Derek Chauvin killed George Floyd on Memoria Day. Riots began in Minneapolis on the following day and quickly spread across the country. Within a week of Floyd's death, more than half the states had called out their National Guard.
Dozens of police officers have been injured over a week of rioting. In New York City, almost four dozen police cars were damaged or destroyed. In Chicago, a policewoman was assaulted by rioters who tried to keep her from making an arrest. In Minneapolis-St. Paul, more than 250 buildings were damaged or destroyed by rioters, including a police station and a post office.
All this mayhem was triggered by the unjust killing of a black man, but I think there are other causes for all this violence. After all, there are 40 million Americans who are out of work. Surely some protestors are on the streets simply because they are unemployed and bored.
For example, while watching the television coverage of the riots last week, I saw a slightly obese white guy in his fifties who was out on the streets of Minneapolis. A television camera captured the man verbally abusing a police officer from a distance of about six inches from the officer's face. Does that guy have a job, I wondered?
I don't wish to disparage the motives of the people who are demonstrating in our cities, but I think there would have been a lot less vandalism, arson, and looting if there were not so many jobless people.
A dude with a job would probably turn down an invitation to set fire to the post office. "It's a lovely invitation," he might say, "but unfortunately, I have to be at work tomorrow by 8 AM."
He might also beg off from joining an expedition to loot the local liquor store. "I wish I could join you," he might explain," but I have to get the kids off to school tomorrow morning.
Requiring people to wear masks when they appear in public is also playing a role in all this chaos. Many states passed anti-mask laws back in the 1920s to help bring down the Ku Klux Klan. But this past week, thousands of protesters were wearing masks that cloaked them in anonymity should they decide to throw a firebomb at a police cruiser.
George Floyd's death has fueled legitimate anger all over the United States. Everyone realizes that. But in my opinion, these riots will not be quelled so long as millions of Americans are jobless and required to wear masks when they are on the streets.
|Burning police cars: requiring people to wear masks is part of the problem.|