My column for the Washington County Daily News is online and in print. Go pick up a copy. Here’s a taste to incite you… a little ironic that I use the word “incite” when referring to a column about the Kenosha riots.
On the second night, one videographer followed a young man as he yelled for the children to go home because it was going to get bad. Sure enough, as the sun set, protesters turned into rioters as they tore down street lamps, stood on cars to break their windows with bats, smashed store windows, and looted the contents. Then the fires started. Multiple fires were started simultaneously to overwhelm the fire department, who could not enter the area safely anyway to put them out before they spread. I watched as family businesses burned and nearby homes were evacuated.
On the third night, the chaos worsened; multiple law enforcement agencies took a more aggressive posture to quell the riot. I watched from the angle of the rioters as police formed a human wall and used armored vehicles and nonviolent means to clear the streets. The rioters kept up a steady counterassault with rocks, shields, rolling burning dumpsters, bottles, and fire.
It was on that third night that one journalist came upon several armed citizens who were defending a gas station. They had had enough of the riots and were determined to protect life and property from the marauding horde. I watched as rioters confronted
the armed defenders. Words were exchanged. Spittle spewed. Tempers flared. On my way to bed, I commented to my wife that someone was going to die that night. The next morning, we learned that they did.
Watching several hours of immersive coverage of the riots illuminated a few things. First, traditional media is failing us. When I read the stories in traditional outlets the next day or caught the television newscast, it did not reflect what I watched. This was not a “mostly peaceful” protest where a little scuffle broke out. This was a full riot that raged for several nights. There may have been a peaceful protest during the day, but as soon as the sun set, it was anything but peaceful.
Second, many of the same people who were just shouting and taunting during the day were the same people who were smashing and burning in the night. This was not a case where the peaceful protesters went home at sunset and a shift of criminals and malcontents took their place. These were many of the same people. And many of them are ardent anarchists and Marxists who are intent on destabilizing our republic. You can see it in their graffiti and hear it as they shout it. They are not hiding. The shooting incident that precipitated the uprising was merely an excuse to launch a violent uprising.