In my book, Better Living Through Selective Apathy, I have an entire chapter devoted to differences between people. The overall theme of the chapter encourages those who have suffered an injustice to focus their anger toward the evil individual, not the innocent group to which that individual belongs.
When we have anger over the actions of an individual, we feel the need to take action. When it is logistically impossible to receive satisfaction that way, the lazy douche bags of the world blame the larger group instead, because that requires no personal action. It’s weak, lazy, and does no good. They use group anger as a cop-out, because it’s easier. It requires nothing of them in terms of holding the evil individual accountable.
The George Floyd death in Minnesota is most definitely tragic. The officer who held his knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck, causing him to lose his life should be held legally accountable. The only question is whether or not this was pre-meditated (murder) or accidental/careless (manslaughter). That officer got fired, but that is not nearly enough. Justice should be served, and the Floyd family is due compensation for their pain, suffering, and the financial loss attributable to the loss of Mr. Floyd’s life.
The resulting riots where people burned down stores that had nothing to do with Mr. Floyd’s death are nothing more than misguided anger. Burning down the police station? That is direct consequence for the police department’s consistent injustices toward the African-American community, and that is justifiable. Burning down businesses? Looting? Looting has nothing to do with holding a police officer responsible for the death of another person. That is nothing more than an excuse to be a thief and get something for nothing, and that is absolutely a punishable offense. If someone looting got shot and killed, I would not feel a moment of grief for that person, and the shooter would be absolutely justified in protecting their property.
Please, please direct anger toward the evils of an individual appropriately. The African-American community in Minnesota, having borne the brunt of injustices wrought by the police there, are absolutely justified in being angry, scared, and reactionary. They are not justified causing damage to businesses and/or homes who had nothing to do with the evil the rioters experienced.
Additionally, I have heard outrage around the country where people are saying terrible things about the police in general. I will be the first to agree that the absolute power of the police force should be scrutinized, and that there are people in the police who are evil people. The police departments around the country need to do some serious soul searching in the interests of weeding out those who abuse the power and give police everywhere a bad name. It is important that we all isolate our anger toward the individual perpetrators of injustices, rather than the overall abstract “the police.”