I’ve been mostly keeping my head down this weekend and staying away from social media after a post I wrote on Friday went viral – primarily among a liberal audience. It has become the most trafficked piece ever in RedState history, even though it doesn’t say anything different about police/minority interactions that I haven’t said here before. The Internet is a fickle thing, I suppose.
I’ve seen a lot of reactions from conservative authors that are quite frankly disgusting to me and that boil down, in the end, to “black people have it coming.” See, for instance, here (which gets a double bonus for the favorite trick of racists, finding a black person to give voice to their stereotypes about black people) and possibly even worse, here. The “argument” basically goes that crime is much higher in the black community, the black community as a whole is more distrustful of police and disrespectful to them, and therefore (I guess) what do they expect? Of course the cops are justified in shooting them down in cold blood.
Of course, nothing makes these conservative commentators angrier than applying this same logic to cops. However much higher the incidence of violence in black communities are, the statistics still show that the vast majority of black people do not commit violent crimes (even if they commit more violent crimes than their white counterparts – but more on that in a minute). So, the opponents of the entire BlackLivesMatter movement have explicitly blamed black people for an escalation in anti-police violence because they have unfairly painted the picture that all cops are bad and deserve to die. Here is a post literally titled “How Many People have to Die Because of the BlackLivesMatter Movement” which is by no means alone in laying the blood of the slain Dallas PD officers at what they claim is rhetoric that suggests that all (or even most) cops are a problem.
Where, I would ask, is that same logic applied to black people? By engaging in this rhetoric, are these very people not fomenting violence (including by police officers) against black people? Do they accept responsibility for the FAR larger number of civilians who are killed by police than police who are killed by civilians? Kind of I thought the whole point was that police ought to be judged on their own individual actions and not by the actions of the corrupt and/or unlawfully violent in their midst. Not sure why that same logic doesn’t apply to black people – oh wait, yes I am, but tossing around the “R” word has become passé even when it undoubtedly fits.
Moreover, on this issue, we don’t really have to wonder which came first, the chicken or the egg – or in this case, violence and mistrust by police against blacks, or violence and mistrust by blacks against police. As it happens, there’s quite a lot of evidence as to which side fired first.
And there’s also quite a lot of evidence that a huge part of what drives the higher violence levels in black communities is that they are systemically under-policed (for actual violent crime) and over policed (for revenue generation “crime.”) The reality that many black people only see police officers to hand out citations for petty offenses continues in many communities today. Of course, the main drivers of these interactions are the big government impulses of big city liberal Democrats, but that doesn’t mean they don’t happen.
Bottom line: are there problems with fatherlessness, unemployment, many other things which affect the black community? Yes. Have some of these problems led to increased incidence of violence? Yes. In America, where you are supposed to be innocent until you are proven guilty, that does not mean that police should have carte blanche to approach a given person differently or with disproportionate force simply because of the color of their skin.
But, I digress. I feel strongly about this issue because I think that part of what makes this country great is the idea that you ought to be free to live your life as you see fit, especially without interference from the police or the courts, unless you have committed an error that is grievously injurious to society. I get kudos from the left that this ought to apply more often to black people. I get less (none) for pointing out that liberals are now most often guilty of this with respect to churches and religious people.
Look, I get it, liberals don’t like what some churches preach about homosexuality or transgender people or whatever. I don’t agree with all of it myself. You know what I do, when a church is preaching something I dislike? I don’t go there. If I’m feeling salty, I might write their pastor an email or something. It’s a giant country that is littered with churches that preach all sorts of different things.
And by and large, none of these churches are trying to force anyone to conform to anything. I’m not aware of any church anywhere that tries to force people not to be gay. Even the ones that offer “conversion therapy” or whatever they are calling it these days are doing so on a strictly volunteer basis. And if, in modern America, you are gay and want a church that will conduct a wedding ceremony for your same sex partner, there are hundreds of them around, even here in Middle Tennessee where I live.
Why the hell can these people not just be left alone to practice their religion the way they see fit? Why can’t the people who dislike it just go somewhere else to worship or get married or whatever? Why are the religious dragged, kicking and screaming, to a violation of their conscience? It’s sickening and despicable even if no one has died from it (yet).
And yes, I get that Christians are not a historically oppressed minority in America like black people are. But if you look at the ongoing trends, if you give it 30 or 40 years they will be. Liberals should take a lesson from the distrust and disharmony that was sown throughout this country by the white oppression of blacks in the 50s, 60s and onward and consider whether this kind of future is one we want to perpetuate.