Herman Cain: The Distinction Between Peaceful Protesters and Rioters


Let’s be clear about a few things where these riots are concerned.

First, we have to draw a distinction between the peaceful protesters and the rioters.

The people who are peacefully protesting the killing of George Floyd, as well as other unjust uses of force by police officers, have every right to do so. They are not only exercising their First Amendment rights, but they have a worthy message that deserves our attention.

The people who are rioting deserve no such regard. The problem is that the rioters are often luring the innocent protesters into their mayhem, and that’s making it hard for police to tell the difference in the heat of the moment.

Authorities have acknowledged that anarchists and people from the outside were the ones who infiltrated the peaceful protesters and lured them into becoming part of the violence. Police didn’t know which of the people were the troublemakers and which were the peaceful protesters, so they held back because they didn’t want things to escalate.

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This was the plan of the chaos-seekers. It crippled police with uncertainty and made it easier to get away with the mayhem.

Police don’t want to shoot people who have done nothing wrong, but when the entire mob is combined into one, how do you tell the difference?

But there are some things we know. We know a stock of construction rocks was found in Kansas City, designed specifically for the ability to break glass windows. That was coordinated. We know that in other cities large storage containers of gasoline were found. That was coordinated.

You don’t hear this on the nightly news, but it’s happening.

This is why, in Atlanta, police applied more force after the announced curfew took effect. By then, most of the peaceful protesters had made themselves heard and gone home. Those left were the chaos-seekers, and police moved in.

It’s almost impossible for police in these situations to know for sure who is causing trouble and who is not, so they’re faced with the impossible choice of doing nothing or taking some risks. It’s unfair that the media jump all over them for this, but that’s what happens.

I do not believe this is a one-size-fits-all situation. Some say this is systemic racism. I disagree. From my experience, 95 percent of police officers are good cops who want to help everyone. The 5 percent bad apples need to be dealt with, but all police officers should not be tarred by what the worst among them do.

This is not to minimize the seriousness of the problem. Rather, it’s to make sure we understand clearly what the problem is – and what it isn’t.

Meanwhile, as you might expect, Nancy Pelosi has already accused President Trump of fueling the flame of riots. That’s not true.

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He probably should not have tweeted “when the looting starts, the shooting starts,” but his actions have been designed to restore order. Unfortunately, that tweet gave Democrats and liberals the opportunity to blame him for the riots.

The riots were caused by antifa, by troublemakers and by people who wanted to create chaos and test law enforcement.

What we need to do now is hear the cries of the peaceful protesters and end the mayhem caused by those who want nothing but chaos.

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Herman Cain is former CEO of the National Restaurant Association and a former presidential candidate. He is also an author, business executive, radio host and syndicated columnist.