January 22, 2021

The Preferential Treatment of Left-Wing Violence

Political violence must be prosecuted with an even hand, regardless of which side it comes from.

If you’ve been glued to CNN or MSNBC, you’d think the U.S. Capitol melee earlier this month was the most violent uprising in American history.

After the dust settled, one of the cries from the Left was the alleged kid-glove treatment of the protesters and the suggestion that police would have been more aggressive had Black Lives Matter or antifa forced their way into the Capitol.

Some data seem to support such claims. As Clyde Hughes, citing the U.S. Crisis Monitor project, writes, “Between May and December of last year, for example, police forcibly attempted to break up and disperse liberal protests at a rate more than two times greater than they did for conservative events.”

On the surface, this is worth exploring. Then again, there’s probably a reason why the actions of some groups are met with a tougher response than others.

No one excuses the violence at the Capitol on January 6 — we’ve pretty thoroughly condemned it — but the vast majority of protesters were about as tame as could be. After all, how many “insurrectionists” walk between rope lines and keep their hands off the artwork? The violent few were arrested and face long-term prison sentences. Others are being aggressively pursued by the FBI.

Compare this to nearly a year of antifa and BLM protesters setting fires, damaging scores of buildings, attacking and injuring police officers, destroying public property, looting stores, and setting up autonomous zones. Where was the outrage from the Left or our own government?

In most cases, police made few arrests and the FBI pretended the riots never happened. The media often called them “peaceful protests,” and some even justified the violence as necessary to bring about social justice.

Last November, as The Heritage Foundation’s Mike Gonzalez wrote, “When it comes to these organizations, including Black Lives Matter, Antifa, and the newer splinter groups that mimic their tactics, the media often seems to take their social-justice posturing at face value. In the current media environment, left-of-center actors who claim to represent the cause of the oppressed are granted more moral license to use violence as a political tool.”

And if you think the election of Joe Biden would bring about peace and unity, think again.

A Black Lives Matter march in New York City on Martin Luther King Jr. Day left 11 police officers injured, as “protesters” threw projectiles and vandalized property. Apparently, police warned the protesters to leave before they made arrests. New York state Attorney General Letitia James didn’t approve of the police response, however; she said they acted too aggressively.

If anything, the response to left-wing violence in the past year hasn’t been aggressive enough.

In response to the serious investigations currently underway at the FBI to find and prosecute the Capitol rioters, Miranda Devine of the New York Post wonders, “Where was that kind of gravitas when BLM-Antifa rioters locked Seattle police in a building and tried to burn them alive? Or when police were attacked with bricks and Molotov cocktails, whole blocks were looted and set ablaze at a cost of billions of dollars, and parts of some US cities were turned into lawless autonomous zones inside which people were murdered? For months.”

Good question. Of course, we all know the answer. Political violence is now acceptable for some groups, but not for others.

In the end, we as Americans need to agree that all political violence is unacceptable. And until Biden and his sidekick Kamala Harris bring themselves to denounce left-wing violence, their calls for unity will fall on deaf ears.

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