|Blame all those racist cops?
By Mark Alexander
(Disclaimer: This column is not written from the armchair perspective of inbred Beltway journalists and commentators. It is written, as always, from the grassroots perspective. Notably, in the context of this topic, it is also written from the vantage point of having graduated from a state police academy at age 19, having served through my college years as a uniformed police officer in three states, and having maintained close ties with the men and women in blue ever since.)
For Barack Obama and his leftist Democrats, it's always about partisan politics.
For purely partisan reasons, they have thrown our uniformed military Patriots under the bus after so much sacrifice of blood and treasure in both Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.
And now, for purely partisan reasons, Obama and his Attorney General Eric Holder have launched a national campaign to throw municipal, county and state law enforcement officers under the bus -- the same cops they have frequently used as photo-op props.
To distract attention from cascading domestic and foreign policy failures, as reflected by voter sentiments in the historic 2014 midterm elections, Obama and Holder have seized a duo of emotive diversions. They are using the deaths of two black men, Michael Brown in Missouri and Eric Garner in New York, both involving white police officers, as fodder for a national crusade against an enormous straw man: alleged endemic racism in the ranks of law enforcement.
Never mind that neither the Brown nor Garner cases have any established basis in racial discrimination. Obama and Holder, with the help of their race-baiting Leftmedia, are going to pursue this straw man as long as its political legs last, in an effort to appease their "black and brown" constituencies and those sympathetic to their perceived plight. Obama used the same modus operandi to foment racial discord after Massachusetts police "acted stupidly" and arrested Henry Louis Gates, and when claiming in the Zimmerman/Martin case, "If I had a son, he would look like Trayvon."
Obama and Holder are taking cues from their senior adviser on race relations, that radical raging racist Al Sharpton. They have launched the 21st Century Policing Task Force, a $265 million charade based on the underlying assumption that cops generally have racial biases.
Clearly, there are some police officers calloused by constant exposure to oppressive urban criminal cultures. Consequently, some may over-generalize racial assumptions and abuse their authority. However, that calloused perspective affects cops of all colors, and the Obama/Holder plan will not resolve that.
Obama/Holder say their goal is an "honest conversation," insisting that the disparity in arrests of black people across our nation is a racist cop problem rather than an urban racial culture problem -- the direct result of disastrous Democratic social engineering programs beginning in the 1960s.
Diverting attention from those failed social programs is, in fact, racist.
In the Missouri case, when the grand jury refused to indict the officer who shot Brown in self-defense, Obama claimed that the ensuing racial violence was "an understandable reaction" and blacks' distrust of police is "rooted in realities."
Holder insisted, "While the grand jury proceeding in St. Louis County has concluded, the Justice Department's investigation into the shooting of Michael Brown remains ongoing," in order to extend the race-card play for months.
After the grand jury decision in New York City, Obama insisted, "I'm not interested in talk, I'm interested in action. And I am absolutely committed, as president of the United States, to making sure that we have a country in which everybody believes in the core principle that we are equal under the law. ... [T]his is an American problem, and not just a black problem or a brown problem. ... When anybody in this country is not being treated equally under the law, that is a problem. And it's my job as president to help solve it."
This "problem" of "not being treated equally" is Obamaspeak for "cops are racists." And notice how he cleverly includes "brown" people in every "conversation," so as to cast a wider net for racial discord.
Holder, again, followed with the assurance of a federal investigation in New York.
Because of the videoed takedown of Eric Garner by the NYPD, Obama and Holder have gotten substantially more race-bait mileage, bolstered by rhetoric such as this from Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH), chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus: "Even in the face of video footage it appears justice will not be served for Mr. Garner or his family. In the span of two weeks, this nation seems to have heard one message loud and clear: There will be no accountability for taking black lives."
Indeed, the video is compelling for those who have never been involved in the takedown of a belligerent 350-pound individual who is refusing arrest. But for those of us who have, the video is less disturbing, though the outcome was still tragic. If you find that assertion disturbing, then try putting on a uniform and taking a walk in the shoes of those officers.
Of course, the video is made more sensational by the repeated claim that the "chokehold death" of Garner was because he was selling cigarettes. According to the medical examiner's report, Garner died of several complications, the way he was taken down being one of them, but he was most assuredly not targeted because of cigarettes.
Chances are you have not heard that Garner, a convicted felon with 31 prior arrests, was targeted because a group of black convenience store and shop owners in this predominantly black community went to police headquarters and asked for their help in removing Garner from the area, because he habitually harassed their customers and others on the street. In response, NYPD's black police chief authorized patrols in the area to assist the merchants.
Additionally, that takedown was supervised by NYPD Sergeant Kizzy Adoni, a black woman, who saw no need to intervene on Garner's behalf, and who noted in her incident report, "The perpetrator's condition did not seem serious and he did not appear to get worse." Fact is, every assailant complains after resisting arrest and requiring a takedown -- "I can't breathe" is a common lament.
For the record, even Eric Garner's widow, Esaw Garner, said, "I don't feel like it's a black and white thing." And his daughter, Erica Garner, added, "My father was black and the officer was white. That's different races but as far as the situation I can't say it's really a black and white situation."
That notwithstanding, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio doubled down on Obama's race rhetoric with this claptrap: "We're not just dealing with a problem in 2014. We're not dealing with years of racism leading up to it or decades of racism. We are dealing with centuries of racism that have brought us to this day. That is how profound the crisis is."
So police racism is now at crisis levels.
Fellow "New Yorker" Hillary Clinton got in on the act, noting, "African-Americans, and most particularly, African-American men, are still more likely to be stopped and searched by police, charged with crimes, and sentenced to longer prison terms. ... It is because we have allowed our criminal justice system to get out of balance."
No, Democrats have allowed their social policies to get out of balance.
Last week, Obama interviewed on Black Entertainment Television, claiming: "You know part of the reason I got into politics was ... so that the country understands [racism] is not just a black problem or a brown problem; this is an American problem. ... When you're dealing with something as deeply rooted as racism or bias in any society you've got to have vigilance. ... A combination of bad training [and] departments that really are not trying to root out biases, or tolerate sloppy police work; a combination in some cases of folks just not knowing any better, and in a lot of cases, subconscious fear of folks who look different -- all of this contributes to a national problem that's going to require a national solution."
In addition to the 21st Century Policing Task Force nonsense, Holder rolled out a phony plan "to stop racial profiling" by federal law enforcement officers, basically adding the categories of national origin, religion, gender, gender orientation and sexual orientation to the list of non-discrimination characteristics. However, TSA, Customs and Border Patrol agents, and the Secret Service are exempt, because profiling works and is therefore desirable in those services.
Of course, Obama, Holder, Sharpton, de Blasio, et al., are not about to discuss the real reason blacks are more likely to be stopped and arrested for crimes -- which is that blacks are far more likely to commit crimes, particularly assaults and murders.
Instead, they insist the problem is racism. But are cops really racist?
As the distinguished former Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-NY) famously observed, "Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts."
According to respected researcher Dr. John R. Lott, "In 2013, the assault rate for the general public in the United States was 229 per 100,000 people. But the rate police were assaulted that year was 9,300 per 100,000 officers -- a rate 41 times higher. ... This data also suggests that police are not actively looking for excuses to fire their weapons. The number of justifiable killings by police equals less than one percent of the assaults on police. Thus even when assaulted, police rarely resort to killing their attackers."
As for police who do kill their assailants, according to Bureau of Justice Statistics, the rate of black officers who kill black felons is 32 per 100,000 black officers, which is more than twice the rate of white officers who kill black felons -- 14 per 100,000 white officers.
Another inconvenient truth? I can tell you, having been a street cop, that when 90% of murders in urban centers are "people of color" and 90% of perpetrators are "people of color," cops of any color are going to be more cautious with "people of color." This is not "racism," this is reality, driven by a desire to make it home safely at the end of one's shift.
But the faux narrative continues, with black members of Congress and woefully ill-informed black pro-football players perpetuating a phony and destructive "hands up, don't shoot" myth from the Michael Brown narrative.
Apparently, they think the police should put their hands up. But rest assured, if cops stand down, there will be a heavy price to pay, and the dramatic downtrend in violent crime since the mid-1990s will rapidly reverse.
According to Rep. Fudge, "As an American, it is growing increasingly difficult to believe that there is justice for all." But equal justice and rights imply equal accountability and responsibility -- unless, according to Obama and Holder, you are "black or brown."
As Ronald Reagan observed, "We must reject the idea that every time a law is broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions."
In reality, the Missouri and New York cases share one significant similarity. Both Brown and Garner would be alive today had they obeyed lawful orders. Brown and Garner made fatal choices, but Obama, Holder and their race-baiting minions insist that these individuals were entitled to ignore lawful orders on the assumption of "black privilege" and the errant notion that "society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker."
In the end, Obama and Holder have thrown much more than cops under the bus -- they have thrown Rule of Law, and by extension all Americans, under the bus.
Mark Alexander is the executive editor of the Patriot Post.