The blowback from two recent grand jury decisions exonerating white police officers in separate cases wherein their use of force resulted in the deaths of black individuals has taken on a decidedly surreal tone. While to an extent we have grown to expect provocateurs like Rev. Al Sharpton and his ilk squeezing as much face time out of anything even remotely controversial in vein of race, the willingness of uninvolved (and often wholly uninformed) Americans in jumping on the bandwagon in this dark travesty is discouraging, to say the least.
Some have engaged in asinine, shallow displays of solidarity, such as the hands-up gesture on the part of five players on the St. Louis Rams football team, Singer Garth Brooks canceling a Thanksgiving appearance on NBC’s “Tonight Show” and Columbia Law School allowing students to postpone final exams due to “trauma” attendant to the grand jury decisions. Now, we also have the burgeoning “I can’t breathe” campaign, memorializing Eric Garner, who died after being placed in a chokehold by a New York City Police officer.
While some may argue that these gestures were harmless, they are indicative of a complete lack of critical analysis. Like the Ferguson rioters themselves, most of these people came to their erroneous conclusions despite the clear-cut nature of the Wilson-Brown case.
Some reactions were less harmless. Last Wednesday, student protesters at East High School in Denver, Colorado – ostensibly demonstrating in solidarity with the Ferguson crowd – actually cheered as a police officer on a bicycle was hit by a car and dragged underneath the vehicle.
As I’ve been saying for many weeks, agitators, operators, and politicos have been setting the stage for this tragic comedy since August. Activists and community organizers so vigorously advanced the idea that Michael Brown had been murdered by Darren Wilson that they have been able to parlay the incident – and subsequently the Eric Garner case – into a nationwide call to action against America’s institutionally racist police. Their rhetoric has been deliberately inflammatory, whether on the part of Brown’s stepfather, Louis Head, who admonished Ferguson rioters to “Burn this bi–h down,” or Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, who said prior to the Ferguson grand jury announcement that if the demands of protesters for the indictment of Darren Wilson were not met, “we’ll tear this g–dd–n country up!”
We cannot discount the influence of the press in this matter, however. They have not only been instrumental in shaping the flawed worldview of so many Americans, but were instrumental in validating the sentiments of those who wished to make the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner into hate crimes.
CBS News’ Soledad O’Brien apparently came out with a new documentary: “Black in America: Black and Blue” is a film in which O’Brien claims to reveal “aggressive targeting of black people” by police officers. Before we go further: There are statistics galore (some of which were covered at length in my book, “Negrophilia: From Slave Block to Pedestal – America’s Racial Obsession”) establishing that blacks in America commit more crime for their numbers than other ethnic groups. Thus, the argument that police are targeting them because they’re black is specious at best.
Yet for O’Brien and others in the press this remains the hallmark of their narrative. “There is this aggressive targeting of black people that doesn’t happen in white communities,” O’Brien says in the film.
There were periods during the Civil Rights Movement that were so volatile, it was evident that nearly all those involved (government officials, politicians, the press) were very concerned with regard to keeping the peace. I don’t see the same concern evidenced amongst Soledad O’Brien and her colleagues; I see profoundly irresponsible, incendiary coverage.
Several prominent conservative commentators have opined that President Obama (and it gets harder for me to refer to him by title with each passing week, believe me) should be using the bully pulpit to defuse racial tensions. It occurs to me that such people may be misinterpreting Obama’s role in all of this.
Were this any other president, we could rightly expect him to do just that. What said commentators fail to recognize (or acknowledge) is that in addition to Obama setting the tone for racial intolerance since he took office (which has been well-established), he and his surrogates have worked diligently to foment racial intolerance, sometimes subtly, other times not-so-subtly. It is a cornerstone of their Alinskyite model for culturally dividing Americans. If conservative analysts aren’t willing to articulate this fact, they’re just part of the media theater.
Let’s look for a moment at Obama’s recent White House meetings with young civil rights leaders to discuss the challenges posed by “mistrust between law enforcement and communities of color.” Should we doubt for a moment that this was any less than marching orders from the radical president who, prior to the Ferguson grand jury decision, advised them to “stay the course”?
Then there was Obama’s interview with Black Entertainment Network (BET). With an audience of the black intelligentsia, in between offering grudging and carefully qualified admissions to “some” things having “gotten better” for blacks since the Civil Rights Movement, Obama declared that racism is “deeply rooted” in America.
Statements such as the latter are not only false (barring deeply esoteric spin), but they serve to validate the paranoia and cynicism of blacks who have been conditioned to believe that America remains institutionally racist, and that all white cops possess itchy trigger fingers for blacks.
All in all, I find Obama ingratiating himself to these so-called black leaders somewhat ironic. If one subscribes to Obama’s origins narrative (wherein he was sired by a Kenyan named Barack Obama), the president has no heritage linking him to black Americans, their history, or their struggles.