NEW YORK — The looting and riots that roared out of the George Floyd protests were surprising. The Left’s celebration of this violence is shocking. Rather than mere sweatpants-clad zealots in their moms’ basements, Democrat politicians and their Left-wing media comrades encouraged, enabled, and empowered those who saw four Minneapolis cops go low and then went lower.
•“A once in a lifetime opportunity,” is how Attorney General Maura Healey (D – Massachusetts) described this deadly turmoil. “Yes, America is burning, but that’s how forests grow.”
•U.S. Representative Maxine Waters (D – California) seemed unconcerned about hundreds of store shelves being vacuumed by marauders nationwide. “Young people, they have a whole new definition for ‘looting,’” she said. “They say ‘looting’ is predatory lending in, you know, minority neighborhoods, where they’re paying 300 and 400 percent on loans by these payday lenders.” So, according to the chairman of the House Financial Service Committee, the villains are not retail thieves but those who finance black and Hispanic loan applicants.
•Two days after looters ripped through Nordstrom, Old Navy, and other local stores, Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda (D – Seattle) said: “Colleagues, I hope we’re all saying we understand why that destruction happened and we understand why people are upset.”
•“But what I don’t want to hear is for our constituents to be told to be civil, not to be reactionary, to be told looting doesn’t solve anything,” said Mosqueda’s socialist colleague Tammy Morales. “It does make me wonder why looting bothers people so much more than knowing that across the country, black people are being killed.”
•“Burn It All Down,” an Essence headline instructed readers. Yesha Callahan cited George Floyd, other unarmed black victims of police-involved deaths, and the “insurmountable rate” of black COVID-19 fatalities. “Until these things disgust you, we riot, we protest and do whatever it takes to get your attention — including burning it all down.”
•Nikole Hannah-Jones of the so-called “Paper of Record” argued that “destroying property, which can be replaced, is not violence.” Does that include this Pulitzer Prize winner’s windows? Her furniture? Her home?
•“Please, show me where it says that protests are supposed to be polite and peaceful,” CNN’s Chris Cuomo demanded. Did Cuomo flunk high school civics? The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees “the right of the people peaceably to assemble.”
•“Riots are, at their core, a choice made by those in power, not people who participate in them,” The Atlantic staff writer Amanda Mull explained via Twitter. “If you build a society that exhausts and abuses people and privilege [sic] capital over human life, I’m not sure which other imaginary ‘civil’ options you expect people to exercise.”
•On June 1, BuzzFeed’s Ajani Bazile published “19 Tips For Anyone Who Plans On Protesting.” “Bring enough cash for food, transportation, or other necessities,” he recommended. “Bring snacks and water to keep your energy up.” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi would agree. They exemplified the power of non-violent protest, or what the latter called Satyagraha.
But King, Gandhi, and others might wonder why constitutionally protected peaceful demonstrators, as Bazile suggests, would “Wear clothing that covers tattoos, discernible scars, and birth marks that could be used to identify you.” Suspiciously, he also counsels: “If you are worried about the possibility of being tracked by law enforcement, don’t post on social media while you’re there, turn off Face/Touch ID on your phone, or bring a burner phone.”
These comments leave their authors in a moral landfill. More dangerous, of course, is how some respond.
“When you tell people their violence is righteous, you engage in what is called moral licensing,” National Review’s Zaid Jilani observed. “People start to think, not only does what I’m doing feel good, but it is even improving the world around me — even as it demonstrably does the opposite.”
Remember all of this on Election Day and vote as if your life, liberty, and property were at stake.
Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News Contributor, a contributing editor with National Review Online, and a senior fellow with the London Center for Policy Research.
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