Of course last night's Minneapolis protests erupted. Because another black man is dead in yet another incidence of police brutality, and firing the cops is not enough.
So of course people are angry. Of course they were throwing rocks at police. I don't know how black people in America even get out of bed in the morning.
This isn't going to stop. It's not even going to slow down -- not unless white people throw themselves in front of black people to save them, both literally and figuratively.
I can understand why black people take videos instead of intervening; they don't want to be the next victim. But white people? They should get in those cops' faces. They should not hesitate. They should operate on the assumption that for most of the reasons a cop stops a black person, THERE IS NO IMMEDIATE DEATH PENALTY FOR IT.
Anyone who knows me will tell you, yes, I would intervene. Yes, I would threaten a cop with the feds. I would not lay hands on him, but I would make damn sure he understands we're talking about a federal grand jury if he doesn't stop what he's doing.
When I was first divorced, I lived in a small town outside Philadelphia that was famous for its police brutality. So late one hot night, I heard the crackle of the police radio outside my house and went downstairs. I sat on my steps in my PJs and a robe; the cops knew me and said hello.
The guy they were arresting for smoking crack in his car took umbrage at my presence and said, "Who's she?"
"Why, I'm your insurance policy," I answered. The cops laughed, but they knew I was serious.
And that's the role we should always take in these situations. Because when white cops understand that most white people aren't going to stand silent anymore, we might begin to change things.