Police murders of George Floyd, Rashard Brooks and Brianna Taylor keep open the ulcer which has festered on America’s body from the Civil War to beyond Civil Rights. In protest, “Black Lives Matter” mobs pulled down statues, smashed windows, looted businesses, defaced private and public buildings, fought with police and counter protestors and set fires.
I appreciate the energy powering their rage, but it’s not what it seems. At the same time, seeing a charming city like Portland, Oregon, under assault, businesses vandalized and looted, the Federal Courthouse desecrated, stones, bottles and explosives hurled at police, I feel violated and angry!
In America, “peaceful” protest is respected. However, many point out that “Black Lives Matter” was highjacked as a motto for mindless violence. When I step back and consider, the roots for these acts lie much deeper than rampant testosterone, immature male brains and opportunistic vandalism.
In Anatomy of Human Destructiveness Erik Frome argues that people need to “make a dent.” If nowhere else, sometimes in someone’s head. Many “Black Lives Matter” protesters feel victimized and powerless against a faceless “System.” They make a dent by defacing and toppling perceived oppressors’ statues, smashing windows, looting businesses, desecrating public building, and battling with law enforcement officers. These folks, I call the “Left Behind.”