Opinion: Riots Will Not Solve the Problem of Racism
It has been three months since the death of George Floyd, and America is still experiencing riots across the country— what resolution will come from the violence?
More recently, two civilians were killed and another was injured during riots that occurred in Kenosha, Wisconsin. It was the third night of protests in the wake of Wisconsin police officers opening fire on Jacob Blake (who is still alive, but currently in the hospital). His name joins the names of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Rayshard Brooks as names the organization Black Lives Matter uses to advance their mission. These riots add to the numerous riots that have taken place across 140 American cities, where rioters seem to hope that if they cause enough noise then they will call attention to the problem of racism and police brutality in our country.
The trouble is that not only are these riots cause even more death and damage, but they are also hurting the very cause that Black Lives Matter is fighting for.
The protestors rioting in the streets may think that by causing so much destruction they are getting the government’s attention (since actions do speak louder than words), but these actions are not the kind that deserved to be rewarded. What does the destruction of property and the death of others (including Black lives) do to fix racism? More death and the destruction of property does nothing to bring justice to the wrongdoings of a few.
Not only do these riots cause the death of the innocent and hinder the cause that rioters seem to be fighting for, but they also draw attention away from the peaceful protests that are also happening in the country. Because riots and chaos gain more attention and clicks than nonviolent protests do, the media puts its focus on the riots instead of the protests that have been mostly peaceful.
If the rioters truly wanted to make a difference, they should turn to a man who made a difference back in the 1960s: Martin Luther King, Jr.
King could have used brute force to get his point across, but he chose to stand for his beliefs through peace, not violence. It is a trait that many protesters can learn from, as King himself once stated:
“In spite of temporary victories, violence never brings permanent peace.”
As 2020 marches on and racial tensions continue to increase, I believe that America needs to rediscover its roots now more than ever. As it says in James 1:19-20, “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.”
Asher Notheis is an Opinion Writer. Follow him on Twitter at @ashernotheis.