By Tommy Acosta
Here’s an angle on the rampant demonstrations and riots burning across the nation few are considering.
Yes, they are angry, very angry and rightfully so. But not just because of the killing but also because since the inception of the coronavirus quarantine orders, the loss of income, the loss of schools, the loss of human contact, the loss of hope and the pent up anger simmering primed the population for the spectacle we are now witnessing.
It was a powder keg ready to detonate and the killing of George Floyd was the fuse that lit it.
They have been cooped up for more than three months by an invisible jailor called fear, locked in front of the TV with no money to buy food and limited human contact.
Now, they escaped the prison and have gotten a taste of freedom thanks to the protests, even if it’s only for a few days and nights they have human contact, mutual purpose and a cause to rally around.
The Covid19 fear has been put on the back burner for now, replaced by the rage people feel over the killing, frustration over their isolation and destruction of their way of life by the virus..
For some demonstrators it’s not so much about a thirst for justice as it is about a thirst for freedom.
Their frustration at being locked up came to a boiling point, motivated and exploited by a few professional provocateurs. The crowds are pumping on the adrenalin induced by marching against authority and actually getting away with it.
With each act of civil disobedience and retreat by the authorities they have grown bolder. They believe now that the law and order defenders, the police and military, are paper tigers.
Agitators have gone as far as burning down a police station, a bank and a post office, all symbols of society and the rule of law. And they got away with it.
The regular people want out of their homes. The demonstrations give them the cover and an excuse to do so; to be free from the fear that has been their lives since December of last year; to fight for a cause they believe in.
It’s a break from the tediousness of their psychological and physical self-imposed incarceration.
They are marching and burning and breaking and smashing. And those who aren’t manipulated by provocateurs are milling about talking to each other in small groups, intoxicated by the power they suddenly feel.
The absolute tragedy of the slow-motion murder of George Floyd mesmerized a nation and woke up those who have previously been ambivalent to racial discrimination.
In the beginning with the peaceful demonstrations there was hope for change. But the violent demonstrations killed that realization, making the death of that young man, for naught. Unless, it brings about real change in the realm of police brutality, that is. We shall see.
Will the people docilely go back to staying in their homes like it was before the killing of Floyd when the demonstrations end? Putting that Genie back in the bottle may be a next-to-impossible task.