If you like your Maoist cultural revolution, you can keep it.
You’ve probably seen the videos going around of D.C. diners being harassed by mostly white leftists who demand that they pledge their support of Black Lives Matter.
This is the kind of tactic that BLM has been running ever since it got started. They call it invading white spaces, but this time it backfired.
1. The people they’re harassing are not suburbanites in Wisconsin or Illinois, they’re upscale white progressives in a government city. And the harassers are largely white.
2. Americans, even lefties, have their limits when being harassed, intimidated, and terrorized.
That’s reflected in the viral Washington Post story which, for the first time for the Bezos paper, broke the embargo on negative coverage of BLM. And it’s the responses that are telling.
But the woman, Lauren B. Victor, refused, even after her dining companion complied.
“I felt like I was under attack,” Victor, 49, an urban planner and photographer who lives in the District, said in an interview afterward.
Victor said she was a supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement and had marched in previous demonstrations. But Victor said she also felt that it was wrong for hundreds of people to surround a small group of diners, approach them with their hands raised, and try to cow them into making a show of support.
“It just felt overwhelming to have all of those people come at you. To have a crowd — with all that energy — demand that you do this thing. In the moment it didn’t feel right,” Victor said.
Victor is the only on to go on the record… an act of courage alone in these times.
And don’t knock it, being willing to dissent from this ugliness in the moment is an act of courage and a potential awakening.
As the crowd moved on, Chuck Modiano continued to yell at Victor.
“Good for you — you stood your ground,” Modiano said, demanding to know if she had seen the video of Blake’s shooting. “We’re not going to change this [expletive] for people like you.”
Modiano, who identified himself as a “citizen journalist” who writes for Deadspin, said he wanted to understand her resistance.
“What was in you that you just couldn’t do this?” Modiano asked. “They all did — all the other tables. You were literally the only one of 20 other people. So there was something in you that was different from all the other people.”
Victor explained that she just felt coerced and somewhat threatened — although she also said she wasn’t afraid.
Gawker continues to be a toxic sewer even after its death. Peter Thiel’s destruction of Gawker did more for journalism than every media award ever.
At one table, a young man who objected to the intrusion tried to explain that he worked for a nonprofit organization committed to addressing mental health care for Black people and other underserved populations. Protesters crowded in further around the table, shining video lights in the diners’ eyes and exchanging angry words.
The D.C. Mayor responded by urging diners to… call the police.
“What I saw in those videos was highly inappropriate,” said Mayor Muriel Bowser at a press conference Wednesday. “It was likely against the law if they were on private property. But more importantly I don’t think it had anything to do with demands for social justice.”
… more importantly.
Bowser said she would “encourage any diner or restaurant to call the police immediately” if incidents like those were to happen. She also acknowledged that diners are supporting the city by picking up, taking out and eating at local restaurants during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I would venture to say that the vast majority of those experiences have been 100 percent positive,” she said about D.C. dining experiences. “I also don’t think that D.C. residents would be bullied out of living their everyday lives.”
Thomas Chatterton Williams of the New York Times and Harper’s tweeted, “I reject Donald Trump’s America, and I reject whoever would replace it with this.”
Also, “I sincerely pray that no one ever approaches me like this when I’m out eating with my family… This is insane. And no one comes to the defense of the person being swarmed on, who has done nothing to deserve this. This is cult behavior. This is what a moral panic powered by technology looks like:”
“This would be a tragedy if it happened to the wrong person on the wrong day. I don’t understand what kind of world people are hoping to create.”
“A lot of people are dismissing this video as outlier behavior. But it’s more like the visual representation of the milder coercion that is happening all over the place now. This is just the superlative form of the constant pressure exerted on people to get in line and conform.”
The Democrats want to pull back, but it’s a lot easier to release the radical genie than to get it back in its box.