Separate the Chaos from the Reason

Graffiti at the Old Capitol
Graffiti at the Old Capitol in Iowa City following protests over the death of George Floyd and seeking to reform the police. Image contributed by Julian Klepach.

It’s easy to roll the recent events of this year up into a blanket and say, “We have come close to TOTAL WAR (Persian gulf crisis with Iran), experienced an APOCALYPTIC virus (COVID-19), been fearful of MURDER hornets (Asian giant hornets), and now hear almost daily about protests and RIOTING.” However, that last one is more complex.  

We need to unite during these times, regardless of skin color or ethnic background, to step up to the plate and make our demands clear and voices heard.  

It is clear the police force needs to be reformed to only include those who genuinely wish to “protect and serve”, not those who are out to perpetuate a cycle of violence, to provide officer training on stressful situations, and to employ extensive background checks for those joining the police force. We need to vote in elected officials of our cities who will properly handle the police force to meet these demands.  

From Cedar Rapids to Iowa City, people have been out there protesting for these changes, and I support them.  

It is harsh and frankly obnoxious that people have confused these brave protestors with those who have been rioting and looting. To harm neighborhood businesses and threaten the safety of those trying to survive in this modern world, just like you, only inflames the issue, sends a bad message, and complicates the situation of the peaceful protestors.  

Stealing a television or smashing the windows out of stores is not the way to bring about change. If it sends any message, it is that any one associated with the movement is dangerous, at least to the people who view it from an outsider’s perspective.  

To those who are doing the right thing and protesting in a civil manner, conversing with local governments and police, keep fighting the good fight. However, please no literal fighting.  

Image courtesy of admin | Kirkwood Communiqué

Categories: Editorials, Opinion