The Mess of Arguing on Social Media

I’ve been trying to refine my stance on the validity of “looting” and the use of violence or property destruction to further BLM.

The real confusing thing is people are not all arguing about the same thing. When I initially spoke out vehemently against looting in my social media, some people responded with “if you care about the looting, you care more about property than saving lives.” But that’s not true at all. I care both about saving lives and doing it the right way. And it is because I care, that I care about the most effective way of achieving that goal, not just being obediently silent to whomever is condoning the most immediately attractive path. I believe looting is an especially risky and counter-productive way of bringing about social justice.

Unfortunately, Fox news and other media channels also criticized the looters for their own purpose (upholding the status-quo, trying to protect police, trying to glorify their own response to the situation) so some might have even misunderstood me as another Fox news supporter because I started to sound similar to them. 🙁 But our intents were completely different. Fox news and Trump were trying to spin looting narrative for their own profit. I was trying my best to talk sense into people so they don’t commit something they will regret later.

And when I say looting, it had nothing with only destroying property, fire hydrants or whatnot. It actually had to do with people disguising as protesters and then going into stores (such as downtown SoHo) and stealing bags, shoes, goods and other things for their own material gains. Due to journals and newspaper sources, apparently it is very common in historic times (even during LA Rodney King riots) for petty criminals and thieves (in all races, not just one) to disguise as protesters in times of unrest and really just rob shops and stores with no concern for the actual protests themselves.

I also have been realizing that not all property destruction can be treated the same. For example, I am now supportive of symbolic gestures such as taking down statues that have deep relationships with slavery or racism (happened in UK I believe per what I heard) or even what happened during Boston Tea Party, where a group was trying to send a clear message to the powers that be . The message from both instances is clear and was executed by an organized group that cared about the higher purpose. Those cases could be exceptions where it’s justified.

But on the other hand, what message does it send to rob bags and shoes from small business owners of all races when it’s a group of unruly people who really might be doing it with no concern for BLM or anti-police brutality?

I want to see the numbers. I want to see the statistical tally and the division between how many of those lootings are actually organized, symbolic gestures designed to further the BLM movement and send an anti-racist message versus how many are actually unorganized, spur-of-the-moment actions committed by people whose primary focus is stealing. Based on the footage I’ve seen and even African-American ministers and leaders speaking out against the craziness of looting, I wouldn’t be surprised that it is skewed toward the latter demographic.

The one thing I was disappointed by with people on social media is that many peers jumped to defending the looting, somehow believing that “if you don’t support the looting, you don’t support BLM or African-Americans at all” perhaps from the fact that there were African-Americans who were defending the looters too. And in the end, many seemed to echo the sentiment that “because people are angry, looting is okay.”

Right or wrong is a hard thing to determine nowadays. With social media, there’s literally billions of opinions and footages and photoshopped pictures floating around, easily infiltrating people’s minds. I really hope God shows us the path. I still do believe in what Jesus used to say. Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the Children of God. Blessed are those persecuted for the sake of righteousness for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Love those who hate you. Bless those who curse you.

Truth and justice will withstand the test of time. Even if we are misunderstood for being truthful and standing up for justice during the current time, justice and truth will always prevail and the fighters of just causes will always be judged accordingly with enough time. Truth will reveal itself sooner or later. Whether I am wrong or not. It is all God’s will.

2020 Protests

To believe in nonviolence does not mean that violence will not be inflicted upon you. The believer in nonviolence is the person who will willingly allow himself to be the victim of violence but will never inflict violence upon another. He lives by the conviction that through his suffering and cross bearing, the social situation may be redeemed.”


My heart goes out to suffering African-American people. I want to support as best as I can, however limited I am. To disseminate the kind of helpful information that will propel the movement forward might be one thing I can help with. One thing that has helped me the most gain perspective is to go back to history so that we don’t repeat the mistakes of the past but rather learn from the greats who achieved justice in the past.

One heated debate lately is around looting and violence. My belief is that the seed of violence used to achieve a certain goal reflects itself in the results that come out of it, perhaps not right away but eventually and surely slowly eroding the culture of the people engaged in it. The means used to achieve an end have a direct impact on the end itself, per Gandhi many years ago. Justice achieved through violence have a tendency to fall back to injustice through violence that proceeds it.

What makes the matter even more complicated is that most looters may not actually be passionately involved with BLM at all. There seem to be subgroups of people who, disguised as BLM protesters, are seriously looting stores down in Soho for their own profit, and then when people question their behavior, they lash back out to the questioners and call them “racists.” There needs to be much more clarity around who’s actually causing the looting because it’s a whole another debate if it’s a symbolic gesture from BLM leaders to target only racist businesses or slaver statues and etc. (rightful targets.) Or if it’s really just people, not caring about BLM at all, causing chaos.

When people say I should be caring more about black lives than property damage, I care about both: black lives and destruction in neighborhoods. Small property damage itself is not what I’m concerned about. But the unintended consequences to BLM from looting are far more important than minimal property damage. It carries so many negative consequences. Votes, for one. Votes that we need to create actual change with.

I’ve learned a lot and changed my positions on various things over the past few weeks of protests. But when it comes to looting, even George Floyd’s family condemns the looters saying the family is a God-fearing family that will never condone the looters.

When people jump to it saying that “we don’t get to judge how African-American grieve over Floyd” or “we should just be listening,” we are not actively engaged in bringing justice and fighting injustice. We should be more actively engaged in bringing justice while actually fighting the forces and behaviors that will amplify injustice or slow down justice. Looting will slow down justice and keep protests off-focus. “We will disobey the law unless you give us what we want.” is short-term thinking at best when there’s so many other tools and actions in our disposal. It’s a mild form of “the end justifies the means.” That path may hold very bad less obvious consequences down the line, that we might not be able to realize right away. Most importantly, we haven’t exhausted all options before going down that path. With civil war comes more innocent deaths and a cycle of vengeance and hatred. It doesn’t have to come to that.

Per Dr. King’s autobiography, he was inspired by Gandhi who mobilized the highest number of people in the history of mankind at 230 million to fight for independence of India. He told us a good seed bears a good tree. A good tree cannot come from a bad seed. Therefore, when violence and rage are used to incite looting and riots to fight oppressors, the same kind of violence and rage will continue to ensue even after the fighting has stopped, destroying future moral code for younger generations.

I believe in the way of truth that is modeling Jesus, Gandhi, MLK. Jr. They knew the incredible longevity and perseverance of nonviolent resistance that garners public unity slowly but surely. What most young people seem to be confused about is how to choose whom to follow. Whether they will follow the charismatic “rage” types who are screaming from the top of their lungs condoning violence and arousing everyone emotionally. Or if they will listen to the words of truth and love that Jesus, Gandhi and Dr. King taught, being able to think about the long-term consequences of the means of protest. I pray that God will show us the answer.

Mandela’s absolute determination to keep moving forward on a peaceful path, in the face of intolerable provocations, rather than resort to revenge or violence, was unheard of at the time. I recall two USA diplomats commenting that if the multi-party negotiation process succeeded, it would be a world first.There’s no doubt in my mind, it was Mandela’s unique and leading role in seeking a peaceful and negotiated constitutional settlement that prevented the country slipping into civil war.