“And I must say tonight that a riot is the language of the unheard. And what is it America has failed to hear? … It has failed to hear that the promises of freedom and justice have not been met. And it has failed to hear that large segments of white society are more concerned about tranquility and the status quo than about justice and humanity.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.*
The media coverage of the coast-to-coast riots reveals how craven and deceitful America’s media has become.
To explain, the talking heads on our TV screens continue to push the questionable narrative that anger over racism and police violence is the only cause of the riots. Yet video of the rioters shows how false that narrative is.
For example, news video shows most of the rioters are young white men and women, not African Americans. There are blacks among the crowds but whites outnumber them in the footage I have seen.
The angry young black men who wreaked most of the havoc in the 1992 Rodney King Riots in Los Angeles were a minority. Instead, most of the protesters I observed were college-age whites. I suspect they are recent college graduates with enormous amounts of student debt facing a near future with no jobs and no money.
The Cause of the Riots is Economic
Moreover, most of the rioters are targeting affluent neighborhoods, upscale shopping districts; such as Santa Monica, and government buildings.
The mob in Denver went straight for the Colorado State Capitol; not Denver’s police headquarters, for example. Meanwhile, NBC News reports the mob in Santa Monica ransacked a Chase bank branch. However, protesters burnt one police station in Minneapolis.
The obvious conclusion is that the motivation of the rioting is economic. The rioters are either young people angry at the lack of jobs and money, or frightened individuals seeking food and other essentials they cannot afford. Notably protesters are targeting grocery stores, including Walmart (NYSE: WMT).
In New York City, looters went straight for Midtown Manhattan and luxury retailers such as Bergdorf Goodman and Urban Outfitters, The New York Times reports. Other targets included jewelry stores and Macy’s (NYSE: M) flagship in Herald Square.
Incredibly, the TV commentators and internet pundits ignore the evidence of their own eyes. Instead, the chattering classes assure that the only cause of the violence was the tragic death of George Floyd.
Frighteningly, that the thought that the loss of 36 million jobs in the United States could contribute the violence never crosses the pundits’ minds. Moreover, the Federal Reserve estimates 40% of households earning under $40,000 a year experienced job loss in April 2020.*
Disturbingly, 18% of American adults and 25% black and Hispanic adults were not working in late 2019, before the pandemic, the Federal Reserve estimates.* Hence, anger about lack of jobs and money is fueling the rage behind the riots.
Nor does the idea that ordinary people are angry at the deaths of 110,331 of their friends and relatives from coronavirus between 1 January and 5 June 2020 enter the elite’s brains. Instead, we are told racism and police brutality are the only issues to discuss.
Has the Revolution Begun?
Yes, a police officer murdered Floyd, but I think most of the rioters appear to be white and Hispanic. Additionally, the rioters’ main targets are economic ones such as Macy’s.
To clarify, Floyd’s death sparked a violent revolt that has been developing for a long time. Historically anger over one injustice or wrong, sometimes minor or unrelated, sparks violent revolution.
The American Revolution, for example, began as protests over tea and taxes on paper. The actual issue of the Revolution was anger at British domination of the colonies. However, it took violent protests over seemingly minor economic issues to begin the Revolution.
The False Media Narrative
Instead of analyzing the situation and trying to understand what is happening. The media goes out of its way to emphasize and promote a false narrative.
The false narrative is that anger at racism and police violence are the only motivations of the rioters. For example, TV pundits only interview Black Lives Activists, aging Civil Rights figures, and the occasional Professor of African American studies about the riots.
Tellingly critics of America’s economic status quo; such as U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont), U.S. Senator Liz Warren (D-Massachusetts), and Andrew Yang (D-New York) are absent from our TV screens. The only story we hear is the claim that anger over Floyd’s death or racism is the only cause of the riots.
The possibility that student debt, unemployment, income inequality, and poverty drive the violence is never raised. We are told that our economy is wonderful and racism is the only problem in America.
Consequently, the talking heads tell us we can prevent violence by being nicer to black people. That message is stupid, naive, condescending and blatantly false. Yet, the intellectuals think ordinary people will fall for it.
Is the American Media Trying to Spark a Race War?
Frighteningly, it is easy to argue that our media is trying to spark a race war to distract the American people from economic collapse and failing to deal with coronavirus.
By focusing on George Floyd and Black Lives Matter, the media tells whites that blacks are responsible for the violence. Thus, the Woke media helps racist politicians such as President Donald J. Trump (R-Florida) demonize African Americans.
The media tries to preserve the elite’s power and wealth by turning whites and blacks against each other. Furthermore, the media sends blacks the message that the police are responsible for the violence. Consequently, rioters shot police officers in several cities on 2 May 2020, The Hill reports.
It appears our leaders are trying to start a race war to distract ordinary Americans from the horrendous economy and failed political system they have created. The pundits and intellectuals prefer the burning and looting of small businesses; and the shooting of African Americans by police, to efforts to reform America’s corrupt economy.
Cynics will say the media elite is sacrificing the police to the mob to protect its wealth and power. Thus, the elite is extending its strategy of using essential workers as cannon fodder in the coronavirus war to law enforcement and blacks.
Hence, the media elite is advertising its cowardice and moral and intellectual bankruptcy through its efforts to sacrifice ordinary citizens to save the rich.
Will the Violence Lead to a New American Constitution?
One final thought, the situation American faces today reminds me of the crisis that led to the creation of our present Constitution.
In 1780s America, dysfunctional institutions and government sparked Civil Unrest. America’s central government, the Continental Congress, was incapable of dealing with violent outbreaks such as Shay’s Rebellion.
In response, a group of prominent Americans led by George Washington held the Constitutional Convention. At the Convention in Philadelphia in 1787, those men wrote a new Constitution and created a new government that replaced the Continental Congress.
I do not know if the current crisis will lead to such drastic action. However, America faces a crisis of dysfunctional leadership, dysfunctional government, and dysfunctional media as it did in 1787.
Back then the Founders made the brave decision to throw out a dysfunctional political order and lay the groundwork for a new government. Perhaps we need to follow the Founders’ example.
The coronavirus pandemic and the riots could be the spark that triggers a transformation in American society and government. To begin that transformation well need to learn to ignore the false media narrative and the fools who spread it.