by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
One of the most galling and misleading arguments tossed around following the death of George Floyd is an attempt to draw a parallel between the carnage sweeping the nation and the Boston Tea Party. …
… It takes an impressive level of historical illiteracy to describe the Boston Tea Party as a “riot.” And while the spread of bad history is always lamentable, when agitators warp events like the original Tea Party to justify setting fire to American cities the deception becomes dangerous.
On December 16, 1773, some 30 to 130 members of the patriot group known as the Sons of Liberty—some dressed as Mohawk warriors—boarded three British shipping vessels docked at Griffin’s Wharf and dumped 342 chests of tea into the Boston harbor.
Though many witnessed the event’s aftermath, it was a moonlit, covert act completed in three hours. No harm came to the ships and crews of the Beaver, Dartmouth, and Eleanor. No violence or confrontations of any kind took place between the British soldiers, colonial patriots, or Tory loyalists that night.
The justifiable motives of the event were, namely, the oppressive Townshend Acts and the Tea Act of 1773. More broadly, it was part of the growing frustration of American colonists being taxed without representation. …
… The Floyd protests, however, have already destroyed hundreds of buildings and led to the deaths of at least three people, including a slain police officer in Oakland. …
… As Target and other retail stores lie burning or ransacked in Minneapolis and throughout the nation, it isn’t CEOs or millionaire businessmen who feel the brunt, it’s the average workers who can no longer go to work.
Instead of “sticking it” to the source of what they see as “systemic racism,” rampaging rioters and looters hurt those with whom they claim to empathize.