By Mike Leiby, White Mountain Independent
When the mobs picked up guns and baseball bats and headed back into the streets last night, it was no longer about George Floyd. The chaos that’s erupting at dark has stopped telling his story — and started telling ours as a lost and desperate country. “It’s okay to be angry,” George’s brother said. But the man in whose name policemen are being shot, cities are being burned, and businesses are being destroyed would have never wanted this. He was “about peace.” And if the rioters cared about justice, they would be too.
But as dawn broke, even more cities had been brought to their knees by raging crowds that left officers in critical condition and communities beyond ruin. Despite curfews, low-flying military helicopters, and the deployment of the National Guard, hordes of crowds bent on violence hurled whatever they could find — rocks, fireworks, bricks — at teams in riot gear, torching cars and buildings along the way. As President Trump said earlier in the day, “These are not acts of peaceful protest. These are acts of domestic terror. The destruction of innocent life and the spilling of innocent blood is an offense to humanity and a crime against God.”
Like most Americans, the Floyd family has looked on with horror. “If his own family and blood are trying to deal with it and be positive about it, and go another route to seek justice,” Terrance Floyd insisted on ABC, “then why are you out here tearing up your community?” Floyd’s girlfriend also tried, emotionally telling them that “Waking up this morning to see Minneapolis on fire would be something that would devastate [him]. He loved the city.” Even Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s daughter, Bernice, tried to break through the madness. Peaceful protests “did not fail my father.” And, President Trump insisted, they will not fail us now.
“America is founded upon the rule of law,” he reminded the country. “It is the foundation of our prosperity, our freedom, and our very way of life. But where there is no law, there is no opportunity. Where there is no justice, there is no liberty. Where there is no safety, there is no future. We must never give in to anger or hatred. If malice or violence reigns, then none of us is free.” If state leaders refuse to realize that and act, he will. “If a city or a state refuses to take the actions that are necessary to defend the life and property of their residents, then I will deploy the United States military and quickly solve the problem for them.”
To the anarchists, arsonists, looters, criminals, rioters, Antifa, and others, the message was simple: America won’t tolerate more. It’s time, former Cincinnati mayor Ken Blackwell said, “for local leaders to harness peoples’ grief and anger and channel it in a constructive direction.” Mayors, he insisted, “are the ones whose leadership matters the most right now… If they sit on the sidelines or if they fiddle [in fear] while their cities burn, they create a context where this sort of lawlessness is this accepted. And if you cower to lawlessness or you turn a blind eye… what you’re going to get is more of it.” And that, he warned, will rip apart the fabric of the community. In the end, Ken promised, that “will do more harm to [America] than COVID-19.”
Unfortunately, Americans have already seen what comes from a wasteland of leadership in places like Minneapolis, where Mayor Jacob Frey (D) stepped back and fueled the lawlessness by refusing to contain it. And quite frankly, he bears a lot of the responsibility for what’s spreading across the nation. He put his hands up and turned his city over to the agitators — giving leaders in other communities the license and excuse to do the same. Now look at the mess America’s in. Our law enforcers are literally engaged in hand-to-hand combat on U.S. streets. “What he did,” Ken agreed, “was actually tantamount to a dog whistle to terrorists and lawless thugs to terrorize his city.”
President Trump is taking the issue seriously, because he understands, as Ken said, “Those of us in positions of authority or influence have a duty to restore and unite for justice. Chaos and mindless destruction will destroy our communities.”
And for change to ever take root, there are deeper problems at work in this country that have to be addressed. Mob violence and police brutality spring from the same fountain: moral bankruptcy. As I explain in the Washington Times, the abuse of power, disregard for human life, and uncontrolled rage were witnessing in cities across our country, all flow from a society that is rapidly losing a sense of right and wrong, of transcendent truth. If there is an upside to this, it might be that in the quiet of our hearts, we’ll finally realize that goodness, truth, and beauty only comes from God. He’s the One who delivers hope — and in the midst of this crisis — the One who delivers healing.
For more, check out Ken Blackwell’s Fox News column on what this former mayor would do in a nationwide wake-up call like this one.
Police brutality and mob violence spring from the same fountain.
The disturbing video of a veteran police officer kneeling on the neck of a subdued suspect and, thereafter, the spreading wave of violence and looting in the name of George Floyd are painful. Yet these things are not surprising.
As one who served as a police officer for over a decade on the street, I would say that if the department approved of the tactic of kneeling on the neck of a man who was handcuffed and on the ground, there are bigger problems in Minneapolis than Derek Chauvin. The failure of the other officers to intervene would suggest this type of brutality is pervasive. That is not to say that there are a lot of bad cops in Minneapolis, it just says they have an administration that tolerates the abuse of power.
The abuse of power, disregard for human life, and the wanton destruction and uncontrolled rage we are witnessing in cities across our country, all flow from a society that is rapidly losing a sense of right and wrong, of transcendent truth. This truth deficit means justice will not be equal because it is determined by the position you hold or the zip code in which you reside.
This loss of a moral consensus is not a new development; what’s happened is that it has reached a crisis point. The foundation of America’s shared morality has been under steady assault for over half a century. Leftists will convulse with disdain and rage at this assertion, but let the mockers mock.
For over 50 years, we’ve systematically removed God from public life, the belief that He holds all people accountable for their actions, and that He has the authority to do so because He is the Creator. He made us and the laws that govern creation. He gave us those laws not to crush our freedom but to place it within wise boundaries.
Freedom does not mean the right to do whatever one wants. It means that we have the power to choose a good path, one with guiderails that lead and protect us. When we tear those guiderails down, chaos ensues. The kind of chaos we’re now seeing, as legitimate protest turns not only to the destruction of businesses and other private property but to the endangerment of human life itself and the wounding of our nation’s soul.
How have we come to a place where human lives are treated with the kind of contempt we saw when a man crying, “I can’t breathe!” was held down for eight minutes? Or when the potential for violence outside the White House became so great that the president of the United States was taken by the Secret Service to a protected location? Could there be a connection between the banishment of God, along with His truth from our schools and the broader culture and the steady devaluing of human life?
In the march to push God from our corporate conscience, we’ve left behind the understanding that life has value not because of what it produces or where it resides, but because of Him in Whose image it was created. Only if we recognize the reality of a God Who is present in human experience and calls us not only to standards of behavior but of heart attitudes and convictions, can we keep from descending into armed enclaves of resentment and fear.
Yet we now mock the idea that a personal Creator is the Author of not only of our rights but our essential dignity, turning the core beliefs of our Founders on their heads. Instead of self-evident truths, we now claim there is no truth except whatever is desired by each individual according to his or her preferences, preferences that can change by the moment.
As a result, episodes of police brutality and burning of cities should come as no surprise; when you sow the wind, you reap the whirlwind. As C.S. Lewis wrote, “We make men without chests and expect from them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst.”
If there is an upside to any of this, it might be that in the quiet of our hearts we will see that our cultural bankruptcy must be replaced by the richness of the goodness, truth, and beauty of the God Who offers life and hope. It’s my prayer that during this time of growing crises in health, safety, racial discord, and social erosion, millions of us will turn to the One Who alone can bring the healing America urgently needs.
• Tony Perkins is president of the Washington, D.C.-based Family Research Council.
Cities across the country are in ruin, and the fear that took root when stay-at-home orders went into effect is being compounded by violent protesters who’ve abandoned reason and justice in the wake of George Floyd’s wanton death allegedly at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer.
People’s livelihoods are up in flames. Others are afraid to leave their homes and many who depend on public transportation no longer have a community pharmacy or convenience store for essentials, like food and medicine.
Rioters all but guaranteed many of the businesses in their own communities will never reopen again. Meanwhile, local leaders have a chance to stop the lawlessness instead of watching as rioters in their grief and anger destroy neighborhoods. Mayors have a duty to restore order.
President Trump has taken this matter seriously and directed the Department of Justice to conduct a civil-
How they respond to the crisis is what has the power to build up or tear down public confidence. In order to build confidence in their constituents, mayors must operate on the age-old wisdom that “Without peace, justice can’t take root.”
In their anger and grief over the needless loss of George Floyd, folks cannot torch their own communities — hurt their neighbors and friends — in the name of justice. Local leaders must harness peoples’ grief and anger and channel it in a constructive direction.
Otherwise, the violent rioting could prove the final straw for businessmen and women hanging on by a thread as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and serve to undermine the very change rioters and protesters seek to effect in their communities.
Rioting is no way to honor the memory of George Floyd. As the former mayor of Cincinnati and former ambassador to the U.N. Human Rights Council, I witnessed first-hand the truth of Martin Luther King Jr.,’s immortal words: “The chain reaction of evil — hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars — must be broken, or we shall be plunged in the dark abyss of annihilation.”
We cannot let provocateurs and rioters co-opt our legitimate desire for justice and use it to wreak havoc on our country. This is common sense — not a “right” or “left” issue; this is about coming together as Americans and ensuring justice is done.
Those of us in positions of authority and influence have a duty to restore and unite for justice. Chaos and wanton destruction will destroy our communities. We cannot let our grief and desire for justice over the unnecessary death of George Floyd get lost in this chaos.
Frustration and anger are understandably high. What happened in Minneapolis is shocking and tragic, and George Floyd should still be with us today. The violence and destruction that followed, however, dishonor the pursuit of justice for a man widely remembered by his friends and family members as a “gentle giant.”
People are losing their life’s work, the businesses they built with their own two hands and their own sweat and hard work. In many cases, those businesses have been closed because of the virus, and now they are being physically destroyed or burned to the ground.
Local officials must restore order, end the riots and preserve communities — this is a time for peace, for calm and for unity. We must always remember that what unites us outweighs what divides us — as Americans, we must come together.
We can only achieve our desired goals, however, if we work together. With our spirit, our passion and our love of country, we can ensure justice is achieved and peace restored.
If we do this our communities will be the stronger for it, and the thing that will stand out at this moment in history will not be the violent, Antifa-fueled rioters, but the strength of the human spirit.
In the days after Floyd’s death, Americans took to the streets in Minneapolis and other cities to express their frustration and anger. Unfortunately, many of these protests have metastasized into violence in several large cities and crossed the line from lawful to unlawful.
We are now witnessing, often on live television, acts of violence against innocent people, cars being torched, stores being looted, buildings set ablaze, and more. Rioters who loot and burn stores, homes, and buildings in minority neighborhoods are hurting the very people who already are at the lower end of the economic and social spectrum.
These are all crimes under state law, and some of these actions may be federal crimes as well, as we explain below.
In these trying times, we must turn to the greatest document in the history of the world to promise freedom and opportunity to its citizens for guidance. Find out more now >>
On Sunday, President Donald Trump tweeted that the administration would designate Antifa, the far-left militant movement, as a “domestic terrorist organization.” But the violence is not, from what we have seen and read, limited only to Antifa, as many violent thugs don’t cover their faces or hide behind the anonymity that typifies Antifa’s despicable tactics. This declaration can help, but it is not enough.
Attorney General William Barr issued a statement Sunday on “riots and domestic terrorism.” In it, he states, “The violence instigated and carried out by Antifa and other similar groups in connection with the rioting is domestic terrorism and will be treated accordingly.
But what does labeling Antifa a “domestic terrorist” organization actually mean? Does federal law enforcement gain anything from such a designation?
First of all, it is important to understand that terrorism is a tactic. Some state and federal criminal statutes include the word terrorism, but what they really criminalize are acts of violence, like bombings.
A terrorist designation does not change the charges a federal prosecutor can make. They remain the same. However, it will certainly help prioritize attention and federal resources on Antifa and encourage better coordination among law enforcement authorities.
This is a good start, but there is more that can and should be done at the state and local level as we describe below.
Politicians have periodically sought to designate different groups as domestic terrorist organizations, but such formal designations have not occurred in the past. Instead, organizations, such as the Earth Liberation Front, have been labeled as domestic terrorist “threats” or have committed terrorist “acts.”
Due to the overbroad use of the term “terrorist,” the word itself has largely lost its meaning, resulting in a political and public disagreement on which organizations, if any, should be labeled terrorist, and why.
The term appropriately applies to Antifa.
Congress has defined domestic terrorism in a statute. Title 18, Section 2331(5) of the U.S. Criminal Code defines “domestic terrorism” as:
… activities that:
(a) Involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State;
(b) Appear to be intended to: intimidate or coerce a civilian population; influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and
(c) Occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States.
There is no federal statute, however, that assigns criminal penalties to domestic terrorism.
So what can be done to quell the riots and hold people accountable for the crimes they commit?
First, states and localities have the primary responsibility to investigate, arrest, and prosecute people who violate state law.
Many of these crimes have been committed in full view of the media. Many of these crimes are not whodunits. The perpetrators are proudly flouting the law, on camera. To the extent possible, local prosecutors and police can and should investigate these crimes, arrest the violators, and prosecute them.
The federal government can, and likely is already, play a role, given the scale and scope of the riots and violence, especially considering that it appears that some of this is coordinated and funded.
Barr has directed the network of 56 regional Joint Terrorism Task Forces to identify criminal organizers and instigators, and to coordinate federal resources with their state and local partners. That in and of itself is a big deal.
Barr also stated that the violent radical agitators will be apprehended and charged for their violations of federal law.
No doubt, the FBI will use many of the same investigative tools it used to investigate and solve the April 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. That too was a resource-intensive effort, but resulted in the perpetrator being brought to justice.
One law that several violent rioters may be charged with is a violation of Title 18, Section 2101 of the U.S. Criminal Code, which criminalizes interstate travel or use of interstate commerce, including mail, telephone, radio, or television, with intent to: incite a riot; organize, promote, encourage, participate in, or carry on a riot; commit any act of violence in furtherance of a riot; or aid or abet any person in inciting or participating in or carrying on a riot or committing any act of violence in furtherance of a riot.
This crime is punishable by fine, up to five years’ imprisonment, or both. There are, no doubt, other federal crimes that may have been violated, depending on the particular facts and circumstances involved.
What happened to George Floyd was horrific and criminal. Speaking out against it is justified, as long as it is done peacefully. But when protest turns to violence, it perverts the calls for peaceful, nonviolent protest and endangers everyone.
Joe Biden opposes:
- The sanctity of life, supporting abortion
- criminal penalties for harming a pre-born child by persons committing a crime against the mother
- notifying the parents of minors who obtain out of state abortions
- the nomination of Robert Bork, Samuel Alito and John Roberts for the U.S. Supreme Court justice
- Effective border security
- School vouchers for children trapped in failing public schools
- Voluntary prayer in schools
- Photo ID for voting
- Second Amendment and citizens’ right of self protection
- federal funding for embryonic stem cell research, which treats humans as disposable and which has never resulted in the treatment of a single disease, yet he wants federal funding expanded
- human cloning
- hate crime laws
- the Equal Rights Amendment
- free college tuition for all
- gun control
- sanctuary cities
- social security for illegal aliens
Biden flip-flopped on:
- Death penalty
- Crime, was tough on it in 1990s, now considers it racist
- No Child Left Behind
- Exposed as plagiarist in college
- Strongly supported by radical NEA
- has an anti-family values voting record
- agrees that Tea Parties are not “terrorists”
For more, read:
Socialist and U.S. Senate candidate Kyrsten Sinema is riding the rails trying to fool the public. She won answer questions on whether or not she would vote to confirm Judge Brett Kavanaugh of the Supreme Court. She’s trying to tiptoe on the fence and fool voters into thinking she’s a reasonable moderate candidate. She is anything but! If voters make the mistake of electing her, she’ll be another Schumer, another Sanders. Radical and far left to the bone; that’s what she is and what she doesn’t want you to know. Beware the bait and switch from this pre-election chameleon!
When Sinema’s been in front of press this week she hasn’t answered the question on whether she’d vote to confirm the judge. When providing statements to the press, she buttons her lips and plays it safe. She’s really playing the voters.
When asked on Tuesday during a Fox 10 Phoenix interview, Republican Martha McSally was asked whether she’d voted to confirm Judge Kavanaugh. She answered the question.
When asked on Wednesday during an interview with the AP, McSally was asked whether she’d vote to confirm Judge Kavanaugh. She answered the question.
When asked on Wednesday during an interview with Mac and Gaydos, McSally was asked whether she’d vote to confirm Judge Kavanaugh. She answered the question.
When asked on Wednesday during an interview with ABC 15, McSally was asked whether she’d vote to confirm Judge Kavanaugh. She answered the question.
Why won’t Kyrsten Sinema be honest with Arizonans and let them know where she stands? Why is she trying to tiptoe through the tulips and deceive the voters? When there’s no way in heck she will ever vote to confirm a constitutionalist judicial candidate? She prefers judicial activists who will circumvent the legislative process and write radical, new laws from the bench — taking away your freedom.
“Kyrsten is running to be the next Senator from Arizona, and confirming judges is one of the greatest responsibilities given to members of the Senate,” said McSally Spokeswoman Torunn Sinclair. “Arizonans deserve to know where Kyrsten Sinema stands on confirming Judge Kavanaugh. Why won’t Kyrsten answer the question? Because she’s a liberal extremist trying to fool Arizona voters into thinking she’s a moderate.”
This post by Fellow of the Minds is must-read and share.
Gov. Doug Ducey exposes Democrats on ICE in this Arizona Central opinion piece.