On Jan. 6, 2021, I watched with disbelief as the people scaled the U.S. Capitol’s walls, broke through windows, and clashed with police. It was jarring.
I’m a patriotic American who believes America is the last best hope of humanity, and its survival is paramount to the freedom of people around the world. I voluntarily served in the U. S. Marine Corps, carrying on a family line of men who served in every branch of the military.
But living in Minneapolis, I had a front-row seat to the violence that occurred in the days and weeks following George Floyd’s death, just as I am now a witness to the devastation of my city from exploding violent crime and homicides in its aftermath.
It’s very hard for people like me who had their streets on fire for days, who still drive through a gutted, ash-heap of a city now riddled with crime and violence, to see Jan. 6 as anything more than a mob gone wrong. Where are the lasting scars like I see in Minneapolis? Where was the breathless 24/7 news coverage of that city? And while some of those at the Capitol have been held in solitary confinement for months, vandals and arsonists in Minneapolis were bailed out by groups supported by our vice president.
One year later, Washington appears unscathed, spared from any real, lasting damage.
As House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s January 6 Select Committee plans its colonoscopy-like partisan investigation, few have been held to account for the violent riots that laid waste to a once vibrant, dynamic Minneapolis and many other cities. According to the Major Cities Chiefs Association report in 2020, an estimated 574 violent riots took place in the weeks after Minneapolis burned, resulting in damage of up to $2 billion.
Pelosi made sure the capital was locked down and surrounded by the National Guard and coils of concertina wire, city leaders and governors left citizens at the mercy of thugs hurling Molotov cocktails, helpless as their homes and businesses burned to the ground.
America’s preeminent revisionist historian Nikole Hannah-Jones perfectly encapsulated the elitist mentality in a June 2020 CBS interview: “Violence is when an agent of the state kneels on a man’s neck until all of the life is leached out of his body. Destroying property, which can be replaced, is not violence.”
For the left, Jan. 6 merits a condemnation of a whole political party as domestic terrorists, deserving the full weight of the federal government as punishment. For the 2020 rioters, a reckoning is reserved for average Americans who were unaware of their support for systemic racism merely by not being explicitly anti-racist.
Crime Rates Up
Leftist politicians and activists vilified law enforcement officers, campaigned to defund police departments, and worked to install far-left district attorneys more interested in using their positions to run social justice experiments than pursue law and order. As a result, police departments are suffering from mass attrition, leaving cities vulnerable to record-breaking violence, homicides, and carjackings.
Minneapolis violence increased on every metric, with homicides tying the city’s record set in 1995, while capital city St. Paul broke its homicide record, set in 1992. Leaders of these cities and those in the federal government continue to stand by with their private security as underserved communities are collapsing under the weight of fear and violence.
Clearly, lawmakers and the media think themselves and their safety are more valuable than the people they are supposed to work for and represent. There is a great divide between those with the luxury of marinating in self-pity and the rest of us trying to rebuild our livelihoods and avoid the very real violence we are faced with every day as body counts rise across the country.
Media and Political Elites out of Touch
In his Tuesday op-ed, Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson wrote, “What happened last Jan. 6 was much bigger and more important than politics.” Of course it was, because it was about the elitist political and corporate media establishment. They continue to inflate the severity and lasting effects of the Jan. 6 riot because they have an outsized idea of their own influence and importance. The disparity of concern and reaction is telling: when their lives are inconvenienced, it’s a national disaster; when our lives are destroyed, they hand us a shovel.
Any suggestion of a threat to America’s credentialed class is presented as an affront to democracy and a sin equal to the worst treason in our nation’s history. Meanwhile, the destruction of dozens of cities and thousands of lives in middle America has been accepted as a necessary airing of grievances, a reactionary event in the name of social justice that inflicted pain on those who probably deserved it anyway.
It is an iteration of the divide between those who see themselves as rulers and the people over which they rule. It extends from the leftist media that needs to perpetuate democracy’s threat to fight off the ratings implosion since President Trump left office, to sanctimonious politicians who view the public as nothing more than the masked, faceless unwashed who should be grateful that the 2020 riots exposed their racist ways and now can correct them.
Never passing up an opportunity to remind its viewers that America is on the brink of democratic collapse just by the fact that Republicans exist, CNN is running a one-year anniversary special marking the event, which is confusing because, judging from its content, CNN has basically been running a 365-part special the past year. Maybe this is the series finale?
“Insurrection,” “violent coup,” and “domestic terrorism,” are terms they use when describing Jan. 6. Contrast that to the media’s coverage of the violent riots, even as fires burned uncontrolled in the background of their live-shots — terms like “social unrest,” “demonstrations,” and “mostly peaceful protests.”
Our lawmakers are just as shameless in airing their trauma and reminding the country how close they were to their impending doom, even though some weren’t even in the same building. Pelosi announced a candlelight vigil on the steps of the Capitol along with a panel of congressmen and historians to “establish and preserve the narrative of January 6th.”
Our elite politicians never miss an opportunity to indulge their already oversized egos by equating their personal well-being with that of the very existence of our nation.