America is in a state of social unrest — unrest we haven’t seen in decades.
Nearly one month ago, George Floyd tragically died while in police custody. And it was a travesty — it should have never happened. In the days following the tragedy, Floyd’s family saw Derek Chauvin not only released from the police force but also charged with second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
In the weeks following, peaceful protestors took to the streets and voiced their concerns about police brutality. Most stayed within the parameters of the law. Over those long weeks, however, peaceful protests turned into violent riots and mass looting sprees. The people of New York City, Los Angeles and other urban hubs watched as rioting and looting destroyed entire communities.
What began as a peaceful demonstration against racial injustice turned into unmitigated chaos. It turned into utter ridiculousness. In Seattle, protestors occupied part of the City’s Capitol Hill neighborhood and turned it into the “Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone.” Seattle’s police department pulled officers out of the autonomous zone as the violence persisted.
Around the country, white women kissed the feet of black men. White men kneeled to beg forgiveness for slavery. And white Hollywood celebrities apologized for their white privilege, vowing to “take responsibility” for racism.
What that means, exactly, is anyone’s guess. But is this really how far we’ve come? Is this really the Left’s endgame?
Yes, let’s be clear: The left is to blame for today’s chaos. In Seattle’s autonomous zone, it is Antifa — the far-left terrorist group — policing the streets. In New York, Mayor Bill de Blasio allowed rioting and looting to go on unencumbered, before vowing to defund the police. All the while, “woke” liberals in Hollywood virtue signal to the masses.
Those on the left need to ask themselves one basic question: Do you support the rule of law, or mob rule?
It’s really the only question worth asking. For years now, Democrats and their media allies have criticized President Trump’s “disdain for the rule of law.” For years, they complained about Russian collusion (until the Mueller Report debunked it). Yet the “rule of law” goes out the window when the Black Lives Matter movement is concerned?
The Democrats’ silence is deafening. Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D-MI), who blamed lockdown protestors for spreading the coronavirus, proceeded to ignore her earlier warnings and personally took part in Black Lives Matter protests. Apparently, social distancing guidelines only apply to Republicans. Congressional Democrats, such as Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), even refuse to use terms like “rioting,” suggesting that peaceful protests are not satisfactory. And then there’s Joe Biden, who decided to go after President Trump’s calls for law and order instead of condemning acts of violence.
This is unacceptable. Worse, it is anti-American. We can all agree that racism has no place in America, and that racist acts should not go unpunished. But there is a clear line between peaceful protests and violence. There is a clear line between the rule of law and mob rule.
By defending the police, President Trump understands that distinction. In his words: “We have to respect our police—we have to take care of our police. They’re protecting us, and if they’re allowed to do their job, they’ll do a great job. You always have a bad apple no matter where you go. You have bad apples. There are not too many of them, and I can tell you there are not too many of them in the police department.”
He’s right. America is unfortunately home to some bad apples, but our system is not “systemically” racist.
President Trump’s words are now turning into action. The Trump administration is currently drafting an executive order on police reform, which will include an official misconduct tracker and use-of-force guidelines.
That is how you govern. That is how you take action. As President Trump leads, his opponents should be ashamed of themselves for abandoning the rule of law — in favor of mob rule. America is in a state of chaos because of the Left.
The American people can right the ship by supporting the rule of law, not by acquiescing to a growing mobocracy.
Allen West is a retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel and former Florida congressman. He serves as senior advisor to the Committee to Defend the President.