Something Is Definitely Up With All The White People Doing Vandalism At The George Floyd Protests
Last night, protests broke out in cities across the country over the killing of George Floyd by police officer Derek Chauvin. Some of them were peaceful, others were chaotic -- which is a thing you can expect to see happen when people simply do not have any fucks left to give. People can only take so much before they explode, and seeing something like that happen -- seeing an officer of the law kneel on a handcuffed man's neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds ... two minutes and 53 seconds of which he was "non-responsive" (ie: dead), and then seeing officials start tossing around terms like "underlying health conditions" and "potential intoxicants" (what does that even mean?), as if any of us could survive someone kneeling on our necks for eight minutes and 46 seconds -- is bound to make some people explode. Because really? What the hell else are you gonna do when they're gonna kill you either way?
However, it seems that the vast majority of the chaos ensuing yesterday and last night was instigated not by those most affected by this crime, by black people, but rather by white people who have absolutely no business pulling any of that shit.
Yesterday afternoon saw the debut of the AutoZone umbrella man, a white man wearing a full face mask and carrying an umbrella who walked up to an AutoZone and began casually smashing windows with a hammer.
Minneapolis Umbrella Man www.youtube.com
But he wasn't the only one. Multiple people documented last night that a whole lot of the destruction seemed to be coming from white people who did not quite seem to be there due to outrage over the murder of George Floyd, but rather either to instigate some shit or to otherwise cause chaos. Much of it this gathered up in a thread from user Black Aziz aNANsi /@Freeyourmindkid.
My heart hurts watching this. I don't know what their motive is or who organized these white people to come out, bu… https://t.co/2SU1d8A3YN— 🇯🇲Black🇭🇹Aziz🇳🇬aNANsi🇹🇹 (@🇯🇲Black🇭🇹Aziz🇳🇬aNANsi🇹🇹)1590830527.0
A group of white people showed up in Oakland armed with hammers and started destroying shit as people of color loo… https://t.co/tWDPGJU3MT— 🇯🇲Black🇭🇹Aziz🇳🇬aNANsi🇹🇹 (@🇯🇲Black🇭🇹Aziz🇳🇬aNANsi🇹🇹)1590833409.0
white people stupid as hell tf u looting a LAMP for https://t.co/mJda83PnpS— IDORU 🌊 BLM (@IDORU 🌊 BLM)1590642029.0
This all looks a tad suspicious. Add to that the fact that Minnesota government officials are saying that over 80 percent of those arrested last night were not even from Minnesota, and that many of them had links to white supremacist organizations.
John Harrington, commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, said there were approximately 40 arrests across St. Paul and Minneapolis on Friday night. He said some of those protesting had been linked to white supremacist groups and organized crime.
State officials said that around 80 percent of those arrested in the Twin Cities on Friday had come from outside Minnesota. [...]
State and local leaders were working in cooperation with the federal government to attempt to identify those people and organizations aiming to cause "chaos," officials said."The people that are doing this are not Minneapolis residents," Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said. "They are coming largely from outside the city outside the region to prey on everything we have built."
Indeed, there have been several instances of "Boogaloo Boys" showing up at these protests. As you may recall, they are a group of right-wing lunatics who are gunning for a second civil war.
There is sometimes some destruction of property by legitimate protesters. There are those who believe in some amount of "propaganda of the deed," and sometimes there really are people who are just so fucking angry they want to smash everything in sight. But a whole lot of the time, these acts are instigated by people whose interests are not aligned with that of the protesters. They're not always cops, but they are sometimes people who have been recruited by the cops to throw a brick or to start a fight in order to make some charges disappear. That's a thing. As are instigators who simply want to make protesters look bad for their own reasons, as appears to be the case here.
There are also, of course, yahoos who just want an opportunity to yahoo without consequences.
In the meantime, if you happen to be a white person going to these protests who wants to be helpful, please do not engage in any destruction of property or smash any windows or anything like that. Stand peacefully with a sign and chant, form barriers with your affinity group to protect protesters from police/anti-protesters, and stay in your lane. If you can't do that, then stay the hell home.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse