Scapegoating Is Not Justice

CNN has the headline, “Atlanta protester explains why only the Wendy’s was burned during protests.” Joseth Jett “explained,” “I do feel bad about people who have lost their job, but at the same time, we burned this building and not any other building around here. We burned this one specifically because of what happened here. . . . This goes back to what our mission is, making sure that there is justice served for the person that died over here at this Wendy’s.” That is totally insane. Burning down a restaurant that is incidentally where police fatally shot a man (a man who violently attacked the police) is not achieving justice for anyone. This is straight-up scapegoating. And it is exactly the mentality by which white mobs used to riot in black neighborhoods. And we’re supposed to somehow think well of these domestic terrorists because they didn’t burn down even more buildings? (Note: I have no idea whether Jett actually was involved in burning down the restaurant; I refer to anyone who was involved.)

I don’t know who called 911. “A 911 caller had alerted police that a man had fallen asleep in the restaurant’s drive-thru lane,” reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Maybe the caller worked at the restaurant, maybe not. Regardless, it was a perfectly reasonable call to make.

Those interested can watch the bodycam footage of the event. The suspect admits to driving after drinking alcohol, and he violently attacks the police as they attempt to arrest him. I am willing to entertain that officers could have handled the situation differently at that point, but to pretend that this is fundamentally an event about racism is insane.

Incidentally, one video (the authenticity of which I have not independently confirmed) purports to show video of a black protester saying, “Look at the white girl trying to set s**t on fire. Look at the white girl trying to burn down a Wendy’s. This wasn’t us. This wasn’t us.”

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