MASTERSON ONLINE: Time for convictions

It’s beyond me to even try and understand the rationale behind groups of the lowest-functioning thugs among us destroying businesses and parts of communities under the obviously phony excuse of “protesting” injustice.

Yeah, I know, the irony is palpable.

While our Constitution guarantees the right to peacefully assemble and protest, what has been happening in Democratic-controlled cities (most recently normally tranquil Kenosha, Wis.) is nothing less than felony theft, destruction of property, assault and yes, even murder. Surely, this band of criminals doesn’t believe most Americans capable of logic and reasoning categorize them as “protesters.”

They are nothing more than criminals operating under what they hope is the convenient cover of protesting police violence against minorities. Some apologists and propagandists in the national media even promote that ludicrous version, despite near nightly scenes of burning and destruction visible to everyone.

Andrew Kerr of the Daily Caller News Foundation reported the other day that dozens of news outlets published content that either justified or disingenuously explained away rioting and looting in the initial weeks of unrest following the police custody death in late May of Minneapolis resident George Floyd.

“While President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden have both condemned rioting and looting, major news outlets such as CNN and MSNBC have appeared to downplay the unrest that has gripped American cities in the months following Floyd’s death, in one instance describing a scene as ‘mostly peaceful’ as fires raged in the background,” writes Kerr.

“But as the violence broke out in American cities in late May and June, dozens of news outlets provided a platform for commentators, professors and activists who not only acknowledged that rioting and looting were taking place, but sought to either justify the violence as a valid protesting technique, or as a form of righteous rebellion against an unjust system.”

Kerr listed 31 articles, opinion pieces, interviews and news segments “published in the media in the first three weeks following Floyd’s death that pushed narratives that either justified or explained away the rioting and looting as it started to break out in American cities.”

From Democrat-controlled Portland to Seattle, Chicago, New York and now Kenosha, the looting, ransacking, arson and physical attacks have been going on for months with local elected leaders unapologetically allowing it to continue.

Look, valued readers, while I’m not involved in law enforcement, the U.S. Justice Department, or Interpol, were I in charge of ensuring justice for these crimes, I would already have names, addresses, transportation and funding information, and the organizational scheme that obviously lies behind it all.

And believe me, I wouldn’t stop until I’d located and publicly charged every last person involved, regardless of their station in life. No stone unturned, political or otherwise. This kind of mob-driven criminality demands certain and serious consequences.

Along with laying such outrages at the deserving feet of Democrat governors, mayors and do-nothing, malfeasant leftist prosecutors in these cities, I’d make certain only the harshest consequences were bestowed on the criminals for the damage they have done to so many innocent people. There must be serious consequences.

Poor Kenosha, Wisconsin’s fourth largest city with about 100,000 residents, likely will take months if not years to recover from the nights of animalistic rampages it suffered.

And not one of the city’s affected citizens, outside a few officers, had anything to do with one officer’s deeply controversial shooting of Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old Black man police said they were attempting to arrest in connection with a domestic incident.

The local criminal justice system is dealing with officers who were involved, as it should.

A Daily Signal story about what happened to this city and 71-year-old business owner Eric Oertle explained how emotionally crushed he and his wife were to review the mob’s wanton destruction of their computer business.

He used the phrase “sick to death” to describe his feelings as he watched (on the verge of tears) a video of the couple’s ruined livelihood. Each frame he said, was more devastating than the last.

It reveals looters smashing the windows of Computer Adventure, the sales and service store Oertle and his wife, Pat, started in Kenosha more over three decades ago.

The video was taken at 10:55 p.m. on Aug. 24, the second day of ‘civil unrest’ following the officer shooting Blake seven times in the back. Blake will likely be paralyzed for life.

The story quoted Oertle: “They came in with baseball bats, smashed our glass cases, stole everything they could, or smashed what they didn’t steal. They were going to set fire to the building like they did across the street from us, until the upstairs tenants in the apartments above us came running down the stairs and stopped them. They said, ‘We live here.'”

Oertle say, he and his wife were among the fortunate ones since theirs was the only building on the block standing after four days of rioting, thieving, bashing, assaulting, burning and looting that left millions of dollars in damage, two dead, several others wounded or injured.

Those crimes understandably left the good people of Kenosha wondering how their community will heal.

Positive news

Those busy folks at WalletHub don’t appear to get much rest as they churn out one poll after another comparing the performances of states in wide-ranging categories.

One of the latest reports actually had some good news in its chart of cities most recovered thus far from the covid-19 pandemic. Thankfully, many cities appear to be rebounding relatively well.

Fort Smith in July finished 16th nationally with an employment rate that dropped to 7.2 percent compared with 10.2 nationally.

Little Rock was in 71st place with flat 10 percent unemployment.

The Lexington, Ky., metropolitan area with 5.7 percent and Louisville at 6.4 percent led the nation in recovery thus far.

Now go out into the world and treat everyone you meet exactly like you want them to treat you.

Mike Masterson is a longtime Arkansas journalist, was editor of three Arkansas dailies and headed the master’s journalism program at Ohio State University. Email him at [email protected]

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