I was talking with some folk last night and some suggested that the police should have just started shooting the looters. Let's get some perspective, shall we? The looters weren't murdering people, they were stealing and damaging property, so executing them in the streets wouldn't have been an appropriate response. What's more, decades of police violence and intimidation helped to create the environment in which the riots erupted, so an escalated police response would have just made things worse. We'd have had riots around the country today.
Bob Cesca had the perfect response to the events.
It’s unfair that the memory of Freddie Gray, the latest victim of unfair police profiling and excessive force, is besmirched by looters and rioters who are effectively spitting on his grave by turning what ought to be peaceful protests into self-serving violence and theft — where personal outrage and greed supersede a far more noble cause. The fact is, the looters probably don’t care too much who was killed or by whom. They’re merely piggy-backing their personal greed and lack of morality onto an entirely unrelated event.
It’s unfair that more commentators don’t make a clear distinction between the original tragedy and the violent unrest.
It’s unfair to the broader African-American community, which still struggles with racism and racial discrimination, that a relative few looters reinforce the ugly stereotypes marketed by those who seek to separate rather than unite. The looters and assailants are no more representative of the African-American community than secessionist Bundy ranch hooligans are representative of whites.
It’s unfair that poverty, one of the root causes of racial animosity, isn’t viewed by more Americans as a national problem demanding national solutions, rather than a wedge to be marginalized, ridiculed and demagogued with racial scare-words and Southern Strategy dog-whistles.
And if you're one of those charming people who believe that people reacted with violence because of the color of their skin, then check out Cesca's article for a gallery of other recent riots, committed mostly by white people over far more trivial matters. Here are a couple.
The top is Vancouver, the bottom Kentucky. Both riots occurring after sporting events.