• By Lt. Tim McMillan

"You Don't See White People Rioting and Looting."

“Lt. Tim, I appreciate what you are trying to do, but I don’t think you are being fair to law enforcement or white people. A lot of the problems that black people face are brought on by their own actions. You don’t see white people rioting and looting in the streets. I feel like in a way you are condoning people not obeying the law.”

Dear xxx,

I appreciate your sentiment. However, I fear that you may not actually appreciate what I am trying to do, as I have the concern you don’t understand what I am doing.

Now, when you say “white people” I assume you would be referencing White Americans. I have to assume that because I can think of a host of varying incidents, such as the bedlam that erupted in March of 2012 in Greece during a soccer match between FC Olympiakos and FC Panathinaikos. Hundreds of people, predominantly what we would call white people, tried to storm the stadium to gain entry. Fans came with clubs, metal poles, flares and fire bombs and as a result, the stadium was set on fire. Now, I understand that in many parts of the world, what we call “soccer” is known as “football.” So maybe there is a different term for this incident in Europe. However, I would call that a riot.

Additionally, I want to make sure we are abundantly clear, White Americans, have engaged in rioting. However, like our global white counterparts, we typically had found such righteous causes to riot for, such as in 2011, when Oklahoma State University defeated Oklahoma in football (not the soccer kind). After the win, Oklahoma State fans rioted, injured thirteen people, and left two persons in critical condition. Again, the agitators of this pandemonium were overwhelming white people.

So, yes, indeed I have seen white people rioting and looting. Now, it is important to note now, that your statement “You don’t see white people rioting and looting in the streets” is incorrect. What this means, is that you possess the same attributes that every other human being possess, including myself, which is we can all be wrong at times. Now, I am going to assume that what you are trying to ask is that, it in the last few years, African Americans have been very vocal regarding their treatment of law enforcement. At times, some of these vocal protests have developed into riots resulting in property damage or injuries.

Now, the first thing I want to point out is that in any one of these incidents, it would be unfair to suggest that any individuals who you might have seen on the news or through social media who were African American and engaging in violent demonstrations are representative of the entire African American population.

To put this in perspective, let’s try some math using outrageously inflated ballpark figures. The population of St. Louis County is 1,003,362 citizens. Out of the people of St. Louis County, 24% or 240,808 of its citizens are African American.

Now, let’s say every single black person in St. Louis County engaged in rioting in Ferguson, Missouri, that would only represent only .32% or not even 1% of the entire African-American population. Now, true to my word those are outrageously inflated and approximate figures. We know that the whole black community in St. Louis County did not engage in rioting nor was there even 240,808 total rioters in Ferguson. In reality, there was probably approximately 1000 rioters in Ferguson at any given moment. So even if all 1000 were African American, now the proportion of rioters against the total African American population represents .0001% of all black Americans.

So xxx, I hate to do this, but I have to point out that the suggestion that “black people” have brought on their own problems is wrong. No worries xxx. As I said, we are all human and therefore we can all be incorrect and make errors.

So now, that is out of the way, let’s answer the heart of your question. Why is it that African Americans have been very vocal and protesting their treatment and potentially .0001% have been engaged in rioting? Well, that’s simple xxxx! For the same reasons, soccer fans torched the stadium in Greece in 2013, or Oklahoma State fans rioted and tore the goal post down in 2011.

The riot in Greece at Olympic Stadium in 2012, started because during the contest between Olympiakos and Panathinaikos, per the Greek Football League rules for rivalry games, only the home team’s fans were admitted into the stadium to watch the match. So an entire segment of the fan base of the two teams was prohibited from watching the soccer game inside Olympic Stadium. Therefore, the fan base that felt unfairly disenfranchised and excluded reach the point where they became impassioned and angry. As a result, an ensuing, probably .0001% of the fan base, was willing to revolt and violently lash out for equal representation to support their team.

In 2011, when Oklahoma State defeated Oklahoma and won the Big 12 Conference championship, it was the first time they had achieved the title of conference champs since 1949. Before that, Oklahoma State’s football team and fans always had to play second fiddle. So the resulting riot was less of a struggle for control, rather it was an emotional explosion of jubilation that resulted in people being trampled and property damage.

So xxx, do you see where I am going with this? There is always a common theme that conjures up that initial spark which results in individuals willing to violently express themselves in mob fashion. That common theme is that a group of people feel disenfranchised and that they’ve become oppressed to the point where a minor segment of a group no longer believes that conventional peaceful methods are a means to a successful end.

Honestly, xxx, this is something that every single American should know and take to heart. On December 16, 1773, the Sons of Liberty boarded three English merchant vessels and dumped 342 barrels of tea into the Boston Harbor to protest the Tea Act of 1773. The Tea Act of 1773 was passed by the British Parliament to save the East India Trading Company. The Tea Act of 1773, lowered the tea tax for the East India Trading Company, giving it a monopoly on the American tea trade. The colonists were upset because the passage of the law was made by the English parliament, with no input afforded to the colonial elected leadership; this the origin of the phrase “No taxation without representation.”

In effect, the colonist in the American colonies felt disenfranchised and powerless, and a minor portion of the population engaged in property damage as a protest. The response by the British parliament to “The Boston Tea Party” would be notably harsh and ultimately lead to the American Revolution.

The Boston Tea Party is arguably the most well-known catalyst to the revolutionary war. However, it was in actuality, not the first catalyst. The most significant event that began to turn colonial favor from Brittan occurred on March 3, 1770. A crowd of angry protestors upset with British treatment of the colonist gathered in Boston outside the Old State House. The crowd angrily harassed and verbally threatened a group of nine British soldiers stationed in front of the State House. In response, the soldiers fired into the crowd killing five people. The first person shot and killed, was Crispus Attucks, a freed African slave. This event would come to be known as The Boston Massacre and was the most important event that turned the Colonial sentiment against King George III and Great Brittan.

The point of all of this is that the reason you don’t see droves of white people rioting in the last couple of years is that individuals in power have no necessity to engage in rioting to have their concerns heard. When people in authority result in violence to achieve a means, it’s blatantly obscene and recognizably morally corrupt. In fact, violence by powerholders is typically through genocide, something that indeed us white Americans thought was a splendid idea as well hundreds of years ago.

However, contemporary America proudly and loudly displays itself to the world as being above acts of genocide, cultural subjugation and violations of human rights. In fact, we go around the world threatening to use military force towards other countries who mistreat or disenfranchise their citizens. Well, most countries, if a nation possesses oil or a resource we fancy, our morality can be bought off.

So in conclusion, the distinction of terrorist and patriot hold hands as they walk a narrow line together. Ultimately, the label of terrorist or patriot is a title decided upon by the victors of conflict. Lest, we forget every July 4th as Americans celebrate Independence Day, England could justifiably say to us “Happy Treason Day!”

All of these are important facts to remember when African Americans or any other minority groups that have vocally and at times violently cried out for equal treatment. Because at the end of the day, African Americans SHOULD NOT have to resort to revolutionary tactics to have their concerns heard. Excluding all the moral and ethical reasons, just looking at the last word in African AMERICANS should give us all the motivation we would ever need not to dismiss black America's concerns. Lest, we also never forget, that the first person to give sacrifice their life for all American's freedom and independence was Crispus Attucks. A black man.

Hope that answered your question xxxx, take care and Happy New Year!

P.S. I hope that you consider some of the things I've told you in this response, because personally I don't think you're being fair to law enforcement, white people, black people or anyone if you hold onto these biased beliefs.

Tim McMillan is a retired police lieutenant and investigative intelligence analyst; and holds BA's in mathematics and cognitive psychology. Primarily, focusing on the Defense and Intelligence Communities, he now uses his unique background, coupled with a willingness to examine any mystery, to deliver groundbreaking investigative reporting. Tim is a contributor for The War Zone, Vice, and Popular Mechanics

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© Lieutenant Tim McMillan All Rights Reserved by The Raziel Group LLC