Some steal their luxury leisure goods, but others take their leisure by the luxury of right, and all of it is wrong. While gangs using luxury vehicles and lookouts cross the bridges into Manhattan for targeted looting — as opposed to looting Target, which is how the George Floyd riots began — the children of the elite parade their virtue and distract the police by acting out fantasies of violent revolution.
How proud Mr and Mrs de Blasio of Yorkville, Manhattan must be of young Chiara, arrested on Saturday night in Manhattan for unlawful assembly. The 25-year-old ‘activist’ usually lives on the frontlines as a ‘program co-ordinator’ for a feminist group on the mean but leafy pathways of Santa Clara University in California, applying ‘activism and justice to address social issues in and around the campus community’. But the coronavirus has forced her to squeeze into her family’s cramped quarters in the notorious Gracie Mansions housing complex.
Eyewitnesses claim Chiara and about a hundred others blocked the road and then disobeyed police orders to move. She was applying justice by shouting at the police, but not throwing missiles at the white supremacist pigs.
‘I’m proud of her that she cares so much,’ dad Bill said afterwards. Chiara cares enough to raise the temperature and incite others. But not enough to dirty her hands.
Is Mr de Blasio more proud than Mrs I. Omar, her brother and her husbands are of Mrs Omar’s school-age daughter Isra? Isra is only 17, yet she’s also an ‘activist’: co-founder of Youth Climate Strike. This underage sect of Greta Thunberg cultists have done their homework: they call themselves an ‘anti-capitalist, working class, multi-racial coalition of young people organizing for radical climate action’.
Last Wednesday, as the rioting began in Minneapolis, Isra retweeted the local chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America. These lovers of peaceful protest were calling for supplies in their imminent scrap with the police — ‘goggles, plywood shields’ — just as Dr King used to, and included the address of a rallying point for the ‘comrades’.
No wonder Isra is angry. The capitalist hell of America carried her mother from a Kenyan refugee camp to the House of Representatives. The white supremacists of the Beltway now hold Mrs Omar in working-class penury on $174,000 basic, plus more perks than you can shake a Molotov cocktail at. Let it burn.
People say our political class are lazy and out of touch. But Tim Walz, the Democratic governor of Minnesota, has brought his daughter Hope up the right way. Or is that the left way? When all was chaos in Minneapolis, Hope sprung.
‘The Guard cannot be sent in minutes,’ she advised rioters on Twitter after it was rumored that her uncool dad had extended the curfew from his household to the rest of the state, and that the National Guard were about to make everyone tidy their bedrooms. ‘It takes time for them to deploy because they come from all over the state. To be clear, the National Guard will not be present tonight.’
Thank you, Hope, said the rioters. Thank you, Jeremiah, said antifa. That’s Jeremiah Ellison, son of Keith ‘ex-X.’ Ellison, Minnesota’s attorney general. ‘I hereby pledge my support for ANTIFA,’ said Jeremiah after President Trump promised to designate antifa a terrorist group.
Jeremiah lives a tough life on the streets as a city councilor. His father defended Jeremiah’s pledge as ‘a comment about the absurdity of the president’s comment more than anything else’. Keith Ellison has deleted a notorious tweet in which he posed with a copy of Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook.
These are the children of the revolution. They’re heirs to privilege and influence, precociously installed in sinecures with a presumption that would have embarrassed a French aristocrat. When the peasants are revolting, they exhort and aid, but they prefer others to do the actual fighting. When the rubble is cleared and the blood washed from the streets, they’ll be where they are now. And they’ll still be there, part of a class of professional agitators, marching through the institutions while most of our media applaud them and give a soft pass to their hard-headed parents. The revolution has not begun: it is already well on the way to completion.
Dominic Green is Life & Arts editor of Spectator USA.