If a Martian had landed and watched the 2020 Democratic National Convention from wire to wire, he would’ve had no idea that America is grappling with our worst period of urban riots in half a century. Nor would he have known that dozens of U.S. cities witnessed a big spike in murders after the initial George Floyd riots erupted in late May and early June.
Most of the hardest-hit cities are Democratic strongholds. Yet national Democratic leaders have been shockingly reluctant to offer full-throated condemnations of the rioters.
“If the Democrats were shrewd,” writes Spectator USA editor Freddy Gray, “they would see this as a potential weak spot in their campaign. They would do their best to show they are not the party of street violence; that ruining urban life is not acceptable, especially not under the banner of racial justice.”
When street violence exploded in Kenosha, Wisconsin, after the police shooting of Jacob Blake, Joe Biden released a statement declaring that “yet another Black American is a victim of excessive force.” In the very next sentence, he called for “an immediate, full and transparent investigation.”
In other words, Biden stated as fact that police had used excessive force — but then acknowledged that we do not have all the facts. This was grossly irresponsible, especially at a moment when the Wisconsin city was already ablaze with destruction.
Last night, three people were shot in Kenosha, and two of them killed, amid the ongoing mayhem. Residents of the city’s Uptown neighborhood, where much of the violence has occurred, say it now resembles a “war zone.” The rioters have destroyed a wide range of Kenosha businesses, and thus destroyed people’s livelihoods.
“This is a disgrace,” one Uptown resident told the Kenosha News. “I think Uptown is done.”
Today, the increasingly desperate Kenosha County Board of Supervisors sent a letter to Democratic governor Tony Evers, pleading for more Wisconsin National Guard troops.
“Our businesses are under attack,” the letter reads. “Our homes are under attack. Our local law enforcement agencies need additional support to help bring civility back to our community.”
Will the death and destruction in Kenosha prompt a change of attitude among national Democrats? Will they firmly and unequivocally condemn the riots? Will they issue broader condemnations of mob violence in general? For that matter, will they denounce the use of mob tactics to terrorize and harass people in cities such as Seattle, Portland, and Washington, D.C.?
How depressing is it that we even have to ask?