It’s widely known that our betters say it’s OK to protest in massive groups despite the risk of coronavirus transmission, but small gatherings not in support of Black Lives Matter are still unacceptable. Now we’re told that it’s also fine for protests to turn violent as long as it happens for the “right” reason. Imagine, though, the howling that would have pierced our ears had there been a whiff of violence started by the protesters whose only demand was to be set free of the pandemic lockdowns.
Watching these developments, including the conquest of a chunk of Seattle by a band of louts, we are reminded of David Bowie singing “this is not America” 35 years ago. We’re losing what we were and becoming something much less than that. The evidence is in the following statement.
“Non-violence is an important tool for protests, but so is violence,” Wellesley College professor Kellie Carter Jackson recently said in a Slate interview.
Before dismissing that outrageous assertion as a lone and therefore meaningless opinion, consider that the acts of thousands are often cued by a single person. Then take a look at the effort to normalize that sort of thinking:
- Democratic Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey described the unrest as “a once in a lifetime opportunity,” adding, “yes, America is burning, but that’s how forests grow.”
- According to California Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters, “young people, they have a whole new definition for ‘looting.’”
- New York Times reporter Nikole Hannah-Jones, who directed the utterly mendacious 1619 Project, which might be the most racist screed published in the mainstream in this century, said “destroying property, which can be replaced, is not violence.”
- Essence magazine, which is by no means an underground publication, and surely holds some influence over its readership, recently posted an op-ed headlined “Burn It All Down.”
The Democrat-media-academe indoctrinalization complex of course is fine with all this. But when some rough-looking armed men hold a peaceful protest against the governor’s lockdown order on the steps of the Michigan capitol, we’re told they are dangerous extremists who created “a powder keg dynamic,” and were a “great security risk.”
Yet even the hard-left British Guardian admitted “the protest was largely calm,” which could not be said of the George Floyd demonstration “turned violent” a few weeks ago in Michigan in which “protesters smashed windows of the Romney Building, where the governor’s office is located,” says the Detroit News.
Similar tame protests in Huntington Beach, California, and elsewhere cranked up the social media mob, which characterized the demonstrators as selfish, disrespectful, fools, idiots, entitled a**holes, stupid, and contagious. Only days before she was excusing the looting “dedicated” to the memory of George Floyd, Waters said the lockdown protesters should be “ashamed of themselves” and “should not be encouraged in any way.”
The responses of course remind us of the Tea Party. It was accused of being a comfortable home for racists, Obama “birthers,” bitter clingers on the fringe, “nativist freaks, village idiots and Internet Hitlers.”
We were told that Tea Party activists were potentially violent, domestic terrorists, and haters. But the events were nearly always peaceful, and often upbeat. Participants even earned a reputation as self-policing demonstrators who cleaned up after themselves.
Contrast that with the Occupy Wall Street movement, which “had a profound effect on the conversation in the Democratic Party,” and was beloved by the media, and academia. It was overflowing with surly agitators who urinated and defecated in public spaces, destroyed private property, created “piles of stinking refuse,” and harassed people.
The Occupy progeny are now in Seattle. There, Christopher Rufo writes in City Journal, “Black Lives Matter and Antifa-affiliated activists have engaged in a pitched battle with Seattle police officers and National Guard soldiers.”
The city eventually decided “to abandon the East Precinct and surrender the neighborhood to the protesters,” leaving “Black Lives Matter protesters, Antifa black shirts, and armed members of the hard-Left John Brown Gun Club” free to seize “control of the neighborhood.” The barricades have been moved “into a defensive position,” and the area declared the “Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone.”
The Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone is an occupation and taking of hostages: none of the neighborhood’s residents voted for Antifa as their representative government. Rather than enforce the law, Seattle’s progressive political class capitulated to the mob and will likely make massive concessions over the next few months. This will embolden the Antifa coalition – and further undermine the rule of law in American cities.
This is apparently acceptable, because when President Donald Trump told Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan to “take back your city now,” he was told, in essence, to mind his own business – and that he is the problem.
While the media are generally ignoring Seattle because, says, DePauw University professor and media critic Jeffrey McCall, it “is a bridge too far for even a sympathetic media to cover,” the lack of coverage is tacit approval. In Latin, the phrase is “qui tacet consentire videtur.” In English, we’d say “silence means consent.”
Those entering the six-block section of occupied Seattle are told via cardboard sign “you are now leaving the USA.” What’s meant to be a taunt is closer to accidental reality. Maybe we’re more on the money than we first thought when we lamented what we’re seeing is not America.
— Written by the I&I Editorial Board