Opposites attract: Protests and looting

Marvin Westwestwords

I will not sit quietly by the lakeside in beautiful, rural Union County and tolerate the looting of the College Football Hall of Fame. I will speak up.

I have a vested interest in that almost sacred Atlanta building. Some of my old friends are enshrined there. A few Tennessee treasures are on display. Trophies, plaques, videos and wise sayings are potential inspiration for generations to come.

Hear this: Do not destroy!

I am saddened that the black man, George Floyd, died while in police custody in Minneapolis. That should never have happened. That the news media made no mention of his prison past and didn’t notice that he started this tragedy by trying to steal $20 from a merchant, is a sign of our times. Agendas have wrecked reporting.

That said, the accusation of counterfeit money is certainly no excuse for murder. Nothing the man had done in the distant or recent past justified the end result. Abuse of authority is a terrible sin. Armed abuse is worse.

The reaction across the country was yes and no, OK and disgraceful. The right to protest remains legal. Violence, destruction and plain, old banditry are not.

We have, for decades, spoken against racial prejudice and unfair treatment of minorities. I, personally, prefer the way Condredge Holloway, Lester McClain, Reggie White and Richmond Flowers handled the issue. When things were wrong, they disagreed with all their hearts but maintained dignity.

March against social ills if you so choose. Stage a rally in the park. Crank up the loud speakers. Wave signs of disapproval, even the prefabs. You might pay for the bus to bring in professional protesters, if that is your thing.

There is no logical connection between resisting, yea, shouting down evil police brutality and smashing windows and taking what belongs to others.

Lawlessness erupted in parts of America. Businesses and vehicles were burned. Valuable goods were stolen. The Hall of Fame was damaged. The gift shop was looted.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp declared a state of emergency and called out the National Guard.

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms condemned the violence. The mayor said it wasn’t a protest, it was chaos.

Kimberly Beaudin, Hall of Fame CEO, said she was “heartbroken” to see the damage. She tempered her remarks with a bit of good news, no artifacts or displays were affected, which means the illegal intrusion could have been a lot worse.

Get this part: Protest if you please. Maybe I’ll look and listen. Break and enter and steal at your own risk. There is no link. There is a lot more I could say.

Marvin West welcomes reader comments or questions. His address is marvinwest75@gmail.com.

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