Friday, July 24, 2020

Stop Pretending The BLM Protests Were Peaceful

Are journalists deliberately ignoring the effects of these devastating riots?
Having spent the past month traveling around the United States — from major cities to the countryside — the scale of the ‘movement’ which erupted in late May after the death of George Floyd is almost incomprehensible. According to the New York Times, which relays their finding with obvious excitement, the ‘movement’ (its precise contours seldom defined) “may be the largest” in U.S. history.
That is certainly plausible. In which case, it would presumably be important to document how ordinary Americans, especially those most directly affected, perceive the “movement” in question.
Scan almost any of the popular media coverage over the past six weeks and you’ll find that journalists have been steadfast in their depiction of “protesters” as unassailably “peaceful.” While the vast majority of those who attended a state-backed demonstration or some other event spurred by the ‘movement’ are unlikely to have committed any acts of physical destruction, the term “peaceful protest” doesn’t seem to quite capture the impact of a society-wide upheaval that included, as a key component, mass riots — the magnitude of which have not been seen in the U.S. since at least the 1960s.
From large metro areas like Chicago and Minneapolis/St. Paul, to small and mid-sized cities like Fort Wayne, Indiana and Green Bay, Wisconsin, the number of boarded up, damaged or destroyed buildings I have personally observed — commercial, civic, and residential — is staggering. Keeping exact count is impossible. One might think that a major media organisation such as the New York Times would use some of their galactic journalistic resources to tally up the wreckage for posterity. But roughly six weeks later, and such a tally is still nowhere to be found.
A standard retort one often hears is that “the riots” must not be conflated with “the protests,” which is technically accurate in certain contexts. But the distinction is not as obvious as the media like to make out. In many locations, police and fire services were diverted to accommodate these massive protests, which in turn created a vacuum that enabled the outbreak of riotous activity. As one resident of Minneapolis explained to me, emergency services told him that they would simply be unavailable during the weekend of 29-31 May, while other locals recounted with amazement that police were totally absent as their neighbourhoods burned.
In Milwaukee, a man described being chased down by rioters after getting off the bus on his way home from work. He saw no difference between protesters and rioters; the flippant idea that these groups can be so neatly disentangled is wrong.
Read the rest from Michael Tracey HERE.

If you like what you see, please "Like" us on Facebook either here or here. Please follow us on Twitter here.

No comments: