A recent report conducted by the nonprofit Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project concluded that 93% of the Black Lives Matter protests that spanned across this country were peaceful, with the 7% including altercations with police, counter-protesters, and property damage. Another conservative talking point down the drain, although that won’t stop their outright lies and mental gymnastics to ignore reality.
ACLED, an organization that monitors war zones and political upheavals, launched its U.S. study with Princeton University’s Bridging Divides Initiative. Using media and public information available, ACLED found that 7,750 protests were conducted between May 26th through August 22nd; these protests took place in 2,400 different locations and across all 50 states. 220 locations became “violent” and the report states that the violence was, “largely confined to specific blocks, rather than dispersed through the city.” The report, however, does warn of increased violence due to instigation by far-right groups whose actions have already led to deaths.
This report clearly states that the protests are peaceful yet turn on any news station and their focus is on how these are riots and all the property damage that is happening. Yet evidence leads to the contrary, why focus on such a subset of the larger organization. It’s because the protests threaten the status quo. Why focus on the message and deal with systemic racism and a corrupt justice system when you could rather stoke the flames of a culture war and play into the ratings. Tucker Carlson will use his platform to tell you how “America is burning” and the “western way of life” is at an end, dog-whistling to his fellow white supremacists, yet the truth will forever escape him and those like him.
The riots and endless burning cities are simply untrue. The majority is peaceful and those that do become violent are instigated by outside forces like our militarized police. Shooting tear gas, rubber bullets, and swinging batons at peaceful protestors is not “keeping the peace” and in fact, makes matters worse. The report shows an increase in violence and an increase in the size of the protests when federal troops were sent into Portland at the behest of the president. Meant to “keep the peace” they rather instigated further antagonism and thus the protests reached a new peak at the time. property damage is another popular deflection from the right, with a recent report peddled in how New York had $100,000 in property damage. Yet in that article, you won’t see how in 2019 New York City paid $69 million for police misconduct. If you think that’s bad, it was even more in 2018 in which the city had to dish out $230 million that constituted 6,472 lawsuits. While the police budget is several billions of dollars in NYC, the ones that are responsible to pay for their mistakes are the people who live in New York.
Policing in this country is a failure. They are over-militarized, easily radicalized, and a part of an unjust judicial system that discriminates against black people. This new civil rights movement is a call to action and hopefully a sign that things will get better, but that is up to the leadership in this nation. We must elect leaders who will hold police accountable and will look to fix a system that oppresses a portion of our population.