Several pundits have now pointed out the sheer hypocrisy of those advocating for forever lockdowns in light of the George Floyd riots. The same people who told us that small business owners were selfish monsters who didn’t care if Grandma dies of COVID-19 aren’t just excusing and allowing the protests, marches, riots, and looting. They’re actively participating in some of the marches (even as the children of multiple prominent politicians, such as New York City’s mayor, are actually joining the rioting and attacks on police).
Telling us how very, very slowly and carefully we must open one out of every several restaurants, and then only at some minuscule percent of capacity — and THEN only with awkward social distancing policies in effect — rings particularly hollow when thousands of people have flooded the streets to scream, steal, and burn. There is clearly a double standard at play that Democrat leaders don’t even bother to hide. But the double standard isn’t the biggest problem to develop from the riots. The bigger problem, in my opinion, are the fantasies that have been generated.
It has become fashionable, among the fragile leftist class, to characterize (incorrectly) as “gaslighting” any expression of opinion that corrects theirs. By that I mean that if you counter an assertion made by a glass-kneed leftist, the leftist will accuse you of “gaslighting” him or her. It cannot be that they are wrong and you have proven them wrong; no, it must be that you are attempting to deceive them.
The same people who are so quick to whine about “gaslighting” have been even faster to engage in this practice themselves. Following the first salvos of rioting and looting, officials in hard-hit states were quick to begin spinning the tallest of tall tales about the unrest.
The rioting, we were told, was done by people from “out of town” (except that it wasn’t and arrest records proved so). It was “white supremacists” (except that it never was, and Hollywood would hardly be raising bail money war chests for a bunch of neo-Nazis). It was “right wingers” or “foreign agents’ (except that it wasn’t, at least not in any real capacity).
The reality of the riots has proven very inconvenient for the Left. No, it wasn’t that a group of peaceful protesters marched and held hands and displayed only the most innocent of intentions before clocking out at a Fred Quimby-style time clock mounted to a lamppost. No, a new shift of rioters and looters did not then clock in to take over and initiate violence. Rather, the “peaceful” protests never were; the protesters in some cases worked themselves up into a violent froth, and in other cases did not. Those who did then proceeded to rampage, destroy, burn, and assault — while a number of opportunists joined in “for the dough.”
Yes, there were Antifa agitators among the rioters. These predominantly white, relatively young socialists have become more and more dangerous since Trump’s election. It is not surprising that they would make use of unrest like this to pursue their agenda — which is to destroy this nation and assault anyone who disagrees with them in order to silence all dissent. But while there are far too many Antifa, there are not that many of them. Yes, they are dangerous — and yes, they train their ranks just like terrorist cells do, teaching them to assault and maim their enemies — but they lack the sheer numbers to effect the type of rioting and looting we’ve seen.
Likewise, there aren’t enough genuine “white supremacists” in the United States to fill a football stadium, much less contribute significantly to the riots we’ve seen in dozens of cities across the United States. Even if these elements were present, they would not be capable of much. This is simply math. The threat of “white supremacists” in the United States is as overblown now (with even our own government claiming that these groups are our foremost domestic terror threat, which they are not) as the “militia threat” was in the early 1990s.
When a reporter stands in front of a burning building and tells you how “peaceful” the protesters are, he isn’t just gaslighting you. He’s insulting you. He’s insulting your intelligence. He, and his masters, believe that you are so stupid that you will reject what your own “lying eyes” tell you in favor of the narrative he force-feeds you. And as he tells you the riots are the fault of “white supremacists” and other imaginary enemies, even he probably does not believe the nonsense he is spewing.
No, the ugly reality of the riots is that the very people claiming to be interested in justice for George Floyd are, in large part, the same people engaged in the rioting, the looting, and the burning. Look at the news footage; this is obvious to anyone with eyes. It is not “white supremacists.” It is not “right wingers.” It is not “out-of-towners” or foreign agents. Even guerrilla operators among the rioters cannot have the influence over the crowd that our news media has had. Our televisions and iPads and smartphones have told us that America is a terrible, racist, very much no good place, and so people are rioting. Every other factor and contributing element is so small by comparison as to be irrelevant.
It’s a simple equation: Tell a group of people that the all their problems are the fault of another group (even though this is false), tell that same group that they are under constant threat of murder (even though they aren’t), and then tell them that yet again a horrible act that proves these first two assertions has occurred. The result will be unrest, cheered on by the very people responsible for these fictions.
As they apply their double standards to their coverage of the chaos that ensues, as they gaslight America and lie to Americans’ faces, they seek to deny reality. It then becomes our responsibility, our duty, to refuse to be fooled.