My area has surprisingly experienced a lot of protesting, rioting, and looting after the wrongful death of George Floyd. Quite unexpected in this area, but with everything that’s happened this year, I always feel on the edge, thinking, “What’s going to happen next?”

My heart does feel heavy, knowing that even during these modern days in a first world country, people have to fear being out in public…have to fear for their lives…simply because of their skin color. It’s an endless cycle of violence and inequality. I keep thinking there has been change and improvement but really the world has just forgotten and moved on. It’s the same sad story but a different victim over and over again.

It’s unfortunate that the rioting and looting has coincided with the protests for black rights and equality. They should not be held in the same vein because they are completely separate and different from one another. The rioters and looters should be ashamed for taking advantage of the situation. They should be ashamed; for every step forward towards equality, these rioters are pulling everyone 20 steps backward.

My own mother said, “black people are bad” because of the senseless damage and looting of stores and businesses recently. I had to tell her, NO. These people causing senseless damage should be ashamed but it is not fair to lump everyone together. Every group has good people and bad people. We cannot let the bad people speak for all.

Many small businesses have suffered at the hands of looters. A friend of mine has had her workplace, a small business, ravaged and set on fire in Los Angeles. It was merely weeks ago that they started to re-open after being closed due to COVID19. It was completely senseless. That office was owned by and employed by all minorities; Black, Asian, Mexican. That destruction had nothing to do with current events. How heartbreaking.

We have had curfews set by the county. Each city has a different curfew, but no one is to be out in public in the evening until early morning. Every evening I am unsure if there is a curfew and when the curfew is. The past few days, my boyfriend and I had wanted to get takeout for dinner as a treat to ourselves and to support local businesses. Each evening we had to have a change of plans and forgo dinner due to a curfew announcement.

I hope that moving forward, there will continue to be meaningful and peaceful protests during the day, and no more chaos at night. At least with what we’ve seen so far, at night is when the peaceful protesters go home and the looters come out to selfishly and senselessly destroy.

How ironic a week ago. I was worried about restaurants re-opening for dine-in due to coronavirus risks, and now there are hundreds of people rallying with no masks in sight, shoulder to shoulder with people. I hate that there is one devastating mess after the next and people are forgetting the devastation of the first crisis.