Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Trying to Heal a Fractured Nation

 

A few quick thoughts leap to mind on the spreading riots. First, where the heck are Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson? This is perfect for them, and it somehow seems disappointing without their presence, like apple pie without ice cream. They should have had first-class tickets to Minneapolis that afternoon. They should have led our fractured society toward healing by stealing the inaugural television out of the very first Target, officially kicking off the healing process of looting and vandalism, sort of like a politician throwing out the first pitch at a baseball game. They should be on every TV news program for weeks. Where are they? You think I’m kidding. I’m not. Where are they?

Second, I can’t believe that the looters think that they are healing a fractured nation by stealing electronics from retail stores. But I struggle to understand their real motivation. Harvard professor Cornel West said:

It is a lynching at the highest level, nobody can deny it. And I thank God that we have people in the streets. Could you imagine this kind of lynching taking place and people are indifferent, people don’t care, people are callous?

So a bad cop kills somebody, and he thinks that multi-city crime sprees make sense. When Dr. West spills his coffee, does he decide to burn down his neighbor’s house in an effort to protect future cups of coffee? If he did so, would he expect that to work? I don’t understand his logic here. What do televisions in Target stores have to do with race relations?

And before anybody tries to misinterpret that metaphor (or possibly analogy?), no, I’m not comparing a human life to spilled coffee. I’m trying to illustrate irrational responses to problems.

And because I’m in a bad mood, I’ll quote Dr. West one more time:

I think we are witnessing America as a failed social experiment. And what I mean by that is that the history of black people for over 200-something years in America has been looking at America’s failure. Its capitalist economy could not generate and deliver, in such a way that people could live lives of decency. The nation-state, its criminal justice system, its legal system could not generate protection of rights and liberties.

So a bad cop kills somebody, and that means capitalism doesn’t work?

I wonder what that police officer thought about tax policy. Or free-market economies. Or Latin American economic policy.

What on earth?

And re-read this sentence: “And what I mean by that is that the history of black people for over 200-something years in America has been looking at America’s failure.” Ah, I see. Thanks for clarifying what you meant by that. Wow. Ok, I think I know what he’s trying to say, but geez. The man’s a Harvard professor, and that’s barely even readable.

And then his last sentence, where he says that the nation-state could not protect rights and liberties — that’s a strange thing to say after just saying that you support rioting in the streets, with no apparent consequences for the rioters. And he should remember that the police officer has already been arrested and charged with murder. So perhaps the criminal justice system can protect rights.

There are bad people out there. Some of them are cops. That’s why we have a criminal justice system. And again, the cop has already been charged with murder, and is in jail, awaiting trial. That’s how our criminal justice system works.

And then, most obviously, how can someone like Cornel West complain about capitalism? He grew up in Sacramento in an upper-middle-class family. His mother was a teacher and a principal, and his father was a general contractor for the Department of Defense. Dr. West is a professor at the most prestigious university in the world, and earns very good money teaching, and writing books. And now he says, “Its capitalist economy could not generate and deliver, in such a way that people could live lives of decency?” His life seems pretty decent. How is that possible? What made that possible? Capitalism seems to have worked out ok for him, and for most of his friends.

So despite the overwhelming evidence of capitalism’s success displayed by his own experience, what does he cite as evidence of capitalism’s failure?

A bad cop in Minneapolis.

When the black cop in Minneapolis shot an unarmed white woman in her driveway a few years ago, did that demonstrate the failures of capitalism? Well, why not?

Wow.

Lastly, I wonder about the political implications of these riots. When Democrat voters destroy Democrat cities so that the Democrat media can blame Republicans, I just don’t think that will really hurt Republicans in elections. Russiagate improved Trump’s poll numbers. The coronavirus response looks like it might do so as well. And I suspect that by the time these riots are over, a lot of voters around the country may be thinking, “My God. I don’t want more of that.” If Trump responds to this like I suspect that he might, he may come out of this looking pretty good.

I’m not sure how all this is going to turn out, but I’ll make two predictions: The next mayor of Minneapolis will be a Democrat, and their next police chief will be black. Just like the leaders who led them into this mess to begin with.

The people of Minneapolis are stealing televisions and burning down buildings. If they really thought that their city leaders hired police to kill black people, they would simply vote those leaders out of office.

That’s not what they’re doing. And I’ll bet that’s not what they’ll do at the next election.

As I so often say, I hope I’m wrong.


Postscript:

Please note that I’m writing about the riots, and I did not discuss the police officer who appeared to kill a citizen on video, or the unfortunate citizen himself. We should all pray for the soul of George Floyd — it sounds like his life was difficult, and he met a horrible end. That is tragic. This is one point which I think everyone agrees on, and it should be emphasized.

And we should pray for justice. The police officer has already been arrested and charged with murder. I hope the truth is illuminated, and there is justice. We’ll see.

But again, I’m not writing about those men. And I’m not writing about the criminal justice system. I’m writing about the riots which are spreading from city to city now.

Also please note that I did not discuss race in any detail. I didn’t discuss it because I’m not sure that it’s relevant. This doesn’t seem to be about race. I think Dr. West is right, and this is more about politics and government control of the economy than the rights of black people.

The rioters hit the CNN headquarters in Atlanta. So a bad cop in Minnesota leads to vandalism at a television station in Georgia. What on earth?

These are strange times.

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  1. Columbo Member

    There is no logic or rationale to any of this. It is not justice for anyone. And it is being fomented in order to hurt and somehow blame President Trump. It is entirely political. If a Democrat was in the WH, it would either not be occurring as widely or not covered by the press.

    • #1
    • May 30, 2020, at 7:33 AM PDT
    • 13 likes
  2. Arahant Member

    Dr. Bastiat: You think I’m kidding. I’m not. Where are they?

    They’ve gotten old and comfortable. Just look at that picture of them. Two old, wealthy men.

    • #2
    • May 30, 2020, at 7:40 AM PDT
    • 11 likes
  3. Columbo Member

    Unfortunately, about half of the country does not want healing or peace, fomented and funded by George Soros.

    • #3
    • May 30, 2020, at 7:45 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  4. PHCheese Member

    Apparently the autopsy states that Floyd was not suffocated if it can be believed. What the ramifications of that is I can only guess. There seems to be more than meets the eye because Floyd and the cop worked at the same club. The club is of dubious reputation. 

    • #4
    • May 30, 2020, at 7:46 AM PDT
    • 8 likes
  5. Arahant Member

    Dr. Bastiat: As I so often say, I hope I’m wrong.

    Nope.

    • #5
    • May 30, 2020, at 7:49 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  6. cdor Member
    cdor Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Columbo (View Comment):

    There is no logic or rationale to any of this. It is not justice for anyone. And it is being fomented in order to hurt and somehow blame President Trump. It is entirely political. If a Democrat was in the WH, it would either not be occurring as widely or not covered by the press.

    Like Ferguson or Baltimore? I do agree that the actions of these Democrat Mayors and Governors, or the lack of action, is encouraging and aiding the ferocity of these riots. It is actually their strategy to give the little kids a chance to vent. They do not care a lick about the private property owners, their efforts and aspirations. It’s sickening. And like so many other politicians and educators, Cornell West is a total hypocrite.

    • #6
    • May 30, 2020, at 8:01 AM PDT
    • 8 likes
  7. Richard Fulmer Member

    Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson have both been active.

    • #7
    • May 30, 2020, at 8:06 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  8. Richard Fulmer Member

    cdor (View Comment):
    They do not care a lick about the private property owners, their efforts and aspirations.

    That’s because “capitalism could not generate and deliver.”

    • #8
    • May 30, 2020, at 8:11 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  9. Columbo Member

    cdor (View Comment):

    Columbo (View Comment):

    There is no logic or rationale to any of this. It is not justice for anyone. And it is being fomented in order to hurt and somehow blame President Trump. It is entirely political. If a Democrat was in the WH, it would either not be occurring as widely or not covered by the press.

    Like Ferguson or Baltimore? I do agree that the actions of these Democrat Mayors and Governors, or the lack of action, is encouraging and aiding the ferocity of these riots. It is actually their strategy to give the little kids a chance to vent. They do not care a lick about the private property owners, their efforts and aspirations. It’s sickening. And like so many other politicians and educators, Cornell West is a total hypocrite.

    The Ferguson and Baltimore riots stayed local and did not go nationwide like now. There is a reason I qualified the statement with the word ‘widely’.

    • #9
    • May 30, 2020, at 8:17 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  10. GrannyDude Member

    I wonder whether, if there are riots in Boston that spill over into Cambridge, Cornell West will object to having his house burned down? 

    • #10
    • May 30, 2020, at 8:23 AM PDT
    • 19 likes
  11. DonG (skeptic) Coolidge

    Dr. Bastiat: Second, I can’t believe that the looters think that they are healing a fractured nation by stealing electronics from retail stores.

    Then don’t believe that. Nobody else does. Retribution (the most generous word I can think of) doesn’t lead to healing.

    • #11
    • May 30, 2020, at 8:28 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  12. Arahant Member

    DonG (skeptic) (View Comment):

    Dr. Bastiat: Second, I can’t believe that the looters think that they are healing a fractured nation by stealing electronics from retail stores.

    Then don’t believe that. Nobody else does. Retribution (the most generous word I can think of) doesn’t lead to healing.

    Especially when the retribution is carried out against people who had nothing to do with the problems.

    • #12
    • May 30, 2020, at 8:35 AM PDT
    • 8 likes
  13. Muleskinner, Weasel Wrangler Member

    GrannyDude (View Comment):

    I wonder whether, if there are riots in Boston that spill over into Cambridge, Cornell West will object to having his house burned down?

    In 2008 & 09, it was the financial system that failed (with a strong assist from government), this time it is “science” and education that failed (with a strong assist from government). It seems likely that in the collective wisdom, people will link the rioting to the shutdown. It’s what “kids” do when they have nothing else to do, and schools and work are closed. The shutdown showed the weakness of the entire education system, and Dr. West does not realize it, but he is torching his neighborhood. 

    • #13
    • May 30, 2020, at 8:52 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  14. Dr. Bastiat Member
    Dr. Bastiat

    GrannyDude (View Comment):

    I wonder whether, if there are riots in Boston that spill over into Cambridge, Cornell West will object to having his house burned down?

    I wonder whether the liberals who work at CNN object to having their workplace attacked and vandalized? On camera, of course they don’t. After all, violence is speech, and speech is violence. Or something.

    But deep inside, I wonder if they think that this aspect of the Biden presidential campaign might be getting just a bit out of hand?

    To be clear, I don’t think that Biden is organizing this. But I suspect those who support the riots are hoping that they might help get Biden elected, and get Trump out of office. And I suspect many who hope such things work at CNN.

    Somewhere, Robespierre is laughing.

    • #14
    • May 30, 2020, at 8:57 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  15. Percival Thatcher
    Percival Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):
    To be clear, I don’t think that Biden is organizing this.

    I don’t think that Biden could organize a two-wagon caravan.

    • #15
    • May 30, 2020, at 9:06 AM PDT
    • 13 likes
  16. Henry Castaigne Member

    Do we have some psycho-sexual fetish for indulging in victimhood and blaming America? Serious question. 

    • #16
    • May 30, 2020, at 9:09 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  17. Henry Castaigne Member

    Additionally, Africans from Africa like to immigrate to America and Americans of all kinds of African decent almost never emigrate. If we are that racist, why do Nigerians and Ethiopians line up to come here? 

    • #17
    • May 30, 2020, at 9:10 AM PDT
    • 12 likes
  18. Blondie Thatcher

    Arahant (View Comment):

    DonG (skeptic) (View Comment):

    Dr. Bastiat: Second, I can’t believe that the looters think that they are healing a fractured nation by stealing electronics from retail stores.

    Then don’t believe that. Nobody else does. Retribution (the most generous word I can think of) doesn’t lead to healing.

    Especially when the retribution is carried out against people who had nothing to do with the problems.

    It is a crime of opportunity. I dare say most of them don’t even know who George Floyd was. All they see is a chance to get some free stuff and break things. The Antifa part of the crowd is paid to be there. 

    • #18
    • May 30, 2020, at 9:12 AM PDT
    • 9 likes
  19. Henry Castaigne Member

    Columbo (View Comment):

    There is no logic or rationale to any of this. It is not justice for anyone. And it is being fomented in order to hurt and somehow blame President Trump. It is entirely political. If a Democrat was in the WH, it would either not be occurring as widely or not covered by the press.

    Think I gotta disagree with you there. Remember Ferguson and the whole hands up don’t shoot nonsense. Sure the MSM hates Trump but it goes deeper than that. They too curse America. 

    • #19
    • May 30, 2020, at 9:14 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  20. Al French of Damascus Moderator

    Richard Fulmer (View Comment):

    Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson have both been active.

    And Sharpton is in Minneapolis, speaking at the scene of the incident.

    • #20
    • May 30, 2020, at 9:21 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  21. Jon1979 Lincoln

    The current riots would factor in to other metrics for most voters — unless they keep going all the way into the fall, they might be a factor in reinforcing people’s votes, but they won’t be the factor.

    You can argue the 2014-15 riots in the St. Louis area and Baltimore helped Trump, and the 1967-68 riots helped Nixon. But the 1992 Los Angeles riots helped Clinton. That was in part because California still had a Republican governor at the time, and the Democrats and the media were able to spin it that George H.W. Bush and Pete Wilson didn’t care about places like South Central L.A. However, even there, it was the overall economy that was the biggest difference, and the fact the ’92 recovery happened too late to save Bush 41.

    For Trump, with a much louder personal megaphone than GHWB and a Twitter feed he never had, a July-September recovery that the public can feel may still be enough to save him, especially since the current economic woes are blamed by most of the public on outside forces, especially China. But if the economy doesn’t come back, swing voters who decide to go with Biden will probably fold the riots into a reason for voting for him, even though virtually every location where the worst of the rioting has happened so far have both a Democratic mayor and a Democratic governor in place (Atlanta being the lone exception).

    • #21
    • May 30, 2020, at 10:08 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  22. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):

    GrannyDude (View Comment):

    I wonder whether, if there are riots in Boston that spill over into Cambridge, Cornell West will object to having his house burned down?

    I wonder whether the liberals who work at CNN object to having their workplace attacked and vandalized? On camera, of course they don’t. After all, violence is speech, and speech is violence. Or something.

    But deep inside, I wonder if they think that this aspect of the Biden presidential campaign might be getting just a bit out of hand?

    To be clear, I don’t think that Biden is organizing this. But I suspect those who support the riots are hoping that they might help get Biden elected, and get Trump out of office. And I suspect many who hope such things work at CNN.

    Somewhere, Robespierre is laughing.

    I suspect that this is all going to work out to President Trump’s advantage. Race riots may be the one thing that could cause suburban women to rally to the President, however reluctantly.

    • #22
    • May 30, 2020, at 10:15 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  23. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member

    Dr. Bastiat: Also please note that I did not discuss race in any detail. I didn’t discuss it because I’m not sure that it’s relevant. This doesn’t seem to be about race. I think Dr. West is right, and this is more about politics and government control of the economy than the rights of black people.

    Doc, I agree with this in part, and disagree in part.

    I think that the racial oppression narrative is one of the two chief instruments used by the radical Left in its attack on traditional American values and institutions. The relevance of race to the issue is that this is a false narrative. I agree that it is used for political purposes that have little or nothing to do with the well-being of American blacks.

    • #23
    • May 30, 2020, at 10:17 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  24. DrewInWisconsin Doesn't C… Coolidge

    Richard Fulmer (View Comment):

    cdor (View Comment):
    They do not care a lick about the private property owners, their efforts and aspirations.

    That’s because “capitalism could not generate and deliver.”

    And because they think private property needs to be outlawed anyway.

    • #24
    • May 30, 2020, at 10:22 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  25. DrewInWisconsin Doesn't C… Coolidge

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):
    To be clear, I don’t think that Biden is organizing this. But I suspect those who support the riots are hoping that they might help get Biden elected, and get Trump out of office. And I suspect many who hope such things work at CNN.

    • #25
    • May 30, 2020, at 10:23 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  26. Jon1979 Lincoln

    DrewInWisconsin, Ham-Fisted Bu… (View Comment):

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):
    To be clear, I don’t think that Biden is organizing this. But I suspect those who support the riots are hoping that they might help get Biden elected, and get Trump out of office. And I suspect many who hope such things work at CNN.

    If they have a riot tonight that targets Hudson Yards in Manhattan, where CNN’s main broadcast studio is located. they might have a point. But I’d say there’s about a 99.9 percent chance that’s not happening, and that CNN was targeted in Atlanta simply because it’s centrally located and the rioters didn’t so much disagree with CNN as they wanted to make sure they got on CNN, where the huge logo that’s a downtown landmark makes it easy to figure out where the news channel’s office is located.

    • #26
    • May 30, 2020, at 10:28 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  27. GFHandle Member

    Cornell West has been confusing and confused for some time now. He reminds me of Orwell’s famous line about some ideas being so preposterous that only an academic would believe them.

    The triggering event (usually an image or video) calls for righteous indignation, and peaceful protests are planned. Then the opportunists move in and start looting and whooping it up. The useful idiots confuse themselves and their followers with the idea that this is just righteous indignation gone a bit wild. They confuse a difference in degree with a difference in kind. But logic is not the issue. Passions are involved.

    To be in a passion, much harm you can do;

    But no harm you’ll do if a passion’s in you. 

    –William Blake (quoted from memory for no particular reason)

     

    • #27
    • May 30, 2020, at 10:31 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  28. DonG (skeptic) Coolidge

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):
    To be clear, I don’t think that Biden is organizing this. But I suspect those who support the riots are hoping that they might help get Biden elected, and get Trump out of office. And I suspect many who hope such things work at CNN.

    Lots of commie agitators are out and about and certainly prefer Biden over Trump. I think Kamala Harris is hurting her VP chances by coming out strongly pro-riot. Biden does not to move the ticket further left. I agree with those that say Klobuchar is canceled after failing to take action as a prosecutor in previous abuses by the cop that killed George Floyd. The left won’t accept that at all. I saw a Nevada Senator has stated she does not want to be considered for Biden’s VP. I assume she thinks Biden is a looser.

    • #28
    • May 30, 2020, at 10:35 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  29. DrewInWisconsin Doesn't C… Coolidge

    I just think it’s fascinating how the Narrative shifted overnight to “the looters and rioters are White Supremacists and Russians.”

    I’m now seeing it parroted among the lefty proles.

    • #29
    • May 30, 2020, at 10:40 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  30. Jon1979 Lincoln

    DonG (skeptic) (View Comment):

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):
    To be clear, I don’t think that Biden is organizing this. But I suspect those who support the riots are hoping that they might help get Biden elected, and get Trump out of office. And I suspect many who hope such things work at CNN.

    Lots of commie agitators are out and about and certainly prefer Biden over Trump. I think Kamala Harris is hurting her VP chances by coming out strongly pro-riot. Biden does not to move the ticket further left. I agree with those that say Klobuchar is canceled after failing to take action as a prosecutor in previous abuses by the cop that killed George Floyd. The left won’t accept that at all. I saw a Nevada Senator has stated she does not want to be considered for Biden’s VP. I assume she thinks Biden is a looser.

    Honestly, if Biden wants to win suburban voters, the best one after last night would probably be Atlanta mayor Keisha Bottoms, who made a clear (and angry) distinction between the Floyd protests and the rioters. But she’ll have to be prepared to back up her words with actions, if the rioters opt not to listen to her and try to continue looting and burning tonight, and if she does that, she’ll probably irk the Democrats’ hardcore progressive activists that Joe in fits and starts has been trying to pander to over the past several months.

    • #30
    • May 30, 2020, at 10:44 AM PDT
    • 2 likes