The Culture Wars and the Street Wars

from The Wall Street Journal,

To be clear, the near universal outrage over the video of Floyd’s death, expressed by an overwhelmingly nonviolent majority of demonstrators, is the lawful exercise of free speech and the right to assemble.

Violence is another matter entirely. There is evidence that it has been instigated by organized militants trained to leap into action when opportunities present themselves. While they don’t represent the majority of protesters, they use them as shields. What is more, their brutal aggression is politically effective and only mildly condemned. One reason, I would venture, is that they are the mailed fist of a broader movement that has infected academia, the media, popular culture and politics with the notion that Western traditions are oppressive and should be destroyed.

This is not new. ... The recent collapse of public order in Santiago, Chile, in October is instructive. It was also instigated by extreme political groups taking advantage of legal marches. But the parallels don’t end there.

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