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NRO posted an interview with progressive journalist Michael Tracey today. Tracey drove across the country to view the damage that was done and is being done by the BLM and Antifa rioters. Tracey noted that he was surprised by the extent of the destruction and the number of towns and cities that have been affected:
The number of boarded-up or destroyed structures I’ve seen across the country — commercial, governmental, and even residential — is staggering, and keeping an accurate count has been impossible. Given that I’ve managed to personally observe only a small fraction, this raises questions about the true scale of the wreckage.
He also noted that African Americans are often the victims of the rioting. Not surprisingly, the people impacted have a very negative view of what is going on:
I don’t know if I was “surprised,” but the divergence in opinion — between local black and minority populations about the ethical implications of the riots, and the activists/journalists who claim to speak on their behalf — is striking. Locals are almost uniformly condemnatory of riots, and often harshly so. They wonder why the destruction wrought in their neighborhoods has received so little attention. And they are more skeptical about what this suggests for the wider protest “movement” than you might expect. Their views don’t tend to be represented in media narratives.
Here’s his take on Portland:
Portland has a culture of perpetual protests that is distinct — almost as a kind of recreation. It’s also an overwhelmingly white city, which partly explains the zeal to keep a nightly protest going in perpetuity — one recent speaker compared their efforts to the Montgomery bus boycotts, so don’t expect this to cease any time soon. The anarchist element clearly calculate that the longer these actions go on, the more opportunity there is for a catalyzing event on the order of the George Floyd killing, which could spark further nationwide protests and riots. To be at the Portland protest zone on a Saturday past midnight is surreal; it does give the impression of a small-scale insurrection, with black-clad (overwhelmingly white) protesters in full armor and gear, wielding massive shields and wearing industrial-grade gas masks.
I wasn’t surprised by his statement that the progressive media routinely characterizes the protests as “peaceful,” and that it has generally ignored or downplayed the violence and destruction. I was surprised, however, by his claim that conservative media has largely ignored the destruction as well.Published in