What we see in cities like Baltimore is a game of chicken. Who will blink first: the rioters or the authorities?
The criminal element is always on the lookout for a sign of weakness. That's the cue they need to run amuck.
Notice I'm not talking about "protestors" or "demonstrators." Rather, I'm talking about rioters.
The obvious dilemma, especially for blue state mayors and governors, is that to prevent rioters from looting and burning buildings, the police must be prepared to shoot looters and arsonists.
In principle, businessmen also have the right to protect their businesses.
But, of course, if a black looter or arsonist is shot, much less killed, then that plays straight into the very narrative that blue state politicians endorse. So it's a vicious cycle.
In the meantime, you can have any number of innocent blacks murdered by black thugs. That's politically permissible.
Now in one sense you can't blame the police. The establishment won't back them up if they defend homes and businesses during a riot. But in that event, what purpose do they serve?
Not only don't they protect the public in that situation, but they end up protecting looters and arsonists by threatening shopkeepers and homeowners who defend their property.
This is not to deny that the black community in Baltimore may have legitimate grievances. From what I've read, there's evidence that the police force is corrupt. Mind you, a corrupt police dept. isn't just a problem for black citizens, but citizens generally.
Ultimately, though, it's a question of who the political establishment fears most: the electorate or the thugs. It's up to voters to demand officeholders who will protect innocent life and private property.
I don't think civil unrest is intrinsically wrong. If the public has been denied legal means of redress, then what's the alternative? We also live in a time and place when the executive branch of the Federal gov't is brazenly lawless.
But at the moment there are still legal means of redress. Moreover, looting and burning homes and businesses is not a legitimate form of protest.