Commentary | Jim Watkins
I made the comment about the rioters that they should just let it burn. I meant it figuratively.
For three months many Americans have been told to stay indoors, they have been told they have no job, no vacations or trips to the zoo or park. Stay home. Death is outside your door.
And then, right at about the same time the figures starting showing that COVID-19 was not exploding anywhere else but New York and the Tri-State area, a viral video caught the attention of the mainstream news media. And they ran with it.
Nothing drives news like a clean video of a black guy being beaten by police officers, and watching (playing) the video over and over, on top of the fact that we have all been caged up what is starting to look like for no good reason AND I have no job to go back to, makes me furious. Just like it has made millions of people furious.
The video was the last straw.
Then, mysterious groups jumped in and added more chaos to the protests, the people throwing molotov cocktail bombs and breaking into business want anarchy; they want to tear down institutions because it’s the only cause they can find. Nothing like an angst twenty-something with no life plan playing with fire.
There are other forces of course, the media whores like Rachel Maddoux, Anderson Cooper, Don Lemon, and Wolf, and that is what they are, whores who have prostituted real news to the level slightly below the National Enquirer. It stopped being about the truth a long time ago.
And then there are the politicians like Kamala Harris, Al Sharpton, Maxine Waters and a few mayors who love to throw the word ‘white supremacy’ around to stir things up. All of these people could care less if America burns. It was never their country to love; it was always a playground to push whatever agenda made them feel superior, as long as it was against tradition, which they despise.
I’ve lived through enough riots to know they come and they go. They let off steam because they are a reaction by a segment of people who believe they are stuck – and they are – stuck by an imperfect system that doesn’t allow for much error.
But we built this system through the leaders we voted in. If the system isn’t working, the people who make and pass the laws need to re-examine them. This is how we perfect the system as it goes along. Our system is built upon trial and error. Evolution periodically changed by revolution.
We also need to remember that what happen to George Floyd is the exception, though the frequency of seeing the video might convince you otherwise. Thousands of people break the law every single day, and 99% of the arrests go pretty smoothly. But no two are the same and an overzealous or insensitive law enforcement officer must self-check.
Even law enforcement agrees with the protestors, George Floyd died tragically and unnecessarily. But we are a nation of laws, and we have to allow that process to play itself out. That is why we are the greatest country on earth, because no one is supposed to be above the law.
When the coronavirus hit, it blew me away. I was and am still sometimes overwhelmed by what happened on a global scale, and most of us don’t realize it is still far from over. Our economy, according to Forbes, will take a decade to rebuild. Let that sink in.
But how quickly everything switched to George Floyd. In a matter of hours we went from a global pandemic that stopped a global economy in its tracks, and to riots in the streets because I Can’t Breathe.
Just like that.
So yes, I am little hesitant to get all up in arms about the riots. They will pass. And the reason they will pass is because something else will come along to distract us. The media, once they sense low ratings, shifts and finds the next big event to get people riled up about.
Or as Malcolm McLuhen stated in 1954, “the nature of a medium, the channel through which a message is transmitted, is more important than the meaning or content of the message.”
The riots therefore, are just a prop; the real story is the way the media has turned Americans, albeit temporarily, against each other with one well-orchestrated stroke, which shows how effective today’s media has become.
And that should worry everyone.