KENOSHA, Wisc. – Last week – almost one month to the day after the riots in Kenosha took place – I had the opportunity to visit the destruction that was left behind. I talked to at least one resident who was working hard to rebuild her neighborhood. Despite the city needing to rebuild and focus on bringing back small businesses, Black Lives Matter protestors, once again, took to the street to make their demands known.
The group gathered and marched arm-in-arm with Jesse Jackson in hopes of sparking "real systemic change."
Before the march started, I had the opportunity to talk to a few who gathered. One of them, who referred to himself as a "street medic" (generally people who don't have any formal education or medical training), explained that the ultimate goal of the BLM movement, at least in his eyes, is to destroy capitalism. Of course, he wants to do away with our current system and implement socialism.
"No systemic change has ever happened by just voting and going home. Direct action gets the goods and only direct action gets the goods," he explained.
When asked what changes he would like to see, the street medic said he "would like to see the police stop killing U.S. citizens and non-citizens alike, especially black Americans who are disproportionately targeted by these state [inaudible]."
"What we really need is to attack the source of the problem, which is capitalism itself," he explained.
When pressed about what system he would implement instead of capitalism, he folded and admitted socialism was the obvious choice.
"Well, the dream choice would obviously be socialism, with the means of production are publicly owned but I'm not speaking for organizers of this event. This is just my personal view," he said.
He also said every city should have a Civilian Police Accountability Council (CPAC) where there are people elected to a council that has "hiring, firing, and budgetary power over every police force in every community."
One of the protestors admitted he believed getting rid of capitalism and implementing socialism was the way to make “systemic changes.” pic.twitter.com/9i7v5sj4CZ— Beth Baumann (@eb454) September 25, 2020
It's important to note that Chicago has a "Civilian Office of Police Accountability" that opened in 2016. Despite that office being developed, this past July was its most deadly month in 28 years, the Chicago Tribune reported at the time:
At least 107 people were killed in July, more than double the same month last year, according to data kept by the Tribune. That’s the most homicides the city has seen since in a single month since September of 1992, when 109 were recorded.
Most of the people died from gunshot wounds, but at least six people died from stabbings, three from strangulation, two from child abuse and two from assault, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.
At least 570 people were shot during the month, about 250 more than July of last year, according to the Tribune’s data.