There is a gigantic, deadly game of “Let’s Pretend” going on in America. Politicians, the media, and activists are all pretending that the violence, the arsons, the beatings, and the mayhem in our city streets actually have a purpose. They pretend that the mostly peaceful protests are only being made violent by the mere presence of police officers. The media pretends that the rioters are “enraged” or fed up with “oppression” and “systemic racism” so that the chaos and thuggery is a completely normal response to the problem.
Do these people really believe the riots are all about poor, drug-addled George Floyd? Do they really think all police are racist and out to kill all black people? Do they really think the rioters give a hoot about “systemic racism”?
When leftists are not busy denying that the rioters are using the innocent peaceful protests as cover to loot and burn, they are pretending the real problems they want to be addressed are far, far, worse than they actually are. In fact, a gross exaggeration of the problems of racism, police brutality, and inequality is absolutely necessary to justify the violence.
And if they can stick it to Donald Trump while doing it, that’s a bonus.
The Mayor of Lancaster, Pa., Danene Sorace, whose small city was racked by violence on Sunday morning because officers were forced to shoot a mentally ill man running toward them with a knife held over his head, is a prime example of the “Let’s Pretend” crowd.
“While the vast majority of the protests have been peaceful, last night’s events took a turn resulting in considerable damage,” Sorace said. “I want to be clear that there is no place for this in our community.
“Peaceful protest must prevail.”
She’s pretending that rioters care whether or not they have a “place in the community.” The rioters couldn’t care less. The only thing they would care about is if her honor flooded the street with police in riot gear arresting those who commit acts of mayhem.
That’s not likely — not when the mayor attributes the riots to a lack of affordable housing.
This isn’t just about the police.
It’s about the fact that a third (or more like half, depending on how you measure it) of our city lives below the poverty line. It’s about a third of the jobs in our county being so low wage that no hardworking person holding one of them down can make it work. It’s about half of the renters in this city — thousands of households — burdened by the cost of their housing. Decades of stagnant wages and rising housing costs leave no margin.
Those of us closest to the problem here at the city and in community organizations working to build more housing or deliver social services have far too few tools to build what’s needed.
Sorace also talked about the need for a mental-health response to incidents like this. If she had sent social workers instead of cops, there would now be one or two dead social workers.
If the riots in Lancaster have told us anything, it’s that this vast game of “Let’s Pretend” includes the idea that any use of force from the police is unwarranted and unnecessary — even when, as in this case, the use of deadly force is authorized. This pretense has led to it becoming open season on law enforcement.
This murderous chaos is hardly surprising. Virtually the entirety of the Democratic political class stayed silent this summer as cops became punching bags for criminals and anarchists. Instead, Democratic officials and their media mouthpieces droned on about the lethal threat to blacks allegedly posed by police officers — a narrative utterly belied by the facts about police shootings and black crime. Mayors and district attorneys vowed to ignore misdemeanor arrests so as to avoid prosecuting black criminals.
Until our political class repudiates that false narrative about police racism, we cannot expect officers to continue business as usual. They are already pulling back from proactive policing — understandably, having been told endlessly that such policing is racist. Homicides and shootings are spiraling out of control nationally. Every attack on a police officer is an attack on civilization itself. We are in the process of losing any possibility of civil peace.
For the moment, the game goes on. Maybe it will take the near-total destruction of a city like Lancaster for the fools to get their heads out of their nether regions.
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