xml:space="preserve">
xml:space="preserve">
Advertisement
Advertisement

Sprinkle: Among legitimate protesters are anarchists and opportunists, and they shouldn’t be tolerated

As though there weren’t enough thorns in the national thistle patch, we now see on American streets the worst examples of cities overtaken by thieves, thugs and militant dissidents. While Americans are reeling from the effects of COVID-19, the inept mayors and governors who capitulate to these societal dregs with their “allow-them-to-vent” strategy have no less put the lives of countless citizens in jeopardy.

What began with a rogue police officer and three accessory officers who lacked sufficient compassion and mettle to take action to stop what can only be described as the callous murder of George Floyd, has catapulted into a malignant, dangerous free-for-all.

Advertisement

It would be hard to imagine that anyone who saw the video of Mr. Floyd’s final moments of life would not be enraged by that image. The officer directly responsible has been charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Minnesota statute describes third-degree murder as “… an act eminently dangerous to others and evincing a malevolent depraved mind, without regard for human life ... .” That definition would seem to put the malevolent characters currently rampaging through the city streets in the same category — totally depraved and without regard for human life.

What must be remembered, however, is that not all of those on the streets have malicious intent; what we are currently witnessing seems to fall into at least three separate and distinct groups of people.

Advertisement

The first group — the legitimate protesters who actually care about George Floyd. These folk have legally accessed their right to peaceful protest and demonstration. They chant, they carry their signs and they follow the law. Some have lent a hand to store owners in cleaning up after their businesses have been ravaged, and they have assisted and prayed for the safety of the police officers who have taken unprecedented abuse and yet continue to respond with restraint that well exceeds the capacity of most of us. They understand that the overwhelming number of police officers are decent people who’ve chosen their occupation because they want to contribute to the safety of their communities and that those officers have been betrayed and shaken to the core by one of their own.

The second group — the anarchists, those who are bent on the destruction of the whole of society. Most of them have no clue what precisely should replace it, but to them, it doesn’t really matter. The objective is to destroy America and the American way of life. They couldn’t care less about George Floyd; his death to them is nothing more than an opportunity to mingle with legitimate protesters and wreak havoc on the American people. These are the subversives who spray-paint obscenities, shatter windows and burn churches, businesses and government buildings. These are the people who throw bricks, bottles and Molotov cocktails.

These are not protesters; these are terrorists; and they need to be identified as such and isolated from civilized society.

The third group — the opportunists, the common thieves. What George Floyd’s death means to them is a window of opportunity to raid businesses that have been trashed, not only by anarchists, but also by some of their own. They are self-indulgent, seize-the-day miscreants. While they may well have been the victims of poverty and dysfunctional families, they are without excuse; they are odious to those raised in the same environment who struggle daily to achieve success and understand that the theft of another’s property is not the poverty escape route.

Although the anarchists and the opportunists may overlap to a greater or lesser degree and other outside malefactors may be participating in the general upheaval, what is certain is that American society cannot and should not be expected to tolerate either of them. I concur with former Sen. Robert Kennedy: “… an uncontrolled or uncontrollable mob is only the voice of madness, not the voice of the people.”

M. K. Sprinkle writes from Hampstead.

Recommended on Baltimore Sun

Advertisement
Advertisement