The Honorable Senator Roy Blunt apparently commented on Feb 10, 2021, “Well, you know, you have a summer where people all over the country are doing similar kinds of things.” This quote is attributed to Manu Raju who is the CNN Chief Congressional correspondent. If true, Roy Blunt is equating the mob violence that we saw in Ferguson in 2014, and the Black Lives Matter (BLM) riots in 2020 with the storming of the Capitol on January Sixth 2021. It is true that all these events have elements of peaceable demonstration mixed in with rioting and violence. But I believe that it is a blunder to equate them.
Firstly, it is a mistake to equate any circumstance or event as a general policy, because each event has its own unique particulars. To say, it snowed again today is missing the point that each snow day is unique. Some days, the driveway is covered by a layer of ice and snow, other days, it is covered by a heavy wet snow, and some days it is covered by a layer of powder snow. Why is this important? Well, I have to go out with a shovel and clear my driveway. Each snowfall has different circumstances, or parameters that can make a job easy or impossible. And also, the safety varies. Trying to walk on a layer of ice is treacherous.
And so, we have to look at each demonstration, riot, insurrection as it own unique case, We have to look at how difficult the response was in each case. We have to look at the safety level. The risk to the general public. Loss of Life. Monetary damages. The threat to our Constitution and our society.
Secondly, is is a blunder to equate these movements. To equate BLM and Antifa with Trump Supporters and the Proud Boys, Three Percenters, Oath-keepers, American Nazi party, skinheads is dangerous because it subscribes to the Charlie Mansion philosophy of a two-sided American Armageddon Race War. This political theory is peddled subtly and overtly by the right wing media propaganda machines. It is also peddled by our overseas partners and competitors as a way to divide America. Certainly, this is a boon for gun sales, and for people stocking up on gas masks and bear mace.
To follow Roy’s math, it is time to choose sides. And that is the apocalyptic garbage that many have been screaming. But the arithmetic doesn’t add up. The majority of Americans don’t believe it. We can live in an America where we all get along, we all prosper, precisely because we celebrate our differences. Our major competitive advantage in the World — economically, politically, socially — is that we provide and enforce a society based on equality. It is a blunder to set up this game of black and white, and play it over and over again. There are no winners here only losers.
Thirdly, the causes behind the Sixth and last summer are very different. The race riots were in response to extreme policing of black people that resulted in George Floyd’s death. This policing was either incidental “unfortunate” or a policy “systemaatic racism” depending on who you talk to. The Sixth was in response to a stolen election or Donald Trump being a sore loser depending on who you talk to. The history of race riots goes back hundreds of years in this country. The history of Trump’s stolen election goes back to 2016 when he asserted that Hillary Clinton cheated him out of the 2016 race. Or Ted Cruz cheated him out of the Iowa Caucus
And lastly Mr. Blunt, it is a betrayal of all of us who believe in our system of government — get the full truth, we can resolve differences, plan, take action — without devolving into a murderous mob. If I had been there on January Sixth, a loyal Trump supporter, it was a betrayal to whatever I thought MAGA meant.
In summary, it is a blunder to equate these events.