In the past week, I’ve seen liberal friends and acquaintances taking to social media to declare their support for the protesters. These otherwise reasonable people with questionable politics have been overcome by their need to virtue signal their anti-racism bona-fides by supporting violence, destruction of property, looting, and assault.
“What did you expect? These people felt they weren’t being heard with their peaceful protests.”
“This is the First Amendment!”
“When your voice isn’t being heard in peaceful protest, this is what happens.”
“This is what passing someone’s breaking point looks like.”
“Desperate people do desperate things. Hopelessness is a dangerous thing. You are witnessing its consequence.”
“This is no different than the Boston Tea Party.”
“All I know is that this is a natural progression for how desperate people act and I have a great deal of empathy for that.”
“This is what happens when people are pushed too far.”
“Could people just try and understand WHY the looting and violence actually happens?”
Would these same people make similar arguments if pro-life protesters were bombing abortion clinics right now? Would they be saying things like “When your voice isn’t being heard in peaceful protest, this is what happens,” or “What did you expect? These people felt they weren’t being heard with their peaceful protests.”
Of course not. And that’s a problem because you can’t protest inequities in law enforcement while simultaneously arguing that one group is entitled to riot and destroy property simply because you believe their cause is just.
Curiously, the same people who called anyone who wouldn’t wear a mask in public a murderer now proudly stand in solidarity with their rioting comrades who weren’t achieving anything remotely close to social distancing, even as they stole televisions and shoes because “Justice for George Floyd” or something. And now, liberals who thrive on white guilt are defending this violent behavior because they think it makes them sound woke.
I have many disagreements with liberal friends and relatives, and while most arguments can simply be explained by a difference in ideology, it’s hard to wrap my head around anyone making excuses for the destruction of innocent people’s property. And yet, we’re seeing it happen all over, coming from elected officials, media pundits, our friends, family, and neighbors.
I haven’t seen anyone, black or white, Republican or Democrat, justify what happened to George Floyd, but I have seen members of George Floyd’s family call for an end to the violence and destruction. And so far, those calls have gone unheard by those claiming to be acting in his name. Even Joe Biden seems unwilling to distinguish between peaceful protesters and rioters, because, apparently, not showing solidarity with the rioters means you’re racist, I suppose?
There are better ways to express anger at injustice that don’t involve destroying property and killing innocent people. The fact that this concept needs to be explained to otherwise reasonable adults is disturbing and makes me fear for the future.
The death of George Floyd could have brought our country together, but instead, peaceful protests devolved into riots and looting, and by not condemning the destructive behavior, the political left effectively endorsed it. Do we really want them running the country?
Matt Margolis is the author of Trumping Obama: How President Trump Saved Us From Barack Obama’s Legacy and the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis