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January 29, 2023

I’m not going to try to keep up with all the developments in the story of Tyre Nichols and the protests over his death at the hands of five Memphis police officers. This is one of those 24-7 breaking stories that we can’t possibly cover in a timely fashion here, and I assume that if you’re anywhere near a TV, you’re constantly hearing the latest in real time anyway.

All I’ll do is point out some of the aspects that you might otherwise miss. Like the attempt to claim that the killing of a black man by five black police officers in a city with a black police chief and a black plurality population was motivated by racism.

Chris Queen at PJ Media has a good roundup of information and video on the various protests/riots in different cities so far. Notice the post going around in New York, headlined “Burn It All Down!” calling on the "mostly peaceful" protesters to bring “rocks, heavy objects, pipes, spray paint, kerosene, lighters and umbrellas” and to “travel in large groups, wear all black, cover your face” and “bring a knife or other tool to free unlawfully detained comrades.” Yeah, I’m sure that’s what the knives are for.

For the record: the beating of Nichols was horrifying and sickening, and the five officers are facing charges that could bring them at least 60 years in prison. I can’t imagine anyone objecting to either of those statements. So why do some people in places as far away as New York City think this justifies violence, arson and looting of local businesses that had nothing to do with it? Particularly when Nichols’ family expressly urged protesters to remain peaceful and said the last thing they wanted was violence in their son’s name.

A lot of Americans suspect that they are motivated by something other than “seeking justice.” A clue might be found in all the signs protesters carried that associated them with groups like BLM, the “Young Communists,” and the “Party of Socialism and Liberation.” If they think there is anything liberating about communism or socialism, then they have no idea what those things actually are.

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