Who Bears the Blame for America’s Civil Unrest? A Guide.

As we near two months of widespread violence across the country and no end in sight, the calls grow louder for things to come to a head, either for the insurgents to prevail, or for the violence to be squashed. While some consider and scrutinize possible solutions to the armed conflicts, most seem concerned with who to blame. Many of the right are blaming the local authorities for the violence, while those on the left lay the blame on President Trump. Does the blame belong completely on one side or the other? The answer might not be as simple as it seems.

It must first be considered that there are various approaches to violence currently being employed by Antifa, the leading violent insurrectionist group behind the violence which hasrecently been designated as a domestic terrorism organization by the current administration. Some Antifa members have destroyed statues, committed vandalism, and burned buildings. Others loot, and others commit violent attacks on American citizens, occasionally murdering them. Still others remain peaceful, but encourage the violence from the sidelines.

Some blame surely lies on the citizenry, why by and large did little to defend themselves from the attacks. While many have sought to buy guns, they did so at a time when it was too late, and much of the economy had already been crushed by overreactions to the Coronavirus, meaning a shortage of guns available to be sold in the first place. By then, of course, the violence had already begun.

Well, what about the next line of defense: law enforcement? Those sworn to serve and protect the citizens? Well, these organizations have generally been deliberately hamstrung, both by local, elected officials, and bad PR, which forced officers to fall back in order to not lose trust in the community. Of course, the point has been raised that law enforcement should ignore orders that leave the citizens unprotected for the sake of political points, but the fact remains that the higher-ups in the organization are issuing these orders, keeping law enforcement from, well, enforcing the law, and even worse, pardoning and freeing the traitorous terrorists once they are in custody.

In other cases, law enforcement has been attempting to hold the mobs at bay by firing tear gas, pepper spray, firecrackers, and other repellants, but these cases are diminishing as it generates bad press for law enforcement as a whole, and the terrorists either attempt to overrun law enforcement, or leave only to return another day.

Of course, above them are the elected local officials, which have a hand in hiring those on charge with the local police departments. What blame do they bear for the violence? Many who tell their officers to fall back or stand down are clearly signaling their support for the violence of the terrorists, at times appeasing them by painting political messages on the road. Calling for peace while not instructing law enforcement to keep it rings hollow. Since they oversee local police departments, they do bear some of the blame for their failure to defend the citizens. However, the be fair, much of the blame for them even being in office in the first place lies directly in the hands of their constituents, for failing to elect leaders who will keep them safe. Worse still is the fact that countless citizens who will doubtlessly vote to retain the same politicians who are currently endangering them and exposing them to violent mobs.

Higher upon the power ladder is the current federal administration itself. How much blame does President Trump hold for the violence? The answer will largely depend on your opinion of the role of the federal government in keeping the peace on local land. If one is of the opinion that it is the federal government’s job to keep the peace in states if they fail to ensure law and order, then the answer is largely no. However, for those who believe that the government should be intervening, the answer is clearly yes, as the federal government has largely been absent from state jurisdictions. Regardless of where one stands on this, the Trump administration should bear full responsibility for any lack of action to stem violence on federal land. The property belongs to the federal government, thus, it is the federal government’s job to keep the terrorists in check. While President Trump has repeatedly called for an end to the violent riots, as with the local officials, mere words are not enough to allay blame for violence.

There is plenty of blame to go around. No one particular group or person shares all the guilt. While it is more constructive to consider possible solutions than possible culprits, so long as people are looking for someone to blame, it is best to make sure one is blaming the truly guilty parties.

Written by Casey Rollins.