A few days ago, I was looking through various news websites and stumbled upon an article describing an anti-police protest in Charlotte, North Carolina last September. It came in the wake of a racist act of police brutality and featured a large group of African American protesters pitted against the Charlotte police force. The protesters were shouting at the cops, cops warning the protesters to keep their distance lest they resort to forceful containment. From seemingly out of nowhere, one black protester named Nwadike decided to do the unthinkable. He walked forward to where the police officers were standing and hugged the two cops in front.
The rest of the demonstrators went berserk, shouting insults and racial slurs that made Nwadike the new center of the protest. He stood his ground, saying to the crowd, “His uniform doesn’t make him a robot. Just like your uniform — your skin color — doesn’t make you a criminal, and that’s what I need people to understand.” All Nwadike wanted to do was spread love to show the world that hate is not the answer. Love is free, peaceful, and healthy, but by fighting police brutality with anger and destruction, the protesters were going against their own views. Nwadike set an example of the right way to protest, but then his crowd turned on him.
This is an example of everything wrong with spreading hate in the world. People believe that animosity can fight animosity, but all that does is create more violence and injustice. And yet, when someone realizes this and tries to change the ways in which others protest, he becomes the new target. Advocating for peace, showing that neither side needs to be right or wrong, should incite revolution in the realm of protests and make someone a hero amongst villains. But, in reality, it does the opposite, showing that people do not know how to adequately fight for what they believe in. They rely too much on anger, on hate, instead of spreading the hugs and the love that Nwadike shows are so much more effective in getting the point across. If we can learn to be like him, then perhaps we will have a chance to rectify the rifts that have grown between various demographics in our country, but if not, we will continue to spiral out of control.
Here is a link to the article/video of the Charlotte protest: http://www.theblaze.com/news/2016/09/22/protesters-accost-black-man-as-he-hugs-charlotte-police-officers/