It should go without saying that, in a civilized society, rioting is unacceptable. Ransacking stores and setting fire to buildings is wrong. Beating up ladies in wheelchairs is not a legitimate expression of grievance. These truths ought to be self-evident. Somehow, for large sections of the commentariat, they are not.

The violence has rocked Minneapolis. Not wanting to be left out, Black Lives Matter agitators in Los Angeles have started causing trouble, too. Now armed vigilante squads are forming to protect businesses from being trashed. After the lockdown, the social breakdown. Isn’t 2020 fun?

The riots have been triggered by the circulation of shocking footage showing police officers brutalizing an unarmed black man. But that outrage has been perpetuated and exploited by antifa thugs who specialize in stoking up resentment in order to smash up the streets.

It’s a sign of how decadent our society is becoming that the pattern of these riots is now so predictable as to be almost boring. Black man is killed by cops. There’s outrage and demands for political change to make society less racist. Riots ensue. Then come agonized debates about racial equality in America.

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People in the media know the script by heart. Idiot worthies get a kick out of inciting violence while pretending to appeal for justice. ‘How long will we go for Blue on Black Crime before we strike back?,’ asked Ice Cube, the rapper. Other celebrities put out videos about overcoming racist oppression. Channels insist on calling rioters ‘protesters’, as if looting serves some noble cause. Authorities start to talk in platitudes. ‘Being black in America should not be a death sentence,’ said Mayor Jacob Frey, as if that were a bold and controversial statement.

‘The police have to understand that this is the climate they have created,’ said one ‘protester’ to CBS. Really? The video of poor George Floyd, a suspected fraudster, suffocating under a police officer’s knee is disturbing. The images show something vile taking place. And since we started with what should be obvious, let’s add: police brutality must be condemned and punished. But the antifa mobs who are orchestrating the smashing up of stores are not interested in fairness. They are thrilled by carnage.

Antifa are a menace who need to be stopped. Their apologists in the media – those public figures who suggest that rioting is an understandable, albeit unfortunate, response to systemic racism — should be condemned, too. It’s criminal.