AMERICANS, STAND DOWN!  

Americans need to use their brains and STAND DOWN! Protesting and rioting has had their anticipated effect, so go home and start cleaning up the mess you’ve made! Begin rebuilding the stores and pubs you burned down, return the goods that were stolen, and atone for the lives you allowed to be taken during this past 10 days. Black lives were killed in these protests. More black lives than white or brown.    

It all began when four police officers in Minneapolis murdered a black man while people stood around, watched and videotaped. No one stepped forward to help that poor man. No one called out for help or ran into the fray. They watched and videotaped. Not for one minute, but for seven or eight or nine minutes! Until George Floyd was dead in front of them and another mother was grieving for her child. Yes, it was unconscionable, and the four officers should have been immediately removed from street duty, detained, and arrested. That did not happen 

At first this injustice unified cities in the U.S. and around the world. But as demonstrations against police brutality grew, they became less in support of George Floyd.  Then, after only one night of demonstrations, his death became an opportunity to pull out all the stops and allow anarchists and other loosely organized violent groups to blend in with the demonstrators and perpetuate destruction instead of change. 

After the third night, the police officer with his knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck was arrested and charged with murder, but small businesses in the cities continued to burn and be looted, while black security and police were killed, a couple were beaten by thugs with 2×4’s, and the crowds grew larger.  

We are now ending our 10th night of rioting, looting, violence and civil disobedience, all of which has been plastered over the media for the world to see. America is supposed to be the country of peace, intellectual conversation and opportunity, but I see no peace here now, no intellectual conversation, and no opportunity in the cities that have been targeted.   

Instead, there are hundreds of people goading the police, starting fires, breaking into buildings and stealing everything that isn’t tied down. The opportunity I see are the missed opportunities that the protesters and rioters have facing them. Wasn’t COVID-19 bad enough? Jobs were already in peril, so how does ruining businesses help that condition? How does burning buildings encourage minority acceptance?   

This can’t be the way change comes about! Where are the successful businessmen, the politicians and religious leaders? Where are the influencers with the money and clout to make the legislative changes that are necessary to protect and elevate worthy minorities? Who can be the voice of reason and speak to all of this so that the healing can begin? Is there any leadership out there? If so, stop the criminal activity before there is a need for legal force!  

Police take an oath to serve and protect, and while most of them genuinely try to do that, there are definitely those who don’t respect that oath and probably never intended to keep it. Many of the former have joined in WITH the protesters and want to be part of the change! The four who murdered Mr. Floyd are the latter, and there has been no shortage of unnecessarily violent behavior on the part of some police in this weeklong series of incidents either.  

However, the latest “demand” is the concept of defunding the police. Wow, what a ridiculous idea that is! In any city, be it Minneapolis, Chicago, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, St. Louis, etc., residents are asking for more police presence! The facts are that the more police in a city, the less the violence.  

Lastly, each and every person needs to research for themselves the issue of Black Lives Matter. I believe that you will find that black on black deaths account for at least 90% of all black deaths. So once you have digested that fact, figure out where you stand on the issue, but go home first. Be part of the solution, not the problem.  

The issues are complicated and will not be resolved in a day or two or three weeks. It will need new leadership to rise out of the minority communities, to be the voice of reason and change, and be strong enough to stay the course. No matter our color or age or profession, we each need to take responsibility and make ourselves worthy of being given this life. Don’t squander it. Go Home! 

 Author: Barbara Walsh, June 4, 2020

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