Violence erupted last week in Kenosha, Wisconsin after Jacob Blake was shot in the back by police. The mayhem followed a familiar pattern, with daytime protests devolving into night-time looting and arson. But rage-fueled anarchy is no substitute for reform-based policy, and as violence in the streets continues, as it has in Portland, it is becoming a problem for election-year Democrats.
Press outlets have generally tried to downplay the violent aspects of the protests, sometimes going to absurd lengths. CNN’s Omar Jimenez reported live from Kenosha in front of burning businesses while a chyron described the scene as “fiery but mostly peaceful protests.” The narrative “buildings burn at peaceful protest” is Orwellian doublethink in action. This would be like reporting that most protesters were unharmed in Kenosha even though three were shot, two of them fatally, allegedly by a white 17-year-old who thought of himself as a militia member. Pro tip: arson and shootings are news, the rest is context.