I found this photo particularly haunting:
Protesters all over our nation are chanting “I can’t breathe” — the last words of George Floyd, who was murdered in police custody in Minneapolis on May 25.
Except that this image is not recent, it is from 2014. Kobe Bryant, along with his teammates, wore these shirts to protest the death of Eric Garner while in police custody. Vanessa Bryant, Kobe’s widow, posted this photo, saying “here we are again.”
Let’s hope that we are not doomed to repeat this forever.
In this era of overwhelming polarization, remember that the vast majority of the protests have been peaceful. The violence that is getting so much media attention has been instigated not just by protestors on the left, but also by organized white supremacist groups on the right. In fact, one expert who has been analyzing evidence and video footage from Minnesota says that right-wing extremist groups are more responsible for the violence than than the Antifa activists that Donald Trump is trying to blame.
A Minneapolis City Council member notes that most of the burned out buildings are small businesses owned by minorities, while property destruction caused by the protesters is primarily against symbols of power like police cars. “When you see no protest, there’s no mob sweeping through the north side, yet you see these fires popping up the main business corridor, that’s the thing that rang odd to me. Burning down small black- and immigrant-owned businesses, that doesn’t seem in lockstep with the tone of the protests.”
But there may be a more insidious motivation for these false flag activities. By pinning the blame on the left and blacks, Donald Trump is trying to scare whites into supporting him, the same way that Nixon used the violent riots after the assassination of MLK to win the presidency. It also distracts everyone (including the media) from the truly bad job he is doing fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, the loss of jobs, and the faltering economy, all of which ironically affects blacks and minorities far more than whites.
UPDATE: Trump is actively encouraging the situation to escalate. He is telling governors to aggressively target violent protestors, who he claims will only respond to a show of force. Trump advised the governors that they must seek “retribution” for violent acts in their states and told them to not act too gingerly, saying “You don’t have to be too careful.”
According to this piece in The Guardian, much of the violence is coming from the police. Trump’s response will only make things worse.
UPDATE 2: Twitter has removed an account that claimed to be representing Antifa, but was in fact created by a known white supremacist group. The account was inciting violence, according to Twitter. This is not the first time that a fake Antifa account linked to white supremacists has been suspended by the social media company.