Florida's HB1 Would Show Difference Between Protest vs. Riot

In the name of politics, especially racially charged politics, political correctness has bastardized language. At worst it’s aided destructive behavior in communities across the country. No doubt there are many people who are passionate about causes which genuinely want to participate in protests. When gatherings which result in riotous behavior are described as protests, out of political correctness by news media, we’ve seen time and again it’s dangerous.

Large gatherings of mostly well intended protestors have been used by bad actors to cause significant damage and destruction. When news media chooses to selectively cover riots and describe them as protests, it’s not only factually incorrect, it’s potentially dangerous. 

If there’s a gathering and people are expressing themselves, it’s a protest. If there’s a gathering where there’s violence, it’s a riot. It doesn’t matter if only some of those gathered are violent, a riot is a riot at the point of violence. It’s a fact, it’s not open to interpretation.

As I’ve continued to watch a significant divergence in coverage in the death of Dauntae Wright with traditional news media often opting to cover the riots as “protests”; I’ve realized the increasingly dangerous role they may be playing with those who continue to be well intended protestors. Protestors are consistently being used by rioters.

As far as even those who do intend to protest. They need to have a get real moment. There’s no reasonable justification for legitimate protests to ever take place at night. If the point is to be heard, it’s a farse to assert that waiting until it’s dark is anything but a strategy for trouble. Furthermore, law enforcement needs the ability to mitigate these unlawful assemblies before they reach size and scale that becomes unmanageable.

Since news media won’t tell the truth about what’s a protest and what’s a riot, and because law enforcement is already stuck between a rock and a hard place on these issues, it's precisely why Florida should pass HB-1. It would legally define what riots are and how law enforcement should respond.

Photo by: Getty Images

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