Monday, June 1, 2020

How could he do it? Riots don’t touch key question

Photo for the Sun-Times by Ashlee Rezin Garcia
     They’re breaking into all the stores. We have nothing on State ...
     The updates calmly crackle across the police scanner, urgent and unceasing. CPD in my left ear, CFD in my right.
     The injured officer is on the west side of the bridge, squad ...
     Saturday night creeps by that way, 5 p.m. to midnight. I’m keeping track, while chewing on the question that set all this in motion:
     How could he do it?
     The question that had to cross every mind — maybe too obvious to say out loud — while watching that video of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kneel on George Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes Monday until he was dead. It sparked horror that rattled the nation.
     We need everybody to report to State and Lake, they’re about to set a building on fire.
     But protests quickly deteriorated into violence — a police precinct headquarters burned in Minneapolis. Then in scattered cities. Then in cities across the country Saturday night including Chicago. Watching TV news is like trying to breathe through a straw. Trying to figure out what was happening here as dusk fell, I sat and listened to the police scanner.
     The injured officer is on the west side of the bridge ...

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6 comments:

  1. Stay safe out there- this is too, too much.

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  2. As a white male boomer who grew up in the 60's and came of age in the early 70's I am horrified that we have made so little progress against racism in this society. I remember as early as junior high having class discussions about the legacy of slavery and the Civil War. I clearly remember thinking then that my generation would put things right. We experienced the murders of JFK, RFK and MLK. On our local TV stations we watched in horror as the CPD committed atrocities against the protesters at the 68 Democratic convention. Yet here we are some 60 years later, and this is where we are? I am so ashamed.

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  3. I too am skeptical that left and right wing agitators are crossing state borders to organize the violence. Most of what I saw on television was fueled by acquisition, not ideology.

    Interesting that the looters arrived on and left the scene by car. I've often thought that Chicago's open street plan makes crime fighting harder here than in some other large cities. Owning and operating a car in Manhattan is a considerable luxury.

    Tom


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  4. "The Black Lives Matter movement is misnamed. Because black lives don’t matter ... to a lot of people." "Misnamed" seems like an odd take, to me. I think it's a fine name, the point of which is to call attention to the fact that black lives still don't matter to way too many people in this forsaken country. If the people who respond to that provocation by blithely saying "All Lives Matter" actually believed and acted as if all lives mattered, there would be no need for protests nor movements. I'm right there with John at 10:02 -- horrified and kinda mystified that my generation has not done much better in dealing with the aftereffects of the Original Sin that still deeply haunts and affects this nation. I thought, particularly when Obama was *reelected* that maybe we'd turned a page. Sadly, what had happened was that we'd provoked a savage backlash from the minority of voters who think our Maximum Leader and his cronies are very fine people. Looting is not the answer to that development, but "Hell if I know" what is, beyond the admonition from Obama himself to "Vote."

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