Luke’s Log- Public Disorder of Any Sort is Indefensible, Including Sports Riots

columbusriots

Ohio State won the national football championship this past Monday and, predictably, thousands of raging (and in some cases intoxicated) Buckeye fans poured out onto the streets of Columbus and rioted. Fires were set, bottles were thrown, buildings were vandalized, the Horseshoe stadium was broken into, and police were called in to suppress the bacchanalian throngs.

Several activist websites quickly condemned the rioters and pointed to the hypocrisy of the mainstream media for covering the recent riots in Ferguson extensively, while not covering the more peaceful anti-police violence protests across the country, and now not covering the violence in Ohio. For the most part, these websites were entirely correct.

In a civilized society, order is the prerequisite of freedom, and discipline of the passions is indispensable to liberty. Whether the passions be joyous or angry, they must be constrained when they reach to the boiling point and drive individuals to destroy property and impede on the liberty of others. Thus the riots in Columbus were the moral equivalent of the riots in Ferguson, regardless of the causes underlying the behavior of either mob of miscreants.

The peaceful protests around the country in the wake of the Ferguson and New York incidents, however, were well within the bounds of public order and decency, and should simply be seen as masses of frustrated Americans expressing their will to the world. Luke’s Log disagrees with the premises and causes of most of those protestors, but entirely supports their nonviolent efforts to be heard.

What happened in Columbus this week, however, is indefensible. Public mass violence is nothing new to America, as we have an unfortunately tainted history of anti-immigrant riots and lynchings, anti-government uprisings, internecine criminal underground wars, and a host of other outbreaks of passion. All are bane to civilization, and are indicative of the fundamental crookedness of human nature. In an increasingly unstable country, we would all do well to reflect upon the value of public order to liberty, and of stability to justice. Otherwise our streets will doubtless broil with the violence of the mob.

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