Posts Tagged ‘Protests’

UNDERSTANDING THE PROTESTERS

November 15, 2020

The right of peaceable assembly is one of our Constitution’s guarantees, and goes hand-in-hand with freedom of speech. It’s been exercised vigorously throughout our turbulent history, and has certainly, in the balance, contributed to our success at maintaining the union. Like free speech, I will always support this right, even through times when the risk comes frighteningly close to upending the benefit. This is such a time.

The most recent spate of protests that in multiple instances either incited or provided cover for violence and terror, fall into this category. They were promulgated and supported by two groups, Black Lives Matter, Inc, and Antifa, and were built on a platform of an America as a systemically racist nation, and triggered by ostensibly racist police action. Both the foundational principle and the trigger can be clearly demonstrated to be lies, yet millions of people eagerly adopted them and acted on them. This is unarguable fact, so we must endeavor to explain it. I’ve previously laid out in depth the reasons the systemically racist narrative in current America is false, and have yet to see a cogent argument countering this, other than examples of inequity of socioeconomic outcome cited as a priori proof. The triggering event involving George Floyd was evidence of an incident of police incompetence/brutality, without an element of racism ever being presented (and with a call on all sides for investigation and appropriate action). Statistics, outlined in detail in prior rants, refute the conclusion of systemic racially-motivated police brutality, and subsequent events used to fuel the continued call to action were also overwhelmingly without any evidence of racial intent, and many were legitimate police actions.

While the motivations of the leaders of the movement are clear, since the BLM, Inc. organization unabashedly admitted its Marxist roots before attempting to hide them, the willingness of so many others to follow is more complex. It’s simplistic to assume a movement of this magnitude here in the US is all socialism-driven. The vast majority of protesters are young adults, and while they may have been miseducated on the failures and dangers of socialism, I would posit that most are not motivated by this call to fundamental sociopolitical change. Instead, I believe their primary motive is altruism.

Life becomes shallow without purpose. It is the striving for something better that gives us self-worth, not the achievement. The examples of wealthy, even famous, people dominated by bitterness and resentment are legion. For decades in the US, people at each stratum of the socioeconomic ladder have had an exceptionally high standard of living compared with most places in the world. Once the dragon of the struggle for daily survival is slayed, people have time and energy to look elsewhere for purpose, and slaying the dragon of social injustice looms large. This need for purpose can be harnessed by good people for good ends, or by bad people for ends that can be self-destructive. Despite our relative affluence, there are still plenty of social ills that need attention; the situation is even more dire overseas. So manufacturing a politically convenient “cause” straight out of our past was a masterful act of immorality that not only leads us down the wrong path, but diverts our good people from the heroic work they would otherwise be doing (combating the rising tide of homicides, the failing educational system, and the true modern slavery of sex trafficking, to name a few). The brilliance of the deception is underscored by the leaders’ manipulation of human psychology. Once a cause has been inculcated, it can be inextricably entwined with the person’s sense of self-worth, particularly in a social climate where God has been marginalized. Any attempt to exorcise this belief will be regarded as frightening and dangerous, resulting in the demonization of those that try. It’s simply human nature to avoid and deny evidence that our deeply held beliefs are built on a foundation of quicksand.

The road to the truth is harder to find than ever, but cannot be washed away. There are encouraging signs, even now, that the lamps lighting the narrow path between chaos and order are being lit.

SO WHAT DO WE DO NOW? (OR, BETWEEN A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE)

June 14, 2020

Events have unfolded with breathtaking rapidity. Many of those that have pooh-poohed the idea of social and economic catastrophe in the past with the notion, “it can’t happen here,” can now, with little imagination, see that “it,” indeed, can.

The many minds susceptible to the narrative they’ve been fed for decades in a strategically placed trickle, now a generalized torrent, are still finding ways to shoehorn events into the convenient phrase, “It’s Trump.” The leaders of this nonsense, who know better, don’t care, because it’s the cornerstone of the campaign to defeat him. They know that in politics, and arguably now in life, truth is secondary to perception (actually, truth is not part of the equation at all), and Biden is an extraordinarily weak candidate, perhaps more so than Hillary was. So any means of defeating Trump is justified. Ironically, the widening racial divide began during the administration of the first elected black president, his remarks, fueled by his belief system, gently and insidiously prying us further apart. So now we’ve come to this: Outrageous events like the formation of the Republic of CHAZ (the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone, for those of you, like Washington State’s governor, that may have been asleep) by Black Lives Matter activists in the middle of Seattle. This, too, can now be milked for political gain. The president’s threat of federal action if local authorities take no action (and it was by order of the governing local authorities that CHAZ was able to “secede,”) were met by the angry mayor’s boring, predictable aspersions painting the president as a divisive autocrat (another example of projection). She equated the current conflict as similar to prior street festivals, indicating that nothing was out of control. This, while the city’s black chief of police publicly apologized to her officers for abandoning the precinct on orders, and to everyone else for the tripled response time for 911 calls from 6 to 18 minutes. Don’t worry, the plight of those raped or killed related to the delay will not be reported by the mainstream media. Meanwhile, armed guards calling themselves the new police circulate, requiring obeisance to their “rules,” and outrageous demands are circulated to everyone else. Evidence was forwarded to me by a friend and a family member that photos on a Fox News site were photo-shopped to make the occupation appear worse than it is; to be clear, creating false news is wrong, no matter which side engages in it. The Right would be wise to avoid this tactic which has been a hallmark of progressive “news” sites for a long time. Even sporadic failings will be seized upon as evidence of a “systemic” problem, weakening the validity of any subsequent criticism of this immoral tactic. Besides, if you are speaking truth, there is never a need for deception. The doctored photos, in this case, will only serve to bolster the apologists’ (and the Seattle mayor’s) arguments that this take-over is tantamount to a peaceful protest or street festival.

If I sound angry, it’s because I am. And every right-thinking citizen should be, too. A group hijacking the name Black Lives Matter whose only focus is a manufactured, hyped narrative of systemic police brutality while ignoring the true factors keeping the black community down is using its own brand of brutality to justify isolating a portion of a major city, minimize the heinousness of looting and rioting, and propose a policy of defunding the police, with the true local governors complicit. And by exploiting their appropriated name, they try to intimidate anyone who feels that black lives matter, which is virtually everyone, into going along, or labeling them overtly, or by default, as racist. And shockingly, this narrative has infected the scientific community. I’ve received emails/articles/op-eds from the AMA and New England Journal accepting the narrative on face value as fact, without a single attempt at providing corroborating data, disputing the evidence to the contrary, or sharing a dissenting voice. This is science? Sorry, I’m not buying it. I’m not racist, I hate what the group Black Lives Matter is doing, and I believe black lives matter. I’m also not afraid to say the forbidden “Voldemort”—all lives matter. No, it’s not a dog-whistle to the alt-right, white supremacists, or anyone else. It’s just the moral thing to say.

So now we come to the crux of this rant: The pushback to the escalation of Leftist tactics, thus far, has been muted, both as a consequence of weak, complicit Leftist governance and because the rest of us still hope to deescalate the tension, since we all do agree that police brutality and racism are evil. But this has been seen as weakness and the opposite is unfolding. And if another rogue operative in the form of law enforcement or an extremist comes along while tensions are high, the effect could be devastating. We may be on the brink of losing the thin blue line that keeps the villains at bay. If we don’t step up by supporting our police, they will stop supporting us, and people willing to place their lives in danger to serve and protect will withdraw. This will inevitably lead to an increase in violence. And if we do the right thing, counter-protest in their name, the violence will increase. Hence, rock and hard place. Given the choice, I would always opt for the right thing.

If you believe that your hatred of Trump burns so bright that turning the country over to Biden (or, the sad way things are going, to his likely more radical running mate), so be it; our country is already lost. I’ve seen the polls. However, they’ve been wrong before (as in 2016). If current events are opening your eyes, close the door on these extremists in November. You don’t have to like Trump; as I’ve said before, there’s a lot about him not to like. But there’s a lot more about the opposition to hate, and it’s playing out before your eyes. Let’s keep it out of your neighborhoods.

Postscript: At the time of this posting, a name change proposal of CHAZ in in process to CHOP (Capitol Hill Organized (or Occupied) Protest). Also, my dire prediction is being borne out as a Wendy’s was burned in Atlanta in the wake of Rayshard Brooks being killed by a police officer while resisting arrest and fleeing, after turning and firing a taser gun at the officer. The officer was fired without going through the usual investigation process to determine if lethal force was inappropriate. Stay tuned….

DON’T TAKE THE KNEE—UNLESS YOU’RE A RACIST

June 7, 2020

Some of the most disturbing images to me were of citizens and police taking the knee before black activists. It’s pernicious, racist and destructive.

Fear of being labeled racist is understandable; anyone actively discriminating against or mistreating another based on skin color is committing an abhorrent sin. Using the threat of labeling someone who isn’t racist as such, to serve an agenda, is equally reprehensible, and immoral. But it has now become a standard political ploy. It’s so pervasive that it has cheapened the term and confounds our ability to root it out like the parable of the boy who cried, “Wolf!”. And giving in to this is appeasement.

You’d think historical precedent would have taught us. Pre-WW II, Neville Chamberlain (and he was not alone) became notorious for his feckless attempts at appeasing Hitler. Despite the disastrous results, the tactic of appeasement in the face of authoritarianism continues unabated. While Ronald Reagan remained steadfast against the naysayers in his opposition to communist totalitarianism, abetting the collapse of the Soviet Union, Obama chose an appeasement approach with Iran, providing payments that not only allowed them to continue disbursing funds to terrorist factions but likely staved off a similar economic collapse of the dictatorial, oppressive government. To view taking the knee as other than another example of appeasement of an authoritarian demand, two things have to be true: The first is that we are still the systemically racist nation the activists claim. To date I’ve seen little if any proof to support this assertion, and studies and statistics belie it; always cited as proof is our undeniably problematic past history with respect to our black citizens (a portion of which I’m old enough to have seen), which everyone (except small, evil fringe groups) agrees was unsupportable and immoral. Sporadic events of bad cops harming black individuals (some with a racial motive, but all attributed to racism in the current climate) will continue and should be vigorously prosecuted and the perpetrators punished, as in the current instance. These despicable events, when a racial motive is proved, such as with the sad recent case of Ahmaud Arbery, show that racism is alive and well, but they do not prove the persistence of systemic racism any more than do other pieces of heartstrings-tugging anecdotal “evidence.” It seems like just yesterday the “efficacy” of hydroxychloroquine against COVID was erroneously reported in the same manner. The second necessary component to support taking the knee is that all the people kneeling are knowingly or unknowingly racist and are or have been engaged in an ongoing effort to subjugate black people on the basis of their skin color (the “white privilege” argument). I reject both of these premises. And to assume that not obeying or remaining silent is a show of tacit approval of racism and police brutality, rather than a rejection of the above premises, is also wrong and immoral.

It takes courage to face the wrath of those voices, previously only associated with the far Left, willing to label you as racist for failing to cow-tow to their beliefs. Even many of the large corporations have caved; I just got an email from Walmart lamenting George Floyd’s death. While I share their despair, I object to the vague “push for change” the urge to build “a more inclusive society,” echoing the narrative of institutional racism eating at our core without citing specific policies that support the claim. To me, it rings hollow, like a mea culpa to sic the dogs of the Left on anyone but themselves. While taking the knee may, in the short term, tranquilize the beast, like the high of a short-acting opiate, it never lasts. The race baiters engaging in this despicable power-seeking behavior will be emboldened (as positive reinforcement is wont to do) and the demands will intensify. Unfortunately, not just the words, but the actions, up to and including violence, will also intensify. And my fear is that this will elicit a backlash that can be exploited as proof of further racism, especially if some or all of the violence comes from true, fringe racist/white supremacist groups, further aiding the activists’ push against all who dare defy the narrative. Such a positive feedback loop can rapidly destroy a country. So, if you genuinely believe you are racist and need to atone for your personal transgressions, far be it from me to tell you not to apologize in any way you deem appropriate. Feel free to protest police brutality (I’m with you, it’s bad), murder, or rape, or the many other human depravities we’re prone to, although I don’t know how demonstrating against things we all know are bad without citing specific policies that we need to change does anything other than proclaim our virtue, our membership in the “club,” or serve to support misguided, false, and destructive message.

Otherwise, stay on you feet and fight—for freedom, unity and everyone’s rights, regardless of skin color.

MY PROTEST: THE THINGS I GRIEVE AND APPLAUD

June 4, 2020

Note: No businesses were destroyed or persons maimed or killed in the creation of this protest.

I grieve:

  • George Floyd, 46, Minneapolis, MN, dead from police brutality
  • Shay Mikalonis, 29, police officer, Las Vegas, critically wounded
  • David Dorn 77, retired St. Lous police captain and police chief of Moline Acres, MO killed trying to stop pawn shop looting
  • David McAtee, 53, restaurant owner, Louisville
  • Dave Patrick Underwood, 53, federal law enforcement officer, Oakland, CA
  • Chris Beaty, 38, Indianapolis, IN
  • Italia Kelly, 22, Davenport, IA
  • Calvin L. Horton, Jr., 43, Minneapolis, MN
  • Javar Harrell, 21, shot in car, Detroit, MI
  • How few of us will remember any of the names of the above (ironically, many of them black), except for George Floyd
  • The many unnamed police officers and other innocents injured in multiple locations throughout the US
  • The burned and vandalized workplaces of the hard-working business owners of all colors
  • The unsupported contention of a systemically racist country belied by a people willing to place a black man in the White House and who overwhelmingly condemn the loss of George Floyd to police brutality, and by the vigorous pursuit of justice against the perpetrator and against his passive accomplices
  • The loss of a citizenry united in a belief of the principles that have enabled us to become the greatest country in the history of the world via the dissemination of false narratives that denigrate our achievements, exaggerate our flaws, and threaten our survival as a nation; a nation that has demonstrably overcome, even within my lifetime, most of the institutionalized racism and misogyny of years past
  • Protests triggered by these false narratives that divide us and provide cover for the violence
  • Grandstanding politicians without the guts to stand up to violence

I applaud:

  • The brother of George Floyd for telling the world, this is not the way he would want his death memorialized