June 15, 2020

Clueless in Seattle

The lawlessness that has overtaken the Northwest’s biggest city is inexcusable.

As the hostile takeover of Seattle’s six-block capitol district continues without an end in sight, we can’t help but wonder what message it sends to other “protesters” nationwide.

We’re reminded of what former NYPD Commissioner Howard Safir called the tipping point of the Minneapolis mayhem that began three weeks ago and spread across the land: the moment when the city’s liberal mayor offered his police department’s third precinct as a sacrifice to the mob. It was “the absolute wrong signal,” said Safir. “The message that it sent … was, ‘You can do whatever you want, and we’re not going to do anything about it. Weakness never works in these kinds of situations.’”

To be sure, Seattle’s anarchists seem a bit more civilized than the Minneapolis mob, preferring the spray can to the Molotov cocktail. Still, Safir is spot-on. If history has taught us anything, it’s that weakness is provocative. And so it has the opposite effect: It doesn’t assuage; it only emboldens and encourages.

Our Thomas Gallatin, who covered the Seattle story last week, put the Emerald City’s predicament in a nutshell: “Seattle’s leaders are fearful of running afoul of the anti-police sentiments roiling the country and are essentially at a loss as to how to respond.”

Little has changed since then. If anything, it’s gotten worse in the so-called Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone. The city’s inept mayor, Jenny Durkan, seems to fully support the mob, calling this hostile takeover “patriotic.” Asked when she thought the occupation would end, she gushed, “We could have a summer of love!”

Careful what you wish for, Jenny.

Setting aside the terrible message being sent by the city’s elected leaders to aspiring anarchists, what might Seattle’s unwillingness to enforce its laws be saying to business owners and job seekers thinking of relocating to the city? Or to those considering a career in law enforcement?

We can tell you what they’re thinking: Not Seattle.

“Progressives” are, no doubt, hoping for a peaceful resolution, but that might be wishful thinking. It’s hard to look at the occupiers’ nutty manifesto and its 30 undemocratic demands and see even a tiny parcel of common ground.

For example: “The Seattle Police Department and attached court system are beyond reform. We do not request reform, we demand abolition. We demand that the Seattle Council and the Mayor defund and abolish the Seattle Police Department and the attached Criminal Justice Apparatus. This means 100% of funding, including existing pensions for Seattle Police. At an equal level of priority we also demand that the city disallow the operations of ICE in the city of Seattle.”

Or this: “We demand a retrial of all People in Color currently serving a prison sentence for violent crime, by a jury of their peers in their community.”

Or this: “We demand the hospitals and care facilities of Seattle employ black doctors and nurses specifically to help care for black patients.”

What is it, anyway, about liberal, lily-white Seattle and its pseudo-support of Black Lives Matter? Rapper Raz Simone, the self-styled leader of this mob, must feel a bit out of place, given that the city’s once-vibrant black community has been squeezed down to just 5.6% of the metropolitan area’s total population. (Seattle is number 47 among the nation’s 49 largest metropolitan areas ranked by black population, ahead of only San Diego and Phoenix.)

Perhaps Seattle’s pale-faced young masses are suffering from a collective case of white guilt.

Finally, can you imagine if a group of young, polite, clean-shaven Christians had taken over Seattle’s Capitol Hill area and declared a “Christian Autonomous Zone”? Gary Bauer can.

“Suppose they blocked off streets and shut down the local abortion clinic,” Bauer said. “Suppose they announced that you could only stay there if you fly the American flag, own a gun and that schools will begin the day with a prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance. My friends, the tanks would already be on their way to crush this secessionist movement.”

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