Over the last few months, dozens of U.S. cities (and small towns) have been victimized by violent looters. Although the mainstream media have reported that these are mostly peaceful protests, the facts speak otherwise.

Since the death of George Floyd, cities throughout America, including my hometown of Chicago, have been ravaged by radical anarchists who are using the so-called racial reckoning in the aftermath of Floyd’s death to wreak havoc.

In August, after an unprovoked, violence-plagued looting spree in downtown Chicago — two months after George Floyd’s death — Mayor Lori Lightfoot said, “What occurred downtown and in surrounding communities was abject criminal behavior, pure and simple. … This was straight up an assault on our city.”

Keep in mind, Lightfoot is not a right-wing politician prone to hyperbole regarding this sort of behavior. In fact, for weeks after the first wave of protests, Lightfoot was more inclined to play down the protests than call attention to them.

Yet, after months of violent riots, even mayors like Lightfoot could no longer hide the truth. It was much too obvious.

To date, more than 10,000 individuals have been arrested for participating in violent riots or looting. These arrests include a litany of felonies, such as arson, assault and even murder.

For example, in August, 13 people were arrested in Denver after they sparked another night of riots. According to Murphy Robinson, executive director of the Denver Public Safety Department, “The anarchists that showed up last night brought weapons, they had guns, explosives, axes, machetes, they had one intent purpose and that was to harm our officers.”

And the events that unfolded in once-sleepy and peaceful Denver are the tip of the iceberg. The same story has played out in cities from coast to coast. Call me crazy, but that sure does not sound like mostly peaceful protests.

Sadly, these thugs have destroyed countless businesses, including an overwhelming number of minority-owned small businesses, for no reason other than to satisfy their nihilist agenda.

In Kenosha, Wisconsin, much of the downtown business district was destroyed following all-out riots in late August. Several mom-and-pop businesses and apartment buildings were torched, leaving residents without a place to live, let alone a job to return to after the violence was finally stopped. As Nickey Cochran, a local resident, succinctly stated in the aftermath, “It’s total chaos.”

Once again, it is preposterous to describe the events that took place in Kenosha this summer, or any other city during this period for that matter, as peaceful.

During the months of unrest and violent looting, these anarchists, not protesters, have wrought destruction that insurance companies have calculated will cost them $2 billion. Loretta L. Worters of the Insurance Information Institute said, “It’s not just happening in one city or state — it’s all over the country. … And this is still happening, so the losses could be significantly more.”

News reports show that these radicals routinely use any means necessary to achieve their destructive goals. From Molotov cocktails to murder, in their minds, anything goes, as long as it pushes forward their agenda.

Immediately after the outbreak of the so-called peaceful protests in late May, U.S. Attorney General William Barr said, “With the rioting that is occurring in many of our cities around the country, the voices of peaceful and legitimate protests have been hijacked by violent radical elements. Groups of outside radicals and agitators are exploiting the situation to pursue their own separate, violent and extremist agenda.”

Sadly, Barr’s statement is truer today than it was when he said it on May 31.

For more than three months, America’s cities have been under siege. Local residents are terrified, and for good reason.

As Chicago restaurant owner Roupen Demirdjian said, the looting is “very scary and disturbing. … The streets are empty and this time of year hotels would be full and the streets would be full. The rioting and violence have stopped people from coming downtown.”

The evidence is overwhelming. For months, violent looters and raucous rioters have caused incalculable pain and misery.

It is ludicrous that anyone, especially those in the media who surely know better, would continue to describe what is happening as anything less than violence-ridden rioting.