It’s been interesting to watch the selective recall occur as our collective memories of last month’s riots fade. With bulldozers moving in to dismantle Seattle’s laughable Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (later renamed to Capital Hill Organized Protest so the “protesters” could continue feeling entitled to external assistance, portable toilets, and food deliveries), the destruction of these temper tantrums is chillingly apparent. Wherever BLM and Antifa gather, vandalism and wholesale destruction follow. This is the future they promise our society.
We seem determined to hurl these memories and these lessons down the memory hole. The problem is that when people tell you their intentions, you should listen. At least one couple did just that.
Much as been made of “Ken and Karen,” the affluent St. Louis couple who confronted a Black Lives Matter “protest” outside their home. The imagery to come out of this could not have been more conducive to meming.
Here was “Ken,” resplendent in a Miami Vice-style pink polo shirt and khaki pants, barefoot, holding an AR15 with traditional triangular hand guards that only made him look more a product of vaporwave-scored action films. At his side, wild-eyed, gesticulating with no less than a Walther PPK (the preferred handgun of James Bond), was “Karen,” his wife. Together they stared down the mob and protected their (staggeringly) opulent home.
In almost any other context, what they did was a crime. Their local prosecutor is even now trying to find a way to charge them. Evidently there is a law in their locale that may protect them. Their gated community was private property; the “protesters” broke-and-entered, destroying a gate to gain entry to the property; the couple alleges the mob made threats that made them fear for their lives. It remains to be seen if they will emerge from the incident legally unscathed, but “Ken” has already appeared on Chris “Fredo” Cuomo’s execrable television show, making the leftist liar Cuomo look like a fool in the process.
I say what they did was a crime because, were the protesters on a public street, coming out of your house and pointing guns in their direction is the act of “menacing” or “brandishing.” What the couple SHOULD have done, when they saw the “protest” mob coming down their private drive, was lock their doors, take up protective positions with their guns, and prepare to defend themselves.
Coming outside and confronting a mob directly (barefoot, no less, as they’d probably been relaxing) only made them more vulnerable and opened them to charges of pointing firearms unnecessarily. It was dumb and points to a lack of relevant training. They were one thrown rock away from being rushed, trampled, and beaten to death — and at least one leftist pundit on social media made just that threat.
As “Ken” and “Karen” are eaten alive by the progressive crowd (of which they once considered themselves part), it will be interesting to see if they reevaluate their political positions. They are “liberals” who bought guns because they were worried about protecting their wealth. Progressives hate guns, but only where other people are concerned. When “Ken” and “Karen” confronted BLM activists, they transitioned from progressive in-group to “other people” out-group. I suspect “Ken” knows that, based on his comments to Cuomo.
Amongst all the meming and analysis of what happened in this incident, however, I noticed that we’re still engaging in the fiction that there is a difference between “protesters” and “rioters.” (At this point I feel compelled to apologize for the number of scare-quotes in this article.)
The prevailing sentiment seems to be that each Black Lives Matter protest starts as a noble search for racial justice in a nation torn and oppressed by ever-present, all-powerful systemic racism. At some point, the noble protesters complete their mission, clock out, and go home, whereupon their ranks are subsumed by unrelated opportunists who proceed to riot and loot. Conflating the two is wrong (and racist, because everything is). Refusing to support BLM on the basis that its ranks perpetrate violence and theft is also wrong (and also racist, because again, everything is).
No such division exists. This is not to say that every single individual protester has the same motives. Many of them genuinely believe in their cause. But because the ranks of the protesters are filled with people who have all accepted the same false premise, and because that false premise is horrible and inflammatory, and because the flames of protest have been fanned by sensational media coverage that inculcates these protesters with a steady drumbeat of racial resentment toward white Americans, violence will ALWAYS be the predictable, reproducible result.
Listen to the rhetoric. Listen to the speeches. Watch the news. Everywhere the “protests” appear, violence follows. If it is not violence in fact, it is violence in word. Spewing hateful invective, the “protesters” repeatedly tell you what they want. It is not justice; it is revenge. It is not redress for real affronts; it is payback for imagined ones.
What purpose does a mob of hundreds, even thousands, have, when that protest moves from a stationary location to someone’s home? The BLM mob confronted by Ken and Karen was marching on the private home of the mayor, its only purpose to engage in the domestic terrorism that is hundreds of hostile individuals standing on your front lawn.
The persons responsible for systemic injustice to persons of color in the United States are long dead. The persons mistreated by that systemic injustice are likewise long dead. Demanding that individuals alive today atone for their unnamed, unspecified ancestors’ vaguely defined actions is not merely absurd; it is extortion. It comes with the power of an angry mob behind it, one whose intentions are clear: “Do as we say, or else.”
Ken and Karen were foolish and exposed themselves to potential legal liability. They were right about one thing, however. They did not wait for the “or else” to be defined for them. They understood the message. They understood that there is no division between the protesters and the rioters. The protesters ARE the rioters ARE the looters ARE the mob. And the mob has demands it wants met.