If there’s one thing conservatives do right, it’s simmering silently at injustices and protesting peacefully. Unlike Democrats, Republicans aren’t known for widespread violence and disrespect. It’s usually leftists that burn cities, accost people with different beliefs, and plan riots.
It was this fact that alerted those on the right to the sham that was January 6, 2021. Republicans understood that the activities on display that day were so far out of the norm for conservatives that they could only have been boosted by outside sources. For Republicans, then-president Donald Trump’s calls for a peaceful protest meant peacefully marching to the Capitol and protesting with dignity. He understood two things: Republicans were angry at the outcome of the “election,” and they would use their first amendment rights to make their voices heard.
That’s why isolated incidents, like the June 2 student protest at Marshall Simonds Middle School in Burlington, Boston, are frowned upon by conservatives. On that day, students were invited to wear rainbow clothing and given stickers to celebrate pride month.
A handful of students had different ideas. Nancy Bonassera, co-chair of the Burlington Equity Coalition, recalled, “On that same day there was a counterdemonstration in response to what should have been a day to celebrate. Students wore red, white, and blue clothing, chanted ‘my pronouns are USA’ and destroyed rainbow decorations at the school.”
It’s important to understand that these actions will be amplified by the left and wrung for every emotional and dramatic moment possible. Select Board member Michael Espejo mourns, “I was very upset, I’ve lost sleep over it. It kind of shocked me to my core. I didn’t think something like that could happen in Burlington.”
Meanwhile, Gov. Maura Healey took the opportunity to express her disappointment. “I hope it becomes a teaching moment for the young people who were involved in that,” she said. “It doesn’t represent who we are as a state.”
School administrators condemned the incident in a letter to parents and students. Principal Cari Perchase wrote, “I want to publicly state that I stand in solidarity and support of the members of the LGBTQ community who were impacted by these events. I am truly sorry that a day meant for you to celebrate your identity turned into a day of intolerance.”
Conservatism has never been under attack in quite the way it is now, and every attempt to fight back is publicized negatively. The students were exercising their first amendment rights, but when they crossed the line into vandalism, it gave the left ammunition to destroy the right and claim the actions of a few represent an entire political movement. Instead of an exception to the right’s normally peaceful approach, they broadcast it as an example of widespread conservative intolerance and the need for more legislation to silence opposing beliefs.
Meanwhile, incidents such as occurred at Edison High School in Huntington Beach, California, are spun by the left in ways that are perplexing and dizzying. In a video posted on social media by an LGBTQ supporter, students are complaining about being forced to watch a Pride video in math class. The video, featuring two women embracing closely and a message of “Don’t forget to love each other,” was shown in all classes to all students.
The students responded predictably, in exactly the way high school students would be expected to respond. They groaned, moaning “turn it off” and “stop,” with one student loudly asking, “Why are you showing this to kids?”
The video of the student’s reaction went viral, with more people expressing outrage over completely expected teen behavior than the teacher’s threats to put the kids in detention if they didn’t quietly watch the propaganda. “Hey, I’ll warn you guys now,” the unnamed teacher said. “If you’re going to be inappropriate, I will have supervision down and give all of you Saturday school for [indiscernible]. So, knock it off.”
The left is banking on protests by conservatives over the unjust treatment of former president Trump and is salivating at the chance to stoke violence across the nation. Republicans need to remember that the left controls all social media and make sure to exercise caution when planning events and protesting. It’s entirely possible that the left will plant disruptors during the protests, as they did on January 6th, to incite violence, escalate incidents, and control the narrative.
And the media will eat it up.
Be careful, conservatives. The left doesn’t need any more ammunition.