In his opening remarks at a Senate hearing Tuesday, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) powerfully condemned the antifa rioters who took advantage of the protests over the horrific police killing of George Floyd to engage in looting, vandalism, arson, and other crimes. Cruz denounced their actions as “profoundly racist,” since they have victimized minorities in these heinous crimes, undertaken under cover of protests against racism.
“Their actions are profoundly racist, the rioters, as they destroy minority communities, minority businesses, and minority lives across this country,” Cruz declared.
“What began as legitimate protests against a vile act of abuse [the killing of George Floyd] sadly were soon hijacked by opportunists and violent radicals,” he explained. “By early June, rioters had injured more than 700 law enforcement officers across the country and had murdered David Dorn,” a black retired police officer.
“The young people who took to the streets because their hearts cried out for justice had been overshadowed by rioters and looters and those who cynically exploit the protests for their own evil ends,” Cruz added. “Those rioters aren’t concerned about racial justice. Indeed, they’re willing to make a mockery of the peaceful protests to advance their violent objectives.”
“This shouldn’t be complicated. Peaceful protests must be protected, riots must be stopped,” he declared.
Cruz was correct to emphasize that the riots have devastated racial minorities.
The riots have destroyed black lives, black livelihoods, and black monuments. At least 22 Americans have died in the riots, most of them black. Retired police chief David Dorn was killed by looters breaking into his pawnshop in St. Louis. Chris Beaty was shot while helping two women who were being mugged in Indianapolis. Antonio Mays Jr., a 16-year-old boy, was shot and killed outside the Capitol Hill Occupied Protest (CHOP) in Seattle. Secoriea Taylor — an 8-year-old girl — was fatally shot as her mother attempted to park a car near a group of protesters close to the Wendy’s where Rayshard Brooks had been killed by police.
Sadly, many Democrats and left-leaning journalists have whitewashed the violent riots, referring to them as “peaceful protests.” Even after Cruz shared a video of the destructive riots, three Democratic senators dismissed or denied the violence.
Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.