Spencer Sunshine's article clarifies what's going on with the protests.
The George Floyd protests have swept the country in a spontaneous explosion of rage.
The right widely claims that anti-fascists (antifa) or “anarchists” are behind the violence, while some liberal officials initially claimed white supremacists were acting widely as agent provocateurs, bearing primary responsibility for certain aspects of the protests, such as property destruction. ... but both theories tell us something important: Neither the conservative commentators nor the liberal politicians will admit this is a decentralized and spontaneous rebellion.
Conspiracy theories work by falsely claiming that a secretive group is behind a real social problem. They distract people from understanding the real social problems facing a society — and thereby prevent them from addressing the underlying issues.
... a racist element underlying these conspiracy theories ... They assume that Black folks are not sophisticated enough to form and lead movements for their own liberation, ..
Trump will blame radical left social movements for this outpouring of anger over the police murder of Black people, and try to suppress its manifestations, but in doing so, he does nothing more than ignore the root problems of structural anti-Blackness and oppression.
Trump and other officials refuse to listen to the voices of those who are actually leading these protests: Black organizers making clear demands for the end of white supremacy.[emphasis mine]
Read the article for interesting details of the accused parties.
If you buy into these claims that one or another party is "really" behind the protests, you get hijacked from grasping a profound turning point in our history.
We have the right to peaceful protest,
the right to freedom of assembly,
the right to freedom of association, and
the right to freedom of speech.
What is so difficult for the POTUS and the enforcer of laws to understand?
Police officers follow orders of a #Let'sPretendPOTUS rather than the Constitution! Something is wrong with police training!
And there is clear systemic support for the "few bad apples". Police departments absolutely need to be rethought and reformed and re-formed. And social services and crisis interventions should be primarily handled by well-staffed and well-trained services whose missions are not "us versus the bad guys".
The "8 Can't Wait" recommendations, which are already individually in place in various police departments across the US, look like a good start.
Their claim of a 72% reduction in police violence doesn't necessarily mean that adopting the recommendations will cause a similar decrease, though. "Will universal adoption of all eight really generate the kind of massive fall in police violence this study indicates? There’s plenty of reason for skepticism. But the ideas are genuinely promising, they are based on some evidence, and they fit the political needs of the moment very well. Mayors and governors looking to show a good-faith desire to tackle the problem of excessive police violence without lapsing into radicalism could do a lot worse than to pick up this message."
8 Can’t Wait, explained (Vox)
Thanks, Grinning Cat. I recommend we all contact mayors to urge implementation of these recommendations.