As Waves of Protest Surge Across America – The New York Times

Posted: June 1, 2020 at 3:39 am

To the Editor:

Re Spreading Unrest Leaves a Nation on Edge (front page, May 31):

Early Saturday afternoon I stood outside Philadelphia City Hall with my Veterans for Peace & Against Hate sign to participate in the rally to protest and mourn George Floyds brutal murder in Minneapolis. When I was there the rally was calm and respectful. As a combat medic with the Marines in Vietnam, I have experienced violence and chaos. I did not expect Saturdays rally to deteriorate into violence and chaos, and it deeply saddens me.

In these difficult and divisive times we should be working together, not tearing ourselves apart.

Mike FelkerPhiladelphia

To the Editor:

The responsible politicians are saying the right things. What happened to George Floyd at the hands of police officers was an outrage, and it is well within their First Amendment rights for black people and others to march and protest but do not cross the line and start vandalism, looting or fires.

My first inclination is to agree. But I am torn when I look at the reality. Police brutality against black people continues. Racism in our society continues. No matter how many protests or demonstrations occur, the attention span of the public and the media is short until the next time and the next time and the next time.

It is regrettable, but it appears that unless there are riots, fires and vandalism, white Americans do not pay attention, or, if they do, they quickly forget what fears black Americans face on a daily basis when encountering the police or encountering whites in predominantly white neighborhoods.

If we are going to expect behavioral changes by demonstrators, we need to engage in some serious behavior changes as a society.

Tom BarnardShaker Heights, Ohio

To the Editor:

Re Two Crises Convulse a Nation: A Pandemic and Police Violence (nytimes.com, May 31):

Actually, there are three crises combining to convulse America: the coronavirus pandemic, the continued police brutality against black Americans and a president incapable of dealing with either. The tweeter of when the looting starts, the shooting starts threatens to use the military to quell the protests destroying cities all across the nation.

Does Mr. Trump want protesters shot la Kent State, or demonstrators beaten as the police did at the Democratic convention in Chicago in 1968? With every opportunity to lead, to unite and to console, this menace in the White House encourages more violence, racism and hatred.

Instead of inviting African-American leaders and governors, mayors and police chiefs to the White House to try to find solutions for stopping the violence, Mr. Trump goes to Florida for a photo-op at the SpaceX launch. He is tone deaf while America burns and is being torn apart by racial hatred.

We all shuddered to think what would happen to America when Mr. Trump faced a genuine crisis, and now our worst fears are a reality.

Henry A. LowensteinNewport, R.I.

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As Waves of Protest Surge Across America - The New York Times

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