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A week into the peaceful protests that have after hours turned into looting and violent riots, it’s obvious this is the result of a toxic combination of issues. People have become entitled after living in cities run by liberals for decades and receiving state handouts. Young people are ignorant of any historical context. And a lack of purpose eventually erodes work ethic, personal responsibility, and morphs into lawlessness.
At first, when residents in Minneapolis—my home town—began to riot and loot the communities, it seemed like a knee-jerk reaction to the murder of George Floyd by a police officer. This was not an entirely productive or logical protest, but it was understandable given the fact that the police officer is white and Floyd was black and racism was presumed therefore to be the root cause.
However, as the destruction continued and worsened, then spread to Philadelphia, LA, Washington, DC, Dallas, Atlanta, New York, Houston, Louisville, Memphis, and Dallas it began to look like the murder of George Floyd was just lighter fluid, fanning a flame that had been smoldering for awhile.
To add to it, it looks like antifa, a left-wing, so-called “anti-fascist” group consisting of predominantly young, white males, has joined in the protests and exacerbated the violence and property destruction.
For all intents and purposes, there are two groups fanning the flames of discord in some of our country’s finest cities. While I suspect their origins and reasons for protesting—including violent looting and rioting—are different, they share some similarities: A progressive ideology and a lack of purpose. When combined with the pent-up frustration due to the COVID-19 lockdowns, the idleness has given way to pure lawlessness.
From Washington, DC
To Minneapolis, Minnesota:
Peaceful protesters who eventually morphed into, or were joined by rioters and looters destroyed much of their communities, including essential businesses, like the grocery store.
A Shop Rite in Philadelphia was reportedly looted for 15 hours.
From the dozens of videos I’ve seen on social media, the majority of Antifa and violent protesters destroying property look young and over half are male. This is not the first time we’ve seen this nor am I the first person to point out that this generation has a particular problem with authority and with how to handle anger, frustration, and loss.
Indeed, this generation of twentysomethings has grown up in fractured homes, are numbed by video games and smartphones, without an immediate threat of war to toughen them mentally and physically as it has previous generations, but still just enough poverty, debt, and job loss to cause anxiety and fear.
What these young men and women have lacked in a strong parental figure they have made up in flawed, selfish peer groups. What they failed to find in terms of moral ethics, vocational purpose, or family, they made up for when they found each other and stoked one another a sense of anger toward a government that couldn’t make their lives better.
For those who have grown up in predominantly Democratic-run areas of the country, this has compounded things for this generation. Liberal ideology hasn’t just seeped into the fabric of many cities, like Minneapolis and Washington, DC, but it has shaped entire areas now for decades.
Where these ideas have taken root, they have caused serious, dire consequences. State programs offer handouts and yet little sense of personal responsibility. Both create a false supposition that property is in fact destructible and replaceable and people don’t have to step up to provide for their own, so they lack purpose.
In Democraticic-run cities, crime is rampant, abortions are common, disregard for life, property, and basic ethics runs high. While high taxes pour money into public schools, basic civics lessons fail to be taught, history is cherry-picked, and teachers care more about a student’s self-esteem than sweat equity in math, reading, history, and government classes.
This lack of education, and an effort to pour into a student’s feelings has backfired, creating a generation of me-centric toddlers who are so entitled yet so full of their own virtue, when they see injustice they can’t fathom squaring their shoulders and making real change: Instead they loot, raid, and dub it righteous indignation. And leaders prop up this view.
If the way to overcome trauma is to find purpose then surely the way to overcome decades of liberal ideas, a fractured family, and a coddled lifestyle that has never seen a threat of real war on our own soil, is for young people to establish their bona fides in a much healthier way.
To find a sense of purpose, work, family, education, meaning, they can pour this pent-up angst into and produce real change, not broken windows. Until they do and until we teach them how, cities soaked in liberal ideology combined with a swath of young people lacking any real meaning and purpose in life will bend towards lawlessness when given the opportunity.