Oh goody. I just saw Attorney General William Barr say that the unrest and violence around the USA today is the result of “Leftist” extremists. Rather than engage the issue that has mobilized tens of thousands of protestors, Barr is going to help Trump (after all, that is his job, right?) by blaming a small number of people who just happen to be Biden voters. This is the ‘law and order’ narrative that Trump thinks will get him back in the good graces of Republicans who are rightfully appalled by the President’s non-response to COVID-19. Barr will always help in any way he can.
So, whether the blame gets put on the Left(ists) or, as some are reporting, on far right groups seeking to make the protestors look bad and undermine the quest for civil rights, in either case the Trump campaign is the winner.
In reality, of course, there is no one group that can be blamed for the escalation from protest to riot. Racism and police brutality are too complicated and ingrained to be so easily reduced. As I’ve mentioned before, the video is a source of trauma, mass trauma thanks to the internet, and no one should be surprised about how mass trauma affects people.
Even if there is a cathartic element to the protests, it is being overrun by the increasing violence and destruction. And those things, of course, beget more trauma. We’re on a bad cycle and there is every reason to think this will get worse. And, since the President does not distinguish between his administration and his campaign, there is no real incentive for the Feds to make this stop, even if they could. Trump thrives on the chaos.
And I have one more piece of bad news to share. Thanks to the murder of George Floyd, social distancing has gone out the window in some of the most densly populated parts of this country. So, while we are listing traumatic events, the impending tsunami of new COVID-19 cases that will follow the protests and riots will add more stress and horror. That part of the story will take shape during the hottest part of the Summer and continue into the most emotionally heated part of the Presidential campaign.
It doesn’t seem possible. As I write this, there are increasing reports of injuries suffered by officers and protestors and rioters. Soon we will see the bloody pictures and movies from everyone’s cell phones. Soon the “disturbances” will spread too, not unlike the coronavirus, into areas outside the cities. And Trump will keep stoking the flames without any care or concern other than his latest poll numbers. Yes, even with these unreal images on my TV right now, it will almost certainly get worse.