There was a time when rioting was a rare and noteworthy occurrence. Back in those days, the sight of a crazed mob torching a business for no discernible reason, or invading and burning a police station, or beating bystanders unconscious, or murdering elderly men who get in the way — any one of these incidents by themselves — would have shocked the conscience and become instantly seared into our memories. But now we call events like these a normal Monday evening. Anarchy and lawlessness are an utterly routine part of the contemporary American experience.
As we survey the damage from the Black Lives Matter riots in Wisconsin prompted by the police shooting of a man wanted for sexual assault and other crimes, it is hard to feel as shocked as we should. The scene is appalling. Entire car dealerships burned to ash. Police officers assaulted with bricks. An old man beaten unconscious while he tries to protect his store from looters. A woman left in tears as she looks upon the wreckage of the business she and her husband had spent their lives building. We are infuriated by the injustice and heartbroken for the victims. We are enraged at our elected leaders who either sit by like useless lumps and do nothing to protect their citizens, or actively encourage the mobs. And we are exhausted — exhausted by the ceaselessness of the carnage, and the knowledge that it will not be over tomorrow or the next day or the next. But we are not shocked because this our new normal. And we have Black Lives Matter and its enablers in the media and the Democratic Party largely to thank for that.
Black Lives Matter was formed in 2013 by self-identified “trained Marxists.” It rose to prominence the following year as the group protested the shooting of Michael Brown and helped to spread the proven lie that Brown was executed with his hands up while begging for his life (in fact, he was killed because he charged Officer Darren Wilson and tried to take his gun, as investigations on both the federal and local level confirmed). Protests in Ferguson over this justified use of force “gave way to violence” — to use the media’s favorite euphemism — and the city still has not recovered to this day. But the funny thing is that Black Lives Matter demonstrations have had this tendency to “give way” ever since they gave way in Ferguson.
After Ferguson, protests in St. Louis and Oakland and New York gave way to violence that same year. They gave way to violence in Baltimore a year later, and Milwaukee and Charlotte the year after that. A Dallas protest in 2016 gave way to violence to such an extent that five police officers wound up dead. And of course in recent months, protests have been giving way to violence all over the country, and the result has been tens of millions of dollars in damage and dozens of lives lost, and counting. One might conclude that violence is not an accidental byproduct of this movement, but perhaps one of its central goals.
Not all of the violence has come in the form of mass chaos and arson. We must also take into account the smaller campaigns of harassment and terror carried out by Black Lives Matter and its allies. In DC, BLM activists have apparently taken to accosting random diners who refuse to raise a fist in support of black power. In Seattle, they have gone into the suburbs and shouted at residents to give up their homes. These are not physically violent tactics, but they are fear tactics, and the threat of violence is often implicit. So, it is not as though we are taking one isolated incident and using it to paint the entire Black Lives Matter organization and movement in a negative light — the way, for example, that pro-abortion activists exploit the incredibly rare (and roundly condemned by pro-lifers) incidents of anti-abortion violence. On the contrary, this is an established and undeniable pattern. A rational person cannot help but draw certain conclusions.
Proponents of Black Lives Matter argue that the organization has nothing to do with any of the violence. It is just a coincidence that demonstrations organized or supported by BLM, and involving so many people shouting their slogans and wearing their shirts and carrying their signs, happen to so often involve setting stuff on fire and throwing projectiles at police officers. These excuses insult the intelligence. One need only consider what nearly everyone would be saying, and what the media would be reporting, and how the government would be responding, if a series of Tea Party rallies “gave way” to arson, looting, and wanton destruction. After one episode of Tea Party members and allies beating random pedestrians over the head, stopping traffic at gun point, and lighting vehicles on fire, most people would be prepared to label the whole movement a terroristic enterprise. After the second episode, Tea Party leaders would be rounded up by federal agents. After six years of this? Well, that’s literally unimaginable. It would never happen. It could never happen.
It’s time for the media and the Democrats to be honest about the violence enacted by Black Lives Matter activists and supporters. Other violence-embracing extremist groups are widely condemned and rightly have no mainstream defenders or supporters at all. They are small, fringe, and generally irrelevant. Black Lives Matter is large, mainstream, and powerful. The media and the Democratic Party have enabled Black Lives Matter to become the most dangerous extremist group in America.
More from Matt Walsh: Riots Erupt Over Police Shooting In Wisconsin. Here Are The Parts Of The Story Rioters Are Ignoring.