Everyone loses in the George Floyd riots
A major American city has been sacked as if it were the capital of a hated enemy by roving gangs of wild-eyed revolutionists and snarling hooligans. Who are these persons? They are our very own "wretched of the earth." They are the maladjusted, the perpetually enraged, the nihilists, the criminals, the fanatics, the opportunists — to summarize, all those who are always ready to tell anyone and everyone who will listen that they are "more sinned against than sinning." All societies have such a subterraneous layer of individuals, and it is major disturbances such as riots that bring them to the forefront to vent their existential hatred, live out their revolutionary fantasies, or simply settle scores.
Even more eye-opening than these riots have been the reactions.
Let us focus on the police forces of our Republic. They are in the process of becoming cruel yet ineffectual. They swagger when intimidating timid citizens into closing their "non-essential" businesses or when called to disperse "unsanitary" church services, but they tremble when facing down rioters. That is to say they are very good at what they shouldn't do and very bad at what they should. Having spent all the goodwill and respect of the police during this absurd lockdown on trivial outrages and petty acts of tyranny, our politicians now find the well dry when an actual emergency presents itself.
The police in Minneapolis allowed entire neighborhoods to be plundered with impunity, following the lead of their mayor, the Trudeau-esque Jacob Frey. He could have smothered this fire early on but instead abdicated his responsibilities. In bygones ages, his utter cowardice and ineptitude in such a position of command would have necessitated a fall on his sword, but in these more "civilized" times, his simple resignation and total disappearance from the political scene would suffice.
With that, the overall level of contempt for the police rises all across the board. What happens to a police force that is neither feared by criminals nor respected by law-abiding citizens?
As a curious aside, imagine this situation under a President Clinton with the full weight of the Democratic Party behind her. Visualize ever larger and more violent mobs being given "space to destroy" à la Baltimore in every single major American metropolitan center until their unnatural point of satiation. To add insult to injury, this entire conflagration would have been placed directly at the feet of the "deplorables" for having displeased the woke God by being racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, Islamophobic, et cetera and brought his righteous (riotous?) fury upon us all. "Heads: I win; tails: you lose."
It is quite clear that the killing of George Floyd calls out for justice, but it is equally clear that we now face a deluge of anarchy and lawlessness that threatens to engulf major American cities. We must allow and even encourage legal protests by good-faith actors while dispersing forcefully all the forces of disorder and destruction.
As regards reforming the police to avoid future George Floyds, we must begin the process of de-militarizing our police forces as well as enmeshing them deeply into their local communities. The functions of a constable and that of a soldier must be clearly delineated. Our officers should revert to doing as they once did and address citizens as equals, not as occupied colonials or as derogatory "civilians." More "no sir" and "yes ma'am" and fewer expletives, tattoos, and G.I. Joe impersonations. But ultimately, as policemen, like soldiers, are subordinated to politicians, we must make sure to fight expertly in the political arena to put our political candidates forward as well as put effective pressure on those politicians already in office (on both sides of the divide).
Ernesto J. Antunez is a conservative columnist residing in Miami. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter at @ejantunez.