The online mob is back but this time around they don’t seem to have a valid purpose.
Back in 2016, there was a cookout called “First Steps.” This was between a black community and the Wichita local police department. The cookout took place during the height of the Black Lives Matter movement and was widely approved as a way to create good and lasting bonds between law enforcement and black communities that have alienated one another for so long.
The Black Lives Matter movement got wind of this and responded pretty harshly. “We don’t sit on panels with law enforcement, and we don’t have BBQ’s or cookouts with law enforcement. We feel the best method at this point in history is by holding police accountable by organizing and advocating for police accountability.” BLM co-founder Patrisse Cullors stated. They were so angry they tweeted out against the cookout which led to many Twitter users lashing back at them questioning why they were against the cookout. Isn’t this what leads to insightful conversations and changes within society? Different sides working together?
It’s confusing, really, because so many people know that this damaged relationship needs to be repaired in order to save both sides. Here we have a perfect example of how that gap can be bridged, yet the group who styles itself as the most concerned rejects it. According to Cullors, they don’t want a relationship, just organizing and advocating against police. All police. This even includes black police. This is not a solution. This is a reaction against anything law enforcement does, which effectively makes the movement a useless one as it exacerbates the problem. What are you here for if you don’t want to solve anything?
Fast forward to today and there is rioting in Minneapolis, Minnesota, due to the unjust killing of George Floyd by a police officer who knelt on his neck for nine minutes as other officers stood around, not stopping it. It’s a disturbing video and it’s understandable that it would elicit anger. Riots began from this, businesses being burned and looted, arguments justifying their crimes, the list goes on.
I’ve had yet to see how violent riots solve the problem as Martin Luther King Jr. himself recognizes brave human rights activists in the principles of nonviolence towards freedom. In his book “The Stride Towards Freedom” he explains how nonviolence seeks understanding, defeats injustice and not people, educates and transforms, chooses love instead of hate, and so forth. What’s more, those in favor of riots refuse to seek anything positive especially the viral videos of those that ARE coming together and getting along.
People are angry, they want to lash out and resort to base emotions. This is understandable until it becomes pure desire to fight back in ways that create more problems instead of solving, facing, and justifying the surfacing problems at hand. The trending hashtags and store looting is not seeking a solution. It is the backlash of wanting to be a part of the problem.