George Floyd

America's Terrible Weekend

The Reason Roundtable talks riots, police, protesters, policies, and more.


Apparently the deadly plague and economic depression weren't nearly enough, so the murder-hornet season known as spring 2020 has added widespread rioting (including rioting by the police) into the mix. Reason Roundtable co-conspirators Nick Gillespie, Katherine Mangu-Ward, Peter Suderman, and Matt Welch talk about criminal justice reform, class warfare, and the views from their own smoldering towns.

Also coming under discussion: space rockets, Section 230 idiocy, and the graphic novels of Raina Telgemeier.

Audio production by Ian Keyser and Regan Taylor.

Music: "The Woods" by Silent Partner.

Relevant links from the show:

"Videos Show Police Aggression Against Protesters Across the Country. Here Are Two Ways to Help It Stop," by Elizabeth Nolan Brown

"The Rise and Fall and Rise Again of the 'Outside Agitator' Story," by Jesse Walker

"Trump Can't Designate Antifa a Domestic Terrorist Group, and It's a Bad Idea Anyway," by Robby Soave

"I Got Tear Gassed at Baltimore's City Hall," by Anthony Comegna

"Did Prosecutors Undercharge the Cop Who Killed George Floyd?" by Jacob Sullum

"Protesting Police Violence Is Critical. But Why Are the Social Distance Shamers Suddenly So Quiet?" by Robby Soave

"D.C. Cops Kept Herding Protesters Into Harm's Way," by Elizabeth Nolan Brown

"Nation's Cops Seem Determined To Demonstrate Why People Are Protesting Them in the First Place," by Eric Boehm

"Police and Rioters Get Violent at Protests in Cities Nationwide," by Christian Britschgi

What are we consuming this week?

Katherine Mangu-Ward

Peter Suderman

Nick Gillespie

NEXT: Edward Snowden, the Surveillance State, and the 'Dark Mirror' Still Watching Us All

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  1. A black man saw his shadow and looted Target!
    This means 4 more years of President Trump.

    1. on the plus side, most of Minneapolis has its Christmas shopping done early.

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    2. Damn
      I laughed really hard at that one

  2. Indeed, it was a bad weekend. Fortunately I just realized what we need to do if we want to overcome this. We need to implement Charles Koch’s vision of unlimited, unrestricted immigration.


    1. Correct! We need to invite the entire population of Hong Kong to the United States, along with the rest of Mexico and Somalia. America will be the new multi-racial, multi-cultural worker’s paradise, like Yugoslavia!

      1. RebbeWeinstein has just completed the final chant to summon Shikha.

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      2. Hong Kong would actually be good, since most of them speak English.

  3. It’s extremely difficult to offend me, much less piss me off, but somehow this pathetic excuse for a rag has managed to do both. I’ve put up with years of smug, condescending, supercilious faux libertarianism from the writers at Reason and kept coming back, but the cavalier approach they have taken toward the senseless property destruction of the past few days — not to mention their steadfast refusal to brand the brigands terrorizing the streets as rioters and looters — has frayed my patience to the breaking point. The writers here, like too many assholes on Twitter, seem to be shrugging off the destruction as the cost of doing business. “Not a big deal — insurance will pay for it.” But in most cases, insurance won’t pay for it. Business insurance policies have clauses specifically exempting damage sustained due to war, insurrection, or riots. Most of these small businesses, already teetering on the brink of bankruptcy after months of senseless lockdowns, will have no way of rebuilding and restocking, short of taking out loans at extortionate rates of interest, if they’re even able to qualify for them. In the vast majority of cases, they’ll be forced to close their doors for good. Those jobs will be gone, and cities will slide further into disrepair and blight.

    But what do these rioters care? Most of them are from out of town. The damage won’t affect them personally. They don’t rely on these shops and stores for their livelihoods. They’ll just move on to vent their spleen elsewhere.

    The fact that the most these wussy, beta Reason writers can find it in themselves to muster is a few wags of the finger and clicks of the tongue proves beyond a reasonable doubt that they’re total sellouts and has me seriously contemplating never coming back.

    You’re fucking journalists. You’re supposed to speak truth to power. Stop making excuses for hatemongers and assholes. Pussies.

    1. Please donate during the next Reason Magazine fundraiser.

      1. Well, I’m not going to send them any money, but I’ll glad to mail them a hanky. A nice pink one to go with their politics.

    2. But we in the commentariat, the only reason to come here, would miss you

    3. Most of them are from out of town.

      Do you have any evidence to back up that assertion? I don’t know one way or another, but it seems unlikely. I’m sure there are many people from out of town both peacefully protesting and rioting. I suspect that a lot of the impetus for the rioting is frustration and anger about the lockdowns.

      I generally agree, though. Call rioters “rioters”. I’m sure there are some people just trying to peacefully protest too. Praise them all you want, but the violence and destruction of property has no excuse.

    4. “You’re fucking journalists. You’re supposed to speak truth to powe*. Stop making excuses for hatemongers and assholes. Pussies.”

      *except corporate power, of course

  4. I was going to consider listening to this, but the thought of hearing Suderman regurgitate a straight down the line corporate media hot take on why the cops are being so mean to a bunch of violent felons errr I mean innocent peaceful protesters is something I really can’t stomach today.

    1. How else will the bien pensants know what they’re supposed to think, without brave parrots like Suderman to relay the edicts of their betters.

      1. Long live the gatekeepers!

  5. Someone at work described it well…

    We went from Contagion to The Purge this summer. What blockbuster in real life is next?

    1. It’ll be shitty whatever it is.

      1. As long as there’s some proper Bayhem, I’ll be entertained.

  6. How can you say it’s been a terrible weekend? We got rid of the coronavirus and it’s now perfectly safe to go out and mingle freely with your fellow citizens in public. I guess Trump was right – one day after the weather warmed up, the coronavirus was just magically going to disappear.

    1. Well, shit, now I’m afraid again

  7. There was a lot of speculation that most of the riots were incited by police and white supremacists. Of course a lot of this speculation was on social media without any evidence.

    1. First riots gave voice to the voiceless.
      Then riots were actually started by white supremacists and Russians.
      Now riots were started by police (I think this one will be the most popular)

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  9. While Nick and Matt are correct that our country has made progress in how it treats minoriities we can not rest on our laurels. As a parent, I am very disturbed when I hear black parents explain how they have to tell their children how to act around police officers. All parents worry about giving our children the car for the first time, but I never worried that my child might be shot during a traffic stop. There are those who would try to turn our focus on the riots, to say that is the real problem. These riots will end in aa few days, black parents will still be worried about their children.

  10. These past montths, I’ve been thinking about that photo of Churchill, FDR, and Stalin at Yalta; the three most powerful guys in the world.
    30 years later the British Empire was gone, 50 years later the Soviet Union was gone, maybe now it’s our turn.
    FDR believed that the “four policemen” would keep world peace in the future. Interestingly, the fourth “policeman” was China.

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