If You Don't Understand Why These Riots Are Happening, Please Read This

Photo: Rena Schild / Shutterstock
If You Don't Understand Why These Riots Are Happening, Please Read This
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Heartbreak

By Larissa Martin

Sadly, another black man died at the hands of cops in our country. As a result, many American citizens are taking to the streets in protest.

Local governments are enforcing curfews and locking down cities to help minimize the damage of the rage riots.

Although I understand people feel upset about the looting and rioting, I think many people fail to see the point. 

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Businesses can easily rebuild and people can replace their material possessions. We cannot replace the lives lost to police brutality, though. 

Let me repeat that again: We can replace materialistic possessions, but we can’t bring back a human life. 

Do you think people want to risk their safety while rioting over another life taken too soon? Of course not!

But what else do you expect people to do when they continue to watch police brutality occur? What else can we do when we see no justice for these innocent black men who die?  

When former NFL player Colin Kaepernick started protesting these injustices by taking a knee during the national anthem, people accused him of disrespecting our flag and our country. When Nike featured Kaepernick in a campaign, people boycotted Nike, because they refused to support Kaepernick. 

I just don’t understand how people can feel outraged over riots, but never notice the loss of human lives.

I can see just how divided our country really is now and will continue to be for years to come.

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As a biracial woman in this country, I’m fully aware how the majority of people in this country view me.

I know all too well that my life is not as important as material possessions, and I know that people care more about protecting cops who engage in abusive treatment than they do about ensuring that I live a full and healthy life. 

Maybe if we stopped protecting these cops and held them accountable for their actions, people would stop taking to the streets in violent protest.

Although justice would not bring George Floyd or any other person back, it would certainly let us know that this behavior is unacceptable and our government will not tolerate it any longer.

Unfortunately, I know all too well that justice for the dead will not happen anytime soon. It will not happen until even the people who feel upset about the protests stand with us, instead of against us. 

If you want to know why we’re protesting, I’ll tell you: We feel tired, we feel frustrated, and we want people to stop dying, just because cops know they can get away with treating someone harshly just because of the color of their skin. 

I constantly fear that one of these cops will stop my brother and kill him simply because he’s biracial. Imagine how many rioters lost family members or close friends at the hand of police brutality and try to put yourself in their shoes.

Now do you see why we are rioting? 

A human life is so much more important than the fires or the buildings sustaining damage.

The system is broken, and people deserve equal treatment. I think if the people who feel angry about the riots and protests truly understood how we feel, we wouldn’t constantly end up at this place.

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Larissa Martin is a writer who focuses on health and wellness, mental health, and relationships. For more of her health and wellness content, visit her author profile on Unwritten.

This article was originally published at Unwritten. Reprinted with permission from the author.