In 1992, I operated a small publishing business in Los Angeles. It was destroyed as a result of riots that ensued after four police officers were acquitted of charges of excessive violence in the beating of Rodney King.
It changed my life. I focused my resolve to work in public policy to change destructive realities that were taking our distressed communities, and the whole nation, in what I saw as the wrong direction.
That was almost 30 years ago. Yet it’s still going on: chaos and destruction, supposedly justified by racial injustice. Why?
For the past week, I sat bunkered at night in my Washington, D.C., apartment as the nation’s capital was being transformed into a war zone.
Domestic terrorists roamed the streets, destroying private property, wanting to destroy our nation, pretending to be rioting to save it. They defaced the Lincoln Memorial and the World War II Memorial, and torched St. John’s Episcopal Church, where presidents have prayed since 1816.
President Donald Trump touched the heart of the issue in remarks he made in the White House Rose Garden, saying: “America is founded on the rule of law. It is the foundation of our prosperity, our freedom and our very way of life.”
He then courageously ventured off the White House grounds, crossed Lafayette Square and stood in front of St. John’s Church, holding up a Bible, and declaring the greatness of our nation and his resolve to keep it safe.
I do not believe any president has presented himself outside in public in this fashion since President Ronald Reagan was shot in 1981. Yet, the left-wing media mocked Trump.
No sane American — of any political persuasion — is not appalled at the horrible death of George Floyd at the hands of a policeman.
But the answer to flouting of the law by anyone demands that we recommit ourselves to universal respect and execution of the law, not throw it in the trash.
In an announcement from my organization, UrbanCURE, that called for a national “Pastoral Prayer for America,” I note: “George Floyd did not die as a black man but as a human being, under the protection of American laws, and the mortal assault on him inflicted a deep wound on every American, not just American blacks. People who think it their duty now to express sympathy to black folk must learn how to recognize that the grief is their own and not that of some ‘other’ looking for their generosity.”
Regarding allegations of racism, I say: “I don’t agree that our nation is racist. That mantra is the poison that entrenches resentment and division among us. The daily hunt for racism from top to bottom of our nation’s institutions have institutionalized the perception of racism in the post-Civil Rights era.”
“They have systematically reduced the fundamentals of citizenship to race, in the guise of diversity and inclusion — and these illusive lies have sown increasing distrust and painful social distance in conflict with our reality,” I say. “Most Americans are cordial to their neighbors, work hand in hand across racial lines, and just want to be left alone.”
Why this chaos today, 30 years after Los Angeles was torn up and my business destroyed?
I say it is because respect for the law and every human being comes only with humility, and that humility comes only when we see that law rooted in God and every person created in His image.
But too much of our nation’s reality has been controlled arrogance, not humility: arrogance that we don’t need the God of our fathers and founders. Those on the left have convinced too many that our answers lie in politics, their secular humanism and moral relativism.
The result is the destruction of life and property that true law, adhered to by true believers, protects.
Only return to eternal truths will save us.
Star Parker is president of the Center for Urban Renewal and Education and author of the new book “Necessary Noise: How Donald Trump Inflames the Culture War and Why This is Good News for America.”