Immoral Relativism

The natural phenomenon of spin has now ramped up fully, comparing the protests of last year over various incidents involving the police with the recent insurrection at the Capitol.  The tactic is to compare the violence and pass a judgement that the incident in the Capitol was somehow better or less violent.

It’s the old, “yeah DC was bad, but Portland was worse so there…”

The cry is Democrats characterized the protests over racial disparities in the country as mostly peaceful despite the incidents of violence and property destruction.  Such characterization is fraudulent and false on its face. Mostly peaceful means mostly not completely.

While violence and destruction of property is never justified, there is something inherently and more dangerously wrong when protests attack the seat of government. In particular when they do so based on a lie.

But if we’re going to play the moral relativism game let’s use facts. Here’s the total numbers of arrests from several of the more violent protests over racial issues and the arrests from the incident in DC.

If you look closely, you may see a disturbing pattern emerge.  

Protests in Minneapolis the day after George Floyd’s deathMay 26, 2020570
Protests in Ferguson, MO after Mike Brown’s deathAugust 10, 2014400
Protests during Trump’s inaugurationJanuary 20, 2017234
Protests in Washington D.C. following George Floyd’s deathJune 1, 2020194
Protests in Louisville, KY after the Breonna Taylor grand jury decisionSeptember 25, 2020179
Insurrection at the CapitolJanuary 6, 202169
Charlottesville Unite the Right rallyAugust 12, 20178

So, using these numbers, it would seem this administration takes a very hardline stance against those violently protesting racial disparity—of which there is ample evidence—and a more mild stance against those violently trying to subvert an election—which was based on a profoundly disturbing lie.

Now before someone raises the argument that the low count of arrests in DC was because the police were outnumbered and could not arrest then, but they will in the future, let me address that. The police were outnumbered, left out to dry by those in charge. They were unprepared for the violence because those in command didn’t see the threat or were too intimidated by those who orchestrated the protest, i.e., the President of the United States, to do their job. One might also make the argument they were color-blind to the problem, something they did not suffer at protests sparked by racial issues.

While violence is never justified, twisting facts to suit one’s tunnel-vision view of reality is hardly justification for whitewashing what was clearly an attempt to overthrow the government. There is no moral relativism justification for violence but I would argue that violence spawned by lies and falsehoods for the purpose of subverting the government deserves its own level of revulsion.


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