In the lead up to the 50th Anniversary of the historic March To Montgomery commemorated this past weekend, it was a busy week in the realm of race-agitprop. On Thursday the Huffington Post published a story titled “This Drunk White Guy In A Pickup Explains All You Need To Know About Race and Policing”, a true tour de force of investigative journalism. After my first read of the article I had serious reservations, almost all of which pointed to the suspicion I have that the incident centering as the narrative trope did not occur.
Lacking a current event to galvanize and advance your cause, just make one up, right?
Advancing the narrative is an important duty, one which ProPublica took up in earnest in their March 4 long-form piece titled “Yes, Black America Fears the Police. Here’s Why.” The crux of this piece being that a mixed race youth from out of town instinctively called the police in the aftermath of a shooting incident on Long Island, New York–which leads ultimately to disillusionment for the youngster and justification for elders who were wary of calling the police. A lot of prose is dedicated to justifying the points of view which determine that it is a fools errand to rely on the police for help in an emergency, or for justice after the fact:
As far as we could tell, no one had been hurt. The shooter was long gone, and we had seen the back of him for only a second or two. On the other hand, calling the police posed considerable risks. It carried the very real possibility of inviting disrespect, even physical harm. We had seen witnesses treated like suspects, and knew how quickly black people calling the police for help could wind up cuffed in the back of a squad car.
There you have it–the reasonably achieved justification that a portion of the population can shirk their civic duty because they have been taught to fear the system. Of course the piece never mentions the race of the assailant, which the writer claims to have seen. If it was a drunk white guy, you’d know. Race has been omitted here for a reason. The vicious circle as described by these above two pieces is self-serving, counter productive, and poisonous to the civic system.
The very same people who decry the lack of fairness in the justice system are the same ones who do nothing to counter “Snitches get Stitches” and inner-city-crime-thug-as-hero mythology. The very same people who decry a lack of police protection refuse to cooperate with investigations, glorify law breaking, and then claim it is profiling which results in disproportionate law enforcement outcomes. That makes sense.
As President Obama and others commemorated the Selma March anniversary, sadly, another unfortunate incident happened in relation to Cops V. Civilians, this time in Madison, Wisconsin, resulting in the death of a 19 year old accused assailant Tony Robinson. Herman Cain, former Presidential Candidate, published a very good look at the resulting protest backlash and media blitz that looks directly into the hypocrisy of the rush to judgement:
When you think about it without a partisan political motive, this only makes sense. If police can’t shoot a suspect who rushes them, lunges at them or otherwise attempts to assault them, you’re basically telling the officer his only option is to fight the guy in hand-to-hand combat. You’re also giving any suspect license to assault an armed police officer because he would have no fear of being shot.
Not only that, but if the officer isn’t allowed to fire his weapon at the suspect, then the weapon itself becomes a threat to the officer because it would give the suspect a greater opportunity to grab it during the course of the struggle and use it to kill the officer.
This simply makes no sense. And all these headlines about cops “shooting unarmed suspects” – which are clearly written for the purpose of implying that’s wrong – push a narrative that’s completely false in the context of the real-world facts about police work.
I could not say it any better myself.
[Huffington Post][River Front Times][St. Louis Today][ProPublica][ABC News][New York Magazine]