Video: Kenosha business owners survey their lost livelihoods after night of looting and arson


Before you watch them speak, watch this as a brutal reminder that there’s more to be lost potentially than just property.

The governor of Wisconsin announced a few hours ago that he’s increasing the National Guard presence this evening. His statement is phrased in the wokest way possible, paying lip service to the “pain, anguish, and exhaustion of being Black” in America, but the takeaway is that this can’t go on. “We cannot allow the cycle of systemic racism and injustice to continue,” says Tony Evers, but “[w]e also cannot continue going down this path of damage and destruction.”

I feel like we can and will, though.

As of 4:30 p.m. ET there’s still no statement from Joe Biden or the campaign about Kenosha. That seems like political malpractice to me, particularly at a moment when Trump and the GOP have the country’s attention for the next three nights, but it must be deliberate. Sleepy Joe’s operation has performed shrewdly since the start of the primaries; it would be bizarre for them to suddenly whiff now on trying to counter a Trump line of attack that seems to have real potential. Note well:

If they’re banking on the popularity of Black Lives Matter to shield them from claims that Democrats will let woke rioters run wild, they should recalibrate. Possibly Team Biden is calculating that if they weigh in here, it’ll amount to a concession that Trump is right when he says rioting is a Democratic problem. Not so, the Dems insist; Trump is the incumbent, this is happening on his watch, it’s a strike against him, not Joe. Trump’s the president, no matter how much he likes to pretend otherwise at times. So why should Biden weigh on and take symbolic ownership of what’s happening?

But that thinking is too pat. Are voters more like to blame a guy who’s forever flattering the police and bellowing for “law and order” for pro-BLM riots, or are they more likely to blame the pro-BLM party? Evers is a Democrat, as is the mayor of Kenosha, as are the mayor of Portland and governor of Oregon, as are the mayor of Chicago and governor of Illinois, as are the mayor of Minneapolis and governor of Minnesota. Crime is a local problem. Why wouldn’t the party favored by local officials take the blame for riots in their backyards?

It could be that Biden’s betting that his advantage in the suburbs is durable, not the sort of thing that can be shaken by a surge in violent crime or sporadic bouts of arson in cities. There’s anecdotal evidence of that, but considering how suburbanites have traditionally trended Republican, it’s a hell of a gamble:

It was a prominent and recurring theme on the opening night of the mostly virtual RNC. “They want,” said Mark and Patricia McCloskey, the couple from St. Louis who pointed guns at Black Lives Matter protesters marching past their house earlier this summer, referring to Democrats and echoing language used repeatedly by Trump himself, “to abolish the suburbs.”

The response I got from actual suburban women here on Monday, though, was a mixture of eye-rolls, laughter and confusion. “It’s not something I’m afraid of,” said Connie Searle, 61, retired from a human resources job at a bank.

“I haven’t heard anyone voice concerns about being afraid that angry mobs are going to come out this way,” said Sue Rankin-White, 72, who worked for the Department of Education in Washington, D.C., and lived in Northern Virginia before moving here.

Afraid of the city? “I’m here because of its proximity to Charlotte,” said Camerin Allgood McKinnon, 36, a mother of two who teaches dance.

It’d be easy enough for the campaign to show solidarity with the protesters and with the business owners. Have Biden and Harris fly out there, meet with Jacob Blake’s family, then meet with some of the business owners below. Biden could use it as evidence that he’s trying to bring people together contra Trump, “a president for all the people,” yadda yadda. He’d have a partner in Blake’s mother, who’s doing her best to turn down the temperature in Kenosha:

Four clips here of what violent wokery delivered to the city last night. It’s difficult to watch.





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