In the past, I have felt that perhaps rioting wasn't the best answer as far as protests go, but recently I have changed my mind. Since nothing else that POC communities have tried has worked, including taking a knee as black athletes, peaceful protests, and other forms of gentler activism, I agree that their rage is justified, and might even usher in better results. There have been protests in Toronto as well - I didn't attend, both due to my concern over catching COVID-19, but also because of my fear of the police legally harming me again, after having legal issues in the past. Yet, I support the protests 100% - this happens far too often with police officers, the recent murder of Regis Korchinski-Paquet being another local example of police murdering a person who was both a person of colour and with mental health issues. It makes my blood boil. I liked to think there were good cops out there, but as one analogy recently stated - one bad apple can spoil the barrel.
Police really harmed my rights in society, stripping me of my home, having me locked away in a filthy institution for a while (the courts had the bigger hand in that I think - so that part was more white collar, not blue collar), but at least I was allowed to live. As I mused on Facebook recently - if I had been any race other than white when I was unwell and confronted by the police, could I have been the next Sammy Yatim? I was compliant enough, but often that's not enough for POC, as we have seen with George Floyd. When I have talked to other (non-white) psychiatric survivors, their encounters with police were more physically aggressive than mine, and I believe it comes down to race, period. I have been oppressed as a psychiatric survivor and as a poor woman, I have been sexualized both by individuals and by authorities even though I am asexual, but I have not been oppressed as a white person.
I Googled who the patron saint of social justice was, and found out it's St. Martin de Porres - it's neat that he's a person of colour. I petitioned him the other day with a tobacco offering, asking for any justice that could come of what's going on with the rioting and protests, because nothing ever seems to work otherwise, at least not for long. Some say we should abolish police forces - I don't know how we can arrive at a society capable of doing that, it sounds too utopic to be possible for this world. In the meantime, let's hope that at least some radical change to what is be ushered in, because this racist sickness ruling society is out of control.
I also want to mention something on suffering vs injustice, and I don't know if I can nail this right now: I feel like injustice is a kind of suffering that shouldn't ever be, while certain forms of suffering can lead to refinement and be great teachers, if we adapt to it properly. There are degrees. We can work towards reducing suffering while being prepared for it when it comes our way, we should always fight to end injustice. There is no way, as a white person, that I know injustice at the levels POC do, even though I have known injustice in other forms, as a poor woman, and as a psychiatric survivor.
"Like A Prayer" - Madonna
(Madonna seems to have a fling with St. Martin de Porres in this video, which apparently got her excommunicated.)