Note: Not long after this commentary was published Wayne Allyn Root tweeted that he is “postponing” his march at the request of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. Asked for confirmation, Metro’s Public Information Office Tuesday afternoon said vie email, “We did not ask the promoter to cancel the event.”
Las Vegas City Councilwoman Michele Fiore is among a star-studded line-up of area white supremacists scheduled to lead a march up the Las Vegas Strip Saturday in support of preserving systemic injustices and institutional racism.
Fiore, who will be taking a break from her busy schedule of leveraging city parks for campaign contributions and family income and saying racist things at official Republican Party functions, is merely one of three city council members scheduled to publicly and bitterly cling to the proposition that police brutality against Black people is no reason for things to change in any meaningful way. The other two are Fiore hangers-on Victoria Seaman and Stavros Anthony.
Saturday’s event is being spearheaded by accomplished area carnival barker Wayne Allyn Root. To the dismay and embarrassment of hard-working journalists at the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Root used to have a column in that publication. He is known for trafficking in conspiracy theories, including but not limited to the racism-driven assertion, also touted by Donald Trump (whom Root once characterized as “the second coming of God”), that Barack Obama was born in Kenya and his presidency was a nefarious plot perpetrated by enemies of the U.S.
Root also enjoys a well-earned reputation as a consistently non-credible source of information, perhaps most notably demonstrated when he declared the Oct. 1, 2017 massacre on the Las Vegas Strip a “clearly coordinated Muslim terror attack.”
Root is also, as noted above, an avid carnival barker, ever eager to separate suckers, er, his adoring fans, from their money. Earlier this year the state of New York’s attorney general’s office ordered Root to cease and desist marketing colloidal silver as a COVID-19 cure.
Evidently colloidal silver is the 21st century’s answer to snake oil.
Saturday’s event, billed by Root as a “Blue Lives Matter March,” will also feature former New York City Police Commissioner and convicted felon Bernard Kerik, himself no stranger to conspiracy theories. Just last week, Kerik told a friendly television interviewer that national protests following the death of George Floyd are financed by (who else?) George Soros.
“We aren’t against anyone,” the infamously unreliable Root says in an ad for Saturday’s event. Instead, participants in “THE BIGGEST PRO POLICE MARCH IN AMERICA” will be “simply showing our love and support FOR our police.”
One way to support police, it seems, is to acknowledge that for far too long police have been asked to serve as social workers, including and perhaps especially as the nation’s mental health first responders. That presumably is not why people become police officers. Relieving them of that role and shifting the burden — and its funding — to appropriate social service agencies should be something thoughtful law enforcement officers would welcome.
At Saturday’s event, that and other reforms gaining traction in recent weeks will be dumbed down and distorted into horrifying scaremongering about a dystopian society with no police at all, where criminals will rule.
An argument can be made that criminals rule society already and police have become their “tin soldiers,” which also is probably not the role police officers envisioned when they decided to pursue a career in law enforcement.
An argument can also be made that for a significant portion of people in the U.S., a society criminals already rule is already horrifying and dystopian. That argument has been made on the streets in city after city since George Floyd’s murder.
No such discussion is going to break out at an event hosted by Wayne Allyn Root and his cast of madcap co-hosts from the Las Vegas City Council. Candid reflection on and assessment of what policing is, and what it should be, will have no place at Saturday’s event.
Anyone who knows anything about Root or Fiore, or for that matter Kerik, Seaman and Anthony, knows what Saturday’s event won’t be about: It won’t be about white people confronting the nation’s white supremacist past and present.
And anyone who knows anything about Root and friends also knows exactly what Saturday’s event will be about: It will be about blithe disregard for Black lives and angry dedication to racist brute force as preferred public policy. It will be about preserving, protecting and defending white supremacy.
It will be about, as Root’s divine leader likes to describe it, domination of one race over another, whatever it takes.
In other words, Saturday’s event will be about perpetuating racist actions, policies, institutions, and systems that have characterized the U.S. from the start.