**We’re starting a new series of short Point of View posts called 1 PoV by 1 PoC. Today’s Point of View is by Natasha Smith.**
I in no way condone violence, but I can understand the feeling of powerlessness that drives a community to such measures. I keep reading how people are disgusted by the violence and fear for the lives of the police officers. Let’s not forget how this all started. Let’s not forget who used years of systematic violence to strip a community of its power, trust, and voice.
It is a privilege to be able to recoil at and condemn the actions of the unheard and oppressed. It is a privilege to find comfort in the mainstream media outlets that trumpet the voice of the oppressor and gain sustenance from fear-mongering. It is a privilege to believe that working through the system is the most effective way to accomplish change. The most harmful thing to do is to believe that those privileges are afforded to all.
If our hearts can’t hurt for the pain of this community—our society, then perhaps the real problem is with us and not with those who riot. If we find ourselves in a situation where we cannot understand the pain and helplessness that creates a circumstance where violence is the only option to be heard, then perhaps we are the ones beyond saving and beyond change. Perhaps our views and lack of empathy are the true impediment to change. This is not about a few cops who made a few bad decisions. It is about a system that protects those cops and the mercilessness of society at large that reinforces, justifies, and encourages the broken system.