Posted by Curt on 31 May, 2020 at 5:51 pm. 13 comments already!


Can you make this stuff up?

Here is the city’s message in full, issued May 28, after several days and nights of rioting. Here is the final sentence:

The city urges everyone to exercise caution and stay safe while participating in demonstrations, including wearing masks and physical distancing as much as possible to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The city has made hundreds of masks available to protesters this week.

Protesters? Earth to Minneapolis Mayor Moron: Rioters torching whole sections of your city are not protesters. Many are professional agitators from out of town. Locals who loot stores are opportunists, many of them career criminals. The city’s message took zero notice of these elementary realities.

Mayor Moron’s contribution to the city’s full message was this: “We need to offer radical compassion and love that we all have in us. I believe in this city and I know that you do, too.”

There is a validated playbook for dealing with riots. It is a tale of two riots in the awful summer of widespread racial unrest in 1967. Eugene Methvin’s 1991 National Review “riot primer” laid out the playbook:

In a nutshell: Riots begin when some set of social forces temporarily overwhelms or paralyzes the police, who stand by, their highly visible inaction signaling to the small percentage of teenaged embryonic psychopaths and hardened young adults that a moral holiday is under way. This criminal minority spearheads the car-burning, window-smashing, and blood-letting, mobbing such hate targets as blacks, or white merchants, or lone cops. Then the drawing effect brings out the large crowds of older men, and women and children, to share the Roman carnival of looting. Then the major killing begins: slow runners caught in burning buildings and-as civic forces mobilize-in police and National Guard gunfire.…

The time to halt a riot is right at the start, by pinching off the criminal spearhead with precise and overwhelming force. The cops will usually be caught flat-footed (no pun intended) by the initial outbreak. But they need to spring into a pre-arranged mobilization that should always be as ready in every major city as the fire-department or hospital disaster-response program.

Methvin compared two July 1967 riots. In Toledo, rioters began smashing things, throwing rocks at police cruisers. The authorities resounded instantly and decisively, arresting the thugs, with order restored within 36 hours. No one died. Not so in Detroit, where the authorities decided to allow rioters to let off steam. Five days of violence followed, with more than 40 fatalities and more than 1,000 injured. Property damage was estimated at over $40 million, in 2020 dollars, roughly $300 million. It was the worst rioting in America since the 1863 New York City draft riots, not to be exceeded in scale until the 1992 Rodney King riots.

And there is a lasting loss for failing to do so. South Central Los Angeles never recovered from the double blow of the 1965 Watts and 1992 conflagrations. Detroit and Newark never recovered from the destruction of 1967. Washington, D.C., never fully recovered from the riots after the 1968 assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. As Methvin noted, during the 1991 Mount Pleasant riots in the nation’s capital, the new mayor got a crash course in the right and wrong way to deal with violent unrest:

In Washington, D.C., on Sunday, May 5, a black female police officer attempted to arrest a Hispanic man who was drinking and unruly on a street in the Mount Pleasant area, heavily populated by recent Central American immigrants. The man drew a knife and advanced, the officer reported, whereupon she shot and severely wounded him. The rumor spread that he was dead, shot while handcuffed. A flashfire of violence erupted as hundreds of youths set fire to police cars, smashed windows, and looted. Washingtons new mayor, Sharon Pratt Dixon, at first ordered police to disperse crowds but make no arrests. The second night, running gangs of youths fought a thousand policemen, burning and looting as they spread out. Mayor Dixon then declared a curfew and ordered arrests, whereupon the violence subsided. Police made 230 arrests in three days.


Yet that same year, New York Mayor David Dinkins took a “let off steam” approach, as black rioters marched through the streets of Crown Heights shouting “Heil Hitler!” as they assaulted Jews, after a rabbi’s car accidentally struck two children, killing one. A rabbinical student — a student guest from Australia, a more civilized place than was New York City in 1991 — was stabbed to death. (It should be noted that in both the Mount Pleasant and Crown Heights cases, crowds reacted violently to rumors of police misconduct that proved to be false.)

That eternal lesson, however, has once again been unlearned, as the capital’s current mayor, almost as much of a moron as Minneapolis’s America’s moron numero uno, refused to help the Secret Service guard the White House when rioters assailed the residence; the Secret Service, which does know what to do, promptly quelled the violence.

The full due bill for the current mauling of countless cities across the nation, with neighborhoods torched beyond repair, will be in the many billions. Beyond that are the businesses that will never reopen and the lives of innocent property owners and their families ruined. Even worse, the due bill comes on the heels of a pandemic that for a long time will raise the costs of rebuilding and lower potential revenues.

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