A Rioter by Any Other Name...
A "study" ridiculously claims that 93% of BLM protests have been peaceful.
“Early in life I have noticed that no event is ever correctly reported in a newspaper, but in Spain, for the first time, I saw newspaper reports which did not bear any relation to the facts, not even the relationship which is implied in an ordinary lie.” —George Orwell, “Looking back on the Spanish War,” 1943
“Who are you going to believe, me or your own eyes?” —Chico Marx, “Duck Soup,” 1933
The above quotes resonate with regard to a “study” conducted by the US Crisis Monitor, a joint project launched by ACLED (Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project) and the Bridging Divides Initiative (BDI) at Princeton University. It asserts that, in more than 93% of all demonstrations connected to the Black Lives Matter movement, protesters have not engaged in any violent or destructive activity.
The word study is in quotes because the worldview of those conducting it becomes apparent by page three. “The longstanding crisis of police violence and structural racism in America hit a new flashpoint this year,” it asserts. That such easily debunked structural propaganda informs the basis of a so-called study should surprise no one. It’s an election year, and the Left is belatedly discovering that looting, arson, mayhem, and murder — tolerated and/or condoned by leftist politicians — does not sit well with the general public. Thus, it becomes incumbent to help Democrats — who spent four days completely ignoring all of it at their national convention — by addressing it, secure in the knowledge that an equally compromised Leftmedia will minimize it, even to the point of absurdity.
Thus, the project notes that peaceful protests occurred in more than 2,400 distinct locations around the country, while riots have occurred at fewer than 220 locations. Yet as columnist Joel B. Pollak reveals, the additional details are rather damning. “The Princeton data set shows that nearly every major city in the United States experienced riots from late May to the end of August — even under the narrow definition that the study used to classify riots (as separate from events described as police violence against protesters),” he writes. “The only exceptions within the top 50 cities by population were Fresno, California, and Mesa, Arizona.”
Even more inconvenient, columnist Byron York pointed out that those 220 locations endured nearly 570 violent demonstrations.
In the real world, the idea that the general public would be appalled by voluminous levels of violence occurring in 48 of the nation’s top 50 cities is hardly surprising. In the alternate universe inhabited by academic prevaricators and their media handmaidens, it’s the public’s fault for getting the wrong idea. The report bemoans the fact that “one recent poll suggested that 42% of respondents believe ‘most protesters [associated with BLM] are trying to incite violence or destroy property.’” It attributes that reality to “political orientation and biased media framing.” The report adds, “Groups like the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) have documented organized disinformation campaigns aimed at spreading a ‘deliberate mischaracterization of groups or movements [involved in the protests], such as portraying activists who support Black Lives Matter as violent extremists or claiming that antifa is a terrorist organization coordinated or manipulated by nebulous external forces’ (ADL, 2020).”
Biased media framing? What could possibly be more biased than CNN’s description of “fiery but mostly peaceful protests” while Kenosha, Wisconsin, was being ripped apart? Or the Associated Press’s assertion that an Oakland riot — where a courthouse was set on fire, a police station damaged, and cops assaulted — occurred “after a peaceful demonstration intensified”?
As for deliberate mischaracterizations, it’s hard to top the report’s take on Seattle, where rioters established an autonomous zone they called CHOP. While it admits CHOP was “marred by criminal violence” before it was created and after it was dismantled, the report insists “only peaceful protests were recorded during the intervening period.”
Give or take some “intensification” whereby two black teens, 19 and 16, were fatally shot in separate incidents, and where there was a staggering 525% increase in crime relative to the same time period in 2019.
Yet perhaps the most fantastic assertion in the entire report is its insistence that government forces “took a heavy-handed approach” to the BLM demonstrations. “In demonstrations where authorities are present, they use force more often than not,” it states. “Data show that they have disproportionately used force while intervening in demonstrations associated with the BLM movement, relative to other types of demonstrations.”
That might comes as a surprise to Portland residents, who’ve now endured over 100 straight days of violence, or those in Chicago, where legions of thugs descended upon that city’s Magnificent Mile and looted it with impunity, or those in Minneapolis, where a police precinct was burned to the ground. The same goes for the countless other locales where it was clear police were ordered to stand down, and/or arrested rioters were freed due to no-bail policies, or Joe Biden and Kamala Harris staffers contributed bail money, or hack leftist prosecutors dropped charges completely.
Moreover, as one reads the report, one is left with a nagging question: How is violence defined? Last Saturday in Pittsburgh, BLM activists accosted diners at a restaurant. Their “nonviolent” tactics included stealing a diner’s drink and drinking it, turning over tables and chairs, and a man walking up to an elderly couple and screaming, “F—k white people who built the system!”
This “demonstration” followed one in Rochester, New York, where BLM activists smashed customers’ glasses, turned over chairs and tables, and chanted, “If you don’t give us our s—t,‘ we shut s—t down.” Both incidents followed one in Washington, DC, where diners were also accosted by BLM protesters who demanded that diners raise their fists in solidarity with the movement.
That would be a violent Marxist movement, a description of BLM the report studiously avoids. Moreover, as one sees the overwhelmingly Leftmedia citations the report uses to buttress its conclusions, one inevitably realizes that it is yet another self-serving exercise conducted in a leftist echo chamber — one reminiscent of the machinations whereby the FBI leaked reports to the media and then used those same reports to obtain FISA warrants.
A couple of pundits put this entire media-abetted charade in the proper perspective. “The good news is, over 90% of your body is cancer free,” wisecracked podcast host Eddie Zipperer. OANN host Jack Posobiec was even more acerbic, writing, “90% of 9/11 was a peaceful Tuesday.”
On a serious note, columnist Bruce Thornton reminds us that “in 1917 a mere 10,000 Bolsheviks seized control of a great empire of 126 million.” He further warns that the 2020 election will be a choice between “freedom and tyranny.”
And no amount of propaganda created by those desperate to contain an increasingly unraveling BLM narrative will obscure it.