Gonna reply to Elinda's original question, since it actually raises several good points instead of just spewing rhetoric or scattering blame in one political direction.
Will this batch of riots, in conjunction with the now obvious disproportionate burden of illness and death among racial and ethnic minority groups from covid-19 (and likely any other communicable disease) finally move the needle of racial injustice toward equity?
I think racial equality will only be achieved when more people realize that the underlying cause of that inequality is economic. Over obsessing at the tail end of a fairly long series of cause and effect relationships is never going to solve the problem. No amount of more police training and reform will allow us to reach 0% death in custody rates, much less anywhere near that in terms of injuries. Accidents happen. Bad cops slip through the cracks. And sometimes, a good cop can have a very bad day and do something horrific. I have no clue what was going on with that officers mind when he did what he did. It was clearly wrong. He was clearly wrong. But, events like that are actually extremely rare. It's why there is so much outrage when they happen.
Fewer black people die in police custody each year than die from gang violence in an average week in some of our major cities. Do some black lives matter more than others? And yes, I get that police are supposed to serve and protect and not cause pain and suffering, so we obviously should hold them to a higher standard. But ignoring one source of loss of life and focusing almost entirely on another is silly. If you were to rank all the causes of death of black people, per year, in order of most to least, "death by cop" would be very very near the bottom. It's just the easiest to get outraged over. And I totally get that. But that anger isn't going to solve the actual problems. You might reform a bit and save one or two lives every year. Maybe.
Black people are significantly more likely to grow up and live in high poverty high crime neighborhoods. That skews *everything* against them. Poorer schools means worse education, more likelihood of dropping out, higher gang membership rates, and obviously fewer opportunities in life to get out of those neighborhoods. High crime rates mean more policing. Police patrol the most where there is the most crime. That makes objective sense, right? Yet, "where the most crime is" also statistically means a higher percentage of the total black population will be in those areas of higher patrol rates. Which means more stops. And, everything else being equal more chances of something going wrong during the encounter with police. You can literally take a flat percentage of total police encounters that result in violence, injury, or death of the person stopped, adjust it for the increased rate of police encounters in high crime neighborhoods, then further adjust for percentage of each racial group who live in those neighborhoods and you'll find that the actual rates of violence, injury, and death is very close to identical across racial groups.
That still does not excuse when it's clearly the cops fault, but it is important to recognize that simply calculating the percentage of a total racial population who experience a violent encounter with police and compare straight across does not give an accurate reflection of things. I was reading a BBC article recently which calculate that white people were actually 25% more likely to die during an encounter with police than black people. Again, once you calculate for the fact that black people are going to have police encounters more often relative to the total population. Again, entirely because of socio-economic conditions.
How do we fix that high rate of black poverty? I don't have the perfect answer. Have some ideas, but this is way to long as it is. I'm just trying to get out that until we recognize that this is the actual root of the problem, and not spend all our time chasing symptoms, we're never going to fix this.
Oh. And that goes for the covid-19 issue to. Clearly a virus does not act out of racism or racial bias. But higher poverty tends to cause lower health as well, right? Same root cause once again.
Will this degree of civil unrest impact the election in Nov? How?
Really depends on how well the Dems spin this (which they're definitely trying to do). Unless they can somehow drag out the protests and riots until November (which is pretty much zero chance), it'll come down to how the voters view the cause and reaction of the parties. The Dems can spin this in their standard "GOP are racists, therefore they are ok with black people dying" (as a certain poster suggested earlier in the thread). But the problem with that is that the areas where we see the most police on black violence, and where the people are the most angry, and the most fed up, are almost exclusively towns with Democrat Mayors, and states with Democrat Governors. In many cases, the Dems have controlled the cities for decades. The police forces and their policies are Democrat policies. The police unions which protect bad cops donate to Democrat politicians. It's kinda hard to blame Floyd's death on the GOP in this case, right? They didn't set the rules in that city or state. They have no influence or control over the police there, or their policies, nor do they get support from them in return.
Ironically, while the Dems do a great job of showing up at protests, giving speeches, appointing people of color to be police chiefs, and city managers, and elected officials, those things don't seem to have helped. And the funny thing, which ties into my earlier comments is that Trumps policies actually did take actual positive action on this front. His economic policies created (for a time) the lowest black unemployment in history. He was leading them towards economic opportunity in a way that all the chest bumping and campaign slogans of the Dems has not. He also pushed through actual reform, and got a lot of black folks out of prison who were there because of tighter sentencing passed back in the 90s. Sadly for the Dems, one of the folks who pushed for that back in the day was none other than Biden.
So if people look at actual actions over words and empty gestures, this might not go so well for the Dems. Trump's message to black voters last time around (what do you have to lose?) may just resonate this time, given that they've been voting Dem, had Dem leadership of their cities and states, and lived under Dem rule for generations in many cases, and things are how they are anyway, how many might just decide that a real revolution is in the works. And it's not about burning buildings and looting stores, but is about voting in different leadership.
If it goes that way, we could see a title wave of areas which have been Dem strongholds for decades shift to the right. I doubt it, but it's possible.
Do you think their was widespread agitation - rioting and damaging property, from groups that are anti-BLM?
Trump blames the far left Antifa for the violence of the last week. Who/what do you blame?
I think it's a mix of radicals on all sides. There are folks who just want to create violence and chaos, and big protests are a great way to do that.
I will do the same thing I always do when folks try to say "but we were just peacefully protesting and these other people came in an rioted": If your protest is providing cover for the folks who are throwing bricks and bottles, then you are part of the problem. I'm not saying don't protest, but that your response to someone throwing something from anywhere near you should *not* be to roar louder, and wave your sign more. It should be to move as rapidly as possible away from the folks throwing stuff. Just move away. If everyone does this, then the folks throwing rocks find themselves standing alone with rocks in their hands, and the police can just walk over and arrest them without incident.
I've seen too many videos of folks who crowd around the folks throwing stuff at the police, effectively making it impossible for the police to do anything to stop the rioters. And if the cops try? They often get mobbed by the "peaceful protesters" who will inevitably claim that the police attacked them (since they crossed the line so to speak). Again though, just standing there shielding the rock throwers is participating in my opinion. Don't do that. if you do, the police actually have no choice but to clear the area, which means that smoke bombs, flash bangs, and other means will be used to disperse the crowd. Of course, the whole crowd moves away, taking the rock throwers with them, and they just repeat the same thing in the next location.
It's your job as a protester, if you want to claim to be peaceful, to *not* allow violent folks to hide among you. The cops physically can't do this without clearing you out too. Only you can so without creating even more violence.
Someone really ought to write a "rules for peaceful protest" book or something.
Oh. I'll also point out the disconnect between "lawful" and "unlawful" protests, "peaceful" vs "violent" protests, and looting. Those are all different things done in different ways and for different reasons. You can have a peaceful protest that is still "unlawful", but your odds of it remaining peaceful are low. By "unlawful", I mean that the folks organizing the protest didn't coordinate with the city (or at least inform them), and include a well defined gathering location, march path and end location, including time for the whole thing. When done that way the police can cordon off the area, both the inner side where the folks walking will be, and the outer side to keep vehicles from driving through the protest. This is really about safety. Without this information, or if the protesters decide to wander off in random directions without warning, the police end up running around trying to set up blockades to prevent cars and people from occupying the same location (which tends not to go well for the people). Those police standing in a line blocking your ability to just go wherever you want? They're not there because they just hate free speech and want you to stop. They're there because most protests occur in downtown areas where traffic is already busy, and they can't magically redirect stuff away from you if you just roam around.
I saw what happened here in La Mesa when a protest did just that. Absolutely gruesome footage of what happens when a protester gets caught under a large truck, then other protesters rush the truck to try to warn the driver not to go, and to back up so they can free that person, only to have the driver panic at seen a couple dozen people charging his truck, banging on the sides of it and climbing up to his doors. He drove off, rapidly. It was not good.
Protesting is fine. But there's a cost to doing it "wrong" so to speak. Those who say that you must have violence and destruction to change things aren't the ones who's businesses are destroyed, or who have loved ones who get caught up in the middle of that destruction and get harmed or killed. Raising awareness is only the first part of a process like this. Unfortunately, all too often, no matter how loud or violent a protest becomes, once thing die down, the platitudes stop, the speeches stop, and things go right back to how they were. Spend less time protesting, and maybe more time at city council meetings, or hey, feeding people at a soup kitchen, or things that actually help. Heck. Run for office maybe. Edited, Jun 12th 2020 6:14pm by gbaji