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Don’t Excuse Rioters

Rioters protest with fire and "I can't breathe" sign
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Kerby Andersonnever miss viewpoints

Sometimes I feel that my responsibility is to provide context for events in the news. That was certainly the case when riots that started in Minneapolis broke out in cities across the country. Certain media personalities felt it was their responsibility to excuse and even downplay the violence and property damage of the rioters.

This is not a new phenomenon. We need to explain, especially to our younger audience, that liberal and progressive stars in the media have been doing this since the 1960s. That is why Kyle Smith in a recent column felt the need to say, “Don’t excuse, defend, or encourage rioters.” You might think that would be obvious. Apparently, it is not. Here are a few of the ways excuses were made for the rioters.

Some commentators want to keep telling you that what you see is merely a protest and not a riot. Holding a sign and marching in the street is one thing. Throwing rocks at law enforcement, breaking windows, stopping cars, and beating up bystanders is quite another. The general public knows the difference even if some media personnel do not.

Some commentators suggest that property damage is merely an example of free speech expression. People who are frustrated sometimes throw something or break something. That may be understandable but it’s not justifiable. But media personnel who sympathize with the frustrations of rioters never have to deal with the consequences. I suspect they would feel differently if it was their car or store set on fire.

Other commentators argue that riots are the only way to attain justice in a rigged system. But even that argument falls flat when we see riots in cities where both the mayor and the police chief are African American. Nor do they explain how burning down the police headquarters advances any form of justice.

This isn’t a difficult call. No one should be trying to excuse or defend rioters.

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