John Perazzo, Who, exactly, is guilty of “inciting insurrection”?
A mere 12 days after President Trump took office in January 2017, Congressman Joaquin Castro of Texas became the first of many elected Democrats to publicly call for his impeachment. In that case, Castro’s concern was with regard to Trump’s executive ban on travel to the U.S. from nations rife with Islamic terrorism. By the end of 2019, House and Senate Democrats had proposed more than 70 additional reasons for impeaching Trump. Nancy Pelosi, for her part, went full-fascist when she declared, less than four months ago: “We can impeach him every day of the week for anything he does.”
And now, this same Nancy Pelosi has brought her totalitarian vision to life, impeaching Trump for “incitement of insurrection,” a sin supposedly committed in the same January 6 speech where the president explicitly and unambiguously encouraged his supporters to “peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.” Yes, Pelosi and her fellow Democrats assure us that — even though it now seems highly unlikely that the people who breached the Capitol that day were among those who had attended Trump’s speech — the president himself was somehow responsible for the actions of the several hundred lamebrains who chose to break the law.
By the Democrats’ same “logic,” however, a much stronger case can be made for the idea that the words which so many Democrats themselves have spoken over the past four years could, and should, have been used as justifications for removing them from political office.
Consider how Democrats have fawned over Black Lives Matter (BLM). It is no longer a secret that BLM was founded by three hardcore Marxist revolutionaries who openly detest America, despise police officers, embrace the doctrines of Marx and Engels, endorse the dissolution of the nuclear family, and revere, above all others, Assata Shakur — the former Black Panther, convicted cop-killer, and longtime fugitive in Communist Cuba. What would Democrats and the media have said, if President Trump and his supporters were ever to have spoken out in praise of a group that honored a “hero” as repugnant as that?
The Democrats’ love and support for BLM is longstanding, indisputable, and entirely obvious to anyone in possession of at least one functioning eye, ear, and brain cell. A few examples:
- In August 2015, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) approved a resolution explicitly affirming BLM’s noble efforts to “condemn extrajudicial killings of unarmed African American[s]” in a nation where “too many young people [are] stripped of their dignity under the vestiges of slavery, Jim Crow and White Supremacy.”
- On September 16, 2015, President Obama invited three BLM leaders to the White House, where he exhorted them to “Keep speaking truth to power.”
- In December 2015, Obama lauded BLM for shining “sunlight” onto the dark underbelly of American racism, and for doing so much to make America “a fair, more just, healthier” society.
- At a Black History Month event at the White House in February 2016, Obama praised BLM’s leaders for “making history” and “tak[ing] America to new heights.”
The very open and consistent support that Obama and fellow Democrat political leaders nationwide gave to BLM, contributed heavily to the seething rage that was directed at police officers across urban America throughout 2015-16. In response to this volcanic milieu of cop-hatred, law-enforcement officers in scores of Democrat-run U.S. cities — recognizing that their political bosses had in essence thrown them to the wolves — became far less proactive in tracking down and apprehending criminals. This, in turn, led to a dramatic and historic rise in violent crime rates nationwide. In 2015, America’s 56 largest cities experienced an astounding 17% rise in homicides over 2014 levels. In 10 of those cities, where the black populations were particularly large, murders increased by more than 60% — an unfathomable statistic.
The spike in urban violence continued into the first quarter of 2016, when homicides in the nation’s 63 largest cities increased by another 9%, while nonfatal shootings were up 21%. Manhattan Institute scholar Heather Mac Donald characterized this phenomenon as “The Ferguson Effect” — an allusion to the August 2014 police shooting of Michael Brown, an incident that transformed BLM from a loosely organized movement into a coordinated national enterprise of gargantuan proportions.
Did anyone in Congress or the media suggest that President Obama and the Democrats — by so passionately and publicly endorsing the worldview and agendas of BLM — bore some measure of responsibility for this sudden spate of bloodshed all across America? Did anyone suggest that Obama should be impeached for using his presidential platform to “incite” violence and murder on a scale that the nation had not seen in decades?
Not for a moment. Why not?
On July 6, 2016, President Obama, echoing BLM’s familiar script, issued a statement saying that “all Americans should be deeply troubled” by the then-recent, fatal police shootings of two black men, Alton Sterling (in Baton Rouge) and Philando Castile (in Minnesota). Their deaths, said the president, were “symptomatic” of the very “serious problem” of “racial bias in law enforcement” and throughout the entire “criminal justice system.”
The very next day, July 7, a black gunman who emphatically proclaimed his solidarity with Black Lives Matter and his desire to kill white police officers as retribution for the Sterling and Castile shootings, cold-bloodedly murdered five cops and wounded seven others during a BLM protest in Dallas.
Not a single member of the House or Senate accused President Obama of having incited that violence. No one called for his impeachment. Why not? If Donald Trump can be impeached for “incitement of insurrection” as a result of having encouraged his supporters to “peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard,” why couldn’t Obama have been charged with using demonstrably false allegations about the criminal-justice system to foment the violence of thousands of newly emboldened felons across the United States, including the man who had gunned down 12 cops in Dallas?
Obama’s supporters, of course, would tell us that the president could not possibly be held responsible for the evil actions of such lunatics. Okay, fair enough. So why, then, is Trump responsible for the actions of the far fewer, and far less destructive, lunatics who entered the Capitol building last Wednesday?
On July 10, 2016 — a mere three days after the Black Lives Matter supporter’s mass shooting of the 12 police officers in Dallas — Obama publicly lauded BLM as “part of” America’s “longstanding tradition” of progress via such crusades as the abolition, suffrage, and civil-rights movements of yesteryear.
Two days later — July 12, 2016 — in Dallas, Obama reached a new low. Delivering the eulogy at a memorial service for the five dead officers, he referenced “an African American community that feels unfairly targeted by police,” and he voiced solidarity with those who “weep for the families of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile.” Lamenting that “Americans are struggling right now” with “the shootings in Minnesota and Baton Rouge,” Obama declared that “centuries of racial discrimination, of slavery, and subjugation, and Jim Crow … didn’t simply vanish with the law against segregation.” “We know that bias remains,” the president explained, and that “some suffer far more under racism’s burden” and “feel to a far greater extent discrimination’s stain.” “No institution is entirely immune, and that includes our police departments,” Obama lectured. And “even those who dislike the phrase ‘Black Lives Matter,’” he preached, “should be able to hear the pain of Alton Sterling’s family,” to recognize that “his life matters,” and to understand that many people had likewise known Philando Castile as “a gentle soul.”
So again, Obama did not have a single unkind word to say about Black Lives Matter, whose rhetoric had quite obviously inspired the murderer in Dallas. If anything, the president affirmed his belief that BLM’s objectives were entirely valid and noble.
And how did the media react to this? Did they accuse Obama of giving aid and comfort to BLM’s “thugs” and “domestic terrorists,” terms that the media have repeatedly used to describe last week’s protesters at the Capitol?
Nope. CNN celebrated Obama’s “soaring address” for highlighting “the despair of minority communities who see the criminal justice system weighted against them.” The Los Angeles Times ran the headline, “Obama in Dallas to Comfort a Nation in Mourning.” A New York Times story praised the president’s “poignant speech” for the “hard truths” that it spoke. And the Washington Post reported that Obama “sought to unify a nation” with his “impassioned appeal” for “Americans to be more empathetic and focus on their shared values.”
And of course, Obama was still not done. The very next day — July 13, 2016 — he hosted three BLM leaders at a lengthy White House meeting. Also invited was a buffoon by the name of Al Sharpton, perhaps the most infamous black American racist and Jew-hater in living memory. Did any member of Congress or the mainstream media accuse Obama of inciting racial hostilities by hosting BLM and Sharpton just days after a BLM supporter had mown down a dozen police officers like ducks in a shooting gallery? Did anyone call for Obama’s impeachment?
Nope. Not even a whisper. Why not?
Fast-forward to 2020. In the aftermath of George Floyd’s May 25 death in Minneapolis, BLM’s police-hating rhetoric achieved exactly what it had achieved five years earlier: It again caused law-enforcement officers in police departments nationwide to become highly reluctant to engage criminals except where absolutely necessary. The result was yet another cataclysmic “Ferguson Effect.” By the end of July in America’s 50 largest cities, year-to-date homicide totals were 24% higher than the 2019 figure for the same calendar months. Some particularly noteworthy examples: The total number of murders had risen by 64.3% in Austin; 54.5% in Chicago; 42.3% in Fort Worth; 34% in San Antonio; 31.6% in Phoenix; 31.4% in Philadelphia; 27.1% in Houston; and 24% in New York City.
Meanwhile, BLM’s rhetoric remained as loud and vicious as ever. On June 24, 2020, Hawk Newsome, the president of Black Lives Matter of Greater New York, warned: “If this country doesn’t give us what we want, then we will burn down this system and replace it.” On June 25 and 27, BLM held a pair of anti-police marches in Washington, D.C., under the acronym “FTP,” signifying “Free The People,” “Fight The Power,” and “Fuck The Police.” And on July 4, BLM protesters in Washington kicked off their Independence Day activities by dancing and stomping on an American flag at Black Lives Matter Plaza, chanting “Fuck the Fourth of July and fuck the American flag.”
By that point, as many as 26 million Americans had already participated in BLM demonstrations from coast to coast, prompting The New York Times to run a headline that read: “Black Lives Matter May Be the Largest Movement in U.S. History.” A study by the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project, a nonprofit organization that tracks conflict in every part of the world, found that of the nearly 600 full-blown, violent riots whose organizers and instigators could be identified, fully 95 percent had been started by BLM. Moreover, the BLM riots of 2020 were projected to become — in terms of losses due to theft, fire, vandalism, and other forms of destruction — the costliest sustained acts of civil disorder in American history.
One would think that any political figure with even the barest shred of good judgment would refrain from glorifying an organization so violent and hateful. But alas, the Democrats couldn’t help themselves.
In an August 2020 photo essay in which Vanity Fair magazine “celebrat[ed] the founders of Black Lives Matter” and others “on the forefront of change,” congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez called it “profoundly exciting” that the Marxist/anarchist revolutionaries of BLM were “discovering their own power” and “educating others” by way of their activism. In that same feature, Rep. Rashida Tlaib gushed: “When I see this movement on the street—that’s where transformative change really starts and it’s hitting us right here in the halls of Congress. It’s been powerful to watch it happen.”
Soon after the Vanity Fair puff piece hit bookstore shelves and the Internet, BLM activists in Chicago held an August 10 rally to express their solidarity with the 100+ individuals who had recently been arrested after a night of mass looting and criminal activity. One BLM organizer who spoke at the rally, Ariel Atkins, said: “I don’t care if someone decides to loot a Gucci or a Macy’s or a Nike store,” because “that is reparations.” In a similar spirit, a social media post publicizing the demonstration encouraged people to come out and “support the people arrested last night for protesting another police shooting & taking reparations from corporations.”
Did such rhetoric raise any red flags for leading Democrats? Did it cause any members of Congress or the media to call for the expulsion of Ocasio-Cortez or Tlaib from the House of Representatives?
Not for a moment. Instead, Senator Kamala Harris, who had just been named as Joe Biden‘s vice presidential running mate, praised BLM for leading “a moral reckoning with racism and systemic injustice that has brought a new coalition of conscience to the streets of our country, demanding change.”
A few days after that, on August 17, 2020, former First Lady Michelle Obama addressed the Democratic National Convention and lamented that while a “never-ending list of innocent people of color continue to be murdered,” President Trump continued to deride people for “stating the simple fact that a Black life matters.”
Former President Barack Obama likewise spoke at the 2020 Democratic Convention and applauded the spectacle of “Americans of all races joining together to declare, in the face of injustice and brutality at the hands of the state, that Black Lives Matter.” Addressing BLM and its supporters directly, Obama said, “You are this country’s dreams fulfilled,” “the missing ingredient,” and the ones who “can give our democracy new meaning,” “take it to a better place,” and “decide whether or not America becomes the country that fully lives up to its creed.”
On August 23, 2020 — just a few days after the Harris and Obama speeches at the DNC convention — a police officer in Kenosha, Wisconsin responded to a 911 call from a woman reporting that an African American male named Jacob Blake, who was alleged to have previously committed felony sexual assault against her, had violated a restraining order by coming to the woman’s home and stealing her car keys. Instead of submitting to arrest, Blake engaged in a violent fight with the officers and was ultimately rendered a paraplegic by a gunshot to the back. In response to the shooting, BLM descended upon Kenosha with armed protesters roaming the streets, assaulting police officers, and setting fire to automobiles, businesses, and even the local courthouse. In one horrific attack, a policeman was knocked out by a brick thrown at his head, prompting the angry mob to cheer, “He just got bricked! He just got bricked…. Fuck the police!”
A week later, on August 30, 2020, hundreds of BLM activists marched through the streets of Oakland, California, chanting “Death to America.” Some members of the mob also threw projectiles at police officers, lit fires, smashed windows, and vandalized buildings.
On the night of September 12, 2020, two young Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies stationed their patrol car near the Willowbrook Metro station in Compton, California. At approximately 7 p.m., a masked gunman slowly crept up to the vehicle and fired multiple shots through the window, hitting both deputies in what Fox News reporter Bill Melugin described as a “100 percent ambush.” Both were critically wounded. As Sheriff Alex Villanueva subsequently wrapped up a press conference in which he condemned the shootings, a BLM mob mocked him and his colleagues, shouting “It’s a celebration! It’s a celebration!” Meanwhile, the two ambush victims encountered a separate conflict at St. Francis Hospital in Lynwood, where a BLM mob assembled outside the hospital and chanted, “Death to police!” The mob blocked entrance to the hospital emergency room, where family members of the wounded deputies were present. “I hope they fucking die,” one BLMer yelled, with another adding: “Y’all gonna die one by one. This ain’t gonna stop.”
Did anyone in Congress or the media suggest that either of the Obamas or Kamala Harris bore, as a result of the pro-BLM rhetoric they had so recently used, some measure of responsibility for these violent acts? Nope.
Thus, it came as no surprise when Kamala Harris, at the the NAACP’s national convention on September 25, 2020, praised the “brilliance” and “impact” of what she characterized as BLM’s very “necessary” protests, describing them as “an essential component of evolution in our country.” “I actually believe that Black Lives Matter has been the most significant agent for change within the criminal justice system,” she added with complete impunity.
Not a soul in Congress or in the media blamed Harris when, the very next day, armed BLM protesters in Louisville smashed school windows, vandalized buildings, set cars on fire, and attacked police officers with rocks, bottles, pepper spray, and fireworks. Nor did anyone blame Harris the day after that, when BLM rioters in Seattle committed precisely the same types of crimes.
On November 7, 2020 — the same day that several mainstream media outlets declared Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as the winners of the 2020 election — BLM co-founder Patrisse Cullors sent a congratulatory letter to the pair, signing it “on behalf of the Black Lives Matter Global Network.” Wrote Cullors:
“We are requesting a meeting with you both to discuss the expectations that we have for your administration and the commitments that must be made to Black people. We want something for our vote. Without the resounding support of Black people, we would be saddled with a very different electoral outcome. In short, Black people won this election. Alongside Black-led organizations around the nation, Black Lives Matter invested heavily in this election…. We want something for our vote…. We look forward to meeting with you … to begin the immediate work of Black liberation. We would like to be actively engaged in your Transition Team’s planning and policy work…. Let’s get to work!”
Obviously, Black Lives Matter is not merely a support group of the Democratic Party. It is part-and-parcel of the party. For seven years, BLM’s ugly record of violence, racism, and Marxism has been on full display for all the world to see. And yet, the most prominent Democrats in America have done nothing but sing its praises — even as BLM’s foot soldiers have burned and pillaged scores of U.S. cities. In light of these facts, Americans don’t need any phony lectures from Democrats about the evils of “inciting” violence or “insurrection.” Kamala Harris, Barack Obama, and the rest of their party have no equals in that realm.