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.
I’m sorry but I think this article is missing the facts: That the majority of demonstrators, tens of thousands, around the country protested PEACEFULLY. Especially noteworthy was Saturdays demonstrations. 30,000 in Chicago protesting without violence, 40,000 in Philadelphia and so on. Calling the protests “riots” is also misleading. It also leaves out that much of the violence was organized by a white supremacist group behind it. (See Twitter’s comments or the Pentagon for more facts on it.) This is an ill informed article by someone who clearly is not in touch with Black America or the facts around the last two weeks of PROTESTS. The subtle racism of not even acknowledging that George Floyd’s family restrained their emotion and rage and spoke out loudly for peace; the fact that tens of thousands of Black americans, who have a right to feel anger and sorrow, clearly took to the streets in PEACE. Did you notice the violence coming from the police?! It was unfortunately very painful to see the misuse of force over and over again in cities all around the country. Where was the main source of violence? Could it be from systemic racism, and overuse of force from the police; the public lynching of George Floyd; or and from Trump’s actions himself? I’m sorry it makes me upset when a supposed spokesperson for the community clearly missed the meaning of the last two weeks that are of historic proportions, of a global movement responding to police cruelty, wanting change; and about an unprecidented showing of voice for racial and social equality and peace.
Elena, thank you for making several good points.
This, I thought, was a particularly disappointing throwaway comment, the kind that shapes public opinion rather than reflecting it:
“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.”
Sad to hear someone call the fight when many of us are just beginning.
Mr Acosta, you and I must be getting our news from different sources. Do you continue to see “rampant demonstrations and riots burning across the nation”? As the days passed I have seen evidence of larger and larger groups of peaceful protesters with fewer and fewer pockets of rioters, looters and opportunists.
Yes, there continue to be shocking acts of violence both towards and by law enforcement. Yes, people are hurting and angry and some lash out in a destructive manner. Are the pandemic and the resultant hardships playing a role? Probably, but your opinion piece trivializes the motives of hundreds of thousands of peaceful protesters by suggesting they are using the murder of George Floyd as an excuse to finally be out in public again.
I looks to me like the people who are out rallying for an end to police brutality and racial injustice are out there despite the coronavirus, not because of it. It also looks to me like the protests and demonstrations ARE working. Whether or not meaningful change is actually on the way remains to be seen, but there are people in power who are now listening. I hope that particular genie is out of the bottle for good.
What kind of idiot would write a tone-deaf column like this?!? It reads like a rant from a Fox News shrieker. Tommy-boy, have you ever heard the slogan Black Lives Matter? Four hundred years of slavery? White cops murdering black people with zero accountability? Some of your statements belong in the Lunatic Hall of Shame: “The crowds are pumping on the adrenalin induced by marching against authority and actually getting away with it.” Getting away with it? I don’t know what moral code you live by, but “marching against authority” is straight out of the Trump playbook. Better you stick with rock & roll, buddy. You’re way out of your depth with the realities of today.
Marv, having read your response right after reading DB’s, it occurred to me Tommy deliberately baited us to flip the narrative by telling the truth!
Lin Ennis, I appreciate your attempt to put a positive spin on Tommy Acosta’s load of crap. But if he had good intentions, he failed miserably. He offended people, put the integrity of Sedona.biz in question and provided a platform for views like those shared by Archie Mendez.
One of the guys I served with in the AF is now a police officer in Minnesota. I called him when I saw the riots to check in and make sure he was OK.
He told me that this is about Sharia Law. There’s a lot of black Muslims in the area and they are frustrated that the local police will not enforce Sharia Law, and instead enforce the Constitution that all are equal under the law.
The BLM Muslims would like to defund the police so that they can hire their own police that will be OK with honor killings, wife beatings, and more – and anyone who speaks against Sharia Law is guilty of Islamaphobia. The Mall of America private security is “Sharia compliant” and they would like the police to be the same. There are over 50 Muslims that have been voted into office and the push for Sharia Law by the Muslim Brotherhood is picking up speed across the country.
So let’s call this for what it is. There’s a lot of questions about the George Floyd death -including his real name and if he’s even dead. Plenty of information about the questions online for anyone if they care to look – but bottom line – many police believe this is a false flag to bring about Sharia Law enforcers in areas with high Muslim population. Even a puppy was killed by a Muslim BLM rioter – because dogs are ritually “impure” and an angel can not enter a home where a dog resides. That rioter that killed the puppy is held in high esteem in my friend’s area.
There’s more to this story – because we know that yes, Black Lives Matter. ALL lives matter – even that little dog.
“People like Archie Mendez?”
Pretty racists dude.
Grow up buddy.
above meant for D B
You can call me childish, but I do think I need to stand up for myself when you call me racist. I obviously hit a nerve with my last comment, but the quote you attributed to me is not what I said. I should have been more clear though that by “views like those shared by Archie Mendez” I was actually referring to what sounded to me like conspiracy theory (questioning whether or not George Floyd is actually dead, etc.). There is no doubt in my mind George Floyd is dead. I don’t believe any of my comments were racist, but if anyone else wants to point out where I’m wrong about that, I will certainly listen.
DB…Archie is just looking for attention and you would be well advised to not give him any.
Thank you everyone for your thoughtful and well expressed comments.
The rioters, the violence instigators, the thieves, the looters, cast a dark shadow over the message the peaceful protestors tried to deliver.
Wonderful the majority of the protests and demonstrations were peaceful but the daily barrage of images showing masked people maiming others, breaking into stores and shops even in their own community, these images harmed the movement. To say differently verges on the edge of complete, profound and utter ignorance. The rioters,not the protestors, muted for every justice loving person moved by the slow motion killing of George Floyd, the support they need to bring about the changes they are demonstrating for.
Notice now that the demonstrations have peaked how we are being put back into the Covid19 media bubble. I’m not saying the fight for justice is over. Just saying it was stained by the violence provocateurs.