Rioting for the wrong reasons

While many rioters seek to further the Black Lives Matter movement, a good amount simply seek personal gain.

June 4, 2020

As you have seen in the above articles, our country is currently facing much turmoil in light of the murder of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, by Minneapolis police on Monday, May 25th. After a video of Floyd’s death went viral, people across the country expressed outrage at law enforcement, as peaceful protests started across the country. While many sought to peacefully express their outrage, many protests turned into riots across the nation, many stores, including some in the North Riverside Mall, were looted, or otherwise damaged.

As a white man, growing up in a majority white neighborhood, and attending majority white schools for my whole life, I won’t pretend to understand what African Americans are going through right now, and I can’t pass full judgement on anyone who is rioting during this time. I am always against violence, and abhor the damage being done to small businesses and people’s livelihoods across America. I also believe that this country’s law enforcement system needs drastic changes, and I do truly believe that the best way to make that change is by protesting peacefully, however, I do believe that the ends justify the means in this situation, and although I am against this rioting now, if it really does result in change, the United States will be better for it. On the flip side, I can’t wrap my brain around how looting a suburban Target is going to lead to any change, so while I can understand that some rioting may help get these people’s point across, looting seems to do much more harm than good.

Again, I do not condone any rioting, and I hope that change can eventually be brought about peacefully, but I understand that some of these people are rioting for a very serious cause; however, there are people out there who are rioting just for money, the thrill, or maybe even just to see the world burn. Those who are rioting for any reason other than to bring about change in the wake of George Floyd’s murder, are the epitome of selfishness, and have no business saying that they are fighting for a good cause.

In the days following Floyd’s murder, while I was very upset at another incidence where our country’s law enforcement had failed the black community, I saw one bright spot, I thought real change may actually be achieved. However, during the last day or so my optimism has dwindled, as I saw people going to malls, stores and other businesses, simply to loot them and riot, I realized that those who would fight change are only being given more ammunition to do so.

I really do hope that after this is all said and done our country will be a better place where all races are truly seen as equals. Maybe this will be achieved by rioting, but right now, in this moment, I have to say what I’m seeing, and that is a small group of people who really do believe that this change cannot be brought about peacefully, being overshadowed by a much larger group of people who are simply selfish people who seek nothing other than personal gain. It is not the government, not police, but these people who riot not for a cause, but for themselves who truly are the biggest obstacle to change.

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