What’s Going On in America? Time to think a bit.

By | June 2, 2020

When you see the above video, you might think ‘what’s going on in America?’ On the surface, it seems that the riots, destruction, and looting [See the previous post to understand these words], are all a protest against the horrible needless death of a innocent person at the hands of a callous and uncaring police officer. But some people, including myself, are beginning to question whether it is that simple. The facts are that the police officers involved will be charged, investigations are currently happening, and changes will be made in response to public pressure. So …… what’s going on?

Burning down your own neighbourhoods doesn’t help the people there, many of whom are black. Attacking police officers (some of whom could be black) who had nothing to do with original crime is unfair to those officers (most of whom are good people). Looting shops no longer links the protest to the original crime. Time to think more deeply abut this.

I certainly think there are many other factors involved. Here are some.

Factor One: Anti-police feeling.

Many people don’t like the police – some hate them. After all, the police stop them doing things. This is an opportunity to fight them. [And check Factor 7.]

Factor Two: Anti-society feelings.

Many people feel life is just unfair. The rich get richer; the poor get poorer, and nothing will ever change. This is an opportunity to express their frustration. [And check Factor 7.]

Factor Three: Anti-capitalism.

Related to the previous point, there are ‘socialists’, ‘communists’, and ‘anarchists‘ – that is, groups of people who have long believed society as it is today needs to be destroyed, and rebuilt in a different way. Now they see a good opportunity to do it. [And check Factor 7.]

Factor Four: Opportunism.

Hey, free stuff for everyone. Now you can smash a shop window, and just grap what you like. Great huh? [And check Factor 7.]

Factor Five: Frustration at the Covid-19 lockdown

For three months, most American cities have been ‘locked down’, with people told to stay at home. Many have seen their jobs, businesses, and livelihoods destroyed. Now, they have a ‘trigger‘ to release all that pent-up frustration. [And check Factor 7.]

Factor Six: Provocateurs.

Some people just like violence and destruction for the sake of violence and destruction. That’s why we have vandalism, hooliganism, and random acts of violence in society. So, these sorts of people go into the middle of a peaceful protests, and deliberately hurl a bottle (or a ‘molotov cocktail‘) at the police. The crowd cheer, the police respond with tear gas …. and that ‘provocateur‘ has managed to provoke everyone involved, changing a peaceful protest into a violence one. Yeahhhh!!!!

Factor Seven: Virtue Signalling

As I have indicated, this is always an underlying factor to almost everything. This is based on the human instinct of wanting to get people to regard you as more virtuous, or morally better than others. Anyone looting a shop can now shout, ‘I’m protesting decades of systematic racism and injustice against blacks in this country!’ But …… aren’t you just a vandal and thief, blatantly stealing other people’s property (and those other people could well be dark-skinned)? No, we are protesting decades of systematic …… etc. etc. 

If you disagree with them, or offer counter arguments, then you are ‘part of the problem’; you are racist, too. So… you agree with that police officer, do you? Uh-oh, back out, back out, no … but …..

Whatever the case, America has some tough problems to solve right now.

Here are some of the words I used. Look them up in a dictionary.

to be needless

to be callous

an anarchist

vandalism

hooliganism

to be random

to hurl

a molotov cocktail

provocateur

to be virtuous

By the way, check my website: www.aisielts.com.

Author: Andrew

Andrew Guilfoyle Cambridge CELTA, Cambridge DELTA, Cambridge CELTA teacher-trainer, M.Ed