By Chuck “Jigsaw” Creekmur
(AllHipHop Features) A mysterious man in all black with an umbrella covering his head, a gas mask covering his face and tactical boots casually walks up to a Minneapolis AutoZone and begins to break all the windows in the establishment. People are leisurely walking back and forth when the man in black starts his brazen act of vandalism. One older, thin Black man, donned in a pink shirt holding a pizza box, goes over to him in an apparent attempt to stop the mysterious man from breaking the windows. He fails. The man in the pink shirt, the camera person taping it all and confused others follow the man that has just violently disrupted peaceful protests and jump-started nationwide riots.
More than that, the act has stolen a moment that is in honor of George Floyd, the man who lost his life under the knee of then-officer Derek Chauvin. It was at that moment that the anti-police brutality and anti-racism movement became wrought with anarchists, alt-right extremists and a dark, clandestine otherness that has yet to be revealed. The narrative shifted and the waters effectively muddied.
Exhibit A: Mysterious Man With Umbrella And Gas Mask Breaks Windows In Minneapolis AutoZone
Over the weekend morning, Bill de Blasio, Major of New York City, acknowledged these odd forces in an address to the city and admitted that other leaders have seen it happen in their jurisdictions too.
“It’s so obvious what happened here. Last night I was communicating with mayors all over the country. Everyone was experiencing the same reality. This violent, organized effort - many times from people not from the neighborhoods where it was occurring or not even from the same city. So we’ve got to get to the bottom of this immediately. I’ve asked Deputy Commissioner John Miller to put together the information, obviously understanding security realities.
To put together all the information is been out in the public domain and I start to gather, as quickly as possible, and provide transparently information about the locations from which these “protesters” have come. I’m not saying most are from outside New York City, but some were unquestionably. And the most important part is not the location of their origin but the plan that they put together and try to execute. Deputy Commissioner Miller will be able to show you the kind of weapons people brought, the kind of strategies that were employed, the level of organization. This is not accidental stuff. This is not informal stuff. You’ll see it’s a systematic pattern and I am a progressive and I have spent my life participating in protest. This is not the American progressive protest tradition. This is not the tradition of Dr. King. it’s dangerous. It is counterproductive. It puts the lives particularly of young men of color in danger if it creates deeper tension between police and community. “
The proclamation was bold, but imperfect and incomplete.
Exhibit B: A Pair Of Non-Black Women Spray Painting “BLM” On Stores And Black People Buck Back.
Ashunta Sheriff-Kendricks, a celebrity makeup artist that has worked with Taraji P. Henson and Alicia Keys, experienced this first hand and recounted her outrage as another set of purported anarchists co-opted the protest of police brutality. Her account, however, is different from the one she re-posted on IG and these types of actions have been reported more times than can be included in this report.
“We protested yesterday and a group of #Anarchist were inciting for the protestors to break windows and attack cops. They were yelling at cops and creating hostility,” she stated on Instagram. “If you are not there for the cause of unifying humanity then DO NOT SHOW UP TO OUR PROTEST!!!,” Sheriff-Kendricks said on her public account. “We are all angry and enraged however inciting violence, destruction will never solve anything. We will be blamed for vandalizing, destroying our own communities. Sadly folks to me this to is white privilege. Why? As a white person you are creating a problem that Blacks will be blamed and judged for. It diminished the cause and reason we are protesting if you are destroying property and creating confusion. What don’t you get we are already negatively reported in the media so don’t add fuel to the fire. Be smart people don’t get swept up by anger and rage in these moments these white extreme groups, militia, undercover oops or whomever is acting out.”
There have been numerous theories on who is behind these rogue insurgents and all of them are plausible. However, some seem more mind-blowing than others.
Exhibit B: Bricks In A Random Place Where There’s No Need For Bricks
So many questions and very few answers. In some instances like the bricks by government buildings and the mystery man, some feel unseen forces want to arm angry protesters and nudge them to violence.
Right now, Philadelphia is a complete mess after a weekend of riots, looting and chaos, but it was not Philadelphians causing the worst of the calamity, sources say.
“They have bombs. They bombed a bar near where I live. They bombed cars in North Philly. Bombs,” one resident said under the guise of anonymity. “They (the cops) are shooting at the (purported) White Supremacists. They are not reporting that on the news. They are doing this in Black neighborhoods. There are no stores here or nothing. Just people. The police are blocking gas stations to avoid them from creating a bigger problem.”
The officials from the City of Brotherly Love also did something that they have never done before the last weekend of May 2020. They shut down Interstate 95, the Benjamin Franklin Bridge and just about every thoroughfare, all the ramps into the city over the weekend. These closures included the SEPTA transit system that transports people back and forth to the suburbs. SEPTA is still docked at the time of this writing.
And still, that is only a superficial solution at best.
Exhibit C: Vice Reports Three White Male Looters/Vandals Assaulting People
Nothing is what it seems.
Bill de Blasio and other mayors must now contend with dangerous, organized potentially well-funded forces that have reportedly overpowered the police. Again, nothing is what it seems. U.S. President Donald Trump has proclaimed ANTIFA a terror group, but others proclaim them allies. There is video evidence suggesting that ANTIFA or some other entity else pays common angry folks to rebel and riot.
Exhibit D: ANTIFA? Is That You?
Then there are “Boogaloos,” another covert group that seemingly preys on African Americans, trying to entice them into violent confrontations with authority. A story by Vice says they seek “impending civil war or violent confrontation with law enforcement.” Their mantra is in deep conflict as much of the African American protest movement is rooted in non-violence, historically and currently. One African American man in DC repeatedly stopped numerous attempts to start fires from protesters outside of the city. Rapper-turned-activist Tip “T.I.” Harris posted the interaction.
Exhibit D: T.I. Puts Anarchists On Blast
“Along with the video, T.I. stated, ”There are people who've been selected by organizations with ulterior motives, planted in crowds of protesters to antagonize violence & chaos. People who aren't for the struggle, who don't live in the cities they're destroying, & who could care less about the plight of OUR PEOPLE…"
Although it is not, it feels like this is the first time in a long time that white people have awakened to the plight of African Americans, others in the African Diaspora and people of color in general. George Floyd did not start the battle with police brutality and won’t likely end it. Even Colin Kaepernick, the blackballed professional football player, seems vindicated by the current events. It’s confounding and confusing.
Nobody quite figured it out. The man at the beginning of this story, the one who kickstarted the violent riots: what was the deal with him? Some determined that he is a police officer Jacob Pederson of the St. Paul Police Department, something the cops deny vehemently. He and the pizza man seemed to have a relationship…or not. There was something weird about the way the man held onto the pizza box and that bright pink shirt. Undercover cops have been known to color code clothing, paraphernalia or use objects to make themselves identifiable to other officers during protests and unrest. We’re supposed to believe them, the very people killing, terrorizing and brutalizing Black bodies?
Now, it seems, Black people have taken their attention from protesting police brutality to protecting police and property from brutality. Again, forcing oppressors to level up on all fronts. It is exhausting. The demand, at the moment, is simple: stop killing people.
The never-ending ask, in America, since we got here from Africa, has been “We want equality.” Racism is the pandemic without a vaccine. Racism is everywhere: The weekend warrior acting out his first rebel rodeo. The anarchist that comes into the city to destroy neighborhoods, only to go back to their safe, suburban haven. The media mischaracterization and assassination of real protestors by blaming them for the violence and damage perpetrated by the agent provocateur, so-called anarchist, and hidden hands, are the perpetrators of real crime. And don't get me started on government programs like CointelPro.
Black people only want a fair shot at the dream that has been dangled before our eyes for centuries.
The story never ends…the drama never ends…the peace never ends. So I will end this here.
No justice, no peace.