Egged on by cable TV talk show hosts agitating for “change,” protests have broken out from coast to coast disrupting sports games, travel on the roads, attacking police, and even making little kids cry at Christmas tree lighting events.
On Friday CNN reported that the protests occurring in many of America’s major cities were dwindling in size but still as earnest as they were in the days after a Ferguson grand jury decided not to indict a white officer for shooting a local teenager. Those protests were rekindled after a New York grand jury did the same in the choking death of a suspect in Staten Island.
As protests in Ferguson, Missouri began to subside, New York erupted in demonstrations after a New York grand jury released its decision on Wednesday. Once the jury decided not to indict a white officer for the “choke hold” death of African American suspect Eric Garner, the community became engulfed in outrage. Almost immediately protests began to break out around the Big Apple.
On Thursday, for instance, protesters angry over the decision not to indict the officer shut down New York’s Lincoln Tunnel, the West Side Highway, and Times Square.
As Breitbart reported, the annual Rockefeller Center tree lighting was disrupted and protesters held a “die-in” at Grand Central Station. Several cars were also set on fire elsewhere in the city.
But while many media outlets have breathlessly reported on these protests, at least one commentator is downplaying them as “peanuts.”
At the American Spectator, columnist Ben Stein pointed out that the protests are not the massive wave of outrage that the media is trying to make them out to be.
Stein felt that the crowds in New York were “tiny. Hundreds at most.” Compared to the demonstrations during the Vietnam War and the civil rights movement in the 60s, today’s protests are paltry. And with the relatively small numbers he wondered why the media was “going crazy” over them.
“Your ancient correspondent,” Stein wrote on Friday, “remembers walking in anti-war demonstrations in Fun City, where I now am, where there were millions. These demonstrations are peanuts.”
Stein also voiced a point that many are starting to discuss and he says it reveals that “something sick” is happening in the USA today. “Roughly 10,000 nonwhites were killed by each other last year,” he wrote. “Yet there are no protests against the Crips and the Bloods and the policemen’s names are mud. The gangstas are heroes.”
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at firstname.lastname@example.org