This week, America held its collective breath as it waited on the grand jury indictment verdict for Officer Darren Wilson. Wilson, you’ll recall, had the misfortune to run into 6’5″, 289-lb. Michael Brown, an 18-year-old black man who had just finished strong-arm robbing a convenience store. Wilson pulled Brown over as he and his accomplice walked in the middle of the street; all available evidence shows that Brown then pushed himself through the driver’s side window, punched Wilson, went for his gun, was shot in the hand, ran, turned around, charged Wilson, and was shot to death.
But that doesn’t matter. And it has never mattered. Because facts do not matter to those attempting to rectify what they perceive as an unjust universe. For those utopian visionaries – and, yes, violent thugs who rob stores are minions of the utopian visionaries — individuals do not exist. Individuals are merely stand-ins for groups. Wilson was a white cop; therefore, he was the Racist White Establishment. Brown was a black teenager; therefore, he was the Innocent Black Victim. The parts have already been written; Wilson was merely unlucky enough to land the starring role.
And so we expect riots no matter what the outcome of the indictment. Should Wilson escape indictment due to complete lack of evidence, the utopians and their rioting henchmen will attribute that acquittal to the Racist White Establishment. Should he be indicted, the utopians and their rioting henchmen will cite Wilson as merely the latest example of the Racist White Establishment. No matter the antecedent, the consequence has been determined in advance: rage, riots, recriminations.
If all of this sounds familiar, that’s because it is.
Alongside the anti-Racist White Establishment protesters taking to the streets in Ferguson in recent weeks, anti-Israel and pro-ISIS protesters have appeared. All utopian visionaries fighting the status quo — self-perceived victims — love their Days of Rage. And these Ragers don’t require evidence to incite their emotions. Evidence regarding individuals is for the reasonable; false stories of victims and villains are the fodder for Ragers.
Whether we’re watching thousands of Muslims across the world protest and riot over cartoons of Mohammed, or whether we’re watching hundreds of people in Ferguson riot over a media-manufactured story about a racial killing, Days of Rage provide the outlet for delusional anger. Radical Muslims need an external enemy to justify their own brutality; protesters in Ferguson need an external enemy to justify their own failure to make good in the freest country in the history of humanity.
Every society has its Ragers. The West’s suicidal impulse to humor those Ragers, however, spells the end of the West. When facts become secondary to emotion, truth dies. And a society that doesn’t value truth cannot survive. Calling out the National Guard in Ferguson while lending a sympathetic ear to the Ragers does little good, long-term. It merely staves off the inevitable surrender of the reasonable to the Ragers.