After another gruesome and unfair police shootout of a black man – this time the victim is 29 years old Jacob blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin, protesters once again took to the streets.
In Washington, these protests have taken the form of Black Lives Matter (BLM) activist groups roaming the streets and harassing random white people sitting outside in restaurants. Videos of many of met appeared on social media on Tuesday. These are short clips, and it’s not possible to say for sure what happened immediately before and after the recordings. Context often matters in viral videos.
But by looking at all the videos and eyewitness accounts, it is possible to come to a general understanding of what was going on, and it’s not good. Shouting “silence is violence”, the demonstrators demanded that people encountered in the street, as well as the owners of various restaurants, raise their hands to show their solidarity with BLM’s goals. Many have complied, But some do not have. A white woman who refused to raise her hand found herself surrounded by protesters, most of whom were also white. These protesters hovered over her and even bumped into her face, as seen in the video:
– RawsMedia ™ (@rawsmedia) 25 Aug 2020
Other videos also show direct and face-to-face confrontations between protesters and random whites.
It’s the Evergreen College social justice model deployed off campus. Readers may recall the infamous 2017 episode involving a progressive professor who was forced to leave campus after angering student activists. These students then essentially physically cornered the college president and refused to let him leave a meeting until he accepted their requests. In 2020, these theaters are by no means confined to a college campus: last night activists marched through the streets trying to force people into submission. It’s a poorly thought-out tactic, almost perfectly calibrated to arouse resentment towards the very cause it claims to serve: racial justice.
This is also wrong on its own terms. The United States remains in the grip of a deadly pandemic that has claimed the lives of more than 170,000 people. In situations where a lot of people scream at each other, the virus is likely to spread more easily. Policymakers, health officials and the media want to remind everyone when the topic of discussion is the reopening of schools, social gatherings and even funerals. the demonstrators, however, often took advantage of a exemption of shame at social distance.
Two years ago there was a debate over whether restaurants were morally justified by asking Trump administration officials to leave their establishments. It’s a distressing sign of the times that such an act of public confrontation seems positively tame compared to what DC BLM activists did yesterday. A movement that deploys large crowds to confront, intimidate and provoke random small businesses and their customers will quickly and rightly find themselves demonized by the public.