Thug cop, righteously outraged citizens…then come the professional anarchists to set everything afire.
So — a bad thing happens. Happens to an African-American man. We’ve watched it. Been enraged and disgusted. (I’ll bet non-African Americans have suffered the same brutal injustice at the hands of a thug cop and we don’t know at this point the motive of this particular thug cop in a city I somehow believed might be generally more congenial on all scores only because it is in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s pacific, as in “peaceful and friendly” mid-west “where the dark fields of the republic roll on under the night.” But it’s either very significant or not that the victim was black. In the wired, camera-ready age, such things don’t escape public view, and it’s good that they don’t. (Let me modify that — many abuses do still undoubtedly escape public view, just fewer of them. ) Then, The Outside Agitators — such as ANTIFA — converge. The criminals and anarchists take to the streets to exploit the situation. They burn and loot. Shades of Detroit, L.A., Watts, Rochester, etc.,etc.etc. 170 business damages or destroyed in this episode — that can be updated by the hour. A police precinct burned down — and left undefended. Leaders retreat from the role of leadership, cowed into inaction. Fortunately, that seems to be changing. The home of the rogue jerk thug cop surrounded and food kept from being brought in even to his family (not that it is lawful to starve an accused criminal — and his family — to death). The attorney general’s house surrounded: intimidation, vigilantism, black racism ( one call recorded by cameras, “Kill all the Whites”.) Feckless pathetic politicians, race-bating charlatans such as Al Sharpton rush in.
I recall being at a drive-in movie in Fresno, California during the summer of ’67, a summer of much rioting in the nation. I’d walked to the concession stand in the middle of buy something and was walking back to the car where my friends and fellow employees at Kings Canyon National Park were waiting to enjoy the main featured movie. Suddenly on the big screen — they still had newsreels at the movies in those days — were scenes of Detroit burning during race riots there, an episode that helped begin that city’s decline. Then on the same big screen came a black-and-white image of President Lyndon Johnson addressing the riot situation. Echoing over the swarm of cars at the drive-in came LBJ’s words, “burning and destroying buildings has nothing to do with civil rights.”
This was the President who’d ushered with much political skill and maneuvering the monumental Civil Rights Act. Historians have said he was perplexed that he could do some much and then face this. He probably came to understand, as we must understand, that it isn’t all about racism. It’s about political anarchy and a belief that violence and upheaval usher in a new world order that generally falls outside anything we’d recognize as democracy, equality, racial harmony or justice. And it’s also kids of every race seizing the opportunity for destruction and trash all forms of authority. Listen to the lyrics of much rap music over the last generation. But it’s also about the “professionals” who know enough to exploit to the breaking point every civil unrest.
This is a tragedy redux. It will not end, ever, I fear. And I’m full of fear — as mass mayhem — that it bound to erupt down here in Florida, for what self-respecting trouble-making, race-baiting anarchist wants his neighborhood to escape the plague — falls into the middle of a pandemic which it shall also almost certainly re-ignite.
Pray. Then act. Or, at least, write or speak your own protest against criminal professional protesters.