We must never let our attention waver as we watch the events unfolding in America. For observation suggests that the worst US developments are a taste of things to come in Britain.
We don’t borrow the good things with the same alacrity, such as American industry and enterprise, understated class envy, distrust of big government. But show us some perversion, and sooner or later it’ll make its way to our shores. The time lag used to be about 10 years, but it’s getting shorter now.
The observation I’m talking about is actually my own. I lived in the US for 15 years before moving to Britain in 1988 and heaving a sigh of relief: emetic political correctness that was already plaguing America was nowhere in evidence.
Fast-forward a few years, and Britain caught the same contagion. Suddenly Britons who had never set foot in the States were rebuking me for referring to American Indians as such. “Do you mean Native Americans?” was the sanctimonious response from an Englishman who yearned to fight other people’s battles.
That explains the speed at which BLM travelled to Britain. Tectonic racial tensions here are nowhere near as seismic as in America, but the desire to exploit them to pernicious ends is just as strong, and the malcontents just as ubiquitous. That’s why, as I watch the riots afflicting America, I wonder if I’m looking at Britain circa 2025.
This time around the fire conflagrated in Kenosha, Wisconsin. A policeman shot Jacob Blake, a black man wanted on charges of sexual assault. Though the culprit later turned out not to be armed, he was resisting arrest and trying to get into his car to flee.
It’ll take an investigation to establish whether or not the force used by the police was excessive. I don’t have a view one way or the other. However, the appalling spectacle of ensuing mob violence isn’t open to interpretation: it’s stamping the rule of law into the dirt.
Within three days the rioting Kenosha mob set 34 fires, destroyed 30 businesses, looted shops (stolen in one of them was 90 per cent of its inventory). That triggered off herd solidarity, and the riots instantly spread farther afield, to the state capital Madison and all the way to Portland, Oregon.
Madison rioters looted 75 shops (and counting), smashed windows at the state capitol, the courthouses and numerous businesses, with silvery shards covering the city centre. That was the BLM version of Kristallnacht, and the parallel isn’t gratuitous.
Just as the Nazis triggered off the pogrom by spreading lies about Jewish crimes, including the notorious blood libel, so was the looting mayhem in Madison set up by spreading false rumours that officers had shot a black murder suspect, who in fact had shot himself as the police were about to arrest him.
And just as the Nazis used to attack anyone refusing their demand to scream “Heil Hitler!”, so did a marauding BLM mob in Washington DC assault a woman for refusing to raise her fist as ordered. She was lucky to be only harangued, not maimed.
The governor of Wisconsin declared a curfew and called for help from the National Guard. President Trump obliged, as is his right and indeed duty. When local authorities can’t maintain law and order, the federal government has to step in.
But before the National Guard arrived, defence groups had taken to the streets. That’s to be expected, especially in a country whose constitution includes the Second Amendment, the right to bear arms. Actually, the Amendment was designed to help Americans protect their freedom against some future state tyranny.
Yet a collapsing rule of law and a state incapable of defending its citizens against a rampaging mob may jeopardise freedom as effectively as some tinhorn despot. That’s why armed locals began to patrol Kenosha, trying to protect its people and businesses.
Irresistible force came up against an immovable object, and two of the rioters got shot dead. The media gobbled up the story avidly: the youngster who pulled the trigger had been spotted at a Trump rally.
Since most US papers and broadcast channels have assumed an unpaid role as Biden’s PR department, they made an instant connection. Trump supporters are murderers, stalking Biden supporters who are blameless, righteously indignant – and black. Trump is therefore their accomplice.
Just as left-leaning Britons now feel called upon to describe Indians as Native Americans, blacks as Afro-Americans, and presumably dogs as canine Americans, so do our media accept that version of the events, or something close.
This morning, Sky News interviewed a black American preacher, who didn’t look like any cleric I’ve ever met, and I’ve met many. He wore gangsta clothes, sported a cornrowed hairdo, and mouthed gibberish in strident tones.
America is institutionally racist, and police ten times so. Discrimination is rife; nothing has changed in that respect since 1960 or, deep down, from 1860. Peaceful protests are met with violence on the part of individual racists and racist agencies of the state. That’s the kind of hell Trump has created… well, you know the drill. I’m paraphrasing, but only slightly.
That wasn’t an argument, an analysis or even a biased account. It was unalloyed propaganda, of the kind that shouldn’t have found an outlet in a civilised country.
At Sky News, however, it found not only an outlet but unquestioning sympathy. Not a hint of a counterargument was offered – all the chap got from the interviewer were mournful facial expressions, a shaking head and encouraging interjections. That Blake was a fleeing sex criminal was never mentioned.
As I watched the fires raging in Wisconsin and elsewhere, I wasn’t just seeing Kenosha, Madison and Portland. I was seeing – as clearly as if exactly the same things were happening there – Leeds, Birmingham and Leicester.
We have the same mindset in the opinion-forming media, the same culture of discontent, the same mobs awaiting a pretext for rioting, the same rabble-rousers. If you want to see the same explosions, just wait a few years.