homepage logo

Protests should be directed at the government, not police

By Staff | Jul 27, 2016

To the editor:

The murder of Alton Sterling and Philand Castile by police was tragic. The murder of Dallas police was a very, very tragic event.

Thousands are now involved in protest. This marks a very dangerous time in our history. It follows a long period of escalating violence against minorities that has gone unchecked. Now, with retaliation by member of the minority group, this could be the Armageddon.

State and local government have been deathly silent. The president has spoken, but I hope there’s more to come.

Until now ,the president has treated this as politics as usual. His comments on the Dallas shooter was very unclear. Surely I do not think he meant that the police are strangers to minority groups when they have minority groups under siege. Yes, Mr. Johnson was troubled, but he was not a madman. Many of his actions were rational. I agree violent actions are irrational, unless he had decided to give his life for this cause. To protests these acts of violence is rational. But, especially in the current conditions, violent actions, even carrying a handgun by a member of a minority group gives police an excuse to kill him.

The president said we are not divided. That is only partially true. He followed that with “Americans will come together.” I hope that happens. Many are upset and I think the President will have to change some of these answers.

Protests will continue and I hope it will be nonviolent. Protests should be directed at government and not police. The police are only agents of a destructive government, sick with institutional racism.

The War on Crime, the War on Drugs were destructive laws targeting minority groups. The effect of these laws, mass incarceration, loss of constitutional rights (especially Second and Fourth Amendment rights ), and loss of the right to counsel once arrested has created a caste system in America. Thousands have been killed by police but millions are incarcerated and have lost their rights as citizens. Families and communities are destroyed. When we add to this ineffective gun laws, this creates a very explosive situation.

These laws should be stopped. The bounty to local government and police should stop. Dismantling these programs will take some time but that should be started now. Restore the rights of minorities to security, the right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. Start the jobs program, education and retraining, which should have happened in the beginning.

Lewis Robinson

Fort Myers