Now that it’s been lit, the liberal coalition’s claim to represent order against Trumpian chaos or political competence against right-wing fecklessness is burning day by day. And the torching of its credibility has happened fastest among the white and woke. As public officials, white progressives lack both credibility with aggrieved protesters and full control over their own overzealous cops. As supposed custodians of public health, they’ve proven unable to sustain social distancing requirements when it’s someone other than disreputable conservatives challenging them. And as ostensible champions of facts and reason, they’ve been as quick as any Southern sheriff in the 1960s to blame outside agitators, false flags and even foreigners for their own misgovernment.

But worse than progressive officials are the young white radicals, anarchists and antifa and would-be Tyler Durdens, who have decided that the suffering of black communities is an excellent justification for a frenzy of white-on-white (or, sometimes, white-on-immigrant-owned-business) crime. One of the most striking trends of the last few years, the studies showing that white liberals are increasingly angrier about racism than the average black American, has reached its consummation in the spectacle of peaceful black protesters remonstrating with white kids who just want to loot, burn and fight.