Tag Archives: riots

Hillary and the Left flirt with political violence

Summary:  The Left’s reactions to the San Jose riot reveal why we’ll get more riots — and worse. The previous post quoted Leftists excited about violence — when their side uses it (Trumps’ supporters will be deemed brownshirts if they use violence). This, the third post about the increasing violence of Campaign 2016, looks at the response by Democratic leaders.

“The thugs were lucky supporters remained peaceful!”
Tweet by Donald Trump. He made no promises about the future.

If we don’t keep a leash on our leaders, this might be America’s future

Violence

Videos show the small scale attacks against Trump supporters at the his San Jose rally. It’s an escalation from previous attacks. Most of those on the Left excused those, so the weak condemnations shouldn’t surprise us. Local leaders, good Democrats, replied with the standard justifications of politicians to the actions of the violent allies (popular fronts often have an associate violent “fringe” doing their dirty work). San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo gave the “blame the victims” defense, as if Trump’s words forced rioters to attack his supporters.

“At some point Donald Trump needs to take responsibility for the irresponsible behavior of his campaign. It is regrettable that this has become a pattern for cities hosting Mr. Trump across the nation.”  {His tweet.}

On CNN Hillary echoed the sheriff’s blame the victim attack, conflating Trump’s language with rioters’ actions — using the rioters’ actions to condemn Trump.

“I condemn all violence in our political arena. I condemned it when Donald Trump was inciting it and congratulating people who were engaging it. I condemn it by those who are taking violent protests to physical assault against Donald Trump. This has to end. He set a very bad example.

“He created an environment in which it seemed to be acceptable for someone running for president to be inciting violence, to be encouraging his supporters. Now we’re seeing people who are against him responding in kind.

“It should all stop. It is not acceptable.”

Eventually the local authorities prepared a rational story. The San Jose Police released a statement (red emphasis added)…

Continue reading

San Jose’s riot tells us about the Left, Trump, & the coming violence

Summary: The violence after the recent Trump rally reveals so much about our America. Let’s start with the facts, and then look at the even more interesting reactions by the Left. It’s a story of political theory, myopia, and hypocrisy.

Journalists watching the riot at Trump’s event in San Jose reported with photos and videos.

“Donald Trump supporters were mobbed and assaulted by protesters on Thursday night … The violence broke out after the event in San Jose wrapped up just before 8 p.m. Some Trump supporters were punched. One woman wearing a “Trump” jersey was cornered, spat on, and pelted with eggs and water bottles. Police held back at first but eventually moved in. …several protesters were arrested and one officer was assaulted in the melee.” {NBC News.}

Protesters waved Mexican flags and one could be seen burning an American flag, with another burning Trump’s “Make America Great Hat.” Some chanted “F— Donald Trump” and “Donald Trump has got to go” … As Trump supporters exited the rally, protesters shouted insults at them and accused them of being racists …At one point, a man was sucker-punched and knocked to the ground and police arrested his assailant. In another instance, demonstrators closed in on a Trump supporter and started punching him in the face… {CNN’s report.}

Katrina Pierson, national spokesperson for Trump’s campaign, gave us one perspective on this: “Media complained that I say anti-Trump protesters are anti-American. They are flying the Mexican flag & burning the American flag tonight.” {Source: Twitter.}

Bien pensant Vox journalist Emmett Rensin gives us a liberal’s perspective on these events. It tells us much about their view of America, and what they consider the boundaries of free speech and political thought.

“Advice: If Trump comes to your town, start a riot.” on June 3, 2016.

“Let’s be clear: It’s never a shame to storm the barricades set up around a fascist.” on June 3, 2016.

After people followed Rensin’s advice, he justified his statements.  First, it’s everyone’s fault! He gives passive aggressive support to the rioters.

“What, we can’t repeat every day that a man is a unique threat to the fabric of society without some people taking us up on that?” {June 3, 2016.}

“And listen: I do tend to agree Trump is atypically threatening. That’s why I’m not going to condemn rioters.” {June 3, 2016.}

Rensin conflates “protest” with “violent riots”, a standard line of defense for liberal hypocrites.

“This is the same thing. Instinct is to concern troll people protesting as an affront to democracy and the rule of law. It’s a bad instinct.” {June 3, 2016.}

It’s ok for Rensin’s team to wreck other people’s property. Again, he doesn’t say if the right can also legitimately do so.

“It’s very simple: All violence against human lives and bodies is categorically immoral.
Property destruction is vastly more negotiable.” {June 3, 2016.}

Rensin explains that conservatives pointing at inconvenient facts are wrong (that’s the essence of political correctness).

I am looking for a charitable interpretation of this tweet {June 3, 2016.}:

 

The Left’s power to designate someone as “Hitler” justifies violence!  Can the Right designate someone as “Stalin”, justifying political violence? Rensin doesn’t say.

“Listen, if Trump is Hitler then you’ve got no business condemning rioters. If he isn’t, you’ve got no business pretending normal is better.” {June 3, 2016.}

Other perspectives on the San Jose riot

San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo gave the “blame the victims” defense:  “At some point Donald Trump needs to take responsibility for the irresponsible behavior of his campaign.” (Source: AP.) But perhaps the best analysis of Rensin’s thinking was by Maximilian Forte (Prof anthropology, Concordia U, Montreal).

 

For more about the Left’s role as the unique wielder of domestic violence, see Michael Tracey’s “A quick thought on Trump and the justifiability of political violence, drawing on earlier discussions” (he’s a professor of media studies at U CO-Boulder). Also see this leftist paean to violence by the left: “Riots are destructive, dangerous, and scary — but can lead to serious social reforms” by German Lopez at Vox, 30 April 2016. He doesn’t mention if violence by those on the right also leads to “serious social reforms”.

He trots out the hoary “the American Revolution was good, so my violent riots are justified” defense. He doesn’t mention if that justifies violent protests by the right.

Conclusions

Many on the Left casually support violence to advance their goals, often without clear thought about how limits, the likely responses by their foes and the government, or the effect on society if political violence becomes commonplace.

The big question (so far ignored): are we starting a new cycle of political violence in America?

For more about the Left’s use of violence in Campaign 2016: The Left disrupts Trump’s rally. More of this might put him in the WH and The Left attacks US politics by shutting down Trump’s events.

Some consequences: a statement by Vox

On Thursday night, Emmett Rensin, the deputy editor of Vox’s first person section, sent a series of tweets that, among other things, urged people to riot if Donald Trump comes to their town. We at Vox do not take institutional positions on most questions, and we encourage our writers to debate and disagree. But direct encouragement of riots crosses a line between expressing a contrary opinion and directly encouraging dangerous, illegal activity. We welcome a variety of viewpoints, but we do not condone writing that could put others in danger. In this case, Emmett’s tweets violated Vox’s standards and Emmett has been suspended as a consequence.

For More Information

This is a follow-up to The Left attacks US politics by shutting down Trump’s events.

If you liked this post, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. See these posts about political violence, about Campaign 2016, and especially these…

  1. How to stage effective protests in the 21st century.
  2. Martin Luther King Jr’s advice to us about using violence to reform America.
  3. Why America has militarized its police and crushes protests.
  4. Why don’t political protests work? What are the larger lessons from our repeated failures?
  5. About civil disobedience: Thoreau reminds us about one of the few tools we have to control the government.

The Left disrupts Trump’s rally. More of this might put him in the WH.

Summary: The recent win by the Left in Chicago shows why the Left so often loses, and how we might lose so much along with them. Their speech suppression protests — and Trump’s retaliation at their events — will degrade US politics, and might put Trump in the White House.

Chicago Rally Protestors

Creating a disastrous win

One reason given last summer for Trump’s certain defeat was he lack of political skills. This week Trump again proved them wrong with a masterstroke: scheduling an event at U of Illinois at Chicago. The Left took the bait and did one of their signature moves (perfected on countless college campuses during the past 20 years): suppressing the speech of their political foes.  MoveOn got 52 thousand signatures on their petition to “Cancel Trump’s Rally at UIC Pavilion“. In response UIC Chancellor Michael D. Amiridis released a statement saying…

“UIC’s core values of freedom, equality and social justice for all, regardless of race, religion, national origin, disability status or sexual orientation, are deeply rooted in our diverse community and not endangered by the presence of any political candidate on campus. We encourage public and civic engagement by all members of our University and we endorse the idea that the answer to speech that one does not like or finds offensive is more speech and not censorship.”

Despite the Chancellor’s words, the Trump Rally Protest – Chicago page on Facebook said that 11 thousand attended. They successfully shouted down the event while America watched on TV. Soon polls will show the effect on public opinion. But either way I believe that America will be the loser.

Continue reading

The riots in Baltimore teach us much about America. They’re dark insights.

Summary: Political violence is a flare over society illuminating aspects of America about which we could otherwise only guess. This post attempts to describe things obvious but unstated in the flood of words about the riots in Baltimore and relate them to the quiet revolution now in progress.  {2nd of 2 posts today.}

Martin Luther King on nonviolence

What can we learn from the riots in Baltimore? The most obvious lesson: they demonstrate our amnesia and inability to learn. We could send America’s journalists and the chattering classes on vacation and just rerun articles from the late 1960’s about their race riots. That would also show our limited progress from that dark time.

These riots are wonderful for the news media (“if it bleeds, it leads”). They’re fodder for America’s thumb-sucking intelligentsia (see examples below). They provide us with some dark humor.  For example, the NY Times drolly reported that “… {new attorney general} Lynch’s aides said that improving police morale and finding common ground between law enforcement and minority communities would be among her top priorities”  (Salon’s Elias Isquith reasonably replied “As the chaos in Baltimore has shown, it’s far too soon to shift our attention to the grievances of cops.”)

But the problem of weaponized police transcends partisan lines, as shown by the NY Times’ description of how Obama’s “Justice Dept. Routinely Backs Officers’ Use of Force“:

At the Supreme Court, where the limits of police power are established, Mr. Holder’s Justice Department has supported police officers every time an excessive-force case has made its way to arguments. Even as it has opened more than 20 civil rights investigations into local law enforcement practices, the Justice Department has staked out positions that make it harder for people to sue the police and that give officers more discretion about when to fire their guns.

… “There is an inherent conflict between people at the Justice Department trying to stop police abuses and other people at the Justice Department convincing the Supreme Court that police abuses should be excused,” said Ronald L. Kuby, a Manhattan civil rights lawyer.

More pointedly, these riots provide a teachable moment for the Left. William Teach at Right Wing News points out the evidence about the political failure which Baltimore’s flames illuminate. Increasing political participation of minorities was a solution to the 1960s race riots.

Continue reading

Stories about a rising tide of black mob violence!

Summary:  Obama’s election brought hope for a new era of race relations in America. Instead we appear to be starting another downward part of the long cycle. As usual, these things just don’t happen — and bad relations work well for the 1%. Today we look at some of the ugly propaganda that guides American in the 21st century (so similar to that of the 19th and 20th C). This is the 2nd in a series of posts showing how we’re losing America.

The aide {Karl Rove} said that guys like me were ”in what we call the reality-based community,” which he defined as people who ”believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.” I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism.

He cut me off. ”That’s not the way the world really works anymore,” he continued. ”We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality — judiciously, as you will — we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”

— Karl Rove, as quoted in “Faith, Certainty and the Presidency of George W. Bush” by Ron Suskind, New York Times Magazine, 17 October 2004.

Divide and Rule

One of the momentous and astonishing aspects of our time is that conservative leaders have erected a Potemkin village for their followers, and gotten them to move in. A fake history (e.g., the failures of FDR, we won in Vietnam excerpt for a “stab in the back” by peaceniks). A fake economics (e.g., cutting taxes usually increases tax revenue).  A fake science (e.g., creationism, climate science is fraud).  Over time they’re moving further away from reality. Divorcing people from mainstream and authoritative sources is a reliable tool of social control (effectively used, for example, by cults).  This probably will not end well for America.

διαίρει καὶ βασίλευ.
— ‘Divide and rule’, attributed to Philip II of Macedon (332-386 BC)
.

Today we look at an example showing they build myths in the minds of their flock, and lead  them. In this case, playing on people’s deep fear of the “other”. The  economic stress on blue collar demographic creates pressures with no outlets, as they don’t see the 1% in its protected enclaves — and have been taught that their gradual impoverishment is just — as their ancestors believed in the divine right of Kings. If the pressure grew without outlet we might get new political alliances and perhaps even change.

So they’re given myths (ideally based on exaggerations instead of fiction) creating enemies to fear. Such as Islamic fundamentalists abroad (rebelling against their corrupt, oppressive western-backed governments), so they can feel vicarious satisfaction from our bombing and killing.

But who to use as enemies at home? We don’t have the long deep history of antisemitism that’s served European elites so well. But America has an almost as deeply rooted racism, that’s served the same role as well for so long. It’s easily exploited using tried and proven methods, but the process is not pretty.

Continue reading

Events in Ferguson show why we read the news: for entertainment

Summary:  When the hysteria began following the revelations about NSA surveillance, I predicted that we’d have an enjoyable hissy fit — then nothing would change (details here). And 14 months later little has changed (perhaps nothing). Now the events in Ferguson MO have sparked a new cycle of outrage over the militarization of police. My prediction is that again little or nothing will change. Here we consider why public outrage has so little effect: news is just entertainment.

.

Citizens read news in order to become well-informed, and so able to help manage the Republic’s business, as well as their own. Why do subjects read the news? That is, why bother if we don’t act on what we learn? Entertainment! Scandals give us the thrill of righteous indignation. The excitement of a two minute hate at the designated bad guys. The thrill of submission before power, when we realize our Leaders pretend to care about our opinion, but in fact ignore us.

Then back to our lives, refreshed, glowing with the knowledge that reform is impossible — so we need do nothing but dream of the great day when we arise and smite our unworthy rulers.

What connects the news with our actions? A sense of responsibility, of citizenship. Otherwise the news provides insights of use for personal and business use, but little else. The news is a product, manufactured by professionals to meet our desires for fun mock-serious light entertainment, plus personally useful information. Journalists and editors are masters of constructing emotional narratives that feed our prejudices and excite our emotions.

When we change, journalists will change to accommodate our new needs. Their business is giving us what we want.

Other perspectives on these events

The fault lies not in the news, but in ourselves. The most common response in comments to these stories is pre-emptive surrender. It’s hopeless, so we need not do anything.

Continue reading

Events from Ferguson explain why we are weak

Summary: Events in Ferguson display some of the problems plaguing the Republic — our unresolved racial conflicts, sclerotic governing institutions, and most importantly our weakness as citizens. Decades of propaganda have erased from our minds our history of successful collective action, and replaced it with a mostly false belief in markets and individuals. It’s left us as atomized consumers, incapable of effectively becoming leaders and followers and so governing ourselves. It makes us sheep. We can do better.

“When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.”
— Edmund Burke (English statesman and philosopher), Thoughts on the Cause of the Present Discontents (1770)

.

Ferguson: molotov cocktail.

Citizenship in Ferguson. Scott Olson/Getty Images

Contents

  1. Tinderbox: a racially charged community
  2. Poor leadership
  3. Why we’re weak
  4. Other posts about events in Ferguson
  5. For More Information

.

(1)  Tinderbox: a racially charged community

Slowly we gather information so as to piece together some of the puzzle that is Ferguson MO.

(a)  Racial mistrust

Note the common mention of “outside agitators”, although there’s no evidence of this as yet (update: the police have given evidence if at least a small number of outsiders arrested).

“The protesters like seeing themselves on TV,” her friend added.  “It’s just a small group of people making trouble,” said another.

“The kid wasn’t really innocent,” chimed in a woman at the other end of the table (they all declined to give their names). “He was struggling with the cop, and he’s got a rap sheet already, so he’s not that innocent.” (While the first point is in dispute, the second isn’t: The police have said that Michael Brown had no criminal record.)

If anything, the people here were disdainful and, mostly, scared — of the protesters, and, implicitly, of black people. “I don’t think it’s about justice for Michael Brown’s family,” said the teenage boy. “It’s just an excuse for people to do whatever they want to do.”

One man I talked to, a stay-at-home dad who is a landlord to three black tenants and one white one in Ferguson (“my black tenants would never do that,” he clarified) was more sympathetic to Brown and also had the sense that the police had overdone it a bit. But he was scared of the protests. I told him that the protest that day was entirely peaceful, festive almost. “You know,” he said. “I have a wife and three children, and if something were to happen to me, that would be very bad.”

As for the protests, well, they weren’t about justice; they were just an excuse. “People are just taking the opportunity to satisfy their desire for junk,” said one woman, knowingly. As if black people, the lust for theft encoded in their DNA, are just barely kept in line by authority.

“When they kill each other, we never hear about it,” one of the Starbucks women said. This, she meant, was a good thing. “When it’s black-on-black violence, we never hear about it.” I asked why she thought that was. “Because, basically, they hate whites!” her friend chimed in. “Prejudice, reverse prejudice. Prejudice goes both ways.”

The others signalled their agreement. “It’s not Ferguson people. It’s a lot of outside people coming in.” {The New Republic}

(b)  White leaders for a Black town

Continue reading