Domenick J. Maglio Ph.D. Traditional Realist
Sports fans have accepted violence: shooting, turning over cars, smashing windows and lampposts, tearing down signs, looting businesses and starting fires as acceptable behaviors after winning a championship in sports. It could be on the professional, college or even high school or lower levels of a travel team. Celebrating has become synonymous with an uninhibited orgy of destroying other people’s property, which is against the law but is accepted when it comes to sporting events.
The US professional sports of hockey, baseball, soccer, and football recently have had celebration melees that have resulted not only in drunken property destruction of immense proportions but shootings as well. “Celebrations” on college campuses have college security personnel turning a blind eye to protect privileged college students from county and city law enforcement. They understand arresting these youthful rioters for violating property laws would give them an arrest record that would follow them through their adult life. College security personnel on smaller campuses usually know the students on some level while larger universities understand the negative publicity will have an impact on their institution. In either case, the campus police will rarely take legal action.
When protest riots occur, the local police do not enforce the law but are allowing the area of damage to expand. This has become the new normal. The police are mostly observers with few riot participants getting arrested. In April of 2015 Baltimore mayor, Stephanie Rawlings Blake, allowed protestors to express themselves under the guise of freedom of speech. She went as far as stating to her police force, “give those who wish to destroy, space.” This pronouncement gave them a green light.
This lawlessness has existed in foreign nations for many years. Soccer hooligans have been a problem worldwide. In Canada on June 17th, 2019 Toronto Raptors basketball team won the NBA championship. An estimated 1.5 million people were at the celebration and four people were shot.
Riots become a “party of destruction.” People from all different backgrounds attempt to top each other in property destruction. It is an intense negative high of doing what you know is against the law without the fear of punishment. It is permission to be lawless. The loss through these riots has to be paid through our taxes or increased college tuition. The ultimate cost is lowering our standard of civilized behavior to a pathetic level of encouraging and legitimizing deviant behavior. The real and only victims are the law-abiding citizens, not the law-breakers.
This ridiculous government policy of hands-off inflames rather than quells the worst instincts of groups. Clusters of people or crowds who are allowed to be out-of-control lose their personal inhibitions joining the mob mentality. When you include the presence of drugs, alcohol or impressing one’s friends, it becomes almost irresistible.
Law abiding citizens have to take a stand and say enough is enough. Celebrations and political protests should not be opportunities to wreak havoc. Rioting in urban areas, college campuses or any other place does not give anyone the right, no matter their rationalization, for robbing people of their valuable property.
Celebrations, making a political statement, or getting in touch with one’s animal instincts cannot be legitimate excuses for not being punished for violating peaceful people’s rights and property. Enforcing the law is essential to not go down the path of anarchy. Our society has to make clear that there will no longer be tolerance nor justification for destroying anyone’s property and peace. Our society should encourage law enforcement to do their function of keeping law and order. Rioting is not a “victimless crime.” It adversely affects all property owners and the community.
Rioting for any grievance, celebrating a sports victory, or turning a blind eye to supposedly further social justice causes are reinforcing criminal behavior. Not only does it condone criminal actions but it acts as a recruiting tool to increase new actors to join the ranks of lawbreakers. “Monkey sees, monkey do” is as relevant today as it has been over the ages.
Making protests an “event” of reckless and illegal behavior has been multiplied by politician’s asinine decisions to allow and rationalize criminal behaviors to gain political favors. It is rational and effective to grant policemen the powers and backing to do their job. Police “standing down” during riots for any reason is condoning that which should be prevented or stopped in order to have a stable nation of law and order. This and only this will begin to reverse lawlessness in our country.
Domenick Maglio, PhD. is a columnist carried by various newspapers, an author of several books and owner/director of Wider Horizons School, a college prep program. Dr. Maglio is an author of weekly newspaper articles, INVASION WITHIN and a new book entitled, IN CHARGE PARENTING In a PC World. You can see many of Dr. Maglio’s articles at www.drmaglio.blogspot.com.