Is it time for Joe Biden’s campaign to put clearer water between itself and the destruction in Kenosha, or the recent looting in Minneapolis, or the protesters who surrounded and threatened Senator Rand Paul as he left the White House after the president’s convention speech on Thursday? By failing to vociferously condemn the violence, have Democrats sown the seeds of their own destruction?
After days of unrest, parts of Kenosha look more like war-torn Syria than Wisconsin. The devastation is sickening. Car showrooms are burnt out, with rows of scorched vehicles still emitting an acrid smoke. Entire buildings have been reduced to rubble. The damage is worst in Kenosha’s “uptown” neighbourhood, the heart of its black community, where hair salons, ice-cream parlours, faith missions and grocery stores all smoulder in ruins.
“Some of the city may never recover,” said Amy Hanson, 37, a third-generation local.
“There’s people that won’t come back from this. Buildings that were here in my grandmother’s time that have been destroyed.”
Every shopfront in the centre is boarded up. Many now have colourful murals and pictures painted on them, bearing slogans of hope and solidarity. Some have more plaintive messages to keep prospective arsonists away: “Kids live upstairs” or “Kids live here”.