Like the 1991 beating of Rodney King in Los Angeles, the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis has touched off a national wave of riots and looting.
But while the 1991 riots were driven by black anger, social media videos and news coverage of the 2020 riots show the instigators are often white, and young.
In video after video, young white people in designer clothes and driving expensive cars are smashing windows, torching buildings and looting stores, often in black neighborhoods and often as black residents plead with them to stop.
So how did the death of a black man lead so many white people to riot “for black lives,” in a way that’s destroying more black lives than it claims to save?
Is Antifa driving the violence? That doesn’t appear to be the case, as Antifa groups have largely been driven underground and have done little organizing during the George Floyd protests.
In fact, the perpetrators of the violence often seem to have little knowledge of socialism or Communism, which are Antifa’s driving beliefs.
The only thing they can seem to do is spray-paint “Black Lives Matter” on buildings as black residents beg them to stop.
So what’s driving the extremism?
A deep dive into some data by Zach Goldberg, who claims to have a “Ph.D.” in “Wokeness Studies” may offer an explanation.
His research finds the mainstream media are covering racial issues using the same language employed by activist groups.
Goldberg, looking into how the media cover issues, went all the way back to 1970 and pulled articles from The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Post, The Los Angeles Times, and National Public Radio.
Not only are they the nation’s largest media outlets, their reporting is often reprinted or rerun in other outlets.
He found a dramatic increase in the use of words like “racist,” “systemic,” “oppression,” “of color” and other terms that began in the liberal movement.
More notably, usage of the terms was largely occasional and stable until after 2010, when usage exploded.
The use of “racism” and “racist” to describe something has tripled since 2010.
“Systemic,” “institutional” and “structural,” often employed to claim racism and oppression are built into systems,” went from nearly non-existent to relatively frequent usage, as did “whiteness” and various terms referring to “white privilege.”
The newfound “wokeness” of the news media appears to have had an unintended consequence.
The result appears to be a generation who view racial issues through the same lens as liberal activists and are using their newfound “knowledge” as justification to act out violent fantasies.