Black Lives Matter

Over the last few days I’ve been following the protests and riots in America quite closely. For those not following the news, an unarmed black man named George Floyd was slowly suffocated to death by a group of police officers in front of a crowd of people. This quickly sparked large protests and riots in many major American cities. Here’s an article which sums up the events, and also links to some organizations you can donate to if you wish to help.

Remember that the mainstream media will dramaticise things, and that they protect the establishment. Whether it’s Fox News or CNN, they’ll show you burning buildings, but not peaceful protests where nothing violent is happening. They won’t show the police antagonizing peaceful protestors and driving their cars into them.

Any sensible country would know that the police should be trained to de-escalate situations like these, and yet, in America they seem to be trained to do the opposite.

The situation is complicated, and you shouldn’t trust anyone who’s trying to give a you a really simple and satisfying answer! There’s a lot of factors that contribute to so many people getting so mad. I hope you can relate to at least a few of the issues listed in this image:

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I would also add to that image: “politicians that are bought and paid for by special interests”

Sure, there are a lot of people rioting, but don’t let that overshadow the 10s of thousands of protestors that aren’t, and the millions who are at home but are sympathetic to the protestors. Ask yourself why people are sympathetic.

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Mad respect for social distancing.

Ask yourself why the minimum wage hasn’t increased in over a decade? Why America has the highest prison population per capita in the entire world? Why it’s the only developed country that doesn’t have universal healthcare? Why the justice system is so much fairer to wealthy individuals? Why neither republicans or democrats try to fix any of these issues, while they give trillions to corporations?

Personally, I think working-class Americans are right to be pissed off at their corrupt and racist leaders and institutions, and following the money can give you some idea of who they’re really working for.

18 thoughts on “Black Lives Matter

  1. whelp

    Thank you for talking about this and thank you for not backing down. The world is a very terrifying place and years and years of ignoring problems tends to end in violence and destruction. I really can’t fault anyone who is angry and scared and frustrated. Back when Trump became president I thought to myself ‘this is going to end in another civil war’ and apparently we now reached that point.

    Ever since the elections aggression and hatred and mistrust has been systematically spread and people are itching for a fight. And there is also the fact that every idiot and their mom has a fucking gun. There are no authorities who have or deserve the trust of the entire population, misinformation and lies and half-truths are spread everywhere and everyone is so very, very scared of anyone and anything that doesn’t aline 100 % with their opinion and way of life.

    We are human beings, we should be able to treat each other with fucking respect! The moment you see your neighbour as an enemy and not as a fellow human, the moment people choose to look the other way, we are all at fault. This is our fucking mess. So what else is there to do when no one does anything unless the mob is literally at their doors, demanding justice? How goddam self-rightious do you have to be to tell those people to shut up and sit down?

    Something needs to be DONE! Not just talked about. Actually, drastically changed, in a way that makes it clear to everyone that we are all worthy of the same dignity, the same respect. That we have to actively work against these old systems, again and again. No more silence, no more complacency, no vague ‘there had been a few bad eggs but now we dealt with it, racism over’. It’s not enough. Prove that you are worthy of trust!

    (As for the looting, yeah, that happens a lot in those kind of situations, no matter what cause. It is just human nature to look for opportunities to turn a situation in your favour, just look at the madness that happened when the Covid panic started and people sold disinfectant for ridiculous amounts of money. I really don’t get why people keep talking about the looting as if they prove that the point the protest is trying to make is wrong. There will always be opportunitists and those who are ready to use any means to make a quick buck. (There is also the problem of systemic poverty and the desperation that comes with being unable to feed yourself and your family, but this comment is already too long, so I’ll leave it for now.))

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  2. Cynthia

    Tbh, I don’t think you’re in a position to judge America, given your main source of information is the News Media…and you seem to have an idea how frivolous it is. You said yourself how they’ll show you all the violent protests but not peaceful ones…the same holds true of their reports on Police – they’ll show all the racist cops who shot some innocent victim, but they don’t show all the other cops who risk their own lives(and mental health!) on a daily basis to save innocent people, or even help ungrateful citizens who believe all this stuff.

    The thing you must understand is that News Media organizations are ALSO Corporations. Very, VERY large corporations in an industry that is almost completely unregulated and unchecked. There are few legal restrictions that apply to them – and they are not being checked by the viewers either; too many will just believe news reports at their word without investigating further. The result is that “honest journalism” is not a thing – News Media is not about truth, it’s about $$..they will just report whatever story/opinion gets them the most clicks.

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    1. Matt Roszak Post author

      My main source of information is videos from people who are there – and the BBC – which is the UK tax-funded news, and is fairly balanced. They only report events that are confirmed, and aim to be unbiased (though both sides will claim they are not!) I’m not getting anything from American news – but I have seen clips of them manipulating stories to fit their narrative. I saw Fox News for example interviewing a man who got beat up by protestors, not mentioning that he was beaten up for shooting at them with a bow and arrow!

      Anyway! Yes, most police aren’t being violent – but they’re not doing anything about the criminals in their ranks either. If one cop in a big group is assaulting innocent bystanders, and the rest just stand around thinking “this is fine”, then that whole police force is a danger and needs to be restructured. A police force like that can’t be relied on to keep the peace.

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      1. Cynthia

        Only reporting events that are confirmed is a step in the right direction, but that doesn’t eliminate bias in WHAT events they choose to report. If dramatic events get them clicks, then they will report drama and make out like it’s an everyday thing, even if it’s not.
        Case in point…many Americans believe that crime in the US is high and/or increasing – even though the truth is just the opposite, most places are extraordinarily safe..because the news media focus on crime reports. What you’re looking at here is ONE event with a specific group of police in a specific area; you can’t judge ALL police in the entire country based off that.

        Reply
        1. Matt Roszak Post author

          Well from all the way over here in the UK, I don’t know enough about different parts of the US to say which ones are safe and which aren’t.
          But the overall crime and prison stats don’t look good for you guys:
          The US has the highest incarceration rate in the entire world, with 655 in prison for each 100,000 people. (Compared to 140 in the UK, and much less in other European countries)
          The US’s “death by cop” rate compares to developing countries, with 28.4 deaths per million people. (Compared to 0.5 in the UK, and below 5 in most of Europe)

          Something’s not working correctly in the US, and there’s a ton of room for improvement.

          Reply
          1. Rbstat

            1. U.S has higher population. way larger population. By 2019, British population numbers are about 66 million. where as U.S has 350 million people. That will obviously skew the numbers a lot. If you do the math. Britain with a 655 prison population would be about 339,900 people.

            2. that’s still alot more people obviously. but it’s skewed even further by the fact that most drugs are very illegal and that that is enforced harshly. about 46% of all inmates in the U.S were arrested for drug related incidents in 2020. The only other crimes that excede 10% are sex offences and what I believe to be the use of illegal weapons including arson (it’s a bit vague on the website) https://www.bop.gov/about/statistics/statistics_inmate_offenses.jsp
            Murder is about 3% on that site for context.

            3. From these statistics we can conclude that the 1980s decision by the Reagan administration to enact the war on drugs is what is mainly responsible for the large prison population in the U.S. And interestingly enough, if you are the sort to say that the war on drugs is a bad idea and should be reversed and you went further and said that everybody arrested for drug possesion went free. You would be releasing over 1 million people.

            So overall we know what the main problem is. It’s the war on drugs. And that’s what Americans have to work against in the coming future.

          2. Matt Roszak Post author

            1. The stats I mentioned are per capita. The population of countries is irrelevant when counting the rate per capita.
            2. I’m glad that we at least agree that the drug war is very bad and that drugs shouldn’t be illegal.
            3. Okay, but also train cops better and hold them accountable when they beat the shit out of people and murder them.

          3. Kayee Tong

            I would worry more about actually getting things done and support bipartisan issues that would pass when you get polarization. Racism is multifactorial. However, a simple solution to this specific issue is police body cams, with privacy features. They practically pay for themselves in legal defense with an extraordinarily high ROI.

  3. justaperson

    using my spam-catch email on this and not my name cuz ugh… i’d rather not be tied-up in this… fact is most of my family take what’s on the news or facebook at face value. i try to isolate myself because i really don’t need the stress.

    mostly agree, not entirely sure how i feel with the rioting bit though. only makes the racists and similar bigots sound like they’re correct “look at these people, this is what they will do if we let them! lock them up, kill them! burn their houses and their churches!”

    took a look at some of the twitter stuff. that’s just disgusting. the cops should be held accountable. love to find some way to put that ugly shit right in front of those in my family who dismiss ALL of this.

    iceberg meme is spot-on.

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  4. notgiven

    This entire situation is BS, a man tried to make a false check or something, the police show up, this unlucky man got a squad of the most dumb as shit police in an already pretty dumb as shit place, and died one of the worst deaths I can imagine. Does this mean that people should charge them for not stopping the death, and charge the man on his back for murder, then sort out any shit in the Minneapolis police force? Apparently, that’s not enough, we need to also excuse greedy people destroying businesses for free stuff and proclaim that the entirety of the US police force is made of evil souled bigot goblin men. The last thing we need right now is developers soap boxing with giant articles of claims he can’t back up. To quote fucking YOU: “The situation is complicated, and you shouldn’t trust anyone who’s trying to give a you a really simple and satisfying answer!” You are saying that it is simply the fault of the Government. So maybe practice what you fucking preach in a situation this god damn important.

    Reply
    1. Matt Roszak Post author

      All cops are bad if an army of them marches down the street, and they allow one of their own to break the law and assault innocent bystanders – as is happening in many of these protests: they shoot at camera crews, at random people walking by, at people standing in front of their own homes. Who needs a police force like that?
      And when cops do get disciplined, they get paid leave, and then are relocated somewhere else – great system! No accountability at all! If they policed themselves in the slightest this wouldn’t be happening.

      I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but governments write laws and set policies – some of which work, and some of which don’t. Holding the police accountable is something governments can do. Maybe that’s a wild idea to you.

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  5. Giggity

    What is even sadder is those looters and rioters just want free stuff and Floyd’s death is an excuse for them, which further strengthens the racism. An endless loop.

    Reply

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