CampusView: Thoughts on the Milwaukee Riots

Taylor Tougaw

This week’s topic: On August 13, Milwaukee was set ablaze by protesters rioting against the police killing of Sylville Smith. The man was killed by a black police officer after pointing a gun at him. The protesters, many aligned with the Black Lives Matter movement, burned down a gas station, bank, and other buildings in a predominantly black neighborhood. Were their actions justified? Why or why not?

Opinion Against:

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Many people have been claiming that systemic racism and poverty are the cause of the outrage and violence seen in black communities. They will also say that the so called ‘white-supremacy’ among police leads to black people being murdered with no punishment to the officer. So what they’re actually saying is “These people are too poor to know that burning down buildings and destroying local business is wrong.” Are you kidding me? Not only is that a load of crap, but it’s actually demeaning to those they’re trying to stick up for. By saying they’re so uneducated that they don’t know or care about right from wrong is incredibly hurtful.

On top of that, the cop that shot this man was black as well, and he only fired after the suspect pointed a firearm at him. What part of that is white police brutality? And what part of burning down a predominantly black community was supposed to help them? People need to stop making excuses for stuff like this and try to instill a little something that I call personal responsibility. It will go a long way in helping to make their own communities better so things like this don’t happen. Change starts form within.

Anonymous, Senior

Opinion For:

The shooting of Sylville Smith was tragic and the riots and destruction that followed were almost equally as tragic. What people are forgetting here is that these outbursts weren’t because of an isolated incident, but as a result of the silencing of their voices. For years now, the inner cities and poorer areas of the country have been neglected, forgotten, and utterly avoided. Black men and women die every day and literally nobody cares. It is due to this the residents in Milwaukee chose to riot; it was the only way their voices would have been heard.

Do you believe that anyone would have even heard of Sylville Smith if the people had held some calm town hall meeting? Definitely not, and nothing would have been done about police brutality. The fact is, poor people (I.e., black people, more often than not) do not have a strong or respectable position in modern society. Their voices are heard less or not at all.

If you were in the same situation where your family lived in almost permanent poverty and people were getting shot and killed at random while nobody listened or cared, what would you do?

Anonymous, Sophomore

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Next Week’s Topic (9/7): Recently, interpretations of the First Amendment, our freedom of speech and peaceable assembly, have been differing among Americans, especially between political ideologies.

In the national sphere, many people have become outraged that NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick exercised his First amendment and refused to stand for the national anthem. Most people complaining about Kaepernick are the same people that usually say things like “This country gets offended too easily.”

In the local sphere, many CSU students have proposed that we ban the overly zealous Christian and abortion preachers from campus.These are also the same people who say “We should have an environment that is inclusive of all ideas!”

in either case, each side of the political spectrum thinks that those exercising their first amendment rights in an offensive way are assholes for doing so.

The question is: Which side of the political spectrum actually gets offended the most?


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