I am crying for our country this morning.
I have seen my share of protests over the decades; I have witnessed horror – assassinations, riots, wars, campus uprisings and police brutality. Too many times. I remember when peaceful demonstrations in the past have turned destructive. As a people, have we all been too quick to forget the lessons we should have learned?
These widespread out-of-control demonstrations accomplish little, but I have the sense that this time the demonstrations will continue – to the point that recovery will be much more difficult, if not impossible. I hope I am wrong.
Because I love this country.
But I watched the morning newscasts with tears streaming down my cheeks, even though I had gone to sleep last night with hope that no more violence would erupt after curfews were ordered and relative calm had come to some cities around the country.
This morning, I could not help but gasp at shots of windows breaking, unrestrained looting in the darkness of night, scenes of streets filled with tear gas clouds and both police and National Guardsmen standing with weapons drawn.
I cried anew at the graffiti sprayed on churches, public buildings and shop walls all across the country, and the wanton destruction of retail stores and groceries just beginning to reopen after months of pandemic closure.
I listened carefully to the pleas of officials asking demonstrators to go home, stay home and remain safe, both from a killer virus and from the possibility of injury or death on the streets.
Too many people have already suffered and died on both fronts.
None of it makes any sense to me.
The way George Floyd died was unconscionable. The police officer who has been charged, and the three who stood by and watched must be brought to justice. The incident was horribly, terribly wrong. But what is happening now in more than 100 cities across this nation will in no way make anything right. These demonstrations, I fear, will only spark more hatred, more resentment, more discrimination, more divisiveness.
When will we learn? What can we do? Can we begin now to talk about it?
Those are the questions that haunt me this morning.