Home A word about the 2020 riots


Rioting and looting are morally wrong, regardless of one's purported (or imputed) motivations.  Those public figures who express support for them or condone them with interpretations that serve their own political goals deserve our distrust.  Yes, racism and cruel behavior on the part of police are real problems and have been recognized as such for decades.  But why did they become hot-button issues for the first time in fifty years?

Could it be due at least in part to the terrible effects of the lockdowns in response to the COVID-19 crisis?  Many people lost their jobs, their homes, their families, and even their lives as a result.  Alas, when confronted by such a disaster, some people do things they would never have contemplated doing before.  Besides, in some places the police enforced the lockdowns in ways most of us would consider outrageous.  These measures might have been harsher on black people.  Was the public (and widely publicized) torture and murder of a black man by a white police officer just the spark that it took to start this wildfire?

Of course, we need law and order.  That is one of our government's basic roles, one that we expect as citizens of a republic.  We should never condemn our government for properly enforcing laws against violence and property destruction.  But it's always best when society's power brokers minimize the chances of civil unrest by applying insight and compassion to its problems, major and minor.

Copyright © 2020 by Dorothy E. Pugh.  All rights reserved.