I’m still disgusted and disappointed by the riots in MKE last night as I wake up – the loss of jobs and resources as a few businesses in the area affected burned, as well as a police officer injured from a brick thrown to his head, is never good to hear.
What makes this worse, however, is social media – how it was used to fan the internal flames of the people involved after an incident yesterday afternoon, and how people once again reacted AFTER this began last night. It sickens me how many people commenting called the rioters animals and said they need to go to jail WITHOUT understanding the cause of such anger. I suppose we were a little spoiled when riots were over sports teams winning – not an angry community.
I don’t know what caused this – I’ve not lived in that area or visited it often enough to know. I know people don’t usually riot like that without cause, nor do they take to attacking authority without cause. This wasn’t some team winning/losing – this was anger and frustration, voiced with words by the aldermen and with flames by the citizens.
I still feel strongly that “Blue Lives Matter” – that the police who were there last night weren’t necessarily the cause to, or the continuation of, the riots, that efforts were made by police, and noted by the media, to build trust and support between them and the community. Considering what’s been going on with the rest of the country, whatever happened last night could have been much worse than it was.
That’s also why “Black Lives Matter” – said sparking incident was a shooting earlier in the afternoon between officer and citizen, in an area full of incidents over recent weeks, months and years. That gas station that burned was where a clerk shot a gun into the air to scare off some teens, and where there was boycotting as a result.
And yes, “All Lives Matter” – but when are you really going to see it? The people who rioted – THEY’RE HUMAN. Skin color, age, gender, belief – none of that changes that simple fact. The riots that happened last night weren’t started by something simple, and they weren’t sparked by “animals.”
Such words and phrases are a small but important part of the divisiveness problem in the U.S. today. These problems are not going away by simply shooting them or treating them like animals. It’s going to come by treating each other with respect, by seeing each other equally, and by working to rebuild trust. How we see each other has a lot to do with where this community, and the rest of America, goes from this.