by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
The video footage of bands of Black Lives Matter activists roaming through Washington D.C. on Monday evening harassing diners—surrounding them, screaming in their faces, declaring that anyone who doesn’t raise a fist in solidarity is a white supremacist—is in a way more disturbing than the riotous scenes of arson, looting, and violence in Kenosha, Wisconsin, in recent days following the police shooting of 29-year-old Jacob Blake.
It’s more disturbing because it’s a glimpse of what comes after the rioting and looting are over, when the attention and ire of the social justice mob moves away from institutions and settles, as it always does, on ordinary people minding their own business.
Chanting “silence is violence,” the mobs in D.C. demanded that random people they came across do as they were told: raise a fist or else. In one video, a seated woman is surrounded by angry BLM activists, nearly all of them white, fists raised, haranguing her to do the same.
The woman, showing good American instincts, reportedly said she agreed with them but refused to be bullied by a mob.
But plenty of others did as they were told, if only to avoid being swarmed by a raging throng.
Throwing bricks at police and running from tear gas in darkened streets is the kind of thing people do when they know they are weak and cannot yet win in an open fight. This other thing, these scenes in D.C. on Monday of mobs descending on passersby and demanding fealty, is the kind of thing people do when they feel they are ascendant, that they are in control, that they are winning—indeed, that they have already won.
In a sense, they’re right. For months now Democratic mayors and governors across the country have been passive, sometimes to the point of complicity. …