When protests over the police killing of George Floyd devolved into looting, vandalism, and arson across America, destroying black lives, black livelihoods, and black monuments, Democrats and liberals shamefully downplayed or even excused the violence because the perpetrators agreed with their political agenda. Yet it seems none have proven quite as vocal as a Democrat running for U.S. House in Texas’s 24th congressional district.
In a live digital event on Tuesday, Kim Olson complained about police snipers stationed on a roof at a protest she attended in Dallas, Texas.
“They had snipers on the roof, what the hell you got snipers on the roof for in a peaceful march? Even if people loot, so what? Burn it to the ground, if that’s what it’s gonna take to fix our nation,” Olson said in video obtained by The Washington Examiner. “I don’t think — but I’m just saying, what are you going to do? Shoot us as we protest?”
“I mean, we really have fundamentally pivoted the militarization of our police force. … It used to be ‘protect and serve,'” she complained.
Olson made the comment during a long answer to a question about her position on far-left calls to disband or defund police departments. The candidate began by admitting that while “defunding” is a “tough word,” she supports shifting funding toward rehab centers and social workers.
“You can’t just tackle the police, you’ve got to tackle some of the social injustice issues that are going on within our justice system,” Olson said. “You can’t train racism out of folks.”
“This quote is being taken out of context,” Rachel Perry, Olson’s campaign manager, told the Washington Examiner. “As a combat vet, Colonel Olson knows first hand the human heartbreak of violence. She knows we cannot use force to fix a systemic problem of undue violence and discrimination perpetrated by those who are sworn to protect and serve. We have to rebuild from the ground up a color-blind public safety institution across America.”
Olson is the front-runner in the Democratic nomination in Texas’s 24th district, an open seat since Rep. Kenny Marchant (R-Texas) is retiring. Cook Political Report rates the race a “Republican toss up” and Politico also describes it as a “toss-up.” Marchant won reelection by about 3 points in 2018.
Olson, a military veteran, faces school board trustee Candace Valenzuela in a runoff election on July 14. The winner will face former Mayor Beth Van Duyne (R-Irving).
While Olson became one of the first women to attend and graduate from flight school, her service was not without scandal. When she was stationed in Iraq, the Pentagon accused her of directing contracts to a private security firm that she helped operate. She has denied profiting from the arrangement, but she did plead guilty to charges that included creating the appearance of a conflict of interest, paid a $3,500 fine, and retired with an honorable discharge.
While the campaign insisted that Olson’s statement was taken out of context, that statement echoed a distressing trend among Democrats. Many have downplayed — if not excused — the destructive riots across America. As antifa militant rebels set up a rogue state in Seattle, Gov. Jay Inslee (D-Wash.) and Mayor Jenny Durkan not only defended the rebels as “peaceful” and “patriotic,” but insisted it would be “illegal and unconstitutional” for President Donald Trump to suppress the armed insurrection.
Olson likely regrets her words, but the context does not excuse them. Democrats insist that America’s institutions are fundamentally racist, and this narrative justifies a violent revolution. President Trump is right to counter that America is fundamentally good, although it is undeniably flawed. Trump has condemned the horrific killing of George Floyd and he has championed criminal justice reform. But he will not abide violent riots or rebellions in American cities, and Democrats shouldn’t, either.
Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.