Don’t Join a Mob

This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or exercise their revolutionary right to overthrow it.~Abraham Lincoln 1st inaugural address

 This morning, watching the news, I simply told my son “never join a mob.”  The police can’t win in a situation like this.  If they do nothing and people get hurt, businesses and homes are destroyed.  If they do something, a video will call out the ‘bad cops’.

There’s nothing to be gained in a mob.  You get to be part of a crowd, and sure that’s ‘fun’.  You’re in with the ‘in crowd’.  But when it all goes south, you stand a chance of getting arrested or worse.

I hope we can all agree what happened to George Floyd, and many others like him, was unnecessary and requires action.  I hope we can all agree peaceful protests of this kind of thing are useful and necessary as part of our nation’s traditions.  I’m sure we can all agree riots and destruction are counterproductive and unnecessary.  They do not represent a revolutionary movement.

I’ve seen many people making comparisons of the looting and riots to the Boston Tea Party.  This is just nonsense.  While it’s true that John Hancock and Samuel Adams were happy to see the tea tossed because it kept prices on their smuggled tea high, many others opposed the Tea Party, with Washington and Franklin calling for restitution to the East India Company.  So criticism of destruction also has a long history in our fine nation.

That said, the East India Company existed by mandate of the Crown, and was an arm of the government.  While it was ‘private’ in construct, even Parliament recognized it was both a political and economic entity.  Taxes were only part of the way the Crown benefited from the East India Company.  So any attack on the tea was an attack on the government, by default.  Burning or looting Target stores are not an attack on the US government or local governments.  The looting had nothing to do with depriving the government of anything, nor is it a statement about government.  It’s just violence and destruction for the sake of violence and destruction. 

Taking the comparison further, the Boston Tea Party was not an uncontrolled riot.  It was, by most accounts, generally orderly.  Armed British ships did not make a move to intervene.  The participants went so far as to sweep the decks clean afterward.   This was not mob behavior.   This is the kind of protest one should feel comfortable joining.

After being cooped up for 2 and half months, any spark was likely to result in an overreaction.  Criminal elements love a protest, particularly one they can turn into a riot.  Protests require strong leaders, soft guidance, and respect for order.  But none of this exists with the ‘protesters’ in our current situation.  There is no Martin Luther King here. 

George Floyd should not be dead.  His murderers should be arrested.  The reaction is still wrong and cannot be justified.  Each is a separate crime in itself.  The riots should not be linked to Floyd’s death, they should be linked to violent thugs seeking to cause problems.

Don’t join a mob. 

Taken from this SOURCE