The media finally noticed the damage that the rioters and looters have been committing.
At least in one extremely specialized case.
A masked man who was seen in a viral video smashing the windows of a south Minneapolis auto parts store during the George Floyd protests, earning him the moniker “Umbrella Man,” is suspected of ties with a white supremacist group and sought to incite racial tension, police said.
A Minneapolis police arson investigator said the act of vandalism at the AutoZone on E. Lake Street helped spark a chain reaction that led to days of looting and rioting. The store was among dozens of buildings across the city that burned to the ground in the days that followed.
“This was the first fire that set off a string of fires and looting throughout the precinct and the rest of the city,” Sgt. Erika Christensen wrote in a search warrant affidavit filed in court this week. “Until the actions of the person your affiant has been calling ‘Umbrella Man,’ the protests had been relatively peaceful. The actions of this person created an atmosphere of hostility and tension. Your affiant believes that this individual’s sole aim was to incite violence.”
I’m sorry, but this is nonsense.
Trying to blame massive amounts of arson, rioting and looting on one guy smashing a window, whether or not he was a white supremacist, is not how things work in the real world. Smashing windows does not somehow cause thousands of other people around the country to smash and burn things.
It’s entirely possible that some alt-righters joined the protests to try and worsen the chaos. There are elements of the alt-right, especially Neo-Nazi ones, that advocate those tactics, but very few of them ever venture outside Twitter/Gab to do anything. To whatever extent they were present at the riots, there would have been very few of them and their impact very limited.
We’ve had massive riots in Ferguson long before this. And there’s been a long history of violent race riots by black nationalists.
Now black and white nationalists have a long history of allying together, even before the days of Malcolm X and the KKK’s secret alliance. But I doubt that’s the case here. Both sides do want the same thing, which is racial warfare, and they’re getting it.
But you can’t expect the media to be honest about that.
Umbrella Man, whoever he is and whatever his politics are, belongs in person. So does anyone who smashes windows, riots and loots. It would be nice if Democrats and the media agreed with that, instead of falsely claiming that its own rioters and looters are “peaceful protesters”, “moms” and “dads” and “vets”, while blaming the violence on a vast right-wing conspiracy.