America is burning all right.
Thanks to the progressive Democrat war on cops which began over the killing of George Floyd two years ago, the fire is not only still burning, but getting worse.
The burning and looting of businesses in Democrat-run cities by rioters may have subsided—replaced by smash and grab looting—but more cops have been killed, many in ambush, by cop-haters than ever before.
You don’t have to be Einstein to solve the problem. All you need is politicians with the will to enforce the laws or to change them to protect the public. You need to support the cops, not the criminals.
Thanks to progressive policies, the criminals have more rights, more lawyers and more freedom than their victims do.
What you don’t need is political leader who refuse to enforce the law, whether it is woke district attorneys or the president of the United States.
Everything filters down from the top. If President Joe Biden signals to the world that he won’t enforce the law along the Mexican border—which he did—why should the Suffolk County district attorney prosecute a homeless drifter for shoplifting a fifth of scotch or a winter coat?
The question around here is whether Democrat Attorney General Maura Healey, the state’s chief “law enforcement officer,” who is running for governor, is tough enough to do the job or whether she still thinks that looting and rioting are just a form of expression.
She will have to come with an answer if she, as expected, becomes the Democrat nominee for governor.
Crime and the cops will be major issues in the 2022 campaign for governor. Conservative Geoff Diehl, the leading Republican candidate, and the articulate and controversial Corey Lewandowski, his new senior advisor, will make sure of that.
At the risk of putting the cart before the horse, it should be pointed out that there are two fellow progressive Democrats also running for governor.
They are Harvard professor Danielle Allen, who wants to decriminalize personal possession of cocaine and heroin, and state Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz of Boston.
And Diehl is being challenged for the GOP nomination by political moderate and newcomer Chris Doughty, a businessman from Wrentham.
Lewandowski, a onetime Trump campaign manager who still advises the former president, said he joined the Diehl campaign to help “stop the far left from taking over the state.”
“The progressives will not only drive businesses away, but they will also turn Massachusetts into a sanctuary state,” the onetime Lowell resident said.
Along those lines, should Diehl face off with Healey it is certain that Diehl and Lewandowski, will bring up Healey’s reaction to the weekend rioting, burning and looting that took place in Boston following the May 25, 2020, murder of George Floyd.
On that June night hundreds of rioters burned, thrashed and looted stores and businesses in downtown Boston, particularly on toney Newbury Street. They damaged and set fire to police cruisers and turned the city into a war zone. Rioters clashed with police, businesses were torched, and glass and debris littered the streets.
Nine Boston cops, seeking to quell the riot, were hospitalized and dozens more treated for injuries. Some 53 rioters were arrested. The cost of all the burning and looting was in the millions.
It was an economic disaster as businesses in downtown Boston were boarded up for months. Boston looked like Plywood City. Nobody went to jail.
With smoke still lingering over the city, Healey, scheduled to talk about COVID-19, two days after the June 1 riots, tore up that speech and talked about racism and riots. And she appeared to justify the riots and the rioters in the name of racism. She showed no sympathy for the victims or the cops.
In a twenty-minute, head-turning speech condemning “four hundred years of racism and oppression” to the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce over Zoom, she said, “Yes, America is burning. But that’s how forests grow.”
Forests may grow that way, but not cities. Things don’t work that way. Some cities burnt and wrecked by the rioters will never come back, at least not the way they were.
The one thing that will come back, though, is her quote. Count on it.
Peter Lucas is a veteran Massachusetts political reporter and columnist.