As one who has been arrested twice for (peacefully) demonstrating the plight of Jews trapped behind the Iron Curtain, as one who has joined other demonstrations including joining others at the United Nations to decry their “Zionism equals Racism” vote, I’m very much in favor of demonstrations. In fact, I issue a plea to Americans of all colors to demonstrate.
Demonstrate your solidarity for the victims of the tragedy that occurred in Minneapolis, on May 25. In all probability, I’m barely scratching the surface, but among those left to deal with George Floyd’s death are Bridgett Floyd, his sister, who has begun a “Go Fund Me”, Philomene Floyd, his brother, George Floyd’s six year old daughter who lives with her mother Roxie Washington, and Courtney Ross, George Floyd’s girlfriend of these last three years. And what about members of Derek Chauvin’s family? Do they deserve to be indicted, on grounds of guilt by association? Whenever there is a death and/or devastation has occurred, there are in all likelihood innocent family members, who are either deliberately shunned or unintentionally overlooked or forgotten. They too, are victims. Ten years ago, (May 2010) a grave was desecrated at Agudas Achim cemetery. Upon returning from the cemetery (where I made sure that the grave was properly restored, and then worked with police and dealt with reporters), I immediately contacted the mother of the perpetrator to see if I could offer help, in that her son’s insanity must surely be taking a toll on her as well.
There are any number of innocent victims – innocent by all account – whose property has been vandalized in cities throughout this nation, and whose merchandise has been looted. They too are victims, who meant no harm to George Floyd or to anyone else for that matter. For all we know, some of these victims may have been as enraged as any, at what took place in the Twin Cities. Yet, regardless of their knowledge of what took place, independent of their views of the tragedy, they became victims of looting and violence. Shouldn’t there be demonstrations of solidarity with those whose property, business and perhaps even lives have been shattered? I can only hope that there will be those who offer to lend a helping hand to those who were not even remotely connected to either the Floyd or Chauvin families. I can only pray, that there will be demonstrations, orderly and peaceful on behalf of those whose only crime was owning property or operating a business where violent demonstration got out of hand.
Those whose lives have been in greatest danger for those past week are law enforcement officials, of all races. Dozens of police officers were injured in New York, for simply wearing a uniform and a badge. Their skin color was of no consequence. As one who will be the first to admit that not all police officers are best suited for that line of work. (And yes, I have been mouthed off at by an officer who ultimately sheepishly walked away after I explained that he did not have all the facts.) I will also be the first to admit that there are easier and safer ways to earn a livelihood. If we can demonstrate against “bad cops”, we ought to be able to demonstrate on behalf of “good cops” as well. January 9 has been designated as National Law Enforcement Day. I cannot help but feel that a good many who are currently demonstrating in a peaceful, respectful manner to protest an unlawful and despicable act, would be equally prepared to come together and demonstrate in support of the good many who properly and respectfully enforce the law with malice toward none.
I have no idea how the current situation will end. I do know, however, that the effects of the demonstrators will be felt by officers of the law of all color, creed, and race for some time to come. I also realize, that no different than so many other demonstrations that get out of hand, many innocent people will be dealing with the damage done for an unknown period of time and an inestimable amount of money. Last but not least, there are innocent members of George Floyd’s family and of Derek Chauvin’s family who will be left scarred. Demonstrations in support of all three would truly be an act of Chessed or kindness.