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Finley: Violent white protesters hurt cause of racial justice

The Detroit News

Check out the photographs and videos from the violence that rocked Detroit and other American cities over the weekend in response to the alleged killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer.

What you see is a large contingent of young whites fueling the mayhem, helping turn what started as angry but peaceful protests into riots marked by arson and looting.

Detroit Police Chief James Craig reported most of the people arrested Friday night were from "outside the city," code for suburbanites.

Of course, they could be among the great number of young whites who live in the city but use their parents' suburban addresses to avoid paying city taxes and higher insurance rates.

Protesters march on Michigan Avenue in front of Detroit police headquarters

Either way, they aren't helping the city, or black residents who deal daily with racial injustice. They can confront police in the street, but they have no idea what it's like as a black person to be face-to-face with a racist cop.

Rather, they are fueling a false narrative of violent blacks destroying their own communities.

Those weren't African Americans cleaning out stores in Portland before setting them on fire. They were white punks wearing the attire of the anarchist Antifa movement.

In Minneapolis, officials say most of those arrested were from out of state. 

Certainly, there were many African Americans among those who became violent in Detroit and elsewhere. But their numbers were swelled by whites trying to prove who knows what.

And yet when President Donald Trump and others rail against "thugs" in the streets, the stereotypical image is of black males.

Certainly, the cause of racial justice is one all races should embrace and visibly support. 

But engaging in violence that will inevitably be blamed on African Americans is not the way to do it.