Los Angeles Still Stands
I happened to stray over to the Fox News network during our most recent demonstrations. Apparently, according to their political pundits, not reporters, the city of Los Angeles is on fire, all stores are shuttered and socialist thugs rule the streets. The news of the grand jury decision concerning the death of Breonna Taylor has sparked another round of protests. Many of the protesters are well meaning and well informed and some are self-styled agitators. A few are just hangers on and vandals. For the most part, the demonstrations have been noisy but peaceful, inconvenient not intolerable. City Hall still stands, and Grand Central Market is still selling snacks and sandwiches.
I know there have been and will be incidents of sporadic violence; these are to be deplored. I know there will be opportunists who will use this time to preach violent revolution or to pick a pocket. Since the Boston Tea Party there has always been someone looking to make a buck or settle a score off any protest action. But on the whole the protests have shown to anyone listening that there is a need for reexamination of our criminal justice institutions. The current practices and procedures encourage police overreaction and foster needless anxiety in the community. We the citizens, police and politicians can do better. So, I would say to the fear-mongering pundits, Los Angeles is not burning. It is troubled, it is worried, but it still stands. I think as a community we want to have those difficult conversations of change, not a confrontation filled with chaos.