If you haven't yet read Beams and Struts epic multi-perspectival romp through the Vancouver riots, you must--go here now. While I work in downtown Vancouver (just a few blocks from the epicenters of the riots), I left the office early the day of the game because I was a little worried something might go wrong.
I didn't add a major contribution to B&S' reflection on the subject because my boss, Dean Peter Elliott wrote a letter to our congregation (whose building fortunately was not harmed in the riots) that to me said everything that needs to be said, and much more eloquently than I ever could say it.
I am deeply troubled both by the looting and the senseless destruction and even more by the explanation of its cause. “Hoodlums and hooligans” is how the rioters were described by many. Indeed their behaviour was all that those words mean. But I cannot help wondering about these mainly younger men: while we can call them names, and while I find their behaviour despicable they are each someone’s child, they went to schools, were taught in our classrooms, they played in our parks, they may well have attended our churches. As I’ve listened to the commentary there are repeated efforts to distance ourselves from ‘them’—but in my view, sadly, ‘they’ are us, at our worst, unmasked. And it didn’t take much.
Read the whole letter here.