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Monday, June 1, 2020

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

The mask is off. Followers of the political left indoctrinated to believe America was conceived in oppression have dropped their pretense of crusading to create a more perfect union. Always on the scout for a means with which to dismantle America, they have opted for the most direct ploy yet: Light the match of racial strife and burn it down. They won’t succeed, though, because hundreds of millions of citizens see through the charade and won’t stand for their malice.

Cities across the nation are on fire — Minneapolis and Miami, St. Louis and San Francisco, New York and Dallas, even the capital city, Washington, D.C. — set by rioters and looters who took a just cause and turned it, too, into a smoking ruin. In the process, they are also destroying their own communities, which they claim have been marginalized by systemic racism. Americans are witnessing violence fueled partly by unrestrained emotion but mostly by calculated agitation.


The trigger for this most recent outbreak of anarchy was the death in Minneapolis last week of an unarmed black man after being pinned beneath the knee of a white city police officer. George Floyd should not have died. A preliminary autopsy of the victim, purportedly taken to the pavement on suspicion of passing a counterfeit $20 bill, found he did not succumb, as initially presumed, from asphixiation. Still, there is no rational explanation for keeping the handcuffed Mr. Floyd prone when he pleaded for help as his breathing failed.

Officer Derek Chauvin was swiftly charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter — causing death from depraved indifference but without explicit intent to kill. Angry rioters burning the American flag while demanding stiffer charges apparently prefer vengeance to justice. But it is justice that Mr. Floyd is due — nothing more and nothing less.

Pundits with university parchments certifying knowledge, if not wisdom, use cultured tones to goad on the chaos: “I think we are witnessing America as a failed social experiment,” radical professor Cornel West told CNN.

With city police forces ordered to treat the protests with kid gloves, it’s clear that the legal system has failed to protect Americans from agitators lurking among the demonstrators with the intention to beat, burn and loot. That may be coming to an end.

U.S. Attorney General William Barr said Saturday the federal government is prepared to prosecute individuals who cross state lines or use interstate facilities to carry out crimes: “Groups of outside radicals and agitators are exploiting the situation to pursue their own separate and violent agenda,” he said. “In many places, it appears the violence is planned, organized and driven by anarchic and … far-left extremist groups using Antifa-like tactics.”

President Trump took the warning a step further on Sunday when he announced that Antifa, the anarchist movement dressed in the guise of anti-fascism, will henceforth be treated as a terrorist organization.

It’s about time — bored college kids furloughed from class by the coronavirus are jumping at the chance to appear on TV waving placards, but it’s the professional agitators who burn police cars and assault passersby.

Statistics are inconclusive on whether black Americans are targeted more frequently by police than other racial groups. A 2018 Harvard University study concluded that blacks were 27.4 percent less likely to be shot at by police compared to “non-black non-Hispanics,” or simply whites. Research published in 2019 by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences put the likelihood of blacks being killed by police use of force more than double the rate for whites. That is disturbing, but the study also found that white officers were not more likely than minority officers to kill minority civilians.

Such fuzzy findings provide no firm basis for believing, as the current crop of angry protesters apparently do, that cops are racist tools of a nation devoted to “white privilege.” It is not bald fact, but irrational rage that drives those disappointed with an imperfect world to trash it.

In his 14th century epic poem “Inferno,” Dante Alighieri describe tormented souls unable to come to terms with their wrath. He envisioned them trapped near the bottom of Hell, engulfed in swampy waters and forever destined to grapple in anger with one another.

Fortunately, most Americans satisfy their emotional itch by trying to make their nation a better place. It is they, not the relentless agitators burning businesses and stealing sneakers, who will procure justice for George Floyd.


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