Why Do People Protest and Riot?
Do any of you ever walk by a perfectly quiet door and say to yourself "I need to get some WD-40 for this door"? If I had to guess my answer would be no. But, if the door started to squeak, and the noise got louder and louder you would eventually, say, "I can not leave the store without some WD-40 for that annoying door!" I could also assume that after you spray the door it would become quiet, therefore not bothering you anymore. The steps were simple, Let's take a look at a bathroom door:
1. The door has a problem
2. The door becomes noisy
3. You notice the problem
4. You fix the problem
5. The door no longer has a problem so it's quiet
If you are wondering why people protest, the answer can be found above...just like the old saying goes, "the squeaky wheel gets the oil."
Remember that one time in our nation's history when Colin Kaepernick was kneeling at football games in protest of police brutality? Well, you know what happened? He was ridiculed, he wasn't hired, and therefore eliminated from the game of football. Why? Because he was making "too much noise". Was the problem of police brutality addressed? No. If we use the above bathroom door scenario this is what actually happened:
1. The door had a problem
2. The door became noisy
3. You noticed the problem
4. You removed the door
5. You are left with a bigger problem (a bathroom with no door).
What we are seeing today is the result of a problem that has NEVER been addressed, instead, the problem keeps growing and growing. So, people have decided enough is enough and now the noise can be heard all over the world instead of just in the United States.
This "noise" has shown up in the form of protests and riots. While some people might disagree with the effectiveness of today's protests and riots (I used to be one of them) they are highly effectively.
A lot of people mention "peaceful" protests and toss Martin Luther King Jr.'s name in the mix. Well, allow me to bring to your recollection that he was widely hated. He was seen as a trouble maker and a disruptor... so much so they actually killed him. So, many of you who have a problem with the protests that are happening today would like to believe that if you lived in that time (during the Civil Rights Movement) you would have been on his (MLK's) side.... I can not say beyond a shadow of a doubt that you wouldn't.... but it's likely that you would have hated him just like everyone else, because you don't want your peace disturbed. Does that mean you're a bad person today? No, but it does mean that you should evaluate why someone standing up for their rights makes you so uncomfortable.
Let's address the issue of rioting and looting shall we?
People violently shaking police cars and setting them on fire, breaking the windows of businesses, stealing from these business causing them to have to rebuild, defacing statues.... the list goes on. Let's go back to the scenario at the beginning this is what looting and rioting does:
1. The door has a problem
2. The door becomes a little bit noisy
3. You notice the noise
4. The noise does not really bother you
5. You ignore the door
1. The door has a problem
2. The door makes a noise that disrupts every phone call, disturbs your sleep, and makes it impossible to go the bathroom in the middle of the night without waking everyone.
3. You do everything in your power to get the door fixed ASAP.
(No need for steps 4 &5)
This country was built on violence! Let's not ignore the fact that the United States was violently stolen from the Indigenous people of America! People were already here when Christopher Columbus came so on Thanksgiving Day, Native Americans have a protest called the National Day of Mourning to commemorate their suffering. Protests and riots have been happening in the United States for hundreds of years! Here are a few:
1783 the Mutiny of Pennsylvania - This was an anti-government protest led by the Continental Army. The result was the creation of a federal district to be the national capitol.
1835 Gentleman's Riot - Some women and an abolitionist had a meeting which led to well to do men rioting in Boston and dragging a magazine publisher through the street. They were upset because they were afraid that not having slavery would put a damper on their textile money.... you know, since the slaves picked cotton and all. (learn more)
1857 New York City Police Riot - Basically, there was a lot of corruption. So, the New York Municipal Police Department was dissolved, and the Metropolitan Police Department was formed. Sounds familiar huh.
Two years before the Police Riot was Bloody Monday.
1855 It started as a protest between the Democrats and the Know Nothing ( American Party) Party. The Know Nothings didn't like the fact that the city was growing so rapidly because of immigrants. So, mobs of thug protestant people attacked German and Irish neighborhoods because they didn't like immigrants. I failed to mention this happened in Louisville, Kentucky. Right here where people are currently protesting for the justice of Breonna Taylor who was shot and killed by the police in serving a no knock warrant.
People were FURIOUS about the buildings that were destroyed in downtown Louisville, but yet we didn't hear the same fury when a black person's name became another hashtag because they were killed by the police. People care more about buildings and flags the human lives.
While you might not like the spray paint and the broken windows, you should be more outraged when you see people taking to the streets for the same reasons Martin Luther King was fighting for. In fact, protests were not peaceful UNTIL Martin Luther King Jr made them peaceful. Before him they were loud and violent. The sad truth is that many of the people who walked, marched, and peacefully protested with him are alive today, but he isn't.. the one who lived and breathed peace.
I hope this opens your eyes a bit wider. I hope you can see that protests are not supposed to make you comfortable. Protest might get ugly, but they bring about real change.
The following are a few photos I took at some of the protests here in Louisville over the past few days.
By no means do I condone violence, but I am from the school of thought that "the squeaky wheel get's the oil."