Then Someone Lit A Match

by | Sep 2, 2020 |

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At the start of the first American Civil War, there was the Fort Sumter moment when the shooting began, kicking off the hostilities leading to the deaths of thousands of Americans in the north and the south. That event is seen as pivotal in the timeline when identifying the start of the conflict.
I have been predicting a Fort Sumter moment in my writings and on my show⏤if the violence on our streets wasn’t shut down. Just the opposite has taken place⏤the violence has been increasing.
We have one political party that is encouraging the violence as a way to cause political change and we have another party that is sitting back watching it seemingly incapable of doing anything. This is a recipe for greater carnage to come.
There has been much talk of a second American Civil War⏤how it might start, when and where it might start. Unlike the first one which had a focus point that could be identified, this one has many flashpoints, each one capable of igniting the tinder box we call America in 2020.
My question though is this, has the first shot already been fired? We are no longer talking about simple rioting and burning and looting, the garden variety of insurrection. We now have police officers that have been ambushed and murdered as well as citizens who have been beaten and killed for simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time when the mob decided to act out.
And what about Kenosha, Wisconsin? Is this the new Fort Sumter? Is the apparent attack on a 17-year-old and his armed response to that attack by a mob of violent anarchists the first shot that had been predicted? 
Time will tell. An event like the Kyle Rittenhouse shooting can have two distinct effects on a movement. One, it can be a wake-up call that things are getting out of control and action to stop the tide is needed immediately before it is unstoppable. When that happens, our politicians are supposed to do what we hired them for… protect us and our property by stepping in to crush any kind of a revolt, and make no mistake we are witnessing a revolt.
Unfortunately, for all of us, we don’t seem to have any politicians with the brains or guts to do what they are elected to do. President Trump aside, since he seems eager to step in, but eagerness is not always enough. Instead we see our political class, on both sides of the aisle, acting in expedient ways.

The left fosters the violence to gain politically, all of us be damned. And the right doesn’t want to be called names and lose their cushy lifestyles, all of us be damned. 

And the second possibility this Kenosha event can stir is for things to go full speed ahead, the shooting a “Go” for anyone waiting for the right sign to act. 
So, where are we today? Are we stopping this violence or is it “Go” time? 
I think a case can be made either way. There is no sign that any of the cities that are allowing the rioting and violence have any intention of stopping it. And the president won’t act without a call for help, so only time and people’s blood will determine how things go.
There was a time when I would have said “once an innocent person gets killed by the mob and it shocks the national conscious⏤the brakes will come on strong.” I would have said that last year, but not now.
If seeing little babies shot in their strollers and on their front porches doesn’t shock us? If a young woman getting shot in her mom’s car for making a wrong turn doesn’t shock us? Our elderly citizens getting punched in the face and left for dead on the sidewalk doesn’t shock us? Police officers being ambushed and attacked doesn’t shock us?
And if listening to the instigators of the anarchy saying they will be coming to burn down our country, after burning down city after city doesn’t do it, nothing will. This is what free fall looks like. 
In a superhero movie⏤this would be about the time the hero rounds up the criminals, drags them off to jail and saves the country. Anyone see any heroes coming to the rescue? No?…. I don’t either, we are on our own.
Everything about this time in our history is brand new to the story.

For once we had an event, the George Floyd death, that brought most people together in agreement. That was horrible and should not have happened. There was a national shock to the consciousness that we could have used to make things better.

We had consensus; we saw a clear path pointing to addressing some serious concerns about how we do things as a society. It was a chance that doesn’t come along too often. A tragedy that ignites our hearts to action, all of us. Americans agreed, we needed to listen to each other and make adjustments on what we expect from our law enforcement people, and how we wanted to be policed. We protested together for that change.
Then someone lit a match.
Instead of igniting a glowing torch for change, we saw a conflagration of accusation, recrimination, rage, hatred, and revenge burst forward as our cities burned. The enemies of peace saw opportunity in the protest line. Not a chance to unite but a chance to divide, conquer and overwhelm. 
The blindness of anger clouds the vision of truth and hucksters seize the moment for their own aggrandizement. Lost in the flames was a chance to speak as one voice, to march together to a better place. Now we are left with an empty moment, a hallowed out national soul. We are pitted against each other by race, religion, creed, socio economic status and political ideology. Waiting to see what comes next.
Was the Kyle Rittenhouse event the Fort Sumter moment? The days and weeks ahead will tell. Will there be other moments to come that will shock us into action by their very depravity? It is now possible, this chaos, fomented by people who see advantage from their ivory towers have poured gasoline on the bonfire. We look to the November elections as a chance for an end to this pain, but will that election quell what’s coming? 
I guess that depends on whether there is a superhero on either side that can put a stop to the mighty pull of history that we can all feel, smell, and taste. I pray that a loving God takes pity on America and looks at all the good she and her people have done for his world. I’m not a pessimist by nature, I’m a realist and things cannot get any more real without us going over the edge.                     
Pray for America and pray for all of us. 

Lt. Joseph Pangaro

Joseph Pangaro is a retired Police Lieutenant from the Township of Ocean, Monmouth County, NJ. During his 27 year career, Lieutenant Pangaro served in many capacities. After nine years as a patrol officer, he was transferred to the detective bureau, where he served 12 years. During that time, Lt. Pangaro prepared and executed hundreds of search warrants, testified in numerous high profile criminal court cases, and excelled in the area of criminal investigations, including; homicides, sexual assaults, drug crimes, fraud, burglary, juvenile investigations, economic crimes, vice crimes, quality of life crimes and other crimes of violence. He has acted in undercover capacities and worked with numerous local, county, state, and federal agencies. Joseph Pangaro served as a sergeant in the detective bureau, supervising a group of highly motivated and active officers in the unit and the “Quality of Life” unit.

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