So the question that these two men, who are circling each other in the parking lot, are really arguing about, ultimately, is how do you get enough white Americans to care? What strikes me to the core in this video is that both of these men are right, and both of them are wrong. The truth is that we know Americans pay attention to violence. Had there been no fires, had there been no looting, no physical confrontations with the police, these stories of police protests right now would have garnered maybe a few minutes on the local news cycle, but we wouldn’t see the wall-to-wall coverage that we’re seeing every day.
The other truth is that, the truth that the 31-year-old is grappling with. It’s that that quote-unquote violence is going to be used as an excuse not to sympathize with black struggle. That the communities who are already suffering in the end are going to suffer more when this is all over with.
I was also thinking about David Remnick’s piece in the New Yorker, particularly the way he ends the piece by citing a Victor Hugo quote that Dr. King referenced in 1967:
“If a soul is left in the darkness, sins will be committed. The guilty one is not he who commits the sin, but he who causes the darkness.”