Empower Wisconsin | Aug. 31, 2020
MADISON — Vice President Mike Pence last week told the nation that “rioting and looting is not a peaceful protest.”
That shouldn’t be a controversial statement.
But it is to the tools who still buy the idea the Black Lives Matter protests that have swept through Kenosha, Madison, Chicago, Portland and many other cities have been “mostly peaceful.”
More troubling, there is a kind of woke Stockholm syndrome going on with some of the victims of rioters and looters.
Take the owners of Graze, a trendy restaurant on Madison’s Capitol Square. After BLM protests — again — quickly descended into destruction, Graze stood in solidarity with the rioters.
“We will not be opening @grazemadison or our sister restaurant @estrellonrestaurant today,” a Graze Facebook post last week noted.
The post includes an impassioned statement about the officer-involved shooting of Jacob Blake, a black man in Kenosha. Graze’s owner insists that black Americans live in constant fear of being shot by police officers.
And then the restaurant owner makes this assertion:
“I’d rather wake up (and) see every window in this city broken than wake up to another video of an unarmed black man or woman being shot, strangled, kneeled on, or killed by police ever again.”
That’s likely where the painfully woke restauranteur lost many of his fellow downtown Madison business owners, who don’t see things in such stark equivalencies.
Madison’s iconic State Street was desperately trying to recover from the rampage of riots that swept through in late May and June when the area was struck again last week. Blocks of Kenosha look more like a war zone than a city center. Madison businesses and portions of the State Capitol were forced to board up smashed windows once more.
Escalating insurance rates and the constant threat of another round of destruction have forced many State Street businesses to shut their doors permanently. Many in Kenosha may have to do the same.
As the Wisconsin State Journal reported, Urban Land Interests, a downtown Madison property owner, estimated there was more than $100,000 in damage to its eight buildings, including U.S. Bank Plaza, where more than a dozen windows were shattered.
“It’s inconceivable to me that people think it’s OK to go and damage property,” ULI owner Brad Binkowski told the liberal news outlet. “It’s one thing to peacefully protest for change. It makes no sense.”
None of these business owners wants to see another life lost by abusive police officers or violent criminals. But they don’t see an either/or here. They don’t understand why destroying public and private property is considered justification for the perceived abuses of police.
But the folks at Graze do. And there are many white guilt-laden businesses just like them.
They’re tools of the radical left’s hateful revolution, and their placating has and will continue to prove costly to their businesses and others.
These appeasers collectively are Empower Wisconsin’s Tool of the Week.