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Gordon Robinson: Looters, vandals block path to a greater America

Gordon Robinson: Looters, vandals block path to a greater America

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One day long ago I was walking out of the house to attend a high school party with friends when my mother asked me who was going to be at the party. When I told her the names of some of the people who would be there, I remember hearing her say, “Birds of a feather flock together.”

That was the first time I had ever heard that phrase. I wasn’t exactly sure what it meant, but I knew it was bad.

Today one should associate the phrase with the so-called “peaceful protesters” when they’re merely anarchistic, arsonist rioters and looters. Anyone who sympathizes with this group is just part of the problem. The media and others frequently refer to them as Antifa. I do not think all the so-called peaceful protesters are associated with any movement except to create chaos in our neighborhoods. Looting, burning buildings, killing and injuring innocent people and destroying lives is a crime. I hope President Trump is successful in officially labeling them a terrorist group and that they meet the same fate as al-Qaida and ISIS.

“Unfortunately, you’ve got too many elected politicians who are playing politics with this, who have decided it is beneficial to them politically not to stop these riots,” Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas said during the American Enterprise Institute’s “What the Hell is Going On” podcast with hosts Danielle Pletka and Marc Thiessen last week. “And you’ve also got organized groups like Antifa that are helping fuel the violence. And for two years, I’ve been calling on the president to designate Antifa as a domestic terrorist organization. And thankfully, this past week, the president announced he was going to do that.”

Sympathy is what fuels individuals and groups like this and emboldens them to commit unspeakable crimes. The death of George Floyd has very little to do with what has been happening across America lately. His death, a horrendous murder, is just another excuse to go on a rampage for justice. For these thugs and criminals, justice is taking anything they want from anyone, and if you try and protect your business or property you better watch out. Supporting or agreeing with this group of criminals, mostly younger than 25, is dangerous.

If you drive the getaway car in a bank robbery, you’re guilty of bank robbery. The same applies with most felony charges. So why are we allowing these thugs to continue to terrorize our neighbors, burn down our churches and neighborhood stores, loot and create anarchy in our streets? These serious crimes are committed in the name of justice and over the wrongful death George Floyd, an unarmed black man who was high on fentanyl and methamphetamine. George Floyd should not have died that day and all law enforcement officers who did nothing to stop this should face stern justice.

Most law enforcement are good people who risk their lives every day so we can live our lives in peace. There are certainly times when bad cops do bad things; we saw that on Memorial Day with the death of George Floyd. This does not give anyone or any group the right to respond with violent protest. Bad people exist in every profession, but that’s no justification for these thugs to assault our law enforcement officials. The restraint shown by most law enforcement is amazing to behold, especially after nearly two weeks of chaos.

What we have seen on the streets across America must stop and stop now, even if it means putting the military on the streets with the force and tools they need. Our Constitution gives all Americans the right to protest peacefully. Unfortunately, all too often in this country such protest turns ugly no matter who is in the Oval Office. With this ugliness there always seems to be a common thread, and it’s not people wearing a MAGA hat or Republicans for that matter. I dare any Democrat to show up at one of these so-called peaceful protests wearing a MAGA hat. Maybe we could get someone from the liberal news media to show up wearing a MAGA hat. They would quickly find out just how dangerous these protesters really are. Anyone who supports what would happen to someone showing up at protests in a MAGA hat is sick and no different than the cop who murdered George Floyd.

Nearly 40 years have passed since I first heard the phrase “birds of a feather flock together” as I was walking out the door to that party brimming with individuals of whom my mother disapproved. At that time, the significance and meaning of the phrase made me laugh rather than realize she was speaking about those with whom I was associating. I don’t recall who those classmates were or how they turned out, but I’m sure associating with this current group of destroyers is dangerous to America and the basic principles upon which our country was founded.

In the year 2020 your protest should be heard at the ballot box, not stealing expensive clothes and jewelry or burning buildings down. A presidential election beckons in November, so quit destroying our country and vote — and no matter who wins, accept the results and be glad you live in a democratic republic brimming with rights.

Local businessman and civic leader Gordon Robinson is former president of the Tribune-Herald.

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