Skip to main content

Condoning Car Attacks on Protesters

The interesting thing about COVID19 times is that whenever I sense we have hit the lowest low, society always seems to find a level lower.  At a time when we admire the work of physicians, nurses and other folks on the front line of the pandemic, there are equal magnitudes of disappointment from some that represent a significant mindset within our nation.

Today someone I knew from high school posted this on Facebook:




A new low in counter-protest swag endorses the recent trend of using vehicular violence to quash social movements. 


Clearly the All Lives Splatter is a play off of Black Lives Matter, and the car plowing into protesters depicts the increasingly frequent use of vehicles weaponized by those aggressively opposed to the requested social change.  Since the death of George Floyd in late May, there have been 66 vehicle attacks on protesters.

The tactic typically employed by Islamic militant groups has now been adopted by those wishing to limit the American tradition of protest.  The most notable case in recent memory comes from Charlottesville, VA where a white supremacy rally conjured nonviolent resistance. James Alex Fields rammed the crowd of counter protesters killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer. Fields is now serving life in prison.  Analysis of his computer unveiled images of cars ramming protesters, indicating his actions were inspired and premeditated.

The latest attacks were in Bloomington, Indiana and Seattle. Twenty-four year old veterinary assistant Summer Taylor died when she was run over by Dawit Ketele, who now is being held awaiting trial.   

There are three levels of wrong here. 

1.  Using a vehicle to attack protesters. 

2.  Making memes and t-shirts to celebrate using a vehicle to attack protesters.

3.  Extolling the virtue of memes and t-shirts celebrating using a vehicle to attack protesters on social media. 

With each level the hate and pathology grow even deeper, from committing a violent act to promoting it as cute, funny, and in some cases necessary. 

And if you want to buy your protester-ramming shirt you can get it here for $23, right next to the "If You Don't Like America, There's the Door" shirt. 


The irony is that America's framers welcomed civil protest against injustice, and terrorist-level attacks on Americans by fellow citizens are about as un-American as it gets. Maybe their rejection of acceptable civility can help them find the door.

And therein lies the problem. People opposing protest for needed change feel they are somehow doing a patriotic duty. They will commit a crime as a presumably patriotic act, they will wear a shirt celebrating it, or emote about it on social media, even if it means killing other Americans.  

It shows the fragile state of our union, and the polarization of a significant portion of our population that feels neutralizing bothersome speech that provokes needed change is worthy of a deadly and violent response. 

Popular posts from this blog

Understanding mRNA Vaccines - Webinar

  As the COVID19 vaccine rolls out it is critical to understand how it works, its efficacy, as well as its risks and benefits.  Actively opposing disinformation will be key in achieving broad public compliance and ultimately ensuring public health. What is the history of the mRNA vaccine?   How does this approach differ from previous vaccination strategies?  Is this really new technology?  These questions and many more will be answered, along with your specific questions.  Hosted by Dr. Kevin Folta, molecular biologist and host of the Talking Biotech Podcast.

Food Babe Visits My University

It was 6:30 pm in the lab and I was just thinking about the last things I'd need to get done before I could go home.  Typical night.  Usually I'm riding home about 7 pm, but an email popped up asking me if I was going to go watch the Food Babe.  A click on a link would take me to the note on a UF Dean for Students Good Food Revolution Events website.  Vani Hari would be spreading her corrupt message of bogus science and abject food terrorism here at the University of Florida. Oh joy. There's something that dies inside when you are a faculty member that works hard to teach about food, farming and science, and your own university brings in a crackpot to unravel all of the information you have brought to students. She might have started from honest roots.  Her story says she was duped by an organic yogurt stand (join the club) into buying taro toppings that were filled with artificial, non-organic colors.  She realized that she could use social media to coalesce

Straight Info on the 2019-nCoV Coronavirus

  The outbreak of a new contagious virus in Wuhan has many people asking questions that the internet's experts are happy to answer.  As with any public health incident, the misinformation is difficult to separate from authentic guidance. Today I was able to attend a discussion by animal virologist Dr. Illaria Capua.  She covered the topic with off-the-presses information and provided several action items.  Dr. Capua made some clear points that I'll list as bullets for clarity. Similar historical outbreaks.   SARS and MERS were also highly infectious coronaviruses, but were rapidly contained early because of their physical routes of transmission.  Started in wildlife. These kinds of coronaviruses are transmitted to people from animals. Previous examples track transmission from chickens, pigs, camels and bats.  The 2019-nCoV virus likely originated from a bat.  Numbers.  As of today, just under 9826 people are infected globally, and there has been 213 deaths (all