I’ve seen a lot of posts all over social media condoning rioting and looting in the name of the cause…with the justification its not a big deal because they’re covered by insurance, and financial damage doesn’t matter in comparison to the broader issue of police injustice.
While property will of course never be as important as a life, the reality isn’t really so simple.
It can be extremely difficult for small business owners to recover full damages from insurance. There is tons of paperwork, bureaucracy, and documentation involved…and often the insurance companies fight back on claims to reduce their liabilities. Sometimes owners don’t have specific coverage policies that the damage/theft falls under, or theres some hidden exclusion. And given the current situation with so many businesses already struggling, most likely won’t have adequate savings to ride it out until they’re paid. This will be a death blow to many small businesses across America…along with the livelihoods of the owners and people who work there.
The US has had a long history with race-related riots. Time and again history has shown that indiscriminate looting/civil unrest has serious long term negative consequences in the most affected neighborhoods, which almost always disproportionately affects black communities and other minorities.
In many cases, most businesses never return to looted/burned areas (Eg. Watts, Newark, Detroit, Furguson). This leads to a downward spiral of increased unemployment and plummeting property values. These are the very issues which fuel the cycles of poverty, low education, reliance on government, drugs, and crime within minority neighborhoods that leave them even more vulnerable to systematic disenfranchisement and over-policing.
The big corporate chains will all be fine….they may choose not to rebuild in those same locations (leading to even more unemployment…food deserts…etc), but they’ll be fine. Everybody else, including the minority business owners, probably won’t be. The scars from this week will take a long time to heal.
Just some food for thought for those who look at disorganized rioting and looting as a necessary means to an end….or “just property damage”. Its not about the property, its about the long term consequences within the community that work against the actual cause.