The tragic death of George Floyd in Minneapolis at the hands of Officer Derek Chauvin has resulted in his quick arrest, murder charges, and impending prosecution. Chauvin has been denounced by the Minneapolis Chief of Police, Medaria Arradondo, Minnesota Governor, Tim Walz, and Minnesota Attorney General, Keith Ellison. Additionally, Chauvin has been denounced by his fellow officers, divorced by his wife, and presumed guilty by almost every official from the local to national level, including President Donald J. Trump.
Despite the wheels of justice moving at record pace in the incident and the almost-universal condemnation of Derek Chauvin, race riots have broken out across the country in more than thirty cities. The National Guard has been called into fifteen states and the District of Columbia. The riots have caused the deaths of dozens and wounded many hundreds. Both locally-owned white and minority businesses have been looted and burned, as well as national chains including Wal-Mart, Target, Apple, CVS, Whole Foods, Amazon, Nike, Adidas, Family Dollar, and Auto Zone. Ironically, many of these businesses are boldly progressive in their support for the black community. Police have been assaulted, cop-cars burned, police stations set ablaze, and even the President of the United States had to take shelter five stories below the White House in the the facility’s bunker (more than fifty capitol police and Secret Service agents were wounded in the assault).
As highly urban municipalities live under the threat of domestic terrorism on the part of Antifa and Black Lives Matter, partially fueled by funding provided by celebrities ranging from Chrissy Teigen to Seth Rogan and politicons like Joe Biden’s campaign staff, a wake of destruction and violence has been left behind.
As an odd asterisk to the news reports about the violent injustice perpetrated upon Americans at the hands of lawless, looting mobs in the nation’s inner cities are the bizarre reports of protests organized in the very rural and ordinarily well-behaved state of Montana.
Over the weekend, hundreds protestors gathered in Billings, holding signs with slogans that read “Black Lives Matter” and “Say His Name.” The crowd met outside the Billings Police Department, shouting and shouting accusations to the local police.
Some protestors seemed unaware that the death of George Floyd occurred in Minneapolis and not Montana. Others seemed unaware that Officer Chauvin had already been arrested, shouting, “lock him up” as though he weren’t already. Exactly what or why they were protesting specifically seemed lost on a good percentage of the crowd. However, the crowd was nonetheless enthusiastic and were clear that racism was wrong. But according to several Facebook posts from attendees, they were under the assumption that Montana law enforcement have a habit of racially-motivated police brutality. However, the assumption doesn’t seem to be supported by empirical data.
The Gazette asked one attendee on social media why she was protesting at the Billings Police Station and she answered, “police brutality has to stop.” When asked what the Billings Police Department has been guilty of, she responded, “Do you not watch the news? They killed Floyd George [sic].”
Meanwhile, 150 protestors gathered in Helena at the State Capitol, following on the heels of an initial protest of two-dozen young Caucasian females at the City-County Building. Sunday’s protest drew substantially more people, almost all of whom were Caucasian or light complected. They also held signs that read “Black Lives Matter,” referring to a violent organization that formed in 2013 after the acquittal of George Zimmerman in his trial for defending himself against the physical assault of Trayvon Martin.
Helena protestors held signs and shouted the slogan, “Stop killing black people!” at the State Capitol. It is unclear what black people they believe workers in the capitol building have killed.
Nearly three-hundred protested in Missoula, again shouting slogans at an ill-defined audience. Below you can see several Caucasian protestors, one in a Colin Kaepernick jersey, attending the protest on the lawn of the Missoula County Courthouse.
However, the largest protest in the state was in Bozeman, which drew nearly two-thousand protestors. They shouted, “Black lives matter,” “Fight the power” and “No justice, no peace.”
To an overwhelmingly white crowd, Judith Heilman, the executive director and founder of the Montana Racial Equity Project, lectured, “All you white folks need to get comfortable with being uncomfortable.”
Oddly, the activist waved her finger scolding the sea of Caucasians, saying, “Black lives matter. Brown lives matter. Native lives matter. We all matter… Be in the corner of the people who are suffering.”
According to Bozeman police, no counter-protestors appeared. Community members gathered to help pass out masks and refreshments to the protestors and the anti-racist message had almost unanimous support in the community, even among those who didn’t participate.
The protests in these various Montana towns all seemed to have some things in common, other than the overwhelming whiteness of the crowds. All the protests enjoyed full support of their communities. None of the protests had white-supremacist counter-protestors or any opposition. All the rallies held signs for Black Lives Matter and were led largely by college students and supportive locals. Virtually none of the protestors seemed to acknowledge that Minneapolis acted quickly to punish George Floyd’s killer and prosecute him to the full extent of the law. In fact, it seemed as though they weren’t even aware of it.
One last similarity between all the protests is that the protestors positioned themselves as being the angry minority who faced the opposition of Montana law enforcement, Montana politicians, or the Montanan people in general. Raising defiant fists and speaking the language of the 1960s Civil Rights Movement, it seemed lost on the protestors that Montanans agree with them. Racism is bad and should not be tolerated.
It is unclear what, if anything, recent protests have accomplished except one thing…Montana’s millennial protesting-class has successfully signaled their anti-racist virtue. They believe racism is bad. For some reason they seem to think that’s controversial.
Now we’re just waiting for a coherent explanation for how such protests do anything of substance to make the world an objectively better place.