Massachusetts Attorney General Compares Riots To Fires That Help Forests Grow

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Riots in American cities have a positive aspect, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey said today.

“Yes, America is burning, but that’s how forests grow,” Healey said during a Zoom call speech to the Boston Area Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday, June 2, according to multiple news reports.

Demonstrators in many American cities have been protesting the death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man who died Monday, May 25 after a white police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota kneeled on his neck for more than eight minutes.

Boston was the scene of a protest Sunday, May 31 that turned violent after nightfall, leading to seven police officers being taken to a hospital and widespread damage and looting at stores and other businesses in Downtown Crossing and the Back Bay.

Healey said she does not condone violence.

“I support calls for a revolution, but not the revolution of violence in our streets,” Healey said, according to State House News Service. “Instead, I’m calling for a revolution in mindset, a fundamental change to our ingrained assumptions.”

Healey’s remarks drew sharp criticism from Jim Lyons, chairman of the Massachusetts Republican Party.

He focused on the image of riots being like a forest growing through fire.

“By choosing to highlight this insane analogy, it should be clear to Massachusetts residents that no matter what else Democrats like Attorney General Healey say, they will always condone mob tactics. The Radical Democrats, led by the likes of Attorney General Healey, sat back and watched as cities went up in flames over the weekend, and are now openly admitting that this is all part of their plan to fundamentally change America by any means possible,” Lyons said in a written statement.

Lyons called the death of George Floyd unjustified, but he said the riots are also unjustified.

“Sadly, but predictably, this is the message our state’s top law enforcement official is sending.  This is the message the Massachusetts Democratic Party is sending to business owners forced to shut down for months only to watch left-wing mobs torch their life’s work,” Lyons said. “Out of all the messages her office could have sent to struggling residents and business owners left powerless as their neighborhoods burned, this is the message Attorney General Healey and the rest of the Radical Democrats have decided to promote.”

Healey scrapped a speech she had planned to give on her office’s response to the coronavirus emergency. Instead, she talked about the effects of racism in American society and what white people need to do about “400 years of racism and oppression.”

To root out racism, Healey said, police need more training in unconscious bias, a theory that people act out of unfounded racist assumptions even when they don’t want to act in a racist manner.

She also called upon white business owners to promote people of color who already work for them and to spend more money on promoting racial diversity in their work forces and sensitivity training among their employees.

She said merely rebuilding damaged businesses and buildings should not be the focus of the aftermath of the riots.

“I won’t talk about rebuilding. Instead, I’ll talk about building anew in ways that rid us of the institutionalized racism that’s led to America burning today,” Healey said, according to State House News Service. “If we don’t, we’ll extinguish the promise of this great country.”

She followed up her speech with tweets later in the day.