This is What Happens When Populations are Locked Down for Months.
Ever since George Floyd was allegedly murdered by at least one police officer in Minneapolis who pressed his knee into his neck to restrain him on Monday, May 25, 2020, violent protests have erupted in cities around the United States — resulting in fires burning, looting, blocked traffic on highways, the release of pepper spray, countless arrests, and the property of innocent entities being damaged.
This is What Happens When Populations are Locked Down for Months.
Derek Chauvin has been charged with the third-degree murder and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd — and many people around the United States believe that not only are the official charges not strong enough; but that the other three law enforcement officers should have been charged and eventually prosecuted and sentenced as well…
…and that has resulted in demonstrations — most of which have started peacefully; but some of which became violent.
….These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen. Just spoke to Governor Tim Walz and told him that the Military is with him all the way. Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts. Thank you!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 29, 2020
“I can’t stand back & watch this happen to a great American City, Minneapolis. A total lack of leadership. Either the very weak Radical Left Mayor, Jacob Frey, get his act together and bring the City under control, or I will send in the National Guard & get the job done right…..” is what Donald J. Trump — who is the current president of the United States — posted at his official Twitter account. “….These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen. Just spoke to Governor Tim Walz and told him that the Military is with him all the way. Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts. Thank you!”
Despite that the message violated the rules of Twitter, it was allowed to remain:
This Tweet violated the Twitter Rules about glorifying violence. However, Twitter has determined that it may be in the public’s interest for the Tweet to remain accessible.
That puerile comment is certainly a shining Chamber of Commerce moment for the United States which should attract visitors once travel opens up again.
“As aviation’s first responders, Flight Attendants are trained to de-escalate incidents in the air. De-escalation is the minimum we can expect from law enforcement. We know this is possible. When heavily-armed mostly white protestors stormed the Minnesota state capitol and threatened lawmakers just weeks ago, police were able to maintain calm and did not take aggressive action” is what Sara Nelson — who is the president of the Association of Flight Attendants — wrote in this media release. “As a white woman, mother, wife and daughter, I have never experienced racism. I recognize what white privilege has meant in my life. But I, like millions of other white Americans, have witnessed violent racism. Most often we have witnessed it from the safety of our homes and yet been heart sick by it.
Only days ago, people were celebrating first responders as “heroes” due to their roles during the current 2019 Novel Coronavirus pandemic — and yet, the ironic dichotomy of a “hero” being charged with murder combined with the fury of protesters towards them has tarnished the respect of the law enforcement profession in general.
Now protesters are taunting police officers as I write this article. Why are people turning violent against police officers in other jurisdictions who had nothing to do with what happened in Minneapolis? Are they trying to purposely anger and provoke innocent law enforcement officers to prove a point — and perhaps force them to take action which would be considered brutality? For example, water bottles, knives, and other items were being thrown at police officers in Atlanta, where police cars were set on fire; at least two hotel properties were vandalized; and graffiti was sprayed around the exterior of the building of CNN, whose windows were smashed — and the police force in Atlanta have been remarkably restrained and professional, despite all of that…
…and with many of the aspects of the current 2019 Novel Coronavirus pandemic — such as the financial bailout of companies and individuals — who do you think is going to pay for all of the damage?
Anger and frustration had already been pent up for years pertaining to black people being brutalized and murdered by white police officers — such as when an unarmed black teenager named Michael Brown was reportedly shot and killed by a police officer on Saturday, August 9, 2014 in Ferguson, which is a suburb of Saint Louis…
…but the frustration levels increase exponentially when a vastly ridiculous overreaction to a viral pandemic — which has caused entire populations of cities, states, and even countries around the world to being locked down for months — is thrown into the mix and exacerbating an already combustible volatility which was ready to explode.
Derek Chauvin did not uphold his main purpose of being a law enforcement officer; and George Floyd should not have been needlessly killed. As protected by the first amendment of the Constitution of the United States, people have the right to peaceably assemble and let their thoughts be known — they have a right to be outraged by what happened in Minneapolis — but they have absolutely no right to cause chaos, destroy property, and injure or kill people in the process of doing so. Exactly what purpose does all that serve or resolve, anyway?
Surely no logical person with any sense of intelligence actually thought that forcing the restriction of millions of people in their homes would turn out with a happy ending — especially as the 2019 Novel Coronavirus continues to spread?
Regardless of whether the police officers in Minneapolis or the crowds of protesters around the United States were boiling over with frustration — likely as a result of being locked down for so long as a result of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus pandemic — this is what happens when populations are locked down for months…
…but tragically, humanity as a whole will not learn from what this 2019 Novel Coronavirus was supposed to teach us: the frailty and flaws in general which have been exposed — but alas, will never be fixed.
I find the entire situation to be unacceptably and inexcusably deplorable and disgusting; and I am ashamed to even be a human being at this time. I am hoping that some semblance of sanity will eventually prevail; and that the basic rights of all human beings are better protected in the future…
…but for that to happen, we cannot rely on “leaders” such as Donald Trump — in fact, I do not plan to vote for anyone who was a so-called “leader” during the current 2019 Novel Coronavirus pandemic, as none of them deserve to be re-elected — but rather, we need to model the way ourselves by:
- Being civil and respectful to one another
- Keeping an open mind and listening to the point of view of another person
- Resolving issues with equal parts of logic and compassion
- Not needlessly destroying property — and lives, for that matter
Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.