There is a difference between civil disobedience – which normally involves a protest against an unfair or unlawful practice, and civil unrest which is meant to undermine the foundations of our republic. When Rosa Parks refused to go to the back of the bus, she was engaging in civil disobedience. Her actions hurt no one, and put no one at risk. In other words, she didn’t wreck the damned bus.
When students during the Vietnam war held sit-ins in administration buildings to protest the war, they were disobedient, and they were protesting in a way that caused harm to no one. No one’s life was endangered. No one was hurt. They were arrested, likely paid fines, and made their points. Rosa Parks, the Vietnam War protesters, and their like all made a difference, even though their actions did not move the needle violently, it did set into motion an unstoppable force that eventually drove change.
Recently in response to the Trump inauguration, protesters set up a profanity-laced operation to disrupt the festivities:
The first part of the plan involves blocking “all of the major ingresses into the city especially from the south,” meaning that the protesters intend to make entering the District from Virginia an “absolute nightmare” by closing highways and stopping trains headed into the city.
“You have to start looking at the idea of the metropolis is what actually furthers and enables global capitalism and the modern state,” Carrefour said. “The reason why Black Lives Matter started blocking highways was because highways and the normal functioning of the city is actually intrinsic to things like racism.”
It is impossible to unpack all the stupidity in these statements. Making ingress and egress an “absolute nightmare” will not stop Trump from being sworn in. All it will do is put the protesters lives at risk, along with putting at risk all the people who regularly use those roadways. To put the lives of innocents at risk because you’re angry that your side lost an election is just plain stupid.
More importantly, the idea that the normal functioning of a city can be intrinsic to racism is an especially stupid construct. It requires a person to believe that everyone who works in a city, or lives in one, is engaged in the business of racism. Think about that. The District of Columbia, where 95% of the population voted for Hillary Clinton, is not now nor has it ever been lilly-white. According to the Census, in 2010 the population distribution was 50.7% black, 40.6% white, 9.1% Hispanic (of any race), 4.4% other (including Native Americans, Alaskans, Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders), 3.5% Asian, and 1.6% mixed. If over half the city are persons of color or mixed race, then that means that those people are engaged in the business of racism if you assert that the ability of those folks to come and go is somehow intrinsic to racism. This makes no sense. But little of liberal thought does.
But if you actually examine the language above carefully, here’s what you’ll find. The protesters actually believe that capitalism is racism, and that some fairer socialist order would improve the lives of people of color. Nothing could be further from the truth. Socialism is a constant game of musical chairs, where one group is always busy trying to steal resources from another. Freedom and socialism are at odds with one another. Ordered liberty is far preferred to rampant socialism as a means of improving the lives of all Americans.
Since you cannot reason with stupid, you have to teach stupid a lesson. You can have peaceful protest without having to get arrested. You can make your voice heard without throwing rocks through windows, beating people you don’t agree with, and setting cars on fire. You can be a citizen and — I know this is hard to imagine — you can write a letter, or make a phone call to your elected representative. I have no problem with protesters; it’s in our DNA to protest. But I have a problem with protests that place lives at risk and destroy property. These must be met with swift law enforcement response, and with judicial impatience. Do not grant bail. Do not let these people out until they’re prosecuted or plead guilty. And anyone who pleads guilty and destroyed property makes restitution and serves jail time.
It now appears that the US Attorney understands this. He has said that rioters who burned cars and looted (and there were 230 arrested) will now face a 10 year felony rioting charge. Thankfully, Obama threw out all the drug users from the prisons, so there’s plenty of space in Club Fed for these thugs and asshats.
If you make stupidity too painful for people, eventually they get the message.