by Wade Rathke
New Orleans Wow, there’s yet another argument from the “powers that be” to scold and admonish protestors. Now they can say they were risking their health and the health of their community by coming together to protest. As they used to say when there were live sports on television, “Come on, man!”
My view won’t be the unanimous opinion, but it’s nice that the political chemistry of the streets follows the classic formula of action leading to reaction. In this case it did. If police continue to use unnecessary violence to kill black men in the streets, then there will be protests. Furthermore, some of those protests will also veer into the unexpected and unpredictable, because they will be fueled by righteous anger and indignation.
Where George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis, a police station was burned to the ground. President Trump made his usual flip from outrage at the video to suggesting that protestors be shot, and getting admonished on Twitter for saying so. Windows were broken in the state house in Columbus, Ohio, when protestors broke through there. Denver’s capitol was on lockdown and closed after a gunshot was heard. Most protests were peaceful. Some pictures included social distancing and masks. Nothing can disguise the rage that pulled people into the streets over yet more injustice and racism at the hands of police, who are sworn to protect and defend all of us, not just some of us.
Some police chiefs have weighed in on this instance saying that this kind of “neck restraint” has been outlawed in most districts. The Justice Department is investigating whether this was a hate crime. Four officers have been fired. The Mayor of Minneapolis has recommended that the officer with his knee on Floyd’s neck should face murder charges. The family has demanded he be charged. The usual suspects have pleaded for calm.
Where is the line between “isn’t this enough?” to “this is past the line?” and who is drawing it? Will this be the time that it finally gets drawn so that this kind of thing stops happening?
Probably not. What does it take?
Black Lives Matter was a great slogan, but seems not to be a hard rock policy. Furthermore, if police are responsible for the policy, this is going to end up being a disaster everywhere, and god knows the Justice Department is now little more than a White House and police enabler, so they may be trying to chisel the word “justice” off of the front of that building, as we speak.
There is a reckoning past due. The chemistry is clear. Without real action, the reaction will be less based less on a chemistry formula and more on chaos theory.
Wade Rathke is founder and chief organizer of ACORN and ACORN International. You can find Wade’s recent past posts here Chief Organizer Reports. And you can link to his website here Chief Organizer ACORN/ACORN International