Rep. Jody Hice, R-Ga., said the recent poll that shows 58 percent of college-educated Americans believe rioting is either “fully or partially justified” is an example of the complete breakdown of the country’s educational system.
Hice told the “Todd Starnes Radio Show” on Wednesday that those polled clearly “have no idea what the First Amendment is all about.”
“It protects our ability for free speech, to protest and address our grievances, but not to engage in criminal activity, which is happening right now. He said that there is no way that any person with “half a brain would get behind this erroneous idea that it is OK for people to engage in criminal activity, assaulting people, looting, arson, and a host of other things—murder—and it’s OK.”
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Hice said that the country is watching the destruction of New York City in real-time. The media has been largely generous in its reporting on the riots and arson stemming from the George Floyd death in police custody. Reporters have been criticized on social media for calling the protests peaceful while they get pelted by bottles.
Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute, said in a statement, “It seems we have reached a turning point in public opinion where white Americans are realizing that black Americans face risks when dealing with police that they do not. They may not agree with the violence of recent protests, but many whites say they understand where that anger is coming from.”
The Hill reported that about half of the states in the country have deployed the National Guard to help maintain order in larger cities. The Associated Press reported late Tuesday that at least 9,300 people were arrested in protests across the country.
Keith Ellison, the attorney general of Minnesota, whose son supports ANTIFA, announced Wednesday that Derek Chauvin, the officer seen in a video with his knee on Floyd’s neck, will face second-degree murder charges. Three other officers were charged with aiding and abetting murder.
Hice said it is important that justice is served, but it is also important that the country understands why the First Amendment is in place and does not protect violent acts.
“We just cannot go down this path that laws are meaningless,” he said.