Alicia Garza, one of the co-founders of the Black Lives Matter movement, has weighed in on the violent protests that erupted in Charlotte, North Carolina, after the police shooting death of Keith Lamont Scott on Sept. 20.
Garza, in an interview with Complex published on Sept. 23, spoke out against the idea of being more outraged over broken windows and lost property than over the police failing to take “accountability for the violence that they enact in our communities.”
“The things that people get so concerned about is how do we stop the violence in Charlotte, but yet we’re not thinking about the fact that there’s been violence in Charlotte since way before whatever is happening there has happened,” Garza said.
For the 35-year-old activist, unrest in disenfranchised black communities should come as no surprise. Instead of placing sole blame on the black people who live in these communities, Garza argued, we should explore the circumstances that lead to this unrest.
“How do we stop violence, looting, and riots? The way that we stop that is by making sure that people have the things that they need to thrive,” Garza added.
“When people are systematically denied their right to adequate housing, adequate schools, to adequate food, to dignity ― this is a response and a reaction that we should absolutely expect.”
Protests in Charlotte, North Carolina, have continued peacefully ― a midnight curfew imposed during the violent protests that erupted last week was lifted on Monday.