Change my mind..
Things are a little crazy. We quarantine these days without much of a virus and we riot without much of a cause: Heather MacDonald of the Wall Street Journal makes a strong argument that systemic police racism is little more than a myth. It’s just not out there, folks. It doesn’t exist.
Disclaimer: human beings in all walks of life sometimes get it horribly wrong. There are bad judges, teachers, priests, and cops. I have no doubt George Floyd’s brutal arrest will result in murder charges and a conviction, but that isn’t our problem right now. The rogue officer is in custody. Justice is working. Law enforcement is being held accountable. Our problem is gross prejudice, not against blacks, but against America itself. The Black Lives Matter movement is guilty of gross bigotry towards police and the very institutions that protect black lives.
Justice, first of all, must always be rooted in a response to individual crime. When individual cops go bad, prosecute them. When individual citizens go bad, prosecute them. This notion of separate justice for separate races, separate genders, separate identities is truly dangerous and historically retrograde. Do we really want a new aristocracy free from equality before the law? Are we being asked for several different classes of law for several different collective identities? One law for blacks and another for whites? What’s next? Do we need one penal code for lesbian domestic partners, complete with a lesbian domestic task force and another for undocumented workers? After all, we all have our special challenges, and maybe we need different law for different people.
What sounds more like Jim Crow than Jim Crow? Imagine the perils, for example, of a police force unable — completely — to restrain a black assailant merely because he’s black? Where does that leave the rest of us in a street mugging or a bank robbery? (“Sorry, folks, in keeping with race sensitive policing, I am not allowed to target that black fellow attempting to murder you. If he were Asian, I could shoot.”)
What we are really suffering from, at the hands of Black Lives Matter, is not much more than a sustained, violent public relations campaign and little more; to understand why this is dangerous, consider a scenario roughly the opposite.
Taking just one of the study findings from MacDonald’s article..
“..a police officer is 18½ times more likely to be killed by a black male than an unarmed black male is to be killed by a police officer.”
Imagine every time a police officer died at the hands of a black male, a thousand angry protesters blocked freeways, occupied city halls, and burned down local shops, promising “no justice, no peace” until we systemically solved the problem of black males shooting police officers? Society could not proceed, could not be allowed to operate, until all black males were ushered into sensitivity training. Belligerent “Police Lives Matter” activists would be allowed to conclude you were a vile bigot simply for responding “all lives matter.” Black females who didn’t join the bandwagon could be reviled for being “silent” about the problem.
This is what we’re seeing right now, in reverse. A police department knocks on the wrong door and someone dies. Should we eliminate qualified immunity? Certainly. A rogue cop with authority issues murders a handcuffed man? Try him for murder? Absolutely. But, increasingly, we’re being asked to limit policing of any sort at all. After a night of arson and looting in San Bernardino, the citizens of Yucaipa took to their rooftops with weapons and were called “racist” for their trouble. Nervous Karens found more comfort in draconian California gun laws than they did in the guns being used to protect them.
In Washington, Governor Jay Inslee responded to chaos in Seattle by sending in 200 unarmed National Guardsmen. When bad people do horribly evil things, the “old normal” meant they were arrested or shot; the “new normal” lives in fear of the exception. “If even one innocent person is saved from being arrested or shot by a Guardsman, then losing 200 structures and seven other lives was worth it.” This is not a direct quote, but it’s the direct consequence of demanding a law without teeth. Instead of one or two people suffering a stray bite, the whole society is eaten by wolves.
All lives matter, folks, and they all need to be judged individually.