Bryan Griffin: The Fairest Society Is The Freest Society | WAMC

Bryan Griffin: The Fairest Society Is The Freest Society

Jun 3, 2020

George Floyd was murdered, and he deserves justice.

I hope that the black community in America can find an avenue to express their concerns, be heard, and find solutions within our society. The white community and others must support them. I support and understand peaceful protest for this cause.

I also hope the good men and women serving our communities as police officers, deputies, and law enforcement officers are safe and judged as individuals for their actions and decisions--not homogenized into a collective enemy of society.

I believe all of this can be achieved together, not despite America, but only because this is America.

We are a country rooted on strong principles of freedom, civic activism, and popular sovereignty.

We are not perfect, but we are uniquely free and because of this we are able to work to perfect our society. It is only because of these unique characteristics of America that true justice has a chance at prevailing.

After the video of Mr. Floyd’s death was released, the vast majority of Americans on the right and on the left collectively expressed outrage and agreed it was wrong.

But the unified outrage to the actions of former officer Chauvin have been lost to fire and bricks.

Predominantly black communities around the country are the ones suffering the most destruction in this aftermath. The death and destruction isn’t symbolic, it’s senseless.

Stephanie Wilford, a black woman from Minneapolis, cried on camera as she reported that her community was destroyed. “People did this for no reason,” she sobbed.

“You are disgracing our city,” pleaded Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms.

George Floyd’s brother called for peace on Monday: “Don’t tear up your town…if his own family…is not doing it, then why are you?”

For every graffitied statement in support of George Floyd pictured online, there seems to be an ominous “eat the rich” or “down with America” nearby.

I fear that many of the rioters and instigators aren’t acting in pursuit of justice for the black community, but instead hijacking the moment for their own politically-driven goals of tearing down the country. There are opportunists who seek destruction, and there are opportunists who seek to push destructive ideologies. I speak of this in hopes that the black community is aware of the duplicitous intentions of fake allies among them.

Karl Marx advocated for class warfare to usher in sweeping economic change. Saul Alinksy in the sixties tried to instruct a generation upset with current events to engage in guerilla tactics to undermine America and propel the economic transition to socialism. The ANTIFA handbook publicly states that this is their goal and chaos is their agent.

With these motives so clearly advertised—in how to handbooks, nonetheless—it is not beyond belief that radical political adherents are stealing this opportunity to serve their own ends.

In fact, ANTIFA openly admits these motives on their social media. Whoever may be responsible, a narrative is being pushed that justice and equality for the black community are synonymous with the destruction of America and the end of the free market.

To achieve these goals would have the opposite effect. Only a free society can truly be a fair society.

Political bad actors inciting the mob are baiting a class war to respond to racism, which merely trades one ugly form of collectivism for another.

“Capitalism is murder!” reads the graffiti on a D.C. area Wells Fargo. Anti-American imagery and slogans crop up among the nightly riots.

The prerequisite for a free society is a free market. Free trade means the protected right to speak and publish one’s mind or support a cause of one’s choosing. Freedom from the government instructing one’s beliefs or prohibiting exchange means the ability to have a free and independent news media and for everyone to be free to join a cause and advocate for change. Activism is a product of a free society. Change needs a free electorate in order to occur.

The just cause of equality for black Americans would not be possible under a different type of society. The Muslim minority in Communist China cannot demonstrate for equal protection. Christian minorities in authoritarian countries in the Middle East cannot rally for their equal acceptance in society. Activists cannot assemble in socialist Venezuela.

America’s free press highlights problems that need to be addressed—it doesn’t sweep them under the rug. The American guarantees of speech and assembly facilitate social action.

A society is fairest and most egalitarian when it is free and when government is limited.

The nation should be unified against racism and in the pursuit of justice. But to pursue these things requires the preservation of the freedom to assemble, protest, trade, and affect change. Don’t let bad actors usurp these times to tear American society down: use America’s unique strengths, through free and voluntary exchange, to perfect her.

Bryan Griffin of the London Center for Policy Research is a lawyer and author who specializes in American policy in the Middle East.

The views expressed by commentators are solely those of the authors. They do not necessarily reflect the views of this station or its management.