Charlotte Riots Power Abuse

October 3, 2016
Edward Kim  Oxford Academy  9th Grade

Edward Kim
Oxford Academy
9th Grade

During this past week, violent riots in Charlotte, North Carolina sparked as a result of the death of an African American man named Keith Scott at the hands of Brently Vinson. Black Lives Matter activists took Scott’s death to the next level by not protesting on social media, but by going on a protest through Charlotte currently continuing even now, looting, stealing, and beating any white passerby who were on the street, making this seem not like a protest, but more of a riot.

This recent rioting in Charlotte led to the natural question that follows: Why? Over the course of this decade, our minds have been trained to associate brutal shooting victims as black and brutal police murderers as white, especially with the growth and influence of pro-African American organizations such as the Black Lives Matter movement.

But here’s the catch with the shooting this Tuesday: Brently Vinson, the cop who shot Keith Scott, was an African American. While one may expect that BLM would focus on the officer, not the victim, BLM rioters chose instead to riot through Charlotte, injuring many white people while justifying the rampage as a fight against police brutality.

This isn’t to say that the BLM movement is evil, but rather to reveal the devastating effects too much power on one organization can have. Take the Dallas shooting for example. Micah Johnson, an ex-veteran African American, shot and killed five white officers and injured nine others during a BLM protest rally, having previously stated that he wanted to kill white people in order to avenge his fellow African Americans.

The BLM movement has placed great influence in our society by being able to cherry-pick its rallies that it wants to support, raising national outcry for cases of black murdered by white, and downplaying cases of white murdered by black. Naming a powerful organization as one that only supports one group leads to a form of elitism, and serves only to increase tensions between all groups.

Promoting the idea that black lives matter, blue lives matter, or even white lives matter is not necessarily a bad thing, it’s just that when we give in to our human nature as promoting one kind of life as a better one over another, this is where we inadvertently worsen the situation of systemic racism by attempting to push up the minority. With that said, the best slogan to be used would be that “All Lives Matter,” however, our minds have been trained in such a way to reject this in favor for a specific group.

Take the first National Democratic convention for example. When asked the question if black lives matter or if all lives matter, all candidates chose to respond that black lives mattered more than all lives, and chose to justify that claim by highlighting the systemic racism in our country. This is a valid point, however, we should not use the excuse of a reason that affects all of use as a justification to support one minority.

With ever-increasing cases of wanting to promote racial equality we instead widen the rift of racial stereotypes and fear. The Charleston riots that are still occurring are a way to protest. However, for the muggers and rioters in Charlotte who abuse a cause for their own gain, they serve as a reminder as to what forms abuse of power can take. We should not be attempting to categorize people, nor should we abolish all races.

It is simply that by not attempting to remind people of a certain group’s importance, but by realizing that crimes and bad people will always be present in every possible group will we be able to begin to move towards relative unity.

It’s not that black lives, white lives, or blue lives don’t matter, it’s that very unification attempt which separates us. Hopefully, realizing this can help us in moving towards a better world.


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