Right now there are protests and riots in over thirty major cities in this country. I believe in peaceful protests. I do not believe in riots in which property is damaged and people are harmed. There is a good reason for peaceful protests but unfortunately when the riots start it defeats the purpose of the protest. I keep hearing there are two groups of protestors, peaceful and not peaceful. I have seen on our local news casts the peaceful protestors attempting to stop the others from causing destruction. One man was carrying a fire extinguisher and putting out fires started by others. Some are trying to do this right but others are not.
I live about twenty miles outside of Kansas City and as I write this the riots are going on for the third night in a row. The majority of the riots have taken place in the heart of our city, The Plaza area. This is a place of beautiful Spanish architecture, fountains and old world charm. The past three nights it has become a place full of tear gas, burning cars and huge crowds of protestors, police and the military. Yesterday the governor declared a state of disaster for Missouri and called out the National Guard. And this is going on in many cities all over our country now.
|Kansas City Yesterday Afternoon|
|Kansas City Last Night|
The frustration of all this is difficult to put into words. Something has to change but I do not believe violence is going to change anything. The mayor of Kansas City is trying desperately to get people together to talk and work on the problems. I believe that can be a good start if handled properly. Personally I wonder if they need to screen candidates for the police department better. That is no place for racism. There is no place anywhere for racism but especially not there. I care about all people and I have always believed it is the person inside that matters, not their race, sex, religion, nationality or anything else. I grew up in the southern part of our country in the 1950's and 1960's. So yes, I have grown up around racism and I have seen riots most of my life. My parents raised me to care about all people regardless of race. I treat all people equally and have friends from many races and backgrounds. The only way I know to help change things is in the way I reach out to others and in the way I vote. I raised two boys and I didn't have to worry about the possibility that if they made a mistake and got arrested they might not come home alive. A black Mother has these worries and it breaks my heart.
“The limitation of riots, moral questions aside, is that they cannot win and their participants know it. Hence, rioting is not revolutionary but reactionary because it invites defeat. It involves an emotional catharsis, but it must be followed by a sense of futility.”
Martin Luther King Jr.