For many Americans, “Lancaster County” evokes gentle slopes, cornfields, barns, Amish buggies and a seemingly endless supply of Christian novels about Amish heroines.
It’s a sweet-spirited place where you can actually feel the peaceful vibes emanating from a God-blessed land. Anyone suffering from city-bred anxiety should spend a day there to see how different life can be.
You may not want any part of the strict Amish and less-strict Mennonite lifestyles, but your psyches can gain a bit of rest away from our debauched culture’s daily bombardment.
Pennsylvania’s famed Amish enclave is also home to the city of Lancaster, a community of 60,000 people governed by a Democratic mayor and city council. Last week, Lancaster joined the unhappy club of Democrat-run cities in which mob violence has erupted since the death of George Floyd on May 25.
After Lancaster police fatally shot a man armed with a knife last Sunday, Black Lives Matter descended on the city, turning a protest into a full-fledged riot. The mob vandalized police cars, lit fires, looted, hurled bricks at a police stationhouse and spray painted “Death to Cops” on a wall.
Democratic Mayor Danene Sorace praised the protesters while trying to explain the riots as a response to unresolved social justice concerns, plus, you know, COVID-19. Parts of Lancaster City suffer from the urban blight unheard of in the Amish communities. Although the Amish are not perfect — no community is immune to the temptations of human nature — strong faith and family life keep them blessedly free of violence and other social ills common in urban areas.
The man killed by police was Ricardo Munoz, 27, who had been arrested in March 2019 for knifing four people — two men, a woman and a 16-year-old boy. Police had managed to taser Munoz and take him into custody. The four people survived, and Munoz was released on a $1 million bond and put on house arrest at his mother’s home.
Last week, following a report of a domestic disturbance, he charged at the police while holding a knife, as shown in a police body cam. An officer shot him.
However, the details of the case are not important to BLM rioters. They just need an excuse to light fuses and throw bricks. Police are culpable in some brutality cases around the nation, but it’s far rarer than the media and BLM would have us believe.
In 2019, more than 7,300 Blacks were killed in the nation’s cities. Of those, only 14 were unarmed Blacks shot by police. While even one is too many, the facts don’t match BLM’s ongoing slur about most police being murderous.
If Black lives really mattered, the thousands of homicide victims, plus hundreds of thousands of aborted Black babies each year, would count for something. But Black Lives Matter and its fellow Marxists care only about police incidents because they can use them as a pretext for mob violence.
The War on Cops is taking a toll on the police, who leave their homes not knowing whether they’ll come back to their families. Every day, more than two dozen are attacked with deadly weapons. On Sept. 12, two Los Angeles sheriff’s deputies were ambushed in their patrol car in Compton. Both were shot in the head at close range but miraculously survived. One of the deputies, a 31-year-old Hispanic mother with a 6-year-old son, reportedly saved the life of her 24-year-old male partner. A small group of “Black Power” advocates gathered outside the hospital, chanting for their deaths.
Even the left-wing “fact check” site Snopes, whose Sept. 13 post absolved BLM of any complicity, confirmed that the protest included cries of “I hope they die,” “F– the police” and “oink, oink.” The protest was staged by another group, Africa Town Coalition, whose leader denied any connection to BLM. He accused police of killing Black men every day, and said, “This right here lightens my heart …. If this is the start of retribution, then I’d say it’s a good start.”
Joe Biden and Kamala Harris issued statements condemning the attempted execution of the officers, as did President Trump, who called for the death penalty for those who kill police.
Over the last three months, until recently, Democrats insisted that riots in many cities were “largely peaceful protests” while ignoring the violence.
Sen. Harris, who would become the de facto president of the United States if Mr. Biden wins in November, used her Twitter account in June to raise bail money for rioters in Minneapolis.
She told Stephen Colbert, the late-night CBS host, that she applauded “the power of the people to take to the streets ….”
Regarding the protests, Ms. Harris added:
“But they’re not gonna stop. They’re not gonna stop. And that’s — they’re not — this is a movement, I’m telling you. They’re not gonna stop.
“And, and everyone beware, because they’re not gonna stop …. They’re not gonna stop before Election Day in November, and they’re not gonna stop after Election Day. … They’re not gonna let up. And they should not. And we should not.”
This is a woman who could be a heartbeat away from becoming president of the United States.
If I understand her, the violence will continue in places like Lancaster and Compton if the Democrats don’t win. Or even if they do.
Message received, loud and clear.
• Robert Knight is a contributor to The Washington Times. His website is roberthknight.com.