Guy Farmer: Condemning domestic terrorism

 Yes, by all means, we should publicly condemn the violent right-wing terrorists who stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.  And while we're at it, we should condemn the violent left-wing terrorists who attack police and set fire to mom-and-pop stores and federal buildings in Seattle, Portland, and beyond.
Whether it's Antifa thugs, racist Proud Boys, QAnon crazies or the violent fringe of Black Lives Matter (BLM), all domestic terrorists are equally despicable. But for some unknown reason, President Biden seems to be paying a lot more attention to right-wing terrorists than to left-wing terrorists.
More than 100 of the violent rioters who stormed the Capitol are facing federal insurrection-related charges and they should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Meanwhile, too many left-wing rioters in major American cities appear to be breaking the law, and getting away with it.
For example in my old hometown, Seattle, so-called "peaceful protesters" recently burned an American Flag outside an ICE office, shattered windows at the federal courthouse and trashed family-owned businesses at the historic Pike Place Public Market. Meanwhile, in Portland, rioters smashed windows at Democratic Party headquarters and scrawled graffiti on the downtown ICE building, where they frequently set fires.
Violent anarchists carried signs reading "We are ungovernable" and "We don't want Biden. We want revenge for police murders, imperialist wars and fascist massacres."  What we're seeing isn't left-wing or right-wing violence. It's mindless domestic terrorism, so let's stop turning a blind eye to terrorism coming from our side of the political spectrum, whether from the left or the right.
A spokesperson for Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan told the Wall Street Journal that "she has consistently denounced individuals who are targeting small businesses and governmental facilities," adding that "property destruction is unacceptable."  But we remember how Durkan turned a blind eye to that destruction last summer when violent rioters destroyed small businesses and occupied a neighborhood police station. She called it a "Summer of Love."  Please!
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler said he "condemns all forms of violence, intimidation and criminal destruction," and yet he stood by last summer as "mostly peaceful" protesters threw Molotov cocktails at police and set fire to federal buildings.
As the Wall Street Journal opined, "Prosecutors are rightfully throwing the book at those on the right who stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6. The same should apply to those on the left who wreaked havoc" in Seattle and Portland. "When political violence is tolerated, it inevitably spreads."
In a hard-hitting Journal op-ed piece, Manhattan Institute scholar Heather MacDonald revealed that "murder was up nearly 37 percent in 57 large and medium-sized cities" last year while "at least 2,000 more Americans, most of them black, were killed in 2020 than in 2019," "and now the criminal justice policies supported by President Biden promise to exacerbate the current crime wave, while ignoring its actual causes."
"The police aren't the problem in black communities, criminals are," Ms. MacDonald wrote. "The many law-abiding residents of troubled areas know this and beg for vigorous law enforcement. . . . It is urgent that public officials stop demonizing the police." Someone should send Ms. MacDonald's perceptive column to Black Lives Matter.
Here are the facts: Police killed 15 unarmed African - Americans and 21 unarmed whites last year. Those 15 unarmed blacks represented 0.17 percent of all black homicide deaths in 2020, which means that black-on-black gun violence is responsible for more than 99 percent of black homicides. So is the solution to defund the police? I don't think so.  
Bottom line: President Biden should denounce domestic terrorism, whether it comes from the left or the right.
Guy W. Farmer is the Appeal's senior political columnist.


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