Over the last few months, there’s been a great deal of talk about black Americans being killed by police. Second to that, there’s been discussion of anyone who’s not white being brutalized.
But on Tuesday, President Trump brought a different idea into the arena: White people get killed, too.
The subject was broached during an interview with CBS News correspondent Catherine Herridge.
Catherine set it up:
“Let’s talk about George Floyd. You said George Floyd’s death was a terrible thing. Why are African Americans still dying at the hands of law enforcement in this country?”
Trump, in his characteristically direct way:
“And so are white people. So are white people.”
President Trump tells @CBS_Herridge that “more White people” are dying at the hands of police than Black people. Watch excerpts on CBSN, more tonight on @CBSEveningNews and tomorrow on @CBSThisMorning https://t.co/NeBLT0LG0p pic.twitter.com/XIwyARJBBl
— CBS News (@CBSNews) July 14, 2020
He followed with this:
“What a terrible question to ask. So are white people — more white people, by the way. More white people.”
I wonder if she expected it to go that way.
Last September, RedState’s Jeff Charles tackled the subject thusly:
The nature of media reportage on incidents in which an officer abuses his or her authority is geared to highlight race, instead of focusing on the overall issue of violence. As a result, the American public focuses on the supposed influence of racism rather than the blatant overstepping by government officials, and the real problem goes unaddressed.
You have seen it many times. A police officer shoots an unarmed black man, and the incident sparks a national debate over racism and excessive force. People from all political persuasions argue over the validity of the shooting, and the public becomes even more divided on the issue.
But why don’t we see the same scenario when an officer shoots an unarmed white or Hispanic man? According to the data, blacks were killed in more police shootings per head of demographic population in 2018, but the actual number of white victims was higher. The Washington Post reports that last year, 18 unarmed blacks and 23 unarmed whites were killed by the police.
Catherine may not have wanted to go down that road, but she did ask the president about Confederate symbols and monuments — another racially-charged topic.
He referred her to the ol’ 1A:
“All I say is freedom of speech. It’s very simple. My attitude is freedom of speech. Very strong views on the Confederate flag. With me, it’s freedom of speech. Very simple. Like it, don’t like it, it’s freedom of speech.”
As recently observed by Adam Carolla, a lot of people aren’t so into expressive liberty these days — they say things such as, “I believe in free speech, but…”
To quote Adam:
“Here’s how ‘I’m for free speech’ (rightfully) works: ‘Are you for free speech?’ ‘Yes I am. Period. End of discussion. Next question.’”
Carolla’s correct — as one RedState commenter pointed out this week, free speech exists to protect the speech people hate, not that which they love.
Concerning the monuments, of course, for those who want ’em to come down, there are legislative means by which to accomplish that.
As noted by The Daily Caller, Trump had a lot to say about statues — Confederate or otherwise — and protestors in his 4th of July address:
“I am here as your president to proclaim before the country and before the world: This monument will never be desecrated; these heroes will never be defaced; their legacy will never ever be destroyed; their achievements will not be forgotten, and Mount Rushmore will stand forever as an eternal tribute to our forefathers and our freedom.”
“This movement is openly attacking the legacies of every person on Mount Rushmore,” he said. “Today we will set history and history’s record straight.”
America NEEDED This Speech 🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/UTkI3k46DE
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) July 4, 2020
Certainly some very loud voices want statues taken away, and the media’s not too hot as of late on Rushmore.
And many of those same people, of course, appear to believe police are targeting black Americans en masse.
Will the country ever face the issue of police brutality squarely — as Jeff Charles wrote — rather than transferring its focus to racism? I’d say it doesn’t look likely. Even the news seems more interested in virtue signaling than aiding in analysis resulting in effective change.
Meanwhile, we’ve got to learn to function as One Nation Under God again, consisting of black people and Hispanic people, and even whites.
As people who can all be victimized, or who can all have the opportunity to thrive, I sure hope we can find unity.
Division is a brutality all its own.
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