Florida Opposes Riots, Encourages Vehicle Homicide

The United States Capitol
Photo by Logan Rude

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is proud of the legislation he just signed making riots illegal.

Not that riots weren’t illegal before, you understand, it’s just that in Florida now they are truly illegal.

Among other things, the legislation gives immunity to drivers who strike rioters who block a street or highway.

And it defines a “riot” as three or more persons who assist each other in violent or disorderly conduct leading to injury or property damage or the threat of property damage.

Similar bills are being introduced by Republicans in state legislators all over the country.

Let’s be clear about what this is all about: The Republicans in Florida and eleswhere want to make the Black Lives Matter movement the face of criminal rioting as opposed to, say, the rioting by supporters of former President Trump.

Last summer there were demonstrations around the nation protesting the police killing of unarmed black people.

These demonstrations led, in some places, to riots. We saw them in Madison. Statues were destroyed, windows were broken, businesses were trashed. Streets and highways were blocked.

That really happened. The destruction was illegal and people were arrested.

Florida’s law goes way beyond that. Once we define a “riot” as three people who we think might be going to destroy property, we have moved into fascist territory – and we aren’t just tiptoeing into fascist territory, we are there.

Once we give immunity to drivers who floor the gas and speed into rioters, or into a group of three people crossing the street carrying Black Lives Matter flag, th en we’ve legalized attempted murder.

These laws are not aimed at rioters. They are aimed at Black people who protest government injustice.

They are being enacted by people who call themselves the “Party of Lincoln.”

They are being enacted by people who label RINO, or Republicans in Name Only, men and women with names like “Romney” and “Cheney” and “Bush.”

There are two ways to lead the country: You can either appeal to the best in people or you can appeal to the worst of people.

Republicans once won elections by appealing to the former.