On Castigating Peaceful Protest

On Castigating Peaceful Protest May 28, 2020

This isn’t something that I haven’t said before.

A part of Minneapolis is on fire as a result of the protests about police violence after George Floyd died after a policeman knelt on his neck for nine minutes, in a rerun of Eric Garner’s death in 2014. His last words were, “I can’t breathe” after a series of breathless protestations, begging for his life. The white policeman atop his neck asked him to “Just relax”.

All over a potentially counterfeit bill.

Several shocking videos exist:

Protests have understandably ensued, and, it seems, looting and a fire.

For years, those, particularly on the right-wing, have demanded that if people are going to protest, then they should do it peacefully.

Except that when they do, they get publicly eviscerated.

Colin Kaepernick, the NFL quarterback, has not had a job for years since kneeling during the national anthem to protest police violence peacefully. He was castigated.

Trump had his fingerprints all over it.

“It was reported that NFL owners don’t want to pick him up because they don’t want to get a nasty tweet from Donald Trump,” Trump said. “Do you believe that? I just saw that. I just saw that.” He continued, “I said if I remember that one I’m going to report it to the people of Kentucky. They like it when people actually stand for the American flag.” Days ago, the Bleacher Report wrote that Kaepernick was in “NFL limbo” because some teams do fear political backlash over his past protests. Kaepernick has said he will stand during the national anthem in the next football season. [source]

The public trashing the man got was incredible.

And all for silently protesting. Peacefully protesting.

Fires and looting are what you get, what you deserve, if you create an atmosphere that attacks peaceful protest, most probably because the source of protest was a person of colour. If only the damage caused was to Mar-a-Lago and not downtown Minneapolis.

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