Commentary

Minnesota Store Forced to Close Again After Being Shut Down for Months Following George Floyd Riots

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Last summer, streets across the nation filled with protesters in response to the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody.

Their dissent helped trademark a ghastly summer also afflicted by COVID-19, offering a more-or-less inevitably witnessed message about police brutality.

Others, however — namely, rioters and looters — only wounded their cause.

Seven months after looters took nearly $150,000 of merchandise from his sneaker store in Minneapolis, forcing him to close the business, Moh Habib relived a snapshot of the experience this week when looters struck again.

Habib reopened his business, Studiiyo23, a brief two weeks ago after the seven-month closure, according to Fox News.

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Unfortunately, the reopening took place just in time for chaos to ensue after the police shooting death of 20-year-old Daunte Wright on Sunday.

“It’s tough to know that now we have to close again,” Habib told “Fox and Friends” host Steve Doocy after three nights of chaos ensued in the streets of Brooklyn Center, Minnesota.

“It’s my sole source of income for me and my two little kids,” he said.

Unfortunately, Habib’s story is not unusual, neither now nor in previous instances of unwarranted violence.

For every business damaged during last year’s waves of rioting and looting, a livelihood was ruined and an innocent bystander’s investments were squandered.

This isn’t justice by any standard.

It’s OK to have an opinion on police brutality or racial profiling. Almost everyone does, in fact.

What isn’t OK is when these opinions manifest into violence and affect people who are not the cause of such grievances — people like Moh Habib.

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Protesting someone’s premature death by crippling local businesses, destroying livelihoods and harming innocent families is never the way to obtain “justice.”

These criminals have no sense of justice, regardless of what they claim they’re rioting for, and that makes them as guilty of injustice as those they’re protesting.

It’s also unfortunate that the memories of those they supposedly seek to memorialize are tainted by the mob violence surrounding their deaths.

Outrage is understandable in such circumstances, but what productivity has violence wrought?

Yes, violence renders attention to the cause, but never in a good way.

We can apply the same logic to the upheaval of Jan. 6, when people entered the U.S. Capitol and engaged in violence during a rally for election integrity.

Their actions did little to further that cause. In fact, the incursion greatly damaged the effort as many people abhorred the “extremism” on display.

This abhorrence works both ways as many Americans sit at home and read stories or see images of unrest in the streets with each wave of rioting or looting that befalls our major cities.

Do we really want to depict this as justice? Should innocent business owners and bystanders be forced to answer for the problems people have with the authorities?

No.

That never has been — and never will be — just.

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Taylor Penley is a government relations intern and student studying English, rhetoric and global studies. She plans to graduate in May 2021 and begin a master of arts program in political science this fall.
Taylor Penley is a government relations intern and student studying English, rhetoric and global studies. She plans to graduate in May 2021 and begin a master of arts program in political science this fall.




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