professionals were reportedly unable to resuscitate him.

His death has sparked an outrage that has led to a wave of looting, arson, and destruction unparalleled before in the city of Minneapolis’ history.

Facebook live streams show hundreds of people openly looting and vandalizing both private and corporate businesses alike.

Even tax subsidized, low income housing was not spared from the onslaught.  The 189-Unit affordable housing complex, valued at around $30M, was completely consumed by fire as rioters could be seen throwing propane tanks into the building to feed the growing flames.

While propane fueled the fires, alcohol fueled the anger of the already irate protesters who looted several liquor stores before joining in surrounding the Minneapolis 3rd Precinct.

The death of Mr. Floyd is and should be angering. His killer has been fired, arrested and further FBI investigation is pending. What has followed, however, is not righteous anger but mindless destruction.

Reason visibly began to deteriorate as Governor Tim Walz initially allowed for police efforts to barricade the police station, keeping officers from protecting nearby businesses from looting and arson. As of 5/28, once most businesses had either been robbed or burned to the ground, the Governor initiated a stand down order which led to the 3rd Precinct police station being destroyed regardless.

Hundreds of rioters can be see atop its smoldering ruins screaming “F**K Trump” in unison, as if the President was somehow responsible for this tragedy.

 All the while, we have yet to see any significant presence from the National Guard who could have been called in well before words turned to such destructive and costly wrath.

The incompetence of Democratic leaders like Mayor Jacob Frey and Governor Tim Walz is astounding. However, the more disturbing aspect of this tragedy is the justification and support the violence is receiving from the outside world.

Unaccomplished former NFL quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, an infamously outspoken police brutality activist, has taken to twitter once again to fan the flames of the riots. “When civility leads to death, revolting is the only logical reaction” his tweet begins in reference to the “demonstrations.”

 Mr. Kaepernick has made known his stance on white Americans in recent past. In January of 2020 he tweets “America has always sanctioned and besieged Black and Brown bodies both at home and abroad.” He goes on to say that America has a history of “plundering the non-white world” in response to the assassination of Islamic Fundamentalist and Iranian General Soleimani.

Disregarding his treasonous call for revolution, it would appear Mr. Kaepernick has a powerful contempt for white people, something ironic in that he was adopted by two White parents who rescued him from a life of foster care that his black birth parents doomed him to.

Support for this destruction abounds from all corners, however. A common justification for the violence trending on social media is that these riots are just a result of hundreds of years of slavery and racial oppression “boiling over” so to speak.

A strange thing to say as no living person, white or black, in the United States has ever owned a slave or found themselves under its yoke.

Ignorant virtue signaling like this is supposed to make us conveniently forget about the hundreds of thousands of white men who died during the Civil War to abolish slavery.

 We’re also to forget about people like Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks who managed to forward the cause of racial equality without looting a single business. Or people like Thurgood Marshall and Clarence Thomas who changed the system from the inside through rigorous study which led to attaining prominent positions in the highest court of the land without burning down a single housing complex.

What I would ask my audience and many friends who have reacted disproportionately to Mr. Floyd’s death is ‘why.’

Referring to Federal statistics, American police killed 1,165 people in 2018. 50.6 % of those deaths were whites, mostly male. Blacks were 26.7% of those deaths. Yet people will tell you until they’re blue in the face that police specifically target the African American population.

Ignoring these statistics should reveal how selective outrage works and how mainstream media selects certain cases, tragic as they may be, to fuel a false narrative.

Selectivity starts when they conveniently avoid the issue of black on black violence which far overshadows police related killings by sheer numbers alone. Just over Memorial Day weekend, 50 people were shot from within their own ranks in Chicago, 12 died.

Where is the outrage?

 We’re also to turn a blind eye to black on white violence. Just this month in Delaware, a young black male ambushed an 85 and 86 year old couple at the site of their son’s grave where he robbed and murdered them.

Where was the outrage?

We need go no further than right here in Minneapolis for more examples. A five year old white boy was thrown 40 feet from a Mall of America balcony by Emmanuel Aranda, a black man looking to single out whites allegedly.

Where was the outrage?

We’re also to believe that police do not unjustly kill white people. Again, right here in Minneapolis, Somali officer Mohamed Noore gunned down Justine Damond, the very white woman who called him to the scene while she was in her pajamas back in 2017.

Where was the outrage?

Daniel Shaver, a white male, was brutally killed in the hallway of his hotel room in Arizona back in 2016. The body cam footage shows Shaver completely unarmed, obeying every instruction given him by the white, arresting officer. He was then shot at least five times by an MP5 submachine gun from near point blank range.

The offending officer, Phillip Brailsford, who had the words “You’re F****d” engraved on his service weapon was not only acquitted but reinstated and allowed to retire with a pension and disability pay for the trauma he said he suffered in that execution style arrest.

Where was the outrage?

The danger of how the media is treating Mr. Floyd’s death is in its single minded absolutism. You are either for the “protesters” or you are for the murderous cop.

Reasonable people, however, can acknowledge the unjust killing of a man while also understanding that looting and arson are immoral…NOT means of protesting perceived racial and authoritarian injustice.

 This absolutism destroys any opportunity for reasonable dialogue and as we can see, leads to nothing but violence and pointless ad hominem attacks from both sides.

Authoritative injustice occurs across the board. Labeling one instance of a distinct race killing another as “systemic” while the other as a “random act” cheapens the lives lost.

As the rioting is likely to continue tonight, I would ask that anyone reading this would make your own researched conclusions to race relations in this country and wherever you fall on the spectrum, you would at least conclude that what we are witnessing in Minneapolis is far from reasonable.

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