Letter to the Editor: Annie Fabian addresses concerns surrounding violent protest

Annie Fabian, Contributing Writer

Dear Editors,

I’ve been hearing a lot of things during this movement, including from Logan’s article “I went to a peaceful protest- it was a sign of hope in a deteriorating America” and Simon Wu’s letter to the editor, that while not inherently untrue, are defeating the purpose and power of BLM and the change we’re trying to make to the system. I’d like to talk about two things. 

First, the riots. The riots are what helped change Derek Chauvin’s charge from third to second degree murder, and led to the arrests of the other three officers involved. This was a huge step considering that many of the innocent black people who have been tragically killed by police have their murderers still walking free with their jobs. Rioting got that done: this is why people protest, to show outrage to authority, to incite change. I’d also like to bring up the Stonewall riot, especially with June being pride month. That riot is the reason for a huge amount of progress in LGBTQ+ people gaining rights. 

While I agree that it’s unfortunate that some small businesses are being hurt by the protests, this is a revolution. Looking at history, white men have done far worse and faced far fewer consequences for getting what they want through violence, theft, and fires. And what they were fighting for were things like preserving slavery! So why is it now a problem to exercise freedom of speech, assembly, and to protest when it’s to do good? There was no curfew for the people out demanding haircuts with their AR-15s during a pandemic, or lighting cars on fire when their sports teams lost. Not to mention most of the protests were peaceful UNTIL the cops became violent.

That leads me to my next point: police. They have been tear gassing and shooting rubber bullets from far too close at faces with little to no provocation. I am not saying that all cops are horrible human beings, nor do I believe that, but the system itself is racist and can attract people who shouldn’t be in positions of so much power. 

Before you look at a protest and think about how scared and uncomfortable it makes you, think about how scared and uncomfortable George Floyd and every other innocent black and brown person who died at the hands of police felt. Think about how their families and friends felt, and all of the POC who had to see that on the news and fear the people who are supposed to protect us.

In response to Simon Wu’s letter: Neutrality is a privilege that black and brown people don’t get to have right now and, as a white person, I refuse to let my privilege allow me to stay neutral. The police system needs to be reformed, justice for all of the lost black lives needs to be served, and black lives need to matter to EVERYONE —police, the government, and the president included.

Annie Fabian