The protests over the police killing of George Floyd devolved into looting, vandalism, and arson across America that destroyed black lives, black livelihoods, and black monuments, and they started where George Floyd died, in Minneapolis. On Wednesday, the city reported that no fewer than 700 buildings were damaged, burned, or destroyed in the riots. It also released a map showing just how widespread the looting, vandalism, and arson spread.
The map breaks down the damage into four categories: cosmetic damage, minor damage, major damage, and wholly destroyed, CBS Local reported.
According to the map, twelve structures were “wholly destroyed” — and these buildings housed multiple businesses.
“This is not just the structures that have been impacted, it’s the community that’s been impacted, and if you take a look at where the destruction has happened, some of it is not because of the uprising, some of it is because people came into the community and tried to terrorize some neighborhoods and set buildings on fire,” explained Erik Hansen, Minneapolis’s director of economic policy and development.
Rioters burned down the very club where George Floyd had worked. They also wreaked havoc on the local community, black and white alike.
Black business owner K.B. Balla broke into tears while recounting the destruction wreaked upon his sports bar in Minneapolis. “I don’t know what I’m gonna do, I worked so hard to get here, so hard,” he said. Balla, a fireman, had invested his life savings into this Scores Sports Bar. The bar had planned its grand opening in the spring but coronavirus lockdowns put it on pause. As a GoFundMe page explains, “Scores Sports Bar was LOOTED, VANDALIZED, and DESTROYED.” Looters cleaned it out, twice, destroying his life’s work.
Thanks to the generosity of Americans, however, this is not the end of Balla’s story.
A GoFundMe campaign for Scores Sports Bar aimed to raise $100,000 to help rebuild the business. It has raised $1,142,720, and more than 37,000 people have contributed.
Yet for every Scores Sports Bar, there are hundreds of businesses that did not receive enough attention to raise $1 million. Cities like Minneapolis will struggle for years to overcome the destruction of these riots. It is absolutely heinous that speaking out about this destruction is considered anathema on the left.
Americans can and should be outraged over the death of George Floyd, but outrage does not justify this kind of destructive violence. Even if the Black Lives Matter narrative were correct, that would not make it okay for rioters to burn down people’s livelihood in the name of reform.
Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.