Editor, The Beacon:
In the USA, laws are a response to a generally felt need. The “anti-riot law” does not meet this criterion, because current laws cover riotous behavior. Instead, it seems aimed at certain kinds of behavior, which gives the enforcer (the cops) the job of interpreting the law, which is the courts’ duty.
After hearing about the posters for hiring “instigators” and the piles of bricks stashed along the protest route beforehand, one can assume that a peaceful protest will become unruly.
Inflammatory speech or a thrown brick can change a peaceful crowd into an angry mob. Surely, law enforcement in Florida is aware of this.
The pics of white murderers completely unscathed juxtaposed with those of unarmed, Black, battered and bruised traffic violators leave little doubt about who would be arrested.
The phrases “… different levels of punishment” and “… threaten people …” alone are an invitation to subjective and selective enforcement.
Since the civil rights movement of the ’60s, cops have gained raises and political power by painting Blacks as people to be feared. This law is merely a codification of that sentiment. I’m not sure about “anti-American,” though!
I was taught about King George and the Boston Tea Party. Didn’t people get mad about taxes and rebel? Wasn’t that the violent protest on which America arose? And wasn’t that destroying others’ property?
Was that a peaceful protest at Fort Sumter? Based on our history, that sure seems American to me.
Despite this real history, a recent letter-writer to The Beacon wrote “… destruction of property is not the way to protest …” Though he didn’t mention these rioters, that writer surely is receptive to tracking down, arresting and prosecuting those violent rioters at the nation’s Capitol.
From a historic perspective, Black people who dared protest will be punished by this law.
I guess the letter-writer agrees with that SCOTUS judge who said a Black person has no rights a white man should respect. Because he completely ignores the damage done daily to the minds of Black Americans.
Julius C. Bennett