As I write this, Philadelphia is preparing for a third night of violence and looting following the shooting of a black man who was coming at police with an 8-inch knife. Philly’s recently appointed police chief, Danielle Outlaw, may be questioning her decision to leave the former post as Chief in Portland, Oregon. Portland has seen more than it’s share of trouble this summer, but this here’s world-class rioting.
Portland’s protesters are largely white kids with magenta hair, armed with little more than a huge sense of entitlement and a worthless degree in fine art or women’s studies. The more dangerous among them have a fondness for fireworks, frozen water bottles, pipes, rocks and Molotov cocktails. A few weeks ago a small group broke some windows and toppled a statues of Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt. They’ve been sowing mayhem all summer ever since the George Floyd killing.
Philly’s rioters, on the other hand, numbered in the thousands. Police warned residents in seven precincts — seven! — to stay indoors. They probably didn’t need much encouragement. Looters ransacked a Foot Locker (Air Jordans Matter), a Wal-Mart, a Chick-Fil-a and an Aarons furniture and electronics. A police car was torched. Police were filmed running for their lives. The National Guard is being called in.
Is this the beginning of mega-riots – events so large, so violent, that law enforcement is overwhelmed? Of course we have the means to end it all right now, but not the political will. Certainly not in Philadelphia, where the police budget was cut by $33 million this summer and city council plans to ban tear gas and pepper spray. The SJW DA says policing and prosecution are both systematically racist, so don’t expect any help there.
The danger is that the public, weary and frightened, will turn to vigilante groups or militias for protection. Or chuck our failed leadership for a strong man who will protect us.
Former Philadelphia Mayor Frank Rizzo once expressed his support for the death penalty with these words: “I’ll Pull the Switch!” Will Philly return to its Rizzo roots? A significant number of Americans would silently cheer if looters were shot on the spot or run down with tanks. Some would happily pull the trigger themselves. In an era of mayhem and mega-riots it could easily happen.
Is it time to bug out?