Why I support Peaceful Protests…and then Rioting.

I don’t like having to make this post. I really don’t. I prefer using this website to talk about wizards, spaceships, and other dumb bullshit like that. You know, my interests.

Being constantly stressed out and agitated about the current state of our society is decidedly NOT one of my interests. And yet, here we are.

For those of my readers who live abroad, and are watching the unrest in the United States without a full understanding of the causes and reasonings behind it, I will explain.

There are A LOT of murders in this country. For the most part, they are ignored outside of the communities immediately impacted by them, because they are just considered part of the cost of doing business in this great nation. If you live in a country filled with literally hundreds of millions of guns, enormous wealth disparity, little to no social welfare programs to help impoverished and highly segregated communities improve, expensive higher education, unaffordable for-profit healthcare, and a high cost of living with stagnant wages and little hope for upward mobility, then murders are going to happen. For the most part, they are accepted with a weary resignation because, oh well, you’ve got to pay to play, Thank You, Come Again.

The reason there are currently so many protests and riots occurring is because a certain type of murder has recently gained national attention. I’ll give you a list of murders, let’s see if you can guess which type I am talking about. Please note, this is not a comprehensive list of murder scenarios. We’ve got loads more because we’re so good at it, but this should be enough to prove my point.

Scenario 1 – A white person kills a black person. The murderer is arrested and goes to jail.

Scenario 2 – A black person kills a white person. The murderer is arrested and goes to jail.

Scenario 3 – A black person kills a black person. The murderer is arrested and goes to jail.

Scenario 4 – A white person kills a white person. The murderer is arrested and goes to jail.

Scenario 5 – A white person kills a black person, in broad daylight, on camera, with witnesses. The murderer is not arrested, does not go to jail, and continues living their lives.

Scenario 6 – A police officer kills a black person, in broad daylight, on camera, with witnesses. The murderer is not arrested, does not go to jail, and continues living their lives.

In scenarios 1-4, there are no protests. Why not? Surely their horrible crimes are just as appalling as in scenarios 5 and 6? Yes, of course they are. But the criminal responsible for taking a life was promptly identified, arrested, tried and convicted in a court of law, and sentenced to punishment. So what is there to protest? Justice, as unsatisfying and empty as it must be to the victim’s loved ones, has been served.

In scenario 5 and 6, there are protests, not just because the murder happened, and not just because of the identity or skin color of the victim, but because of the LACK OF JUSTICE. The murderer goes free, despite overwhelming evidence tying them to the crime, simply because of the badge on their shirt or the color of their skin.

There are protests, because a white man can get away with killing a black man just by saying that the black man was spooky and he deserved to die, and the justice system will shrug and say, oh, in that case, sorry for bothering you, you’re free to go. Imagine if instead a black man killed a white man because he thought the white man was spooky. The black man wouldn’t even make it to the courthouse, he’d be hung from the nearest lamp post or tree limb, and a significant portion of our country would celebrate that the monster got what he deserved.

That is why the Black Lives Matter movement exists. Not because they don’t think All Lives Matter. Not because they think Black Lives Matter More. Just because we clearly need to be reminded that Black Lives Matter Too. All the movement wants is equal protection under the law for people of color. Equal rights. Equal consideration.

If your instinctual response to Black Lives Matter is – No! All Lives Matter! or even worse, No! Blue Lives Matter!, you really need to take a step back and consider why you find the idea of Black Lives Matter so unpalatable. I’ve made this metaphor before, but it is apt, so I will repeat myself.

If I break my arm, and go to the doctor to fix that broken arm, I expect the doctor to do something about the arm, not to ignore my arm and yell – No, All Bones Matter!

Of Course All Bones Matter. Nobody ever said they didn’t. But Maybe, just MAYBE we could focus on the BROKEN ARM SPECIFICALLY RIGHT NOW.

The most recent spate of protests are in response to the equally recent spate of police officers killing unarmed black men and women, sometimes “accidentally”, sometimes on purpose, and receiving no punishment for their actions, which is particularly upsetting because the people committing the murders were empowered by us to serve and protect our communities, and they are using powers, funds, and protections we provided to them, in order to take our lives with impunity.

If any other citizen of this country were to say, break into your house and shoot you while you were asleep, or kneel on your neck until you died, or shoot you in the back seven times, or shoot you while trying to shoot somebody else, or shoot you in front of your girlfriend and children while you are trying to comply with their demands, or shoot you while you’re laying on the ground with your hands in the air trying to comply with their demands, and all of these activities were on camera, with witnesses, well that citizen would likely be going to jail for the rest of their lives.

When the police kill somebody in the aforementioned scenarios, they get paid leave, investigate themselves, decide that they are innocent of wrongdoing, and go on about their lives without any further consequences. THAT is why there is protesting happening.

Please note, this is NOT an indictment of all police officers. In fact, I believe most police officers are perfectly adequate at their jobs, and really are motivated to serve and protect their communities. Some are even true heroes. I repeat – MANY POLICE OFFICERS ARE GOOD PEOPLE WHO TRY THEIR BEST AT THEIR JOB.

But.

If a police officer is BAD, if they are not interested in serving and protecting, if they in fact are prone to excessive use of force, or are violently racist, or are murderous bastards, they are protected, and do not get in trouble or receive justice for their unjust actions. THAT is why the protests and riots are occurring. NOT because all police officers are bad. NOT even because most police officers are bad. The protests and riots are occurring because the few bad police officers who exist and do bad things do not receive punishment for their crimes

Even the most jaded and bigoted American would hopefully support other American’s rights to peacefully protest when they witness an injustice. It is after all a right given to us by the VERY FIRST AMENDMENT TO OUR NATION’S CONSTITUTION. And I don’t think the protesters demands are especially unreasonable, since they basically boil down to  – Stop killing us please, and if you absolutely have to kill us, at least get in trouble for it!

A lot of people are quick to justify their disgust with the BLM movement and protesters by saying oh, I would support them, if only they weren’t causing damage. I agree with their argument, in principle, and I guess they are human beings and citizens of this country and deserve all of the rights I enjoy, BUT they better not cause a fuss about it! As soon as that happens, the protesters goals and desires are no longer valid! They are quick to condemn those protesters as soon as the protest turns violent.

I am not one of those people.

The reason for protest is to exert societal pressure to instigate institutional change. The people have identified a problem, and have gathered in large numbers to incentivize their duly elected government to resolve that problem.

But what happens if the government ignores them? What if the government does worse, and attacks them to silence their message and compel them to obey? What if, every time the protesters peacefully gather to have their voices heard, the government illegally breaks their gatherings up with batons and guns and tear gas and dogs and horses and tanks and masked men in unmarked vans? What if, every time a protester stands up for their rights, a masked and uniformed thug is waiting with baton raised to strike them back down, and then if the protester lifts their arm to block the baton instead of just meekly accepting having their skull rearranged by a length of steel pipe, faceless government goons will immediately point fingers at the protester and go look! He’s not peaceful! He’s a dangerous revolutionary! Let’s get him!

After years, and decades, and centuries of attempts at non-violent protest and incremental change with no success, should the protesters just pat each other on the back and say, oh well, we tried politely asking to not be murdered with impunity, but the government wants to keep murdering us with impunity, so I guess we’ll just go back to getting murdered with impunity? Should they quietly return home, convinced that they shouldn’t have asked for justice, because it was a silly request anyway?

I say no! If the government you are trying to reach refuses to negotiate in good faith with you to alleviate your concerns, it is time to escalate. It is absolutely time to break some windows, set some fires, cause some property damage, because you know what? Those types of escalations WORK. If the government you are protesting ignores your protest, the resulting inevitable violence is the government’s fault.

Take the Boston Tea Party, a famous bit of property destruction perpetrated by our nations Forefathers against the crown. They had attempted years of peaceful negotiation to have their concerns addressed by the lawful government of the time, but their non-violent efforts had gotten them nowhere. So then, understandably frustrated, they resorted to violence and destruction of property, and we consider those vandalizing, destructive, violent revolutionaries to be  heroes because of it, while the unreasonable and unresponsive British government they were at odds with is the villain!

If you have been pushed down so far that the only way to get your voice heard is on the tail end of a molotov cocktail, then throw that bangy boy. If you can’t make your point quietly, make it loudly. That’s as American as apple pie and over-priced insulin.

Let’s talk about Kenosha, Wisconsin. 

Kenosha has recently been rocked by protests and riots that have drawn a lot of controversy, and created a lot of anger from both sides.

What we know for certain, is that On Aug. 23, 2020, Kenosha Police Officer Rusten Sheskey shot an unarmed black man named Jacob Blake seven times in the back after Blake walked away from officers and opened the driver side door to a small SUV which contained his three children. The altercation and subsequent shooting was filmed.

Blake, although paralyzed, is still alive, so we may eventually get more information about what exactly happened. Although we can clearly see the shooting in the video, what we don’t yet know, is what led up to the shooting. Blake had a warrant out for his arrest for a domestic dispute. He had been scuffling with the police before he walked away to his car. He did not have a gun. There was a knife found in the vehicle, but it does not appear that Blake tried to grab it or use it. Blake might have been a danger to the several police officers surrounding him with their guns drawn. The shooting may have been warranted, but that seems unlikely upon initial review, because the officers lives did not appear to be in immediate danger in that situation. 

We don’t have all the answers about that tragic situation yet. But what we do have, is an alarming video of a police officer shooting an unarmed black man in the back seven times without a clear explanation of the reason why since the man was moving away from officers, not threateningly toward them. In a year when multiple highly visible killings of black men and women at the hands of police officers have occurred, and a devastating pandemic with all of its associated economic and social repercussions is still raging in our country, and possibly the most divisive and polarizing president we’ve ever had is in the White House preparing for a hotly contested election, this singular situation didn’t create the resulting civil unrest in Kenosha, but, much like the 1914 assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand didn’t cause the first World War, it sure added fuel to the fire.

Protesters, already frustrated by a lack of progress following  protests for earlier police killings, were understandably quick to gather and almost immediately escalated to rioting. From their point of view, they’ve done so much peaceful protesting already, with no results, so rioting is the natural next step. In their mind, the shooting of Mr. Blake is proof that their concerns are not being addressed, and that Black Lives still do not matter to the government and a large amount of the citizens in the nation where they reside.

Adding an unasked for and unpleasant twist to the situation, during the protests and riots, more deaths occurred, most visibly the shooting deaths of two men and severe wounding of a third by 17 year old Illinois resident Kyle Rittenhouse.

Here is my opinion regarding Kyle Rittenhouse: He is a piece of shit. His parents are pieces of shit. Anybody who supports him are pieces of shit.

Kyle is not a hero. He did not prevent loss of life by his actions. His actions actually caused loss of life. If Kyle had stayed home, two men would not have lost their lives that night.

Everything that Kyle did was illegal. He was a  stupid hot-headed bully kid who was in possession of a firearm illegally. He was in Wisconsin illegally. He was out after curfew illegally. He was acting in a vigilante capacity illegally. He took it upon himself, unasked for and uninvited, to travel to the protests with a loaded gun, to “protect property from rioters”. Whose property? Not his property. He didn’t belong there.

Supporters will say he was defending himself, and he had to shoot those men, because they were trying to stop him.

Stop him from what? Brandishing his firearm threateningly at strangers? Bullying protesters? The best way he could have defended himself, was by not being there in the first place.

A seventeen year old is barely allowed to drive a car after dark. A seventeen year old can’t vote, or drink, or do a myriad of other adult activities, because it is understood that their brains are still developing, and they simply do not have the cognitive maturity to process things like an adult. So the fact that this one was allowed to load up his rifle and travel to a riot to act out some sort of Call of Duty: White Power Ops fantasy where he could scare niggers and libtards without expecting any consequences for his actions, is unforgivable.

When protesters encountered this belligerent redneck mouth breather swinging his gun around with an itchy trigger finger, and rightfully tried to defend themselves and take the dangerous gun away from the unqualified child, he panicked and started blasting.

Then, when other bystanders saw a madman with a rifle murdering unarmed civilians, they stepped in to try to stop him, and they got shot as well.

THEN, fresh off of murdering two fellow American citizens and wounding another, Kyle Rittenhouse was able to saunter over to share fist-bumps with the cops and crack a few monster energy drinks before hopping in his car and driving home to a peaceful slumber in his twin-sized red plastic racecar bed in his Scooby-Do themed bedroom at his parents house.

Why can a violent white dude straight up murder multiple people, then walk past the cops openly carrying the gun he used for the murders, and go home to a hot cocoa and a bedtime story, but a black dude, who has murdered zero people and doesn’t even have a gun, gets shot in the back seven times by potentially the same group of cops?

That’s exactly the question BLM activists are asking.

If you think that Kyle Rittenhouse, and all the other Ya’lliban Jihadists like him that flocked to the protests to take potshots at an angry grieving community, are justified, but the protests and riots themselves are not…you’re an insane person.

If murder is an appropriate response to destruction of property; then why is destruction of property not an appropriate response to murder?

Which is more important to you? Replaceable objects? Or Irreplaceable lives?

The most confusing part of all this, is the people who don’t support the BLM protests, should! All of the gun-toting, don’t tread on me, small government, give me my freedoms, red-blooded Americans should absolutely be standing shoulder to shoulder with the BLM activists who are protesting against bad cops and an oppressive government. Supposedly, the entire reason they have all their guns is to protect themselves from a tyrannical government! That’s like, their whole thing! Not to help the tyrannical government perpetrate it’s tyranny!

The second group that should be fighting shoulder to shoulder with BLM activists, are the Blue Lives Matter crowd! Good cops and their supporters should be the LOUDEST voices of condemnation against bad cops! They should be the leaders in the fight against the racist cops, the excessive force users, the corrupt, the incompetent, and the violent. If they were, then this wouldn’t even be a problem at all.

If good cops held the bad cops accountable for their actions, we wouldn’t be in this situation in the first place. That’s all the protesters want. It’s a reasonable request, and they are going to continue protesting until they get it, and if protesting still doesn’t work, hey, they can always escalate to rioting and violence.

That’s the whole point.

About Max T Kramer

Max has been better than you at writing since the third grade. He currently lives in Connecticut, but will someday return to the desert.
This entry was posted in Max's Journal and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Why I support Peaceful Protests…and then Rioting.

  1. William J Kubida says:

    Scott hamm

    William J. Kubida 5053 La Tour View Colorado Springs, CO 80906 (719) 651-1801 Cell (719) 576-2927 Home

    >

  2. As someone who can empathize with the cause and who is a strong supporter of portlands self proclaimed antifa mayor cantidate, i gotta say, the riots are a bad stragety if they are indeed a stragety and not mostly spontaneous opportunists. While its clear that nondisruptive protests get ignored if their message is inconvient to the powers that be, the violence -however righteous- appears to be losing the middle and uniting the right. And i know vandalism is ‘just property’ but the full scale of the damage done in places like Minneapolis was unreal, and when compounded by covid lockdown the scars to that city are never going to heal. The locals are only worse off…
    Ghandi had it right, protest peacefully and disruptively (ie blocking roads, strike) and then get beaten down but never hitting back is the path. Violence is the oppressors game and if the resistance plays that way it will lose. Badly.

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