By Don Frost
It is fashionable in “liberal” circles to blame Republicans, conservatives, and everyone to the Right of them for riots that have been wracking our country of late on one pretext or another. But, really? Every blessed last riot from Chicago, to Portland, to Oakland, to Minneapolis, and beyond has started with thousands of devotees of the Left wielding picket signs, marching and chanting whatever the loudest bullhorn tells them to chant.
When the inevitable happens, when the “peaceful protest” turns violent, the Left unites as one to blame everyone but themselves; everyone from President Trump to “Right-wing activists.” Somehow a handful of racists infiltrated their ranks, “liberals” claim, and turned thousands of idealistic “protesters” into rioters who only then set fire to police cars, threw bricks at the cops, and smashed store windows and proceeded to loot them.
What nonsense. No conservative turned those “noble protesters” into garden variety punks. They were eagerly looking for trouble – just waiting for the right moment to start it – when they grabbed a pre-printed picket sign from the Black Lives Matter organizer.
The roots of today’s riots run deep in “liberal” philosophy. In 2017 John Villasenor of the prestigious Brookings Institution polled 1,500 college students and found 61 percent thought it was just fine to shout down and otherwise disrupt speakers whose views they don’t like. Fully 40 percent said “hate speech” was exempt from 1st Amendment protection. A fifth approved of using physical force to stifle someone who says things they consider “offensive.”
No lengthy survey is necessary to determine these students’ political and social outlook. They’re the kids who demand “safe places” on campus, retreats where they need not fear being exposed to conservative thoughts, ideas, or philosophy; where such thinking is strictly forbidden.
They’re also a reflection of the incivility that Democratic Representative Maxine Waters preached to a crowd of admirers: “If you see anybody from that [Trump] Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd and you push back on them, and you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere.”
Taking her advice to heart, a mob recently invaded a Washington, D.C., restaurant and swarmed the diners, demanding they raise their fists to demonstrate their solidarity with the Black Lives Matter business organization. You have to wonder if this mob realized that what they were doing was precisely what Adolf Hitler’s Brown Shirts did in the ’30s in order to bring der fuhrer to power.
And then there’s that mob that descended on the parking lot of a Los Angeles hospital. Were they from the Left or Right? Were they “liberals” or conservatives? Let their actions speak for for them. Two police officers were in that hospital fighting for their lives. They’d been ambushed in what was clearly an assassination attempt. The mob chanted, “We hope they die!” It is perfectly reasonable to assume that particular mob participated in earlier “peaceful” protests and were, therefore, “liberal.”
The “liberal” press is not exempt from blame for fanning the flames of riots. Left-leaning CNN had the audacity to run video of fire-ravaged Kenosha, Wis., behind a headline that labeled it a “Fiery, but mostly peaceful protest.” It is a sad commentary, not just on our times, but on the state of today’s news reporting when journalists say with a straight face that a city engulfed in flames is simply experiencing “peaceful protests.”
An Associated Press report on the Oakland riots read, “. . . protesters set fire to a courthouse, damaged a police station, broke windows, spray-painted graffiti, shot fireworks, and pointed lasers at officers after a peaceful demonstration turned to unrest.”
If setting fire to a courthouse is the work of idealistic protesters, you have to wonder what it would take to get the AP to label the mob rioters. And they “damaged a police station”; spray-painted graffiti; shot fireworks; aimed lasers at the cops (these lasers were not harmless cat toys; they could cause blindness if the beam hit the officers’ eyes)? No. These were the actions of rioters, every one of which undoubtedly proudly claims to be “liberal.” Yet the AP and the rest of the Left-leaning press dignifies them with the mild-sounding moniker, “protesters,” simple people exercising their 1st Amendment right to protest. And to call all of these actions simple “unrest” is tantamount to endorsing them.
A genuinely peaceful protest is unrest. When you set fire to public buildings you cross a line. That’s when you become a terrorist.
Don Frost blogs at www.commonsense931.wordpress.com