“Please, don’t burn up property and cause havoc and tear your homes down in my son’s name,” pleaded Julia Jackson. “This doesn’t reflect my son or my family.”
Her son, Jacob Blake, lies in a hospital bed with paralyzed legs after a Kenosha, Wis., police officer shot him multiple times in the back as his children watched.
Every night since, rioters have taken to the city’s streets, burning buildings and vehicles and looting stores. One knocked a cop unconscious with a brick.
Jackson is “hurt” and “disgusted” by the violence and says her son would be, too. That echoes Terrence Floyd, who also pleaded for peace after the death of his brother George at the hands of Minneapolis cops: “If I’m not over here blowing up stuff, messing up my community, what are you all doing?”
But the damage in the Twin Cities is estimated at more than $500 million, because the “protesters” don’t listen. In Kenosha, they set at least 30 fires in one night alone. The city’s black business district is devastated — and so are many of its black citizens.
“I watched people who weren’t even from out here running into Family Dollar grabbing stuff. Like, you guys destroyed our community, and y’all get to go back home, and this is what we’re left with,” resident Ollie Lee told WISN.
“It’s all gone,” said Linda Carpenter, in tears, outside her 40-year-old business, B&L Furniture. “We didn’t do nothing to nobody.”
“Our county is under attack. Our businesses are under attack. Our homes are under attack,” the county board of supervisors wrote Wednesday, requesting “1,500 National Guard members with police powers.”
This anarchy has grown all too common since Floyd’s death. Yet the disorder didn’t even merit a mention at last week’s Democratic convention. Only Wednesday did Joe Biden finally state the obvious, in a Twitter video: “Burning down communities is not protest, it’s needless violence.”
It’s beyond time to stop encouraging this madness by calling rolling riots “peaceful protests.” This is pure destruction — and mainly of communities of color. It’s not fighting injustice; it’s committing it.