Rioting Isn't Helping Black Lives Matter Or Anyone Else

Over the last few months, we’ve seen nightly riots. Most of them have been in Portland, but we’ve seen them in plenty of other places. For something like a week after the death of George Floyd, it seemed there were riots in every major city in the nation.

Since then, we’ve seen plenty of people trying to justify those riots. They’ve argued that such a thing is reasonable, somehow.

Yet, the problem is, while business owners are taking the brunt of the impact from rioting, they’re not the only ones being hurt.

But, unfortunately, a small subset of these protestors has committed themselves to wanton violence and property destruction. Some have disturbingly attempted to justify this reckless behavior, claiming that “property is replaceable” and insurance will protect store owners from the destruction of their livelihoods. In reality, store owners, entrepreneurs, and taxpayers across the country bear the brunt of these costs. And far from defunding the police, rioting and looting acts as a stimulus for the folks in blue. For the sake of countless struggling people, communities, and the economy, the riots must end.

By now, most Americans have likely heard the horrific stories of the violence gripping America’s cities. During a recent spate of riots in Minneapolis, looters broke into a Vietnamese family owned restaurant and promptly tore down a picture of the family “that was on the wall that represented generations of work” before ransacking the establishment.

Owned by African American entrepreneur Leon Scott, Philadelphia-based Silver Legends had their windows broken in and their cash register and merchandise stolen. And there are many more examples of minority-owned businesses that have fallen victim to rioting and looting. Some insist that this destruction is manageable because of well-heeled insurers ready to promptly pay out claims to store owners with policies.

Yet among those being hurt is actually those who believe that George Floyd’s death should result in police reform, ostensibly the goal of Black Lives Matter itself.

See, immediately after George Floyd’s death during an arrest by Minneapolis police officers, the country was fairly united behind the idea that maybe we should talk realistically about police reform. What happened probably shouldn’t have, but it did and we all recognized that it was a great time to have this discussion, with that conversation being primarily about what shape such reform would take, not so much about whether it was needed or not.

Then riots broke out.

Now, let’s see the conversation. Where is it? We could have already passed legislation, but nothing is actually happening. Why? Because of the riots.

You see, there are a lot of people, myself included, who were open to police reform but now have backed off on that support because we don’t want to empower the mob. We don’t want to have this conversation now because the riots made it impossible for some not to believe that rioting was responsible for the change.

Once you pay the Danegeld, you never get rid of the Dane. That’s just as true if you did what you were going to do anyway and the Dane thinks you’re paying the Danegeld.

So yeah, Black Lives Matter gets hurt by the riots. Unless, of course, police reform isn’t what they really want.

Nah, that couldn’t be it.