The term "Black Swan Event" was coined in 2007 by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, a finance professor, and stock trader. It refers to the fact that we witness an unforeseen large-scale adverse event every so many years, one that rattles the financial markets, if not society writ large. In 2020 we have been hit with two events within a six month period: (i) COVID-19 and (ii) perceived police misconduct that has sparked massive urban violence not seen since the Civil War.
I am an American by choice, not by birth. My perspective on urban violence is colored by my experience growing up in Colombia as the daughter of a police widow due to the lawlessness of Pablo Escobar and the unwillingness of leading party politicians to take decisive actions to end the violence.
We have been continuously told by "mainstream media" that the vast majority of protesters have been peaceful and merely voicing their opinions about perceived institutional racism in the United States. However, in cities such as Kenosha, Washington, DC, Chicago, Baltimore, New York City, Portland (OR), Seattle, and others, we are seeing literal armed conflict between police and ANTIFA anarchists, so extreme they would make The Joker proud. I do not blame the Democratic Party for the violence. Still, I do unequivocally condemn them for their tolerance of the violence and, at times, their role as a public relations firm for ANTIFA. Even the Democratic nominee for Vice President has recently said the rioters are not going to let up, nor should they.
One reason we find ourselves in this terrible situation is that ANTIFA has been growing for years, and the political left in this country has refused to disavow them. In direct contrast, the KKK (originally a Democratic organization) has been marginalized and ridiculed (correctly) by the mainstream Republican party. Interestingly, Richard Spencer (well-known White nationalist) has even backed Joe Biden in the Presidential election.
President Trump has labeled ANTIFA a domestic terror organization, which is a good start. However, we are yet to see an aggressive crackdown on the group. In fact, in the act of incredible irony, the white Democratic mayor of Portland, who has been refusing to ask President Trump for help, has been firebombed and driven out of his $800,000 condo by "peaceful" ANTIFA protesters. Even more ironic, this mayor is the relative moderate within the Portland Democratic Party, as he is in a run-off election against an unapologetic member of ANTIFA.
Thus, what is a law-abiding citizen to do in America today? I am already fearful of displaying a Trump lawn sign, wear a MAGA hat in public, and the like. If I do, I am asking for a triggered, likely white ANTIFA anarchist to attack me physically at worst, or verbally assault my family and I at best. I am far more scared of political violence in 2020 than I am of catching COVID.
To make things worse, it is incredibly unclear to what extent I have the right to defend myself. There are disturbing images of men sneaking up on an old man in Baltimore with a brick and knocking him unconscious, a Trump supporter publicly executed in the street, 'Mean Girls for Biden' inappropriately touching and stealing from a child, and on and on. A Biden supporter is extremely unlikely to be attacked unprovoked. Still, a White or Latina Trump supporter is, unfortunately, more likely to be attacked than ever (since maybe wearing a pro-Union hat in Richmond during the Civil War).
It is widely known that the police do not have an affirmative responsibility to protect us from crime. This is especially true today in Democratic cities, where police are being defunded, attacked, and are fearful of making one mistake that could cost them their career, pension, and or life. One's best hope is for the police to investigate your assault after-the-fact. How then can a citizen feel safe in our nation's largest cities in 2020? Trump's re-election is quickly approaching, and ANTIFA is secretly hoping he wins so that they can use it as an excuse for wanton mayhem, murder, looting, and more.
What if you have a small business in Chicago, and you know the police won't be able to help you while white, out-of-state left-wing thugs come to destroy your business and possibly murder you while you defend your life's work? What can you do if a group of White ANTIFA terrorists accosts you at a restaurant in Washington, DC, because you won't be bullied into making a leftist fascist gesture? What if you walk out of a synagogue and meet angry leftist protestors hurling vicious anti-Semitic insults at you and your children?
Right now, the average citizen is forced into a dilemma – fight back and hope the justice system does not prosecute you for merely defending yourself and/or your family, or ignore the aggression because you are more fearful of being labeled a racist or forced into a costly and lengthy legal battle to prove you were acting in self-defense.
We should have a public hearing at the House and Senate Homeland Security Committees and a public briefing by President Trump, detailing the rights of American citizens caught in this terrible situation. President Trump recently signed an Executive Order declaring a felony and 10-year jail term for anyone caught defacing national monuments. This was highly effective and ended the problem.
Unfortunately, he cannot issue such proclamations in our nation's cities. Thus, we need to understand when we must take this abuse and when we can defend ourselves. Until we know, we will be living a life of fear, which is clearly not tolerable in America.