I had a front row seat last night. Not for the President’s speech (I was towards the back), but to see a sitting US Senator surrounded by US Capitol police being nearly attacked at my hotel.
If you hadn’t heard, BLM protesters got in a shoving match with US Capitol police protecting Senator Rand Paul. And it’s a bit scary, because right before that, Rand Paul sat in front of me on a bus transporting people from last night’s speech on the White House lawn.
When we were let off the bus, Rand and his wife started walking back to the hotel. Senator Paul and I were both staying at the same hotel. My friend and I waited awhile and then took a route back that was less crowded, avoiding the group that had gathered.
As soon as it happened, the incident devolved. Police were immediately everywhere, people arrested left and right. It was chaos.
And witnessing this – it leaves me asking - how does attacking our police and elected officials move the ball forward to promote equality in our country? How do protests led and inspired by Black Lives Matter help when they leave communities looted and businesses, many minority owned, burned to the ground?
These aren’t steps forward for equality. It’s lawlessness. It is the absolute definition of domestic terrorism. We fought and still fight overseas against the evils of terrorism, only to have domestic bullies promoting this kind of evil on our own soil.
And it’s not just in Washington, DC, Minneapolis, or Kenosha. We’ve seen other BLM peaceful protests become violent. That is EXACTLY what happened in Sioux Falls when the peaceful daytime activities by some turned to violence and destructive at night by others.
If there is injustice, people can and should consider how things can change for the greater good. But they shouldn’t be terrorized to achieve the result. They shouldn’t be threatened with rape, as they did last night to one man’s wife, or throw scooters at people, or otherwise terrorize them.
Enough is enough. I agree we can bring more justice for all. But assaulting, intimidating, terrorizing and harassing people and destroying cities is not the way to do it.
It is time for the lawlessness to end, and for people to support the police in their community to bring the chaos under control.