In 1968, during the Democratic National Convention in Chicago, I lived in Glenview, Illinois, after being discharged from the U.S. Navy base there, and witnessed the burning and looting in that city.
Radicals were protesting the Viet Nam war, and setting the city on fire after they looted the stores. The governor called in the National Guard to try to restore peace again. Even military tanks were brought into the streets of Chicago. It got so bad that Mayor Richard Daly issued the order “To shoot to kill anyone carrying a gas can.” Snipers were shooting at firefighters that were trying to save the city that looked like a war zone.
We had the Rodney King episode out in California, where a white police officer used excessive force and beat Mr. King. But the outcome was the looting of stores, and if that wasn’t enough, setting fire to the town after the stores were looted. Many were mom and pop stores with their entire life tied up in those buildings.
Then we had the McDuffie trial in Miami, where numerous police officers beat up a black insurance salesman for popping a wheelie on his motorcycle in Liberty City after he tried outrunning the cops. The officers were acquitted while my wife and I were in Mexico on vacation. We were flying back to Miami International Airport, right over Liberty City, watching the city burn after looters had taken the law in their own hands in the name of seeking justice.
Then we had the Michael Brown situation in Ferguson, Missouri, where he and his associate were walking down the middle of the street after dark, and a police officer warned them to get on the sidewalk. An argument took place, and even though the officer was in a marked police car, forensic evidence showed that Mr. Brown attacked the police officer, by powder burns on Mr. Browns hands, and testimony by the black residents. The outcome was looting and burning of the city of Ferguson, Missouri, and there again, many of those businesses were mom and pop operations. This was done in the name of seeking justice, and before an inquiry outcome was reached. Our president at the time, Barack Obama, and Attorney General Eric Holder condemned law enforcement before an investigation was complete. They could have gone there when the rioting was taking place and asked for peace.
Then we had the Eric Garner case in New York, who was illegally selling cigarettes on the streets of New York. The governor and the mayor ordered the chief of police to warn the offenders, and if the practice continued, to arrest the offenders. When told he was being arrested for this practice, Mr. Garner resisted and was taken down by police officer Daniel Pantaleo. The officer had no way of knowing that Mr. Garner had a respiratory problem that caused the “I CAN’T BREATH” call out. If Mr. Garner had stopped resisting, the outcome would have been different. There again, we had looting and burning, in the name of seeking justice.
During the previous president’s tenure, there were many missteps that were not popular with the American People. The Bengasi attack, Fast and Furious, the IRS scandal, the releasing of five terrorists that our military had captured, the giving of $5 billion taxpayer dollars to General Electric for greening. The outcome of the Obama presidential election was not popular with some of the people, but those law abiding citizens did not take the law into their own hands by looting and burning cities. Yes, there are injustices, like four times more police officers were killed in the last year than unnecessary killings of African/American citizens. How about the Black Lives Matter Movement calling for killing of police officers. But why is there not a controversy over the 600 to 700 people killed a year in Chicago, where I lived for 13 years. Seventy to 80 percent of those killings are black on black. With the previous president, the previous Attorney General Eric Holder, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Rham Emanuel, all of whom are from Chicago, never spoke of this violence. Yet we have violence in the streets, as protesters are against our current president who has boosted our economy, increased respect for our military and the unemployment rate for African/Americans is the lowest it has ever been in this country. African/American owned businesses are thriving also. With a new election just around the corner, why not eliminate the upheaval and let your voice be heard at the election booth.
Of course there are some that would rather just burn and loot. This is not a lawless country. We have laws. If you want to fight, there is an option — join the military — but they will teach you self-discipline, which some of our citizens lack. After all, we are Americans, let’s set an example for the world.