Sunday, May 31, 2020

"We Are Better Than This"

Remember the old proverb: Be careful what you wish for, you may get it. Most people seem to believe that it comes from China, but that seems subject to some dispute.

Wherever it comes from, we are living it today.

For the past three years the nation has been awash in seditious rhetoric. The American left, having run one of the worst candidates in American political history, lost the presidency to-- get this-- Donald Trump. Leftists far and wide proceeded to throw a monumental tantrum. In the name of their sacrosanct democracy they refused to accept the results of a fair election.

They called for the White House to be burned down, for Trump to be murdered and decapitated, for radical rioters to take over American cities. They lied and cheated to set up a phony impeachment process, one that ultimately failed. Now they are flocking to the so-called leadership of a man who is suffering from senile dementia, who barely knows what day it is, who assaults women by sniffing their hair in public. They do so because nothing could possibly be worse than Donald Trump. Where are their values? Out to lunch, I would say.

We had the pandemic, so the left decided that it could be a useful cudgel to beat on Donald Trump. Now, after a Minneapolis policeman obviously murdered a man named George Floyd, the nation has erupted in violence. It looks less like a protest and more like an armed insurrection. When you traffic in the rhetoric of mindless destruction, you might not like it when you get your wish.

Now, the American left is now getting its wish. The mayor of Portland, Ted Wheeler, a man who allowed Antifa fascists to take over sections of his city, suddenly finds the prospect of insurrection intolerable.Those who drooled over the greatness of Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s black liberation theology or who happily embraced Rev. Louis Farrakhan are getting their wish.

Naturally, Democratic political operatives, even including former Clinton Labor Secretary Robert Reich are spinning as fast as they can. They do not want to blame the rioters; they do not want to blame those who are fomenting chaos. They want to politicize the rioting by blaming it on Trump. And yet, how many of the rioters do you believe were Trump voters. This is not the Tea Party, bunky.

Reich wrote in The Guardian:

How has Trump responded to the widespread unrest following the murder in Minneapolis of George Floyd, a black man who died after a white police officer knelt on his neck for minutes as he was handcuffed on the ground?

Trump called the protesters “thugs” and threatened to have them shot. “When the looting starts, the shooting starts,” he tweeted, parroting a former Miami police chief whose words spurred race riots in the late 1960s.

On Saturday, he gloated about “the most vicious dogs, and most ominous weapons” awaiting protesters outside the White House, should they ever break through Secret Service lines.

Were you to ask what’s wrong with this picture, which more closely resembles propaganda than reasoned analysis, the answer pops immediately to mind. Reich has nary a word of condemnation for the rioters who were trying to invade the White House grounds. He has not a work of criticism for the mobs who are burning down cities across the nation. For him, its all about Trump. Trump is the great devil, the root of all evil. Whatever goes wrong is Trump’s fault. Whatever goes right is to the credit of those who have been showering the nation with hatred for these past three years.

As it happens, the cities that are burning are governed by Democrats. They are all sanctuary cities. Most of their mayors are inept and incompetent. When their citizens rise up in anger, the mayors declare that it not the fault of the rioters. They are not to be held accountable. They are to be forgiven, because the real problem is Trump. And the real problem is racism. Among those trafficking in this nonsense is the mayor of Minneapolis, the epicenter of the rebellion. One needs to say it but Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey comes out of this looking like a complete pussy.

Of course, saying that the problem is white racism makes black people appear to be powerless to do anything to help themselves. Harping on racism is a counsel of despair. It demoralizes. It makes black people dependent on others. If the only thing you can do is burn your neighborhood down, then why bother to work for a living, to do schoolwork, to try to get ahead in the world. And why, after all, love the country.

And yet, the message that has nearly gotten lost is this: if any community rises up as a vanguard of a revolution, it is going to suffer reputational damage. The New York Times contrasted the actions of the rioters with the sober and sensible words of the mayor of Atlanta:

Not far from the park, the city’s iconic tourist destination, some people climbed atop a large red CNN sign outside the media company’s headquarters and spray-painted messages on it. Some people jumped on police cars. Others threw rocks at the glass doors of the Omni Hotel, eventually breaking the glass, and shattered windows at the College Football Hall of Fame, where people rushed in and emerged with branded fan gear.

“It’s enough,” Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said in an evening news conference. “We are all angry. This hurts. This hurts everybody in this room. But what are you changing by tearing up a city? You’ve lost all credibility now. This is not how we change America. This is not how we change the world.”

The mayor’s words should stand out as the commentary on these riots, just as Rodney King’s statement-- Can we all get along?-- has come to represent the wisdom that came out of the Los Angeles riots.

The mayor continued:

Ms. Bottoms, the mayor, invoked her own experience as the black mother of four black children, one of whom is 18. She said when she saw Mr. Floyd die, “I hurt like a mother would hurt.”

But she said the demonstrations she saw in Atlanta were not a protest and not in the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. but “chaos.”

“You are disgracing our city, you are disgracing the life of George Floyd and every other person who has been killed in this country,” Ms. Bottoms said. “We are better than this. We are better than this as a city. We are better than this as a country. Go home. Go home.”

She understood, as few seem to have, that once you burn down your neighborhood or someone else’s neighborhood, it cannot just be rebuilt overnight. Stock markets might recover in a short period of time. Neighborhoods take much longer. The race riots of the 1960s should have taught us as much.

Worse yet, reputations often do not recover at all. The people who are out rioting, who are out conducting an insurrection against America, are going to damage the reputations of everyone who seems to belong to the same group. Mayor Bottoms understood this. She was horrified by it. She was right. You wonder how many politicians will have the same courage to stand up against the rioters and speak reason to their will to violence.


Anonymous said...

The next battleground will be in the autopsy room as the Floyd family hires Michael Baden to conduct another examination after the preliminary one casts doubt on asphyxiation as primary cause of death.

Anonymous said...

My appreciation for your blog, and in particular this post.
You say the difficult things the MSM is scared to state, and you say it very effectively.
Keep up the great work!

As to the current riots, we have seen this story play out too many times recently, let alone back to the 60's. What I never hear from the 'protesters' is their plan to make things better (a common discussion in the lives of those around me), but rather the abdication of responsibility, and the cry to have others do it for them. Something about you 'reap what you sow' seems to be lost on so many.

That being said, I retain the view of better days ahead, and expect to hold that perspective until my last breath, with the hope of having inspired those values among people that survive me! This is how we build a community, and by extension, a nation.

Sam L. said...

Of COURSE it was "unfair"; they didn't win! They lost, when they KNEW the fix was in.
(The HORROR!! The horror...)

trigger warning said...

I knew I'd seen this movie!

"1968: The Remake"

UbuMaccabee said...

The boogaloo has arrived! Ubu is currently drinking in my local bar, no mask, Bowie on the jukebox, smoking a cigar like Free Man. But I will be back after a swim and a test of my new Mossberg 570 tactical shotgun. It’s a beautiful machine. Ma Ubu’s new whistle.