When arson and violence pass off as protest

Protesters protest, they don’t damage property and hurt others. What is happening in America today is violence, pure and simple.

When US President Donald Trump trashes the mainstream media as fake news and generally slams public intellectuals, does he indulge in reprehensible rhetoric politicians are so prone to? It would be difficult to answer in the affirmative against the backdrop of violent protests in America.

The cause of protests is the death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man in Minneapolis. A white police officer Derek Chauvin is responsible for his death. He had pressed his knee against the neck of a prostrate and handcuffed Floyd.

The video of the incident went viral and has caused public outrage. Comeuppance was prompt; action has been taken against the errant cops. Chauvin has been charged with murder and the three accompanying officers have been fired.

The ostensible objective of protests is the elimination of “systemic racism” in the system. It is another matter that nobody has been able to highlight where it does exist. It was not that Chauvin and other cops have been retained on the pretext of mitigating circumstances.

Nor is there anything to suggest that there are people in the power structure who are using their position to instigate attacks on blacks by police. There is no politician, Republican or Democrat, conservative or liberal, governor or senator, in America who has tried to shield Chauvin. There is no evidence to support the theory of systemic racism.

Yet, everybody from Trump-hating politicians, academics, and journalists to film and sports stars are not just making wild statements but also, in effect, bestowing a verisimilitude of veracity on the lies peddled by the radical Left. Worse, they tend to lend legitimacy to the looters, murderers, and arsonists who are rampaging on the streets of US cities.

Protesters protest; but they don’t damage property and hurt others if they are genuine protesters. Mahatma Gandhi protested against the Raj; but he and his followers didn’t murder British officers. Anna Hazare protested against the United Progressive Alliance government and shook its foundation, but his followers didn’t physically attack Congress leaders.

What is happening in America today is violence, pure and simple. The organisations like Black Lives Matter (BLM) are racist; they use terror with impunity. There is a video shown on an American news channel in which a BLM activist confronts a young white woman. She is terrified by the activist, who then tells her (in hostile manner) that he would bring her to her knees because she had “white skin privilege.” She is asked to feel guilty and apologise for the white privilege. The so-called protests are not about justice for Floyd, which has anyway been arranged with the criminal case against Chauvin; these are about social justice. And social justice—at least in contemporary America—is the antithesis of justice. Social justice is not about individual behaviour and responsibility; it is about collectives. All white people are Chauvins; all black people are victims. Needless to say, these notions have little relation with the reality.

Since protesters’ notions are nebulous, fallacious, and even malicious, when these get executed the consequences are disastrous. A large number of people have been hurt; some even got killed. Dozens of cops have been injured. And it’s not just white people and businesses have been hurt. A retired black police captain in St. Louis, David Dorn, was also murdered by a looter while guarding a pawn shop. But what do prominent politicians and public figures have to say on the violence perpetrated by professional revolutionaries? When it is not support for the felons who have occupied America, it is guilt-mongering. Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said that the Floyd’s killing has “ripped open anew this ugly underbelly of our society.”

A Washington Post opinion piece saw Floyd’s death as “yet another reminder of how black people are killed by law enforcement in disproportionately high numbers.” But then blacks are also involved in disproportionately high numbers in violent crime. In 2018, for instance, according to the official data, “Of adults arrested for murder, 53.0 per cent were Black or African American, 44.4 per cent were White, and 2.6 per cent were of other races.” Blacks are about 13 per cent of the American population. I neither assume nor imply that blacks are violent by nature. Their high representation in violent crime has to do with social and economic factors and not ethnic characteristics or systemic flaws. Neither liberal politicians and intellectuals nor the mainstream media highlight these facts. They fuel passions instead. Celebrities join in the fun. Canadian singer and actor Justin Bieber wrote, “This makes me absolutely sick… angry… sad. Racism is evil.”

American actress Viola Davis wrote: “This is what it means to be Black in America. Tried. Convicted. Killed for being Black.”

 When facts are ignored and reason is banished, mayhem rules. In America it does now. The author is Editor, www.indianarrative.com