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Assault on America, Day 526: George Mercer and the true meaning of protesting injustice

Romney at Protest
The Founding Fathers approved of protests but theirs was of a different variety


‘I bet the Founding Fathers never anticipated this one.’

The thought bounced around my head as I witnessed the assembled gathering of “protesters” in front of Virginia’s Colonial Capitol Building (reconstructed from the original) in Williamsburg, Virginia, last Sunday afternoon. The crowd of (purportedly) concerned onlookers was exercising their God-given First Amendment rights to free speech, assembly and petition (though the Commonwealth’s legislature moved to Richmond in 1780), good things all Americans celebrate and honor, even if one doesn’t always agree with the cause of the hour.

In doing so, the protesters occupied the exact ground of one of the very first colonist uprisings against British governmental authority, that being a demonstration against the Stamp Act on November 1, 1765, which took place in front of Charlton’s Coffeehouse (right adjacent to the Capitol).

On that day, a “mob” gathered and demanded that George Mercer, the king’s designated stamp distributor (think tax collector) resign and return to England. Here’s a contemporary description of the scene, “Mercer made his way to Charlton’s coffeehouse porch, where he rightly believed he would find some protection. Indeed, as the crowd kept pressing him for an earlier answer, someone cried, ‘Let us rush in!’ [Royal Governor] Fauquier and some of his Council then moved to the top of the porch steps, and the crowd fell back. After Mercer promised an answer at the Capitol at 5 p.m. the next day, Fauquier escorted him safely to the Palace. There Fauquier told Mercer that if he were not afraid for his life, ‘his honor and Interest both demanded he should hold the office,’ despite Mercer’s father’s and brother’s fears for him. Mercer left the Palace without having made a decision.”

Mercer did subsequently resign and the Virginians had won the opening skirmish in a rhetorical “battle” that would eventually lead to war, and, independence.

By comparison, Sunday’s “protest” wasn’t nearly as well defined -- what did the participants want? There were lots of signs that read “Black Lives Matter” and other slogans about racial justice and equity and racism, blah, blah, blah, the mostly masked assemblage seemingly there just to occupy space and appear “woke” from their willingness to speak out in favor of racial harmony -- or whatever it was they were “protesting.”

The Founders, many of whom served in the Capitol Building (home of the House of Burgesses) in front of the crowd, wouldn’t have understood, not because most of them were slaveholders themselves, but because they believed it was important to get their facts and arguments straight before they acted. The police positioned around the square on Sunday were being “protested” that afternoon, though none made any moves to break up the throng, and there certainly was no need for the governor -- royal or otherwise -- to step in to save skins. No tar and feathers, either.

Today, Williamsburg’s streets are quiet again, the clusters dispersed, leaving a smattering of dog walkers, joggers and bicyclists to reclaim the famous avenue for recreation, as is typical most days during the COVID-19 restrictions. For some, a stroll down Duke of Gloucester (or DOG street) is a remembrance of that authentic “protest” from nearly 255 years ago, when true pursuers of “freedom” and “justice” were willing to pay the ultimate price for liberty.

Today’s “protesters” just want to be seen and heard. And take selfies. And life goes on.

Grampa Joe Biden fashions himself the champion of combatting racial injustice

Then there’s Democrat nominee-to-be Joe Biden, who’s bent on taking advantage of every last bit of protester energy to further his personal political quest for the White House. Instead of acknowledging that there are two sides to the argument, however, Biden is fanning the flames of discontent.

In a piece titled, “To end systemic racism, no one can stay silent. No one can ignore injustice,” Grampa Joe (or his ghost writer) wrote at The Los Angeles Times, “The truth of our nation is that too often, the color of your skin alone can endanger your life and, for far too long, systemic racism has oppressed communities of color in the United States. Black and brown communities must no longer be the only ones to bear the weight of pushing for change. No one can stay silent. No one can ignore injustice...”

It could be said all politicians engage in airy and content-free platitudes, but this is ridiculous, even from someone as intellectually bankrupt and bereft of truth-telling as Grampa Joe Biden. Who has remained silent lately? Or more concisely, who failed to condemn what happened to George Floyd in Minneapolis? You can’t switch on the TV without hearing party leaders and commentators continuing to express sympathy for Floyd even as his memorial services have concluded and (presumably) his remains laid to rest.

Even after it was revealed that Floyd had a long criminal record and his body was chock full of controlled substances (including the coronavirus) the day he died, all decent people agreed that it still was no validation for a policeman to place his knee on the man’s neck to effectively end his life.

Everyone was sickened by it. Video of the incident is hard to watch. So, who exactly is “ignoring injustice” here? Biden insinuates President Donald Trump and his fellow Republicans turned the other way while “protesters” were out occupying the streets of Washington, DC, like those in Williamsburg on Sunday. There were hundreds of thousands in the nation’s capital -- they positioned themselves within earshot and visual distance of the White House.

They were being heard. You couldn’t “ignore” them if you tried. Who’s the one spreading division? Biden continued, “It’s long past time for our nation to deal with systemic racism, including its contributions to growing economic inequality. We must seize this moment of opportunity to address all the issues that have denied the promise of this nation to so many for so long. Let’s use this moment of urgency to finally find the path forward...”

Anyone got a clue where this mystical “path” is found? The “systemic” racism exists only in Biden’s, all Democrats’ and the “protesters’” heads, so it’s hard to address something that can’t be quantified. Conservatives agree that reform is needed, particularly within the context of forcing police unions to cease sheltering bad apples like Derek Chauvin and humbly allow the justice system to function when one of their own has been repeatedly accused.

If we don’t believe the justice system will do its job in punishing those who break laws, then what good does it do to walk the streets waving signs, chanting and gesticulating (often with one finger raised in the middle of the hand)? President Trump drew the ire of Democrats, his media enemies and #NeverTrump critics when he suggested the military should be called in to quell the riots and fight back against the anarchist Antifa goons out for destruction and mayhem.

In his daily newsletter, Daniel J. Flynn (of The American Spectator) wrote last week, “[T]he six parts of the preamble to the constitution—to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity—all, to one degree or another, relate to keeping Americans safe.”

What about this simple concept does Grampa Joe and his brainless band of mind-controlled followers not understand? Once again, they’re using Trump as a distraction; if they can’t win the argument on the merits, they’ll shine the spotlight on Trump’s fondness for Twitter instead of where it truly belongs -- the criminals and thugs burning buildings, police cars and whatever else they could get their gloved hands on while masking their identities to avoid… justice.

In-justice?” There’s plenty to go ‘round, but not quite the kind Biden talked about. Where was Joe’s notion of “justice” when he paved the way (as chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee) for the “high-tech lynching” railroading of African-American Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas?

The Democrat nominee concluded his column, “American history isn’t a fairy tale with a guaranteed happy ending. The battle for the soul of this nation has been a constant push-and-pull for more than 240 years. But, we cannot make progress without leadership in the Oval Office. Donald Trump has turned our country into a battlefield. He thinks division helps him, and his narcissism has become more important than the well-being of the nation he leads.”

Yeah, that’s it. Trump’s narcissism compelled him to dump tens of millions of his own money into winning a political office where he works without pay (White House living not included) and is condemned to endure the non-stop onslaught of hate and derision from everyone not identifying as a Republican. Some GOPers -- George W. Bush (maybe), Colin Powell (was he ever really a Republican?) and Senators Lisa Murkowski and Mitt Romney -- bravely announced they wouldn’t be voting for Trump in November (joking, right?). There are boo-birds all around.

As far as “progress” goes, can we ever go forward without a thorough grounding in the past? Does any French citizen deny the excesses of their own 18th century “Revolution”? Do Germans pretend Hitler never existed? Do modern-day Russians ignore the political tragedy that were Stalin’s purges? Have the Japanese expunged from their consciousness the ravages of World War II? Do the Chinese deny the outrages of Mao communism? (Yes, of course they do, that’s the point.)

Is there any American who doesn’t believe slavery was a tragic injustice? Anyone alive still think FDR was right to imprison Japanese Americans in internment camps during WWII? If so, who? Anyone want to bring back Jim Crow laws? Or is this just another “everyone’s racist even if they don’t know it” political fallacy proffered by doddering Joe the desperate candidate shill who will say and do anything to win an election?

And, again, why didn’t Barack Obama and Grampa Joe “unite” the nation in their eight years in office? Would Joe’s solutions be more accepted today without a black man as president (since they argue Obama didn’t succeed because backwards, racist, “deplorables” whites wouldn’t get behind him)?

Sooner or later, common sense will prevail. Hopefully we won’t have to wait until Election Day for it to happen.

“Justice” seeking rioters observed their own set of unwritten rules last week

To hear some liberal pundits and commentators discuss the recent riots and largescale destruction in somewhat sympathetic terms, one would surmise Americans viewed a completely different set of historic events than the elite class did. Even so, some “rules” were apparently established. Victor Davis Hanson wrote at American Greatness, “The peaceful protests against the terrible brutalization and death of George Floyd soon either themselves turned violent or, in many cases, were hijacked by Antifa operatives and opportunistic looters or both. It was certainly not as alleged a ‘small number’ who destroyed swaths of New York, Santa Monica, Minneapolis, or Philadelphia.

“After watching hours of such footage of mayhem and destruction, one can glean a few rules that the rioters apparently followed quite religiously. And they are often disconcerting if not bizarre. Here is a sample of 10…”

Hanson synopsized the “rules” under the following headings: 1. Selfies. 2. Masks. 3. Race. 4. Staples. 5. Class. 6. The Children. 7. Because...Reasons. 8. Media. 9. Stuff Happens. 10. Mixed-up Messaging. The article should be read in its entirety because it explains a lot.

The “injustice” Joe Biden alluded to above really concerns the true victims of the recent lawlessness, the store owners and inner city residents who must now deal not only with cleaning up the mess but also try to forge quality of life without the benefit of products and services -- or common necessities -- nearby. The left’s shock forces -- mainly Antifa -- don’t even live in these areas. What kind of racial healing did they bring about by mass destruction of neighborhoods?

Is this the “equity” and racial harmony the Williamsburg protesters were seeking? Or was it mostly white guilt that motivated people to continue “protesting” weeks after the incident?

In these most challenging of times, Democrats promote racial tribalism to end “divisiveness” but only succeed in driving people farther apart. Perhaps it’s because of a lack of governing agenda or a strong and puerile need to defeat President Trump in November, they’ll go to extreme lengths to mask a sham. Here’s thinking most Americans won’t buy it.

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