The looting and rioting in the city of Chicago early Monday did not happen in a vacuum. It was a response to the police shooting of a black man in the Englewood neighborhood earlier the night before. While it in no way excuses the violence and destruction, it’s important to understand the root of black citizens’ anger. No amount of peaceful protesting seems to move the needle at all on police abuse of black Americans.
That said, scenes of destruction in America’s cities are playing right into the hands of Republicans and Donald Trump, who is using fear to shore up his dismal ratings among voters ahead of November’s election. If we don’t want four more years of Trump, we need to stem the violence now.
In 1968, Richard Nixon, an eminently unlikable candidate and human being, rode to victory on a “law and order” platform that attracted voters tired of the rioting and civil unrest of the Sixties. Today we have the danger of history repeating itself. We have a grossly unfit president with no moral compass and an outsized ego that has made him a disastrous leader of the American response to the coronavirus pandemic.
At the same time, we are seeing 24/7 coverage of looting, burning, and violence in so-called Democratic-controlled cities on Fox News and other conservative media outlets. These images are powerful and scary. No one wants to see our public spaces defiled or our communities descend into lawlessness.
Donald Trump has already shown his willingness to send in federal agents to quell unrest. It’s important that we not give him four more years to sink America further into autocratic rule. Let’s dump Trump and then hold Biden’s and other Democrats’ feet to the fire to make the changes they are promising.
America is in this state because of racism and an income inequality that continues to widen. This won’t get better under a continued Trump administration. Let’s put down our weapons and use the most important one at the ballot box in November.