Two Dead In Kenosha

It was bound to happen, and it happened. What exactly happened is unclear, although one side claims some men with guns were defending a gas station while the other side claims they were just random vigilantes looking for a fight. Either way, it happened.

Three people were shot early Wednesday, two fatally, law enforcement officials said, during a chaotic night of demonstrations over the shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black resident whose children were nearby as their father was shot this week by a white police officer.

Was this a story about Jacob Blake’s children or three people being shot? Julie Bosman’s lede is conflicted, as she can’t bring herself to report the news without reporting the narrative in the same sentence. While this isn’t the cause of anyone being shot, being killed, this doesn’t help prevent anyone from torching businesses, smashing cars, and being shot.

The argument continues to rage over whether destruction of property is violence, or only harm to a person is violence, even if that includes words that some ears prefer not to hear. It was a stupid argument before, an absurd rationalization to justify rampant destruction, rioting, looting in the course of “mostly peaceful protests” so that no force could be used to prevent rioters from destroying property.

That wasn’t going to work. It was never going to work. And it doesn’t work for either side, even though there is no reporting in the media of the violence done by rioters, since the media’s good guys are the good guys, and what sort of moral clarity would the media have if they made the good guys look bad?

The police have tear gas and rubber bullets at their disposal. Others do not. The police have shown remarkable restraint in many instances, though some would call it neglect of duty, while others are outraged that they are preventing burning down courthouses as others engage in mostly peaceful protests inches away.

But Kenosha isn’t Portlandia. It doesn’t relish its reputation as “weird.” While angry people wearing black wanted their moment of protest, others wanted something else.

Many protesters left the area, but others lingered and walked to a gas station several blocks away. There, a group of men with guns stood outside, promising to protect the property and verbally sparring with the arriving protesters. As the night stretched on, the gas station became a tense gathering spot, with bystanders watching from parked cars and people milling around in the street, arguing and occasionally shoving each other.

Where are the words about businesses burned? Where are the words about the people whose lives were wrapped up in those businesses that had nothing, even in the most twisted delusion of the most passionate protester, to do with police abuse or racism? Just some “people milling around in the street, arguing and occasionally shoving each other.” And then some crazy right-wing militia-type nut starts shooting these mostly peaceful protesters.

What does this image of the unfortunate protester have to do with the NYT story? Absolutely nothing other than to remind you who the good guys are.

The needless killing of any person, and particularly of black people, must end, but these riots and rampant destruction were never the way to accomplish it. It was an invitation to more violence, and now there are two dead bodies to show for it. These are not likely to be the only dead bodies. And no, NO, the cry that the defense of property never justifies the taking of a life will not prevent this from happening. It’s a defense of life, not an excuse to destroy.

The question now is how this can end. Will the rioters stay home because they don’t want to be the next dead body? Will the shooters stay home because they fear anarchy in the streets by empowered rioters who lack the maturity to grasp their outrage feeds reactive outrage? Is the point to end blood in the streets rather than add to it?

Stop making excuses. Stop arguing that your side is more righteous than their side. Violence and destruction, despite the cries for mayhem by the stupidest activists among us, only beget more violence and destruction. It won’t bring anyone back to life, and it won’t stop the next person from being killed. This has to stop or there will be more dead bodies.

16 thoughts on “Two Dead In Kenosha

  1. JB

    In the middle of a lot of screaming from friends on either “wing” about how their side is so much more righteous than the other side, those last few paragraphs struck a chord. Thank you.

    As a wise man once said, violence begets violence. I don’t know where this all ends, but it has to, and soon, before it gets a whole lot worse, with a lot more people unnecessarily dead.

  2. Jimbobla

    First, all rights are property rights. If destruction of property is not violence, the word has no value. If you can take away my ability to provide for me and mine and say that no violence has been committed, your brain is broke. And this “particularly of black people” ? You promote a higher value to certain races? Why? Because everyone but black people are racists? Statements like this are designed to create division. What I find curious is that it has taken this long for someone to pay the price for destroying what does not belong to them. If the police will not defend property rights this is what you should expect.

  3. Richard Parker

    “This is just wrong guys!”

    Thank God for this woman. Time for everyone to pull back from the precipice. Children who have no idea of the Darkness opening beneath their feet.

  4. Jay

    Do you not get the irony of calling for an end to violence started by violence? That you spend all your time castigating people who are fed up living with the world of police abuse you are aware of from a cdl perspective and nothing more?

    The republican party has convinced itself that anyone who isn’t with them is evil and has to be destroyed. When they’re politicians say “all Americans”they are only referring to supporters of trump. Why are you trying to join them?

    1. SHG Post author

      What confuses you is your inability to grasp that not being on your team doesn’t mean I’m no the other team. Don’t feel bad, Jay. You’re not alone in your delusion.

    2. Dan J

      >The republican party has convinced itself that anyone who isn’t with them is evil and has to be destroyed.

      Surely you understand that the sentence has the same meaning (and relevance) if you replace “republican” with “democrat” or in this case “BLM” right? And the group that is literally in the streets doing the destroying right now is not the republicans.

      Plenty of people are fed up with living in a world where a mob can show up any time and burn down their business, their house, their doctor’s office, or anything else. I am as against police misconduct as the next guy, but this is now happening in my back yard. These people want change, and so do I. But if the mob reaches my neighborhood, or my house, I am not going to stand aside and let them destroy my life for the cause. I bet you wouldn’t either.

  5. B. McLeod

    Indeed. I won’t update the stellar accomplishments of the rioters in overrunning and pointlessly destroying additional buildings and vehicles. After all, that stuff is just “property.” So, it can’t even be on the scales where a black person has been shot by a person who is a cop.

    But the lives. They count. The “progressive” mechanism of the rioting has advanced the situation from one injured person to an additional injured person and two dead people. A real accomplishment by those engaging in the primitive violence (and they probably aren’t done yet).

    Anyone can fire the heather. The greater deed is to put it out.

  6. Hunting Guy

    Greg Prickett.

    “In both cases, the affected population did what people do when they have taken all that they can take and have no other readily available options—they reacted with violence.“

    Sounds like the citizens of Kenosha got tired of no police protection and took a page from the rioters handbook.

    I expect to see more of this.

    1. B. McLeod

      One of the side issues seems to be that tactically, the police and Guard have decided not to try to protect property, and that some of the people disagree.

  7. John S.

    “The peasants have always been revolting, your majesty, only now, they’re rebelling!”

    I don’t see this ending without overwhelming force being brought to bear and more lives lost. The righteousness of any viewpoint has been left behind with the ever growing violence, which has been allowed to grow unchecked. The problem is no longer one of societal change. It has devolved down to the individual level of survival of the fittest where might makes right. Whether their personal view is “The world owes me, so I will kill to get mine” or “The government has abandoned me, I will kill to defend mine”, one or the other are starting to dominate the thoughts of those caught up in this mess. Nobody is in control. Neither the elected officials or the so-called “social justice” leaders we see on the news are in any way holding the reins on events. They are certainly leveraging them for whatever advantage they can squeeze for their own gain, but they can’t stop it or even slow it down. The police have been handicapped to the point that they will be very unwilling, even if able (which is doubtful in several cities) to tackle the problem. They have suffered restrictive policy edicts and prosecution for trying to do their jobs, and they are leaving in droves. If they are called out to round up the few but growing number of desperate citizens who are matching violence with violence to protect their lives and property, the police face the real prospect of violence targeting them from all sides.

    Cities and towns that have been thus far unaffected, and seeing how fast this spirals up into chaos, are taking measures to stop these flare ups quickly. Once the night is surrendered to the mob and the guns are openly brandished, it’s too late. No government can maintain order when the enough of the population either don’t fear any legal consequences or believe the law no longer protects them. The law has no meaning to a people without faith in it. The erosion of our societal ethics and civic duty has been decades in the making. Anyone who thinks they can flip a switch and turn all this off is dreaming.

  8. Ray

    What do you mean “How’s it going to end?” It’s going to end by Fox News continuing to play these scenes on television over and over again, with Donald Trump using it to close Joe Biden’s lead which is now narrowing and getting himself reelected by the narrowest of margins just like he got elected to begin with just proving H. L. Mencken’s 1920 prophecy : “As democracy is perfected, the office of President represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their hearts desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.” That’s how all this violence ends. It just took 90 years to get there.

  9. Rengit

    If you read that Anoncat thread, they’re arguing that the guy was a member of a militia (maybe? Who knows, and why is that relevant except “militia man bad”?) and that he was working with the police, supposedly “proven” by the fact that the police spoke with him and took water from them prior to the shooting.

    What’s the problem with that? Kenosha had two nights of rioting, some people turned out to protect their homes and businesses while very legally open carrying, the police have to show a great deal of restraint even when a protest devolves into a riot. Obviously the police are going to check in on the people who show up with guns to make sure they’re not doing or planning anything illegal. These anarchist protest/riot groups would do themselves a bunch of favors if they would be willing to communicate with the police and state their intentions, but since that’s against their entire ethos (their attitude towards talking to police is mafioso-esque, and their rhetoric about how they deal with “rats” is frequently similarly mafioso-esque), they’ll view anyone who does that as a collaborator.

    Do they not understand how crazy this is to anyone outside their self-marginalizing political cult? And these are the people who go on and on about “praxis” and “optics”. I used to wonder how some of those 60s protest groups like the radical SDS breakaways went so far off the deep end, I’m seeing it happen in real time now. And like then, people are getting killed, and there will be more if they keep holding to these beliefs.

Comments are closed.