Real reason people in the US are looting
A woman's explanation of why people in the US are looting has gone viral as she compares the board game Monopoly to the uphill battle many African-Americans still face today.
Kimberly Latrice Jones, an author and screenwriter, was out filming anti-racism and anti-police brutality protests with her friend David Jones when she explained why she agreed with people looting and rioting.
"When you have a civil unrest like this, you have three types of people - protesters, rioters and looters," Ms Jones explained.
"Protesters are there because they actually care about what is happening in the community, they want to raise their voices and are there strictly to protest … rioters who are angry, who are anarchists and who really just want to f**k s**t up and they're going to do that regardless and then you have the looters and looters are just there to do that, to loot."
Ms Jones went on to quote commentary around looting and people asking "what did you gain? what do you get from looting?"
"But you're focusing on the what and not focusing on the why," she said.
"Some say well (looters) are not people who are legitimately angry about what's happening, they're just people who just want to get stuff so let's go with that and say what it is.
"Let's ask ourselves why in this country in 2020, why the financial gap between poor blacks and the rest of the world is at such a distance that people feel their only hope and only opportunity to get some of the things that we flaunt and flash in front of them all the time is to walk through a broken glass window and get it.
"That they are so hopeless that getting that necklace, or chain, or TV, or bed or phone, whatever they want to get is that in that moment when riots happen that's their only opportunity to get it.
"Why are people that poor? Why are people that broke? Why are people that food insecure, clothing insecure that they feel their only shot is walking through a broken glass window and getting it."
Ms Jones then used the hugely popular board game Monopoly to explain why it had been so hard for African-Americans to "pull themselves up by their boot straps and get it on their own".
"Let me explain to you something about economics in America," she said.
"We never get that economics was the reason that black people were brought to this country, they came to do agricultural work in the south and textile work in north.
"Now, if I right now decided that I wanted to play Monopoly with you and for 400 rounds of playing Monopoly I didn't allow you to have any money, I didn't allow you to have anything on the board - anything - and then we played another 50 rounds of Monopoly and everything that you gained and you earned while playing those rounds was taken from you."
I'm in a surreal universe where my everyday rant has reached the world and is being shared by my IDOLS! https://t.co/UAX1S2IJxw— Kimberly Jones (@kimlatricejones) June 7, 2020
Ms Jones then addressed Tulsa and Rosewood - two self-sufficient and thriving African-American towns from the early 20th century that were decimated by white mobs.
"So for 400 rounds of Monopoly you don't get to play at all, not only do you not get to play, you have to play on behalf of the person that you're playing against, you have to earn money and wealth for them and then you have to turn it over to them," she said.
"And then for 50 years you finally get a little bit and you're allowed to play but any time they don't like the way that you're playing or you're catching up or that you're doing something to be self-sufficient, they burn your game, burn your cars and burn your Monopoly money."
Ms Jones used Monopoly to relate to the US' 450 years of slavery and the struggle African-Americans continue to face.
"At this point the only way you're going to catch up in the game is if the person shares the wealth and now what if every time they share the wealth, there's psychological warfare against you to say 'oh you're an equal opportunity hire.'
"How can you win? You can't win, the game is fixed! So when they say 'why did you burn down your own neighbourhood? Why did you burn down the community? It's not ours," she screamed.
"We don't own anything!
"Trevor Noah said it so beautifully that there is a social contract that we all have where if you steal or I steal, the person of authority comes in and they fix the situation.
"But the person who fixes the situation is killing us so the social contract is broken and if the social contract is broken why the f**k do I give a s**t about burning a football hall of fame or burning a Target?
"You broke the contract when you killed us in the streets and didn't give a f**k.
"You broke the contract when we played your game for 400 years and built your wealth.
"You broke the contract when we built our wealth again, with our boot straps, and you destroyed it.
"So f**k your Target, f**k your hall of fame, as far as I'm concerned they could burn all of this to the ground and it still wouldn't be enough.
"And they are lucky that all black people are looking for is equality and not revenge."
Protesters are pushing to "defund the police" over the death of George Floyd and other African-Americans killed by law enforcement.
Supporters say it isn't about eliminating police departments or stripping agencies of all of their money. They say it is time for the country to address systemic problems in policing in America and spend more on what communities across the US need, like housing and education.
State and local governments spent $US115 billion on policing in 2017, according to data compiled by the Urban Institute.
Generally, police and union officials have long resisted cuts to police budgets, arguing that it would make cities less safe.
The Los Angeles Police Protective League, the union for the city's rank-and-file officers, said budget cuts would be the "quickest way to make our neighbourhoods more dangerous".
"Cutting the LAPD budget means longer responses to 911 emergency calls, officers calling for back-up won't get it, and rape, murder and assault investigations won't occur or will take forever to initiate, let alone complete," the union's board said in a statement last week.
"At this time, with violent crime increasing, a global pandemic and nearly a week's worth of violence, arson, and looting, 'defunding' the LAPD is the most irresponsible thing anyone can propose."
Originally published as Real reason people in the US are looting