Americans were rightly outraged and disgusted by what took place in Minneapolis. We saw George Floyd being murdered by a police officer without cause. This kind of police brutality is nothing new to our nation. But the public’s patience with this kind of treatment is gone; the whole country is demanding better from our police force and local officials. This movement, the demand for fair and compassionate treatment from those who claim to protect us, is under attack. There are rioters and looters who couldn’t care less about the movement and are working to undermine its effectiveness.
If we want to affect the system and bring about real change, the rioting can not be rationalized. There is no good reason to destroy property and attack police officers in this country where we the people control who is in power. This is not how we get people to listen, it’s how you get people to ignore and dismiss you.
So let’s not excuse violence, or rationalize it, or participate in it. If we want our criminal justice system, and American society at large, to operate on a higher ethical code, then we have to model that code ourselves.
What former President Obama said is really true. The part of the movement that actually wants to bring about change to this country needs to vehemently denounce the violence and the looting.
How do things change?
Things change when the people show up to vote; and not just in the presidential election. Local politics matter a lot, but are often overlooked. So get involved in your local politics, find candidates that care, and vote for them.
We can not change things in this country by standing outside in large numbers; we can change things by showing up at the polling booths. Many people may not like to hear this because it puts personal responsibility on them. Instead of just showing up for a large gathering, I’m calling on them to get educated on their local politics and show up when it counts. This is how things can change.