A few years ago I put a “I don’t trust the liberal media” bumper sticker on my car, a thirteen-year-old Jeep Cherokee. Some folks on the road were offended. They tailgated me, made rude hand gestures, and even tried to run me off the road. In one case, an African American woman in a shiny new Jaguar rear-ended me. We exchanged license and insurance information. Looking at my driver’s license, she exclaimed, “A Jewish bitch. I should have known.”
How should she have known, though? A liberal friend told me that my bumper sticker was a provocation. To me, it was a fairly innocuous exercise of my free speech rights. And, in the event, it wasn’t only my disdain for the liberal media that provoked the lady in the Jaguar. It was also my religion. Was I supposed to change my name to avoid being provocative?
What’s “provocative” anyway? Is it something objective or merely anything that bothers anyone on the left? An excuse for the left’s violence?
Last Thursday night I was walking on 14th Street in Washington D.C. on my way to the DeploraBall, one of the events celebrating the upcoming inauguration of President Donald Trump. Lining the sidewalk were several men dressed in black, wearing realistic Hitler masks, their arms raised in a Nazi salute. It was not a little threatening since, in the distance, I could see the flashing lights of police vehicles and hear the rising noise of what was clearly a riot.
Earlier in the week James O’Keefe and his Project Veritas had captured on video, which you can watch here, a group of folks described by police as “associated with the Anti-Fascist Coalition and DisruptJ20,” one of whom had purchased tickets to the DeploraBall. We saw them discuss their plans to “activate the sprinkler system [in the National Press Club] and deploy acid that can burn skin and lead to loss of vision into the ventilation system.”
Although the symbolism had escaped me at the time I saw the video, passing the row of saluting Nazis along 14th Street, I felt like I’d just been sucker punched: gas deployed through sprinkler systems was how Jews — including two sets of grandparents and hundreds of aunts, uncles and cousins — had been exterminated in the concentration camps. Both of my parents were the youngest children of large families in Poland. They were the only ones of their respective families to have survived the slaughter, having successfully made a run for the Russian border.
Did the actions of these self-styled “anti-fascists” rise to the level of a provocation, then? Not according to my liberal friend, who said that the acid in question, butyric acid, was merely a “stink bomb” and, as such, harmless. I was being a wuss, she said. Never mind that, in addition to smelling bad, it can cause blindness and burns.
Whatever it is, the folks inside wouldn’t know what was raining down on them. The ball was on the second floor of the building. There would be a dangerous crush of panicked men and women trying to escape to the ground floor and out the door. Where, according to the plan, the mob of “anti-fascists” would be waiting for them, having been encouraged to “throat punch” Trump supporters.
This is the sort of plan the Palestinians make when they send one of their own to blow themselves up in an Israeli night club or pizza parlor (any place where people are having fun or, in the case of a synagogue, are praying). When the survivors make it outside, fellow Palestinians are waiting to shoot them down.
Fellow conservatives, it seems that we’re all Israelis now. And, what is the same thing, we’re all Jews now.
As I approached the entrance to the Press Club, the crowd looked more and more threatening. They shouted and pressed up against the barriers the police had erected. I learned from other guests who arrived later in the evening, that things had gotten violent and that the police needed to employ pepper spray to disburse the crowds.
The following day, I saw pictures of more rioting in D.C. Masked protesters dressed in black shattered the glass storefronts of a Starbucks and a McDonald’s. Shards of broken glass tinkled to the ground. Shades of Kristallnacht. Friends who witnessed the riots told me that, while the police were concerned to contain the crowd, they did not intervene to protect the people who were being physically attacked, not even an elderly couple who was traumatized.
The Washington Post reported that the officers in attendance at the K Street riot said that they were giving the rioters lots of room to act out. “We are here to protect their rights to protest.” But what about the rest of us? What about our rights?
Standing inside the lobby of the Press Club I met a group of lively young men — Mexicans and African Americans — who’d driven up from Florida for the Ball, bringing with them some hand-made signs. The Mexican gentlemen’s sign read: “I came to the U.S. legally. Looking for the American Dream. Not the Mexican nightmare. Make Mexico pay for the wall.”
He was not permitted to hold it up. It might provoke the protesters. “What about my free speech rights?” he asked. “Look,” replied the beleaguered officer, “This is a private building. You haven’t rented the lobby. I could make you wait outside.” Provocation is a one-way ratchet. Only liberals can claim to be provoked.
Reporting on the riots of the last couple of days, the Post explains, “Trump’s inflammatory rhetoric has angered and offended millions of other Americans.” Indeed, one prayerful young woman, who asserted that “God loves everyone,” said that she prays “for the Holy Spirit to crack open his [Trump’s] head and bring in some enlightenment.” And if Holy Spirit isn’t up to it, then one of the “anti-fascists” will do the job.
Without any sense of irony, the Post published side by side photos showing the difference in attendance on the mall between the Obama ’09 and the Trump ’17 inaugurations, the latter being admittedly more sparsely attended. Even as it reported that “groups tried to disrupt the day’s events by burning flags, throwing bricks and rioting en masse, leading to injuries and 217 arrests by Friday evening.”
As my liberal friend would say, “What a bunch of wusses to be concerned about being killed by a mob!”
In the end, I believe there will be blood. One young woman said as much at a rally in Los Angeles the day after the election. And the blood will be on the hands of Chuck Schumer, the other Democrats in Congress, and the media who have convinced people that it’s Trump supporters who are the Nazis and President Trump who is Hitler. Look, if you had an opportunity to kill Hitler or some of his followers, wouldn’t you seriously consider doing it? Before they build the gas chambers?