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I got into a discussion yesterday with a friend who called and we were talking about the riots. They said that they didn't “get” why they were burning down their own communities. They didn't “get” what was going on. So then, to some degree, I had to try to and explain the history of racism in America to them. At the end I got heated and started yelling, “What is it you don't fucking get? You have people that have been pushed down and suppressed; they just saw someone being murdered in cold-blood in broad daylight, and the prosecutors warning that there was other evidence that doesn’t support a criminal charge. So they are saying that something that happened before justifies kneeling on a man’s neck for 1 minute, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, 4 minutes, 5 minutes, stop me if you think that what happened before no longer applies. 6 minutes, 7 minutes, 8 minutes. Is the concept of people not wanting to be killed lost on you? What is it you don't fucking get?” They hung up on me.

I think we all get and understand what's going on. We might not like the tactics that rioters, provocateurs, and those that escalate the situation use, but we get it. I “get” why folks stormed capitol buildings with long guns. I think they're wrong in terms of the belief that they're being oppressed by a government stripping them of freedom, but I understand the tactic and the underlying belief. People understand why folks are rioting. And to say you don’t, in my opinion, is disingenuous. If you paint a movement as irrational, it’s very easy to paint them as criminal. They’re protest had no basis in fact, therefore they had no right to do it. I’m certain there are a lot of people out there who agreed with the long guns at the capitol that hate the rioting in the streets. So don't say you don't get it, because you do.

A lot of times the people that say they don't get it know that if their rights were taken away or if they saw somebody that resembled them being choked out on the street, they would act out as well. A guy got choked to death over a fake 20. You will NEVER see 4 cops hold down a white guy for 8 seconds to make them wear a mask during a pandemic. Do you believe that if people didn’t riot the criminal justice system would continue to just spin the same way it does and those four white cops would get off? The district attorney pretty much said it. So was the rioting necessary? Decide for yourself.

People are risking Covid to protest this shit. That’s how bad it is. Concepts of people feeling aggrieved, I get. I know people that don’t want to pay more in taxes that feel oppressed by the taxes they pay now. I don’t agree that they’re paying too much in taxes, as we sip scotch in their second home, but I believe they believe it. Sometimes the wood gets a little too dry, and the sun gets a little too hot. That’s when spontaneous combustion happens. Sometimes you get sick of hearing about cops breaking into somebody's home and shooting them 20 times, or a cop choking somebody out over loose cigarettes, or cops choking somebody out to over a fake $20 bill, or cops being called on a Central Park bird watcher, or folks waiting in a Starbucks, or an ex-cop and his kid taking somebody down and shooting them while they jog. That shit makes the wood really fucking dry. What keeps the wood from getting too dry? The cooling mist of Justice.

In some ways it is a very difficult, perhaps impossible, thing that I'm proposing. Getting people to admit that they “get” it. Ignorance is a strong barrier that a number of folks hide behind. Getting people to change their opinions, positions, that type of stuff is extremely difficult. It's like telling someone that they don't feel what they're feeling. You want to win an argument, tell somebody that you feel a certain way. Because the person you’re arguing with can't come back and tell you that you're not feeling what you're feeling. They can tell you that the factors that you used in order to come to that feeling are wrong, but they can't tell you that you don’t feel what you feel. Argument Won! So what do we do with people that say they don't “get” what’s going on?

The rioters are in no way irrational, and we understand exactly what they're doing and why they're doing it. The looters are another discussion. So this whole “I don't get it” thing doesn't fly with me. Hey Bible folks, isn’t there a passage in there about an “eye for an eye”? So should violence begets violence be your interpretation? I'm not saying I condone anything that's going down in Minneapolis, but I also completely understand it. Or is it “diplomacy for an eye”? How about we stop taking out the first eye. We can all see better that way.

Winston Churchill once said that you can count on Americans to do the right thing after they’ve tried everything else. Well people are getting fucking tired of you going through all the your bullshit options before you get to the right one. People are not taking that shit anymore. Hey America, do the right thing the first time! Do you “get” what I’m saying? Can you hear the protesters now? We live in America. Didn't our country start with enough people getting fed up? I guess people are rioting because they got tired of asking politely for things since 1619 and thought they'd try a different approach. I don’t “get” why during the Boston Tea Party they threw all that perfectly good tea into the water. Something about taxation, something about not being heard, something about representation, something like that? I don’t “get” it. History majors, help me out. So if you act like you “don't get” why the rioters are doing what they're doing, then change is never going to come because all you see is a mob trying to burn down a Police station as opposed to a voiceless people trying to take down systemic racism. If you don't get that, than I don't know what to say to you.

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