Reports of the atrocities committed by protesters turned rioters in the wake of George Floyd’s death continue to pile up:
- In Minneapolis, where the protests began, rioters destroyed a bar that a firefighter spent his life’s savings to build. They burned down an 189-unit affordable housing development and a high-tech manufacturing company. They torched a police station and vandalized, burned, or looted nearly every single building in the surrounding shopping district. They attacked a tanker truck and beat the driver. And they attacked a woman in a wheelchair while looting a Target.
- Rioters in Atlanta damaged the College Football Hall of Fame and smashed windows at CNN’s headquarters.
- In Chicago, they smashed the windows of stores, including a Macy’s and a 7-11.
- In Denver, someone deliberately crashed their car into a police car, severely injuring 4 people.
- In Rochester, New York, rioters beat up a shop owner who was attempting to defend her store.
- Rioters apparently shot a man in a car in Richmond, Virginia.
- In Philadelphia and Los Angeles, people set police cars on fire.
- In Columbus, Ohio, they destroyed and looted the Milestone 229 restaurant.
- People vandalized Confederate monuments at the University of Mississippi and at North Carolina’s state capitol building. They vandalized statues of Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, and Jeb Stuart in Richmond, Virginia, and burned down the headquarters of the United Daughters of the Confederacy. They spray-painted the word “traitor” on the Confederate Defenders statue in Charleston, South Carolina. In Chattanooga, Tennessee, they vandalized a statue of General Alexander P. Stewart.
- In Nashville, people tore down a statue of lawmaker and newspaper publisher Edward Carmack, smashed the windows of the courthouse and set it on fire, and spray-painted obscenities on sidewalks.
- In Philadelphia, they set a statue of Mayor Frank Rizzo on fire.
- In Dallas, they beat up a store owner and stomped on his head after he attempted to defend his business.
- In San Antonio, Texas, they destroyed a mall and attempted to damage the Alamo, but were stopped by brave, armed citizens.
- In Washington, D.C., rioters vandalized historic sites around the National Mall, including the World War II Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, and statue of General Casimir Pulaski. They punched and kicked Secret Service agents and threw bricks, bottles, and rocks at them, injuring 60. They also vandalized 6 Secret Service vehicles. And they attacked Fox News reporter Leland Vittert and his cameraman.
- In Boston, people are currently setting police cars on fire, throwing bottles at journalists, and smashing the windows of various businesses including a bank, a clothing store, a shoe store, a cell phone store, a restaurant, and a Walgreens.
I could continue to add to the list, but then this blog post would be as long as a novel, and I would stay up all night working on it. Suffice it to say that the number of examples of protesters harming innocent people and their property is nearly infinite.
The only thing more infuriating than these senseless acts of destruction is the discrepancy between how the media and the general public have treated them versus how they have treated protests against authoritarian measures to stop the coronavirus.
The majority of comments that I’ve heard and read about the George Floyd protests from people in the media and on the internet have expressed praise, sympathy, and understanding. Even when it is acknowledged that harming innocent people and their property is wrong, emphasis is placed on how understandable the protesters’ anger is, how legitimate their grievances are, and how frustrated, hurt, and traumatized they are feeling. Those who criticize the acts of destruction are treated as the real problem. Additionally, not once I have I witnessed any media members comment on the lack of social distancing during these protests.
On the other hand, those who participate in protests against lockdowns and stay-at-home orders are routinely called “idiots” and “morons.” They have been suspended from their jobs and threatened with violence. Their cause – the right to privacy and freedom of movement – is mocked as petty and unimportant. People online have argued that these protesters have forfeited their right to medical services and that they should not be allowed to ride on public transportation. All of this despite the fact that, as far as I have heard and read, not a single anti-lockdown protester has harmed any people or property. And also despite the fact that the anti-lockdown protesters have the more legitimate and important cause. (This is not because George Floyd’s death wasn’t tragic and unjust – it absolutely was – but because the person who killed him has been fired, arrested, and charged, and nearly everyone agrees that his death was tragic and unjust. Stay-at-home orders, on the other hand, constitute a large-scale trampling on the rights of every single person, yet have gone not only unchallenged but actively supported by the majority of the media and the public, making it particularly important and courageous to protest against them.)
The protesters in Michigan who went to the state capitol while exercising their 2nd Amendment right to bear arms have been criticized more harshly for being “intimidating” than Black Lives Matter supporters have been for destroying buildings, vandalizing monuments, ransacking businesses, and beating and severely injuring people.
The attitude of society generally seems to be: Protesting peacefully against authoritarian government policies is selfish and irresponsible. Smashing, burning, and destroying everything in sight, however, is perfectly fine.
Did I miss a scientific discovery that being a supporter of Antifa or the Black Lives Matter movement confers immunity from the coronavirus?