Grief is a Riot

It happened.

The same thing that always happens.

An unarmed African American was killed, the country got up in arms about it, protests and riots/looting ensued. And now we’re more focused on the looting than the ACTUAL MURDER of an unarmed African American man.

I get it. Two wrongs don’t make a right. But George Floyd isn’t looting anything right now, and to my knowledge he never did. George Floyd is not the looters. He is a man who may or may not have forged a check and was choked to death in public for it. Because he was Black. That’s the reason. It’s not because he resisted arrest. It’s not because he forged a check. It’s because he was a Black man being arrested by a racist White cop.

This would not have happened to a White person in a frame by frame recreation. This is a fact.

So I get that y’all think the looting and rioting is bad. You may or may not think it’s worse than murdering an unarmed Black man. I hope you think the latter is worse. Truly. You should, if you’re a decent human being.

But understand that they aren’t the same crime. You don’t get to be un-outraged about George Floyd being murdered just because some other people decided to commit another crime. That’s like saying his death doesn’t matter because I got a speeding ticket that day while driving to a protest.

Separate crimes.

So now you need to realize that your displeasure ovet the looting is directed toward the looters. Not the protesters. Because they are not all overlapping in the Venn diagram of this situation.

Your anger should be directed at the pink, yellow, and red (orange?) sections of the diagram. Nowhere else. I’ll tell you why.

I’m not going to presume to tell African Americans how they should react to hundreds of years of abuse for the color of their skin.

My kids are white, I don’t have to teach them to keep as still as possible whenever they’re pulled over, to make sure their hands are visible, to keep their voices low and calm when they answer the officer’s questions, to verbalize every action they’re going to take before they take it.

I have white children, they don’t have to worry about being shot when they get pulled over if they make a single wrong move or have a hairbrush in their car.

I’ve talked back to officers numerous times when I’ve been in a pissy mood about being pulled over. It’s not illegal to be a bitch as long as I don’t threaten him, and I know that.

Just as sure as I know that Black men have to worry about all of those things.


I recognize my privilege.


And I don’t have to worry about burying my loved ones if they happen across a racist police officer, because they’re white, too.


So I will not presume to tell African Americans how to express their outrage at the murder of George Floyd. Philando Castile. Eric Garner. Brionna Taylor. Tamir Rice. Sandra Bland. Ahmaud Arbery. Trayvon Martin. Oscar Grant. Samuel Debose. Walter Scott. Terrence Crutcher. Or any of the other hundreds of unarmed African Americans that lost their lives to police officers in the past year. Ten years. A hundred years.

And neither should you.

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