Last year when we helped organize a Confederate flag rally at Nathan Bedford Forrest Park, I was contacted by the local branch of the Department of Homeland Security and told in no uncertain terms to stop promoting the event even though the organizers had obtained a permit for the grounds on that date and time. (They didn’t say we couldn’t proceed, but only that we couldn’t publicly promote it.) Of course, the event still went on as planned and drew more than 500 business professionals and families, but we were targeted and suppressed by DHS.
Last night, Black Lives Matter thugs blocked the Memphis bridge spanning the Mississippi River that links Tennessee and Arkansas. They completely shut down Interstate 40 at the bridge for almost six hours!
What was the local reaction? The local media interrupted regularly scheduled broadcasting on all the local television network affiliate stations to bring live coverage of the “peaceful” protest. They must have repeated the word “peaceful” every five minutes, even though the agitators were climbing on top of 18-wheeler transport trucks with masks and clinched fists while others were reportedly menacing stranded travelers with baseball bats. Some of the people stuck in their vehicles on the bridge e-mailed pictures to my radio program of this happening. One family e-mailed me to report that the experience was terrifying.
If that’s not enough, the acting director of the Memphis Police Department was marching arm-in-arm with the protesters! Today, he and the Mayor of Memphis are holding a community gathering to listen to the grievances of the agitators.
Needless to say, they had no permit and were breaking several laws. Rather than “peaceful,” the protest should have been reported as being”hostile” or “lawless.” What precedent is being set when such people are coddled?
To provide a comparison, when we participated in a legitimately peaceful gathering at a city park for which all the appropriate channels were navigated, we were harassed by the local authorities. But when law-breaking, chronic malcontents close down a major interstate artery (and other downtown thoroughfares) for six hours they get fully sanctioned by the local press, they get the head of the MPD to march with them, and they get an immediate audience with the mayor who is promising to accommodate them and work to grant their demands.
Some of the “protesters” were wearing T-shirts with the Islamic crescent moon or the pan-African liberation flag. In watching the wall to wall coverage last night it was a mix of comical embarrassment when the local news would attempt to interview the participants. Watching semi-literates with no message discipline was a cringe-worthy sight. When asked why they were there answers varied wildly. When asked what they wanted answers varied even more wildly. One reporter had to help them out by feeding them answers such as “racial equity,” but even that was not enough for one shirtless individual who could only manage to say “motherfucker.”
I am very surprised that no serious violence erupted in downtown Memphis last night, but this is just a tremor before the next earthquake. This summer is going to be wild.