Riots? What Riots? Never Let a Good Crisis Go to Waste

Everyone knows that America is now aflame with widespread riots protesting—or in all too many instances, ostensibly protesting—the death of George Floyd in police custody. As Floyd was black, the rioting, looting, vandalism, destruction of property, defacing of historical monuments and multiple homicides are regarded as a reaction to police violence and institutional racism.

As Heather Mac Donald correctly points out in National Review, “There is no epidemic of racist police shootings. It is a racial group’s rate of violent crime that determines police shootings, not the race of the officer…In fact, if there is a bias in police shootings after crime rates are taken into account, it is against white civilians.” Her argument is supported by a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and by another 2015 Justice Department study of the Philadelphia Police Department—legitimate studies which “demolish[ ] the Democratic narrative regarding race and police shootings.”

Such truths are passed over as inconsequential. Indeed, whites tend to be relatively passive in reacting to violence perpetrated against them. The fact that Mohamed Noor, a Somali police officer, killed a white woman without cause in Minneapolis, Ground Zero of the present turmoil, ignited no riots. As The Intercept reports, some activists believed that Noor “was unfairly targeted because he is a black man who killed a white woman…Nekima Levy Armstrong, a civil rights lawyer and local racial justice leader, said Noor’s conviction reveals how the court system treats white people differently compared to everyone else.”

The question is obvious: What is wrong with this picture?

The answer is: everything.  I do not give the racist meme much credence. With African-Americans convincingly represented in the halls of power, as mayors, governors, members of Congress, including an American President and two Attorneys General, it should be clear that Jim Crow is pretty well dead and buried. Race has become a huckster’s source of power and profit. Let it be said once and for all: The United States is not a racist nation, but in fact bends over backwards to appease the bearers of the slander and the advocates of anachronistic reparations.

It needs also to be said that the fires burning across the country are nothing less than a national insurrection, brewing for years and exploited by the hawkers of racist dissension and programmatically by the Democratic Party. What is taking place is an emeute, a war against the Constitution, a plot to unravel the fabric of the Republic, in short, a coup against the State and a sitting President. It is a condition of civil war in everything but name, long simmering and now breaking out into the open.

This is not the time for breast-beating, for systemic timidity, for merely defensive measures, for making amends and concessions. As William Butler Yeats wrote in The Second Coming, one of the great poems in the language:

Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,

The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere   

The ceremony of innocence is drowned;

The best lack all conviction, while the worst   

Are full of passionate intensity…

Words that were never more pertinent than now. The political and cultural left, the guerilla cadres wreaking havoc on the streets and in the public square, their supporters and backers—they are indeed “full of passionate intensity.” Those who would oppose them, arguing for civility, reluctant to return fire with fire, relying on toothless or disregarded legislation, slamming governors for being weak—they may be “the best” but often seem to lack “all conviction.”

Newsmax reports, the former House Speaker Newt Gingrich hopes President Donald Trump’s designation of Antifa as a terrorist organization will reveal who is funding it. “Who is paying for these people?” Gingrich is right. What we are witnessing is “war against America…These are not riots in a traditional sense…You have a nationwide group, Antifa is part of it, but there are other elements involved…who is organizing it?…we have to do whatever it takes to put down the people who would destroy our country.”

These are true words. President Trump has declared Antifa a terrorist organisation, which is a step in the right direction—but only a step. Antifa and their kindred outfits will simply go underground and continue a sporadic campaign of inflaming anti-democratic sentiment, creating civil unrest, pillaging and destroying property and assaulting innocent people.  Two decisive measures are required to quell the insurrection.

As Gingrich advised, Trump “should indicate he is prepared to declare an emergency for the destruction.” This means, or should mean, not only that government will rebuild devastated neighborhoods, but that the American police, National Guard or military should be permitted to use lethal force when attacked by domestic terrorists of when dispersing hoodlums and gangsters laying waste businesses, smashing storefronts, assaulting bystanders and committing arson. That such an initiative, as many will argue, would only provoke violence, or more violence, is the classic evasion of the temporizers and fearful propitiators among us.

But even more importantly, the Justice Department must be immediately tasked with seeking out and identifying those who sponsor and finance the army of commandos, mercenaries and terrorist groups that have declared war on the nation. The identities of some of these shadowy bankers are already well-known and have been known for many years, yet nothing has been done to investigate or arraign or even extradite these fiscal malefactors.

The head of the snake must be cut off—call it Operation Ophidian—if the civil venom is to be stanched. If, as in the Greek myth of the Lernean Hydra, the head keeps growing back, which it surely will, then perpetual vigilance will be necessary. But the old adage remains apt: follow the money. When the funds are cut off, the reptile loses its main force.

President Trump should take Winston Churchill’s observation to heart, made in reference to the 1945 Yalta Conference, “Never let a good crisis go to waste”—a phrase pilfered by Rahm Emmanuel for malign rather than constructive purposes. Churchill intended the remark to indicate the need for a proper post-WW II resolution to disputed territories. Interestingly, the axiom originates with geriatric psychiatrist M.F. Weiner, who titled a 1976 article in the journal Medical Economics “Don’t Waste a Crisis — Your Patient’s or Your Own.”

Weiner meant that a medical crisis can be used to ameliorate mental health or the lives of both patient and physician. Whether in Churchill’s or Weiner’s use of the phrase, the intention is genuinely therapeutic and the acceptation, positive.

The future course of the American Republic hangs in the balance. This is the real issue.The current state of unrest is an opportunity for the President to embark upon a surgical operation to excise the tumor of revolt, orchestrated violence and, to be explicit, national destruction. He should not let it go to waste.