When the Looting StartsRioting erupted in major cities across the nation after a policeman murdered a black forgery suspect named George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 30. And murder is the correct term for what happened.

Rioting is also the correct term for looting, stealing, burning buildings and cars, threatening and attacking police.

I’m an ex-cop—four years in Miami, Florida, where I worked “Salt and Pepper” teams in the black ghettos, ten years in Tulsa, Oklahoma, as a homicide detective. Having worked the rioting in Miami, Florida, in 1968, I predicted the inevitable outcome of rioting now following years of constant “intersectionality” pitting Americans against each other along the lines of race, sex, sexual identity, income, etc. After all, I had lived it in Miami a half-century before Minneapolis erupted and metastasized into Atlanta, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Denver, Phoenix… It has all happened before.

The constant barrage of Racism! Racism! from the totalitarian political Left has created a climate for rioting in predominately black communities. It is that constant mantra that drives wedges between groups of people, which can then be employed by Democratic Socialists through anger and grudge to exert greater government control over society.

We have to deal with facts to begin with—real facts. Black neighborhoods suffer more crime than other communities. More homicides, robberies, thefts, and other crimes per capita than other areas of a city. It has nothing to do with race in modern society; it has much more to do with the management of cities by Progressives and the enslavement of black people through dependency upon government. While the murder of George Floyd by a rogue cop was a tragedy, the fact remains that a policeman is 18 times more apt to be murdered by a black man than a black man is by a cop.

My “Salt and Pepper” partner in Miami, a black cop named Charles Daniels, and I often arrived at a crime scene where black victims were in tears of fear and frustration. Women rushed up and hugged Daniels and me. “Thank you! Thank you! We’re afraid to leave our houses. You have to get rid of all the thieves and gangs and druggies! Please!”

The good people in black neighborhoods were terrified of the chaos and crime. A criminal is a criminal, no matter the color of his skin.

Rioting in Miami in 1968 began at the Republican National Convention on Miami Beach that selected Richard Nixon as the Republican nominee for President. Chaos and violence quickly spread throughout the city, as it had already spread from Detroit to other cities and states.

The cry went out: “Burn, baby, burn!”

In Miami, anarchists ran the streets, breaking windows, setting cars, houses and businesses on fire, looting, attacking police. Now, in 2020, flames leap and roar in the night, smoke engulfs entire streets. Many of the businesses that suffer most are owned by black merchants, a fact rarely mentioned in mainstream news. Black communities, in fact, are the real victims of “racial riots” that are largely instigated and led by criminals, thieves, thugs, and, today, by political socialist groups like Antifa.

Five people ultimately died in Miami from gunshot wounds, many more in Detroit and other cities. No policemen were killed, but a number were severely injured from bullets and rocks and other objects hurled at us. Daniels and I and other policemen were repeatedly ambushed by gunfire from the roofs of tenements. I later counted fifteen bullet holes in my police car.

Violence increased as the rioting spread—ambushes, all out gun battles, chasing looters with shopping carts loaded with stolen liquor, TVs, guns, etc.

On the last night of rioting in Miami before we restored order, snipers from a darkened alley opened fire on my police car and another police team. I dashed across the street toward the mouth of the alley, weapon in hand. Bullets whizzed past. I returned fire at muzzle flashes.

And then, by all appearances, I simply vanished from the street.

Looters had ripped off a manhole cover with which to bust through windows. I dropped through the opening into the sewer, splintering my ankle when I hit bottom. Next stop, the hospital emergency room. My partner Daniels stood at my bedside until he was sure I was going to be okay.

The rioting ultimately ended in Miami and other cities, primarily because elected officials and police took positive action—and didn’t purposely abandon the streets to anarchy as happened in Minneapolis at the Police 3rd Precinct Station when it was attacked and city politicians ordered officers to abandon the station to fire and looting rather than “inflame” the protesters. It must have been humiliating to officers fleeing the station on foot and in cars and leaving the station to be ransacked.

It seems politicians never learn from history when their goal is to take and retain power and “never let a good crisis go to waste” in imposing further government control over society. One major way to increase such control is to allow, even encourage, society to lapse into chaos and anarchy by which government must assume greater and greater power and leave people with less and less individual freedom.

This may be a good time to begin fattening up your canaries and dogs so you’ll have something to eat when the United States follows Venezuela, Cuba, China, the USSR, Nazi Germany, and other authoritarian states into socialism, tyranny, and failure.

Charles W. Sasser’s latest book is Crushing the Collective: The Last Chance to Keep America Free and Self-Governing. He is the author of over 60 books and thousands of magazine articles.