Now that pro Trump people are rioting, they’ve adopted the term “insurrection.”
It’s wonderful that all of the left and news media have finally all caught up with conservatives in agreeing that insurrection and rioting are wrong. Now that the left and media finally agree rioting is wrong, will they call for prosecution of all, including those who committed crimes this summer in cities like Kenosha, Minneapolis, Chicago, Milwaukee, and Portland? Will they admit police are needed and shouldn’t be defunded or abolished, since they were clearly needed at the Capitol? We won’t hold our breath.
We’ve been saying for months that rioting, violence, and insurrection need to be met with the strongest legal challenge. Yet, many in the left and media responded to left-wing rioting by advocating defunding and abolishing police departments whose job is to counter them. They hurled negative and unfair rhetoric toward those police agencies. They even released statements sympathizing with a man who twisted toward officers with a knife after getting physical with them. Why the political hypocrisy?
We’re calling it out.
We don’t recall the similar outrage over the Black Lives Matter and Antifa riots and insurrection this summer or after Ferguson. If you think those were different because the Capitol was a bigger symbol, we think a police precinct (one burned, another was occupied) is a pretty big symbol of governmental authority and order also. In addition, the BLM riots caused widespread destruction to people’s small businesses. In Kenosha, a Department of Corrections building was torched. Both situations are bad. But the left and media haven’t treated them the same.
Instead, we saw movements to bail out insurrectionists. In June, Kamala Harris tweeted, “If you’re able to, chip in now to the @MNFreedomFund to help post bail for those protesting on the ground in Minnesota.”
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) June 1, 2020
We saw calls to understand and empathize with the rioters.
We saw politicians, like state Rep. Jonathan Brostoff, call curfews “racist,” attempting to strip government of the most minimal tools to respond. Milwaukee County Supervisor Ryan Clancy said curfews “embolden police violence.” In Portland, the Multnomah County DA declined to prosecute 70% of Portland cases relating to riots/protests, according to Oregon Live.
We saw the media sanitize its leaders, refusing to report their criminal records and gang ties. In fact, Milwaukee County Supervisor Ryan Clancy even apologized to the People’s Revolution, the group that rioted on a police officer’s girlfriend’s lawn, with one of its members now accused of a felony for discharging a gun at the officer. The Milwaukee County Board issues a resolution praising the group.
We saw governments create “autonomous zones” and talk about “summers of love.”
We saw politicians rail against federal intervention and police action to stop rioters and insurrectionists. They were even against non-lethal methods of riot control, such as pepper spray. The Milwaukee Common Council put a stop to MPD using tear gas as the Democratic National Convention loomed. According to WISN-TV, Milwaukee police explained that they “used pepper spray and smoke to break up a crowd of protesters they said threw glass, rocks even a Molotov cocktail at them. It was a force that city leaders thought was questionable.” Alderman Nik Kovac seemed a lot more upset about the pepper spray than the rocks and Molotovs, telling WISN: “Clearly, the Milwaukee police were using their violent capabilities and weapons unnecessarily.”
We saw prosecutors who refused to prosecute at all. Milwaukee City Attorney Tearman Spencer announced he would dismiss some curfew violations. Cook County’s top prosecutor Kim Foxx was criticized for being too lenient on riot-related prosecutions. Chicago Police Department Superintendent David Brown said looters have “learned there are no consequences.”
We saw public figures and media outlets put out misleading and false statements on police shootings and accept the myth of widespread, unjustified, racist police shootings as fact, even though the statistics don’t bear that out. Governor Evers referred to the justified shooting of Jacob Blake by using the word “mercilessly.” See a round up of appalling statements here.
But now they all say rioting and insurrection are wrong.
We think that’s great. To be clear: We think there is a major difference between peaceful protest and rioting or insurrection. We strongly support the right of people of all political beliefs to peacefully protest. Many Black Lives Matter protesters are peaceful. That’s true as well of many pro-Trump protesters. Our gripe is with none of them. We also acknowledge that BLM and Antifa rioters do not represent everyone on the left any more than the pro-Trump Capitol rioters represent everyone on the right. We also acknowledge that some on right and left have consistently condemned all rioting, looting, and insurrection. To also be clear, we think there are very troubling racial disparities in society and Milwaukee, including poverty, graduation rates, and health issues. We just don’t think the police caused them. We support addressing and understanding and studying the grievances of left-wing protesters. But we don’t think that means left-wing insurrectionists, criminal behavior, and violence should be sanitized and excused.
We are focusing here on the trend line of those who have not been consistent.
We’re consistent. We opposed rioting when the left did it, and we oppose rioting when the right did it. We think the rioting in the Capitol was disgusting. We think the people who did it should be prosecuted to the fullest extent. We are disgusted that pro Trump people were involved, and we urge all conservatives to reject wild conspiracy theories and crazy cults like QAnon. Of course, there’s hypocrisy on both sides. The Capitol rioters and anyone who supports them are hypocrites if they once claimed to be law and order or ever having opposed BLM rioting. We thought President Trump’s video saying he loved people after the rioting was wrong. Fifty cops were injured. A dedicated police officer lost his life. It’s all awful. Grievances, whether left or right, should be handled through proper channels, such as the court system.
People on the left will say the Capitol rioting was worse because the rioters were trying to stop certification of a free and fair election. Yes, that’s awful. But the BLM/Antifa riots struck at the heart of societal order. They were also awful. It’s not an either/or situation.
It’s interesting how the media’s language changes. In a true example of “pack journalism,” many reporters adopted the term “unrest” or civil unrest to deal with Black Lives Matter and Antifa rioting and violence.
This is a tepid word. The dictionary definition means, “a state of dissatisfaction, disturbance, and agitation in a group of people, typically involving public demonstrations or disorder.” It hardly describes businesses being burned to the ground or the looting seen at, say, the Magnificent Mile, where people apparently decided that running around with stolen designer purses was a way of demanding social redress.
Now that pro Trump people are rioting, they’ve adopted the term “insurrection.” This is a stronger word. The dictionary definition reads, “a violent uprising against an authority or government.”
We’re going to use insurrection for both situations. Those who argue, but the U.S. Capitol is different, might recall that some of the left-wing rioters targeted governmental buildings. They burned a police precinct in Minneapolis, torched a state Department of Corrections facility in Kenosha, and literally took over and occupied a police building in Portland.
Maybe now that the media and left have discovered that they oppose rioting and insurrection, we will get fewer puffy stories about BLM grill outs that ignore the fact people were also shouting F*** the police and more stories stressing prosecution and accountability when rioters break the laws. That would be a good thing, but we won’t hold our breath.