As complaints about Minneapolis looters began rolling in last night, some Twitter users pointed out the true looting that’s gone on in America during COVID-19.
American billionaires got $434 billion richer during the pandemic https://t.co/vqZYrHUjFq
— CNBC (@CNBC) May 21, 2020
The CNBC story is from May 21, but the tweet began making rounds again Wednesday night. Several users referenced and replied to it. Others sarcastically posited that this must be the looting everyone’s talking about.
This must be the looting everyone is talking about https://t.co/9jTnw7tMtM
— Natalie Shure (@nataliesurely) May 28, 2020
Good morning folks.
According to CNBC American billionaires got $434 billion richer during the pandemic.
This is the real looting. #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd
— Andy James (@Andy_J96) May 28, 2020
Billionaire and corporate profits are necessary to contextualize community looting. As millions of Americans have lost their jobs, healthcare, and homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, the wealthiest members of society have grossly enriched themselves. Large corporations have received half a trillion dollars in government funding and will likely get more before regular people do.
Billionaire defenders will say people like Jeff Bezos’ profits during coronavirus are much less than they would be under normal circumstances. But reasonable people would say that $434 billion is more than enough, especially for billionaires and large corporations that have benefited far more from COVID-19 relief bills than actual taxpayers have. That they’ve benefited this much during an enormous health and economic crisis says everything about the upward movement of wealth in American society.
This is awful out here. No police. Looting continues https://t.co/Zd1yQDgJFE
— Sam Thielman (@samthielman) May 28, 2020
Looters in the Twin Cities are being vilified for destroying their communities. But real looters of American society will continue pillaging and hoarding wealth sight unseen. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said that riots and looting are “the language of the unheard,” the only means through which marginalized and oppressed communities can receive the attention, validation, and justice they regularly cry out for.
But corporate looting? That’s just business in America.