To the extent that many liberals had heard of me before today, it was because I was the guy who agreed with them about the cops. I have been one of the earliest and most insistent critics of police brutality – especially as directed against black Americans – on the right. This, of course, has led to all sorts of Strange New Respect on the Left, including even an appearance on MSNBC, of all things.
Never, of course, have I allowed myself to believe that the people who were praising my supposed enlightenment were anything other than an oozing, malignant force of ideological conformity, or believe that common cause might be made with them even on the issues we agree on. I have collected a cadre of leftists who follow me on twitter for the purpose of seeing my law enforcement articles when I tweet them, which they then use to say “See, even REDSTATE agrees,” and when I say things they disagree with, they all want to lecture me at some great length at how I’ve disappointed them. The mute button is a wonderful thing.
Well, today, sadly, I have rejoined the ranks of the irretrievably racist on the right. Is that because I have changed my opinions about the disproportionate effect that police brutality has on black Americans? No. I still believe in that. It is because I called football players who refused to perform the duties for which they have been awarded a full scholarship “lazy.”
Let’s pause for just a minute here. I’m well aware of the historical backdrop of this particular accusation, which is in turn rooted in blacks’ response to the oppression of Jim Crow, which (among other things) prevented them from achieving promotions even when they were harder working than their white counterparts. However, the accusation that every time the word “lazy” indicates racial overtones is taking a legitimate grievance of the past generation and using it to destroy a common word that actually refers to people who don’t like to work hard.
For instance, earlier this very day – before the Mizzou football piece, even, I ran a piece titled “Sometimes the Media is Biased, but They are Almost Always Lazy” about the work ethic of journalists in terms of finding new stories. Literally no one criticized me for using “racial overtones” in that post even though some people in the media are black, and the subject of their attacks (Ben Carson) is black. Likewise, nothing in my story about the Mizzou football players called all the black football players on the team (not all of whom joined the strike) lazy, or compared them to their white counterparts as lazy – merely the ones who refused to participate in their scholarship activities for petty (or manifestly fake) grievances.
This is really what gets under the skin of the liberals who are attacking me and my piece as racist today: liberals do not believe in critical thinking or skepticism where class-based grievances are concerned. They literally don’t. It’s absolutely improper for a person like me – who believes that systemic racism exists and that it manifests itself in law enforcement – to look at this particular protest led by this particular grad student and his hunger strike and say – “Good Lord, this particular protest is a transparent load of crap and everyone who is participating in it should be embarrassed.”
To liberals, if a person of a protected class claims a grievance – no matter how facially ludicrous their claims or how contradicted they are by actual evidence, you must believe those claims, or you are an “ist” (e.g., racist, sexist) against the protected class in question. We see it happen all the time. If you don’t believe Tawana Brawley specifically, it’s because you hate black women generally, regardless of the facts. If you questioned the Rolling Stone UVA Rape story you are sexist against women even if you believe that campus rape generally is a problem.
It is the reason that so many #BlackLivesMatter agitators are still to this day peddling the “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” narrative that was conclusively debunked by the same Obama DOJ that found the Ferguson Police Department guilty of systemic racism – even though many much more compelling cases (e.g., Eric Garner) have come down the pike since then. Questioning the details of any given story – no matter how ludicrous – that has been adopted as part of the Narrative is tantamount to questioning the Narrative itself and thereby displaying Bigotry towards the Affected Group.
As the day has gone on, I’ve decided that maybe I was too harsh on the football players themselves. After all, at the age of 20, I was more or less a clueless a**hole myself – and although I am a very long way from a perfect person now, I at least have learned that it’s good to either show up to work or stop collecting a paycheck. Which, I have to assume, many or most of these players will learn in time. As I get older I sometimes get too caught up in my “kids these days” moments to remember how very similar to them I probably once was.
So probably some of the language I used towards the team was too harsh. And I definitely did make a major factual error in my reporting, and when it was pointed out to me (while I was on the road) I was so upset that I pulled over, used my iPhone as a hot spot, and issued an immediate mea culpa. But by and large, I stand by the idea that the grad student who lead the hunger strike was a charlatan, that it was insane for the head coach to allow the football players to ditch their games in a season that was already lost, and that it was even more insane for the Mizzou president to step down. I also believe that all the faculty who participated in walk outs today have successfully confirmed in the minds of most Americans that being a University Professor isn’t much of a serious job.
I saw a tweet today that pretty much encapsulates the problem:
Message of today: college players, if you choose to, you can topple this entire system.
— Howard Bryant (@hbryant42) November 9, 2015
This tweet is true. If you’re of the opinion that 19 year old college football players should be in charge of the entire American educational system, then you probably think this is great. If you’ve ever met many 19 year old college football players, then you probably realize what a horrible thing this is.
Call me crazy, but however bad of a President Tim Wolfe was, I wouldn’t feel better with a replacement who was picked by Brian Bosworth or Michael Irvin.
And that is why, at the end of the day, I’m happy to tell roughly 99% of liberals to take their Strange New Respect and shove it. Because while we might agree that there is a problem and we might also agree on what the right description of the problem is, I wouldn’t trust most of them to watch my cat, much less come up with feasible solutions to the problems that plague this country.
I wouldn’t trust any liberal Democrat I’ve come across yet to understand that the surest way to reduce the incidence of police brutality is to reduce the incidence of hostile police interactions with the black community by reducing the size and scope of the welfare state, so that police aren’t regularly pressured to act as armed tax collectors for the welfare state. Coming up with solutions to problems that work with the reality of human nature (instead of the fantasy marxist paradise that doesn’t exist anywhere and never has) is not a specialty of liberals, and so I’m happy to bid their Strange New Respect adieu.