"Let's say you're at a shindig of some sort - an office holiday party, a department function, the post-lecture refreshments, a gallery opening, a con, any place where there are a lot of other people, most of whom you don't know personally or well, and a lot of milling around.
In the course of this milling around, someone steps on your foot. Someone very much larger than you, wearing big, heavy shoes. And doesn't move off. You can't pull your foot out from under theirs. They're talking to other people and don't even notice through their thick soles and distraction, what they not only have done but are continuing to do.
You go "Ahem," and "Excuse me," and "Sorry, but you're standing on my foot," in a polite if urgent tone, but they can't hear you, partly because they're too tall, partly because of the party hubbub, and partly because they're not listening to you but instead the sound of their own voice and the appreciative remarks of their friends.
Your hands are full, so you cough louder, but it doesn't get any results. At this point, you can't even feel your toes any more. In desperation, you awkwardly shuffle your drink onto your plate and tap gently on their shoulder, but they don't notice it either. (Perhaps a couple of their friends have, though, and are discreetly trying to break into the monologue, but having no luck.)
Finally, in desperation, you raise your voice and shout "EXCUSE ME!" The foot-trapper turns their head to look over their shoulder, without moving their feet, and goes "What?!?" (Perhaps they brush their elbow against your arm, making your drink splash and scattering a cheese cube or three.)
"You're standing on my foot," you point out. "Can you get off it?"
"You're rude!" says the foot-squisher. "You shouldn't interrupt people in the middle of a conversation. Now I've lost my train of thought!" or maybe "It's rude to shout at people!" (Perhaps even, "Look what you did to my coat!")
And then they turn right back to the conversation they were having, without bothering to move.
When you point this out, again, they say smugly, "If you'd asked politely, I would have.""
When people complain about the looters and the riots more than they do about the miscarriage of justice that happens over and over again in our country, this is what I hear. I hear a demand that the oppressed just take it politely and put up with it for as long as it takes for this who are uninterested in changing to change. I hear a demand to assimilate. To join the dominant culture. To be better than human, because what human can suffer indignity over and over again without lashing out one day? Who can stand to go unheard for so long without finally yelling?
This is not to say I approve of riots or looting. I don't. And the people who turned peaceful protests violent should be prosecuted. The police who handled things with restraint should be commended for doing their job well. But when we deny a community justice, then also deny them the right to anger, misused as it may be, we are saying we have no respect for their humanity.