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George Floyd protests unmask just who is essential and who is useless

Written By | May 31, 2020
George Floyd protests

Andy Ngo retweets video clip. Masked militants ransacking the Justice Center in downtown Portland. Many came prepared with chemicals to start fires and weapons to break windows. #antifa #BlackLivesMatter

LOS ANGELES — This writer is angry tonight. I watched Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti give a press conference announcing the curfew for the city of Los Angeles in response to the escalated George Floyd protests. Like hundreds of cities, the “peaceful” protests are being overtaken by a more violent and anarchistic element. United States Attorney General William Barr, and anyone with any sense, attributes these violent actions to the machinations of Antifa. The news media and the Mayor of L.A. simply dance around the issue in word salad. They bend over backwards to reinforce the  belief that everyone has a First Amendment right to protest. At the same time, they beg those in the growing crowds who have not arrived just to peacefully protest to “please stop.”


A tale of two kinds of George Floyd protests

In contrast to the current “protest” situation, this writer didn’t see a whole lot of respect for peaceful protests in the County or the state when law abiding citizens demanded we reopen local businesses and individual lives as well. In fact, Governor Gavin Newsom ordered the Capitol police to push these protestors away from the Capitol steps. Worse, several arrests were made of law-abiding citizens guilty of nothing more than exercising their constitutional right to peacefully assemble.

On the plus side, it’s a good thing that America got to actually see what peaceful assembly looks like. Now they can compare and contrast to what has been occurring over the last five days in Minneapolis and other cities, resulting from the horrendous death of George Floyd at the hands (or knees) of now-former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.

But it seems that wherever peaceful George Floyd protests occurred, they were quickly overtaken by a coordinated group of anti-police, anti-capitalist anarchists. In turn, these violent agitators coupled with people who just like to loot and watch the world burn.

Curfews, prohibitions and neighborhood rats

A number of cities, including Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, Chicago, Atlanta, Denver, Cleveland and Columbus, Portland, Seattle, and Miami have imposed curfews on their cities. The curfew in Los Angeles happened around 8:00 p.m. Thus far, however, it seems to have done little good. I expect to awake the next morning to reports of even more carnage at the hands of the enraged and the unaccountable.

Also Read: Fake-news CNN discovers that things can get very real very quickly

The hallmark of this violent rioting, looting, and vandalism is that practically every city (save a handful) is run by a Democrat mayor. Some of these mayors came under fire for their draconian measures imposed during the height of the coronavirus pandemic. This, unfortunately, created the conditions for a perfect storm: First, you lock people down until they are psychologically at razor’s edge. Then, you transform your local law enforcement into nanny monitors to enforce social distance behavior and give out citations for the sake of control (and revenue).

To aid in this endeavor, you even encourage fellow citizens to narc on each other for skirting around local government’s unreasonable dictates. Apparently encouraging these neighborhood spying activities in one of his daily briefings, Mayor Garcetti famously informed us that “Snitches get rewards.”

Now, we confront a legitimately horrific event that rightfully engenders a need for the people to be heard. But when your police force shows up to maintain order at these assemblies, how much respect will your citizenry give to these peace officers? From the state of things today, not much. Conservative Review editor Daniel Horowitz nailed it right between the eyes:

Faith leaders to the rescue?

When you arrest a Malibu paddleboarder out on the Pacific ocean alone, give tickets to San Diegans in their cars watching the sunset, and arrest a father in Brighton, Colorado for playing with his daughter in the park, you wantonly waste any currency you once possessed to enforce ill-reasoned edicts issued by the political elite.

As Millennials and Gen Z  members say, “I have zero f**cks to give.” The citizens of Los Angeles, and other major cities pretty much find themselves arriving at that point as well. The rest of this weekend’s demonstrators come from Antifa and other evil elements. They opportunistically sweep in to fill a perceived vacuum in the George Floyd protests. But they never had any f**cks to give society in the first place.

What I found even more disturbing and ironic, was a truly astonishing event: in a tandem press conference with the Mayor of L.A., Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva chose to parade a series of black pastors and other faith leaders to the podium to preach peace and calm to the community. Isn’t it interesting that the County now needs faith leaders to call for peace? Only a little more than a week ago, California and other jurisdictions categorized faith centers as nonessential. Or even dangerous because of all that touching, sharing, and singing increasing the spread of COVID-19? Remember COVID-19? After the past week, not too many people do remember the pandemic anymore. They have greater moral concerns.

Weren’t pastors and churches “non-essential”?

Despite all this, state and local governments in California routinely treated pastors, rabbis, imams and other faith leaders like poisonous pariahs in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic. Lawsuits have been filed by or on behalf of faith centers to allow them to reopen and worship corporately, and in person. The usual government reaction? The media, most politicians, and even the United States Supreme Court effectively laugh at and ignore these lawsuits seemingly as a matter of routine.

This writer would like to know the names of the faith leaders our local government called upon who told them to go pound sand. I would give those leaders a standing ovation. Why should they try to enable your government’s task of peacekeeping when Los Angeles County and the State of California did their level best to try and kill theirs? With all the lack of social distancing and the dearth of face masks (except from the Antifa lot) found at these ongoing George Floyd protests, political commentator Tammy Bruce pointed something that many people now believe.

What’s coming next from California’s governing elite?

At the request of Mayor Garcetti, Governor Newsom declared a state of emergency and deployed the California National Guard to help maintain the peace in Los Angeles. Bill Melugin of Fox News-LA tweeted the following information.

I pray the city is still standing when they arrive.

As we appear to move away from the COVID-19 pandemic crisis and navigate this new personal and political unrest, both Los Angeles and America itself can gradually gain a clear idea about who and what remains essential in society.

It sure as hell ain’t the politicians.

— Headline image: Masked militants ransacking the Justice Center in downtown Portland.
Many came prepared with chemicals to start fires and weapons to break windows.
Screen capture of video retweet via Andy Ngo.


Jennifer Oliver OConnell

Jennifer Oliver OConnell offers witty, insightful, and direct opinion, analysis and musings on local and national politics and popular culture, with occasional detours into reinvention, food, and Yoga. Jennifer also teaches Yoga, and coaches clients on careers and reinvention. You can keep up with what's in Jennifer's orbit through her As the Girl Turns website.