On Monday night, the aforementioned Hayes got to briefly feel what it’s like to be a cop or innocent business owner in Ferguson when a couple of rocks were pointlessly thrown at him while he was on the air. Hayes brushed the whole thing off as people being very angry.
Yes, but why are they angry at Hayes? He is a genuinely nice guy. He doesn’t have a militaristic affect. He has no history of using his microphone as a crowd-control device. His ready explanation for the rock throwing recalls the old saw about how a liberal is someone who won’t take his own side in a fight.
To their credit, the overwhelming majority of the protesters are peaceful, and many of them have tried to restrain a lawless fringe. But one of the reasons we have police is to control such a fringe, and if it includes people who throw rocks or shoot at them, the police aren’t going to look like a friendly neighborhood beat cop from a Norman Rockwell painting.
It took about a week of looting before people began to seriously wonder what was accomplished by milling around on the streets and sidewalks at night and yelling at cops anyway.