As the riots continue just a few miles away, the smoke from the buildings that were set on fire fills my house. I can hear the sirens, I can see the helicopters. The bank where we had a safety deposit box was burnt to the ground. Tonights conversation at home was, “did we empty it out or did we leave something in it last month?”. They were simple items not worth much to anyone but me. Keepsakes for the heart, in theory protected by a vault. I guess I’ll never know now, because the bank is gone. Much of the cute little Village of La Mesa is gone too.
Here at home my cars are tucked tightly in the driveway and the sensors and alarms are on. It’s after midnight and the fear of going to sleep is real. I have a cochlear implant. Once I remove it I’m deaf. I won’t hear a fire trucks, alarms, or any alerts. It’s not the fear that keeps me awake. It’s all the new sounds I’m learning, then the silence. I guess I’ll just stay awake for a while.
This all started as a peaceful, but very rude protest. Thousands of people walked on to the freeways. They did what they wanted and no one stopped them. They stopped traffic in SoCal for hours. They protested. They got their point across. But then at the stroke of 6pm the violence started. Why?
After that I saw a few people starting fires but most were calm and just watching. I saw the crowds build and the streets filled with looky loos. They had duffle bags and backpacks. They had nothing to do but gather in this Covid filled environment. Tear gas was used to disperse the massively growing crowds that had been attacking the police station. The crowds quickly grew from peaceful walkers, to selfish looters. The police station was the first to be destroyed and so were many vehicles and businesses. How does this violence help the cause, the fight for equality and peace. It doesn’t!
Now I see a car filled with men and women holding homemade signs saying Black lives Matter, They just looted the Von’s and shouted Black Lives Matter. They are so involved in the ruckus they don’t even realize they are shouting and being seem on television. Plain as day we all know what they look like.
Meanwhile kneeling on the sidewalk there’s a Catholic priest praying as the looters run out of the store past him. They don’t even stop to look. Their arms are full of stuff. Some brought suitcases and duffle bags.They came to get stuff. They came to loot the stores. But why did you set them a blaze? Why? This isn’t about Black Lives Matter, because all lives matter. This is now about selfish destructive looters.
But on Monday morning more people are without jobs. The city and the county were just opened up after weeks of being shut down from Covid19. Most everyone did a great job during the Covid stay at home orders and our Covid numbers were steadily going down. But tonight, you were all wearing masks. Was that to conceal your identity or was it to protect you from Covid as you gathered in that group of thousands?
What happened to this sleepy little town and county? Where did all those opportunistic people come from. There actions and their signs don’t support each other.
Now as the smoke and toxins fill the air and Covid19 grows again, remind yourself all lives matter and 2 wrongs do not make a right.
Think and act responsibly and do the right thing even if others don’t. People are actually really good but it’s the bad that get the attention. Doing the right thing is always going to be hard. But when its time to be rewarded, the reward is always much better than you could ever imagine.