This article originally appeared on the blog of Heretic, the magazine of We Are Libertarians.
To those of you who are more upset about the incidents of looting and vandalism occurring in Minneapolis than the fact that the cops there flat-out murdered George Floyd (and murder people like him on a regular basis), all you’re doing is making your reactionary, largely racial, prejudices obvious to the rest of us.
Every time yet another black person is killed by the police, and your condemnation of protester behavior is stronger than your condemnation of the murderous thugs with badges, your racism is is showing.
Every time you choose to dismiss the legitimacy of mass people’s protests movements and groups like Black Lives Matter over the actions of a few who take advantage of the chaos to rob and harm, you’re racism is showing.
It’s obvious in times like these.
Just to be absolutely, abundantly clear: poor people who’ve barely been scraping by for decades looting an insured store owned by some corporate welfare-supported conglomerate or bank is in no way even remotely as bad or as condemnable as the epidemic of white supremacy that is killing and ruining thousands of George Floyds all the time.
It is fair to say that looting is wrong, and that it should be discouraged. It is fair to say that it is counter-productive and self-harmful. I’m not denying those things. But to be screeching about the looting while staying silent or subdued about the killing of George Floyd is nothing short of covert racism being made overt. It’s nothing short than valuing capital over life. It’s nothing short of valuing privilege over justice.