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As America Burns
by Gary Fouse
As we enter Day 8 of the George Floyd protests (for lack of a better phrase), this is where the events have left me at this point:
1 As a retired law enforcement officer, I see no way that what Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, did to George Floyd can be explained or justified. That is a tactic that I was never taught and never saw anyone else do. The man was handcuffed and whatever resistance he may have offered was overcome by the four officers. I feel that prosecution is definitely in order, and I also expect some sort of charges to be filed against the three officers who should have stopped Chauvin's actions but did not. It pains me to say it, because I tend to side with the police, but in this instance I cannot defend what happened.
2 I have absolutely no quarrel with those who are demonstrating peacefully. I may not agree with all their claims of systematic police racism etc, but they have a right to be outraged and, as always, the legal right to protest.
3 That does not apply to those are engaging in acts of violence, arson, looting, and destruction. People have died this week across the country, and this action must be stopped and the perpetrators prosecuted. In my opinion, much of this is being led by Antifa and Black Lives Matter movements. This rioting is organized and overshadowing the actions of peaceful protesters. And this is not just black protesters and black rioters. This is black-white-brown-you name it.
In the case of Antifa, this is nothing but a loose-knit, fascist, anarchist group of thugs who simply want to promote a violent insurrection. They are, as President Trump said, domestic terrorists. They must not be allowed to take over the streets of our cities. It is way past time for the feds to step in and go after this group, which though it has no organizational structure, is coordinating across state lines to foment violence. There are federal statutes that can be applied, and they should be put to use. Conspiracy and RICO come to mind.
4 Aside from the incident that sparked this chain of events, police across the nation have acted professionally and shown enormous constraint. At times, possibly too much restraint, but they are obviously overtaxed. The National Guard should be used in any state where rioting is occurring to assist police. As for the President's threat to use military units, that would be an extreme step, and I just don't think we are there yet.
5 The media, with the exception of Fox News, is acting disgracefully. We don't need to hear a local CBS reporter, while reporting from the streets of Los Angeles, telling us about "institutional racism of American society and police". The national outlets are generally following a politically correct line while the cable networks, CNN and MSNBC, are making this all about Trump. We have Don Lemon going on tirades and much of the time talking about himself. We have Chris Cuomo bashing Trump non-stop and blaming him for all of this. Both networks are bringing in leftist university professors and talking heads to condemn our country as a whole. Last night, MSNBC's Brian Williams, a man not noted for his own credibility, brought on Harvard professor/activist Cornel West, who simply took over the microphone and droned on non-stop about only God knows what. How this character ever got to be a university professor is beyond me. (Actually, I do know. Our universities actively seek out and hire radicals to teach our kids that America is an evil, racist country.)
But I digress.
This is a time to pray for our country because we are in deep trouble. After watching racial progress my entire adult life beginning in the 1960s, I feel that we are right back to where we started. I pray for President Trump to receive God's wisdom and help heal this wound while restoring law and order. While I agree with the sentiments he expressed yesterday in calling for the violence to be stopped, I feel he inartfully worded it, but let's be honest: This is not one of his strong suits. I do feel he is trying to do what's right. He has condemned what happened in Minneapolis and ordered the FBI to join the investigation. Yet he is being blamed for all of this. That is unfair.
I also pray for our police, who are in harm's way. It is they who are having to pay for the actions of four cops in Minneapolis. If they could speak to Derek Chauvin and the other three ex-cops, I'm sure they would say something like, "Look at the position you have put us in".
That aside, it is time to take back our streets. Protect and respect the rights of the peaceful protesters and take down the rioters. After that is done, we have a lot of work ahead of us to rebuild not only our cities, but our society as well.