Rioters are criminals. Please don’t call them protesters or get the two confused.
A rioter is someone who takes part in a brawl or a violent disturbance. A rioter doesn’t care about a protester’s peaceful display of displeasure or disapproval. If the intent is to hold a peaceful protest rally, be careful who you invite and don’t allow unknown persons to participate.
Additionally, rioters aren’t activists. They aren’t trying to have their voices heard. They aren’t victims or innocent. They are destructive and violent. They want bloodshed, burning and looting.
My daughter and great niece were in Raleigh last Saturday. My daughter wanted a three-day vacation to celebrate her birthday. They were supposed to stay until Sunday. They left Saturday night, driven out of town by fear. She walked in the door Sunday morning still terrified after hearing gunshots, listening to reports of the destruction and violence.
I instantly saw red. My first thought was to send a strongly worded letter to a newspaper editor in Raleigh urging the community to get its criminal element under better control. Raleigh touts itself as a tourist destination, a “City of Oaks” for its beautiful oak trees that line the streets in the heart of the city. That nice place to visit turned into a nightmare for my girls, when criminals chased them out of town.
My upset intensified as I watched the comments made online, mainly Facebook. Those comments seemed to justify those people’s actions. There is no justification for damaging businesses, stealing what you want, and terrorizing innocent people. Some blamed the riots on mob mentality. These people aren’t victims. They are criminals looking for an excuse.
I was asked if I’d ever gotten caught up in mob mentality. No, I have not. I’m strong willed, independent and I have a strong sense of who I am as a person. I would walk away. No bricks through windows, stealing and terrorizing innocent bystanders in my past or future.
More than 30 criminals were arrested in Raleigh within days of the riots. That made me feel much better. Raleigh is getting its criminal element under control.
One of those, Dijon Pulley, stated, “Destruction is not the answer. At the same time, being quiet is not effective. I feel like a lot of people are fed up.”
An attempt to justify.
Keante Underwood stated, “I am kind of ashamed of myself, because I knew better.”
If you knew better, you wouldn’t have done it. If you knew better, you’d be more than just "kind of ashamed" at your actions.
I appreciate the swift law enforcement reaction when a protest was arranged in downtown McMinnville. Main Street was probably the safest place to be in the world on Monday night, as city officers, county deputies and state troopers made sure that the peaceful protest didn’t spiral into criminal activities.
Standard reporter Lisa Hobbs can be reached at 473-2191.