Pieties in defense of the status quo


Fig. 1. Official presidential portrait of George W. Bush, January 14, 2003, released by the Department of Defense, found on Wikimedia Commons, public domain.

“A riot is the voice of the unheard.”[1] Having thus quoted Martin Luther King, Jr., Sandy Smith explains that a riot is not so much a failure of the rioters as it is the system that rioters are rioting against.[2] Read more

  1. [1]Martin Luther King, Jr., quoted in Sandy Smith, “You Can Be Supportive of the Rioters and Angry With the Looters at the Same Time,” Philadelphia, June 1, 2020, https://www.phillymag.com/news/2020/06/01/philadelphia-looters-protesters/
  2. [2]Sandy Smith, “You Can Be Supportive of the Rioters and Angry With the Looters at the Same Time,” Philadelphia, June 1, 2020, https://www.phillymag.com/news/2020/06/01/philadelphia-looters-protesters/

On sending in the troops

See update for June 3, 2020, and for July 22, 2020, at end of post

Fig. 1. Graffiti has appeared in multiple locations around Pittsburgh saying, “I Love You, I Miss You.” This example makes the connection to George Floyd’s murder by Minneapolis police clear. Photograph by author, May 31, 2020.

Even the racist neoliberal rapist (the likely Democratic Party nominee for president) says of Donald Trump’s threat to use military force against protesters, “He’s using the American military against the American people.”[1] At what point is it war?
Read more

  1. [1]Joe Biden, quoted in Matt Zapotosky, “Trump threatens military action to quell protests, and the law would let him do it,” Washington Post, June 1, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/can-trump-use-military-to-stop-protests-insurrection-act/2020/06/01/c3724380-a46b-11ea-b473-04905b1af82b_story.html

The reason the status quo is not the answer is that the status quo cannot be the answer

See update for June 4, 2020 at end of post

Fig. 1. Graffiti declaring “I Love You, I Miss You” has appeared in lots of places around Pittsburgh. This is one example, captured when I didn’t have the opportunity to frame the shot better. Photograph by author, May 31, 2020.

In the wake of destructive protests that continue nationwide, including in Pittsburgh,[1] responding to the police murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis,[2] Pittsburgh’s mayor affirmed the status quo and incremental progress: Read more

  1. [1]David Charter, “George Floyd: US rocked by worst race riots since 1960s,” Times, June 1, 2020, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/american-cities-rocked-by-worst-race-riots-since-the-1960s-fn0x0jlmj; Ian Lovett, Erin Ailworth, and Joe Barrett, “Minnesota Bolsters Law Enforcement as Protests Roil U.S. After George Floyd’s Death,” Wall Street Journal, May 30, 2020, https://www.wsj.com/articles/george-floyd-protests-minneapolis-11590844180; Dillon Carr and Natasha Lindstrom, “George Floyd protests in Pittsburgh: Curfew in effect; protesters turn violent; police cars torched,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, May 30, 2020, https://triblive.com/local/pittsburgh-allegheny/protests-underway-in-downtown-pittsburgh/; KDKA, “Pittsburgh Public Safety Has Declared ‘Unlawful Assembly’ Downtown, Urging Businesses To Close, Residents To Stay Home,” May 30, 2020, https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2020/05/30/protest-shuts-down-streets-downtown/; Elie Mystal, “There’s Only One Possible Conclusion: White America Likes Its Killer Cops,” Nation, May 27, 2020, https://www.thenation.com/article/society/white-america-cops/; Philip Rucker, “As cities burned, Trump stayed silent — other than tweeting fuel on the fire,” Washington Post, May 31, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/as-cities-burned-trump-stayed-silent–other-than-tweeting-fuel-on-the-fire/2020/05/31/4fc8761a-a354-11ea-b619-3f9133bbb482_story.html; Rebecca Tan et al, “Night of destruction across D.C. after protesters clash with police outside White House,” Washington Post, June 1, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/dc-braces-for-third-day-of-protests-and-clashes-over-death-of-george-floyd/2020/05/31/589471a4-a33b-11ea-b473-04905b1af82b_story.html
  2. [2]Associated Press, “Officer who knelt on George Floyd’s neck arrested on murder charge,” Los Angeles Times, May 29, 2020, https://www.latimes.com/world-nation/story/2020-05-29/minnesota-george-floyd-officer-arrested