I guess I should say this upfront: I don’t know why ex-cop Gregory McMichael and his son Travis felt compelled to pursue Ahmaud Arbery and attempt a citizen’s arrest in Georgia. Just as I don’t know why Arbery was walking (when we were told he was jogging) through that particular neighborhood or why he decided to enter a home that didn’t belong to him or why he quickly fled the scene after being spotted or why he thought it was a good idea to grapple with a man armed with a shotgun.
An honest mind is consumed by questions, not answers.
So in response to this news out of Georgia, you may have noticed Republican-types across the country — once again — urging people to reserve their judgment rather than blanket their passions and prejudices across another viral video offering mere seconds of context.
You won’t find Democrat-types exercising such a steady and disciplined approach. Instead, concerning a situation in which everyone involved seems to have made some poor decisions, you’ll only witness the same race-rattling hyperbole we have become accustomed to.
Providence City Councilwoman Kat Kerwin (D) has already decided that Arbery was an “innocent” man who lost his life “at the hands of white violence.” NBA star Lebron James told the world in a tweet that black people are “literally hunted EVERYDAY/EVERYTIME we step foot outside the comfort of our homes! Can’t even go for a damn jog man!” And Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms (D) has concluded that “this was a lynching of an African American man.”
Bottoms also discovered a connection between Arbery’s death and the influence of President Trump: “With the rhetoric we hear coming out of the White House in so many ways, I think that many who are prone to being racist are given permission to do it in an overt way that we otherwise would not see in 2020.”
Or maybe the McMichaels just don’t like robbers.
Again, I don’t know.
What I do know is that quick and reckless moral certainty at the outset of such incidents has become a progressive pastime.
You might recall (or you might not, since grave liberal errors never seem to receive the attention they deserve) that in 2012 it took the full weight of the activist Left to overturn local law enforcement’s initial decision not to prosecute George Zimmerman for the death of Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman was ultimately forced before a jury, where progressives were certain he would receive the justice he deserved.
But a deliberative fact-finding procedure always spells doom for a liberal narrative. It was a diligent and civilized court proceeding that handed Zimmerman a not-guilty verdict, disappointing left-wing commentators across the country who all suddenly coalesced around the idea that Zimmerman had probably been “over-charged.”
Whoopsie. Oh well, just another national race riot. Moving on.
And move on progressives did.
Since then, there has been no shortage of dubious incidents that they regarded as opportunities to validate their collectivist worldview — i.e. an America that has been so obviously horrible to all types of victim groups that it only makes sense to tilt the scales of justice in their favor (read: social justice).
First, jump back to 2006. You’ll notice that the “Justice for Trayvon” crowd had learned nothing from the highly contentious Duke Lacrosse Case, when the Democratic universe savaged three white college athletes accused of raping a young black woman — only to see them entirely vindicated and compensated with millions of dollars in settlement money from the university.
But facts of matters don’t live long within the progressive memory.
In 2014 protesters practically burned the City of Ferguson, Missouri, to the ground before any of them even bothered to wonder why a grand jury would refuse to bring charges against Officer Darren Wilson for the shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown. For weeks they had coddled their righteous indignation with a narrative of “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot.” But after carefully examining all the evidence and dozens of witnesses, jurors found that Brown’s hands were anything but “up” as he attacked Wilson just minutes after robbing a convenience store and assaulting the clerk.
Progressives would soon forget that “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” turned out to be nothing more than progressive propaganda.
Attending the 2019 March for Life in Washington, D.C., Catholic high school students were reported to have harassed an elderly Native American man participating in a separate protest. Additionally, the activist media believed it was in possession of a priceless snapshot that conveyed “real America” — a smug white teenager in a MAGA hat smirking with “racist disrespect” toward Nathan Phillips, an aging and helpless ancestor of the indigenous. One year later, CNN was settling a $275 million lawsuit brought by the young man at the center of the controversy for “[bringing] down the full force of its corporate power, influence, and wealth on Nicholas [Sandmann] by falsely attacking, vilifying, and bullying him despite the fact that he was a minor child.”
Phillips turned out to be a seasoned political agitator who originally reported that he was confronted by the boys, “but later admitted that he walked into their group after a video emerged disproving his initial claim.” That video revealed that Phillips had “approached the Covington students and begun drumming in their faces, prompting them to respond with school chants” — mind you, while also having “racial and homophobic slurs” slung at them by the radical Black Hebrew Israelites.
But I guess that’s what you get for defending unborn children from inside the Washington cesspool.
And finally, regarding the judicial nomination of Brett Kavanaugh in 2018, let’s face it: It won’t long concern “Believe-All-Women Democrats” that their disregard for due process has come back to bite them in the form of a decades-old sexual assault allegation against their own presidential nominee. It’s clear now that the very ruins of civilization aren’t enough to temper their passions.
Modern liberals believe that men rape and oppress women, that whites hunt black people, and that the majority wakes up in the morning for the sole purpose of making minorities miserable. It’s all part of their relentless crusade to — well, not necessarily prove it — but certainly perpetuate the premise.
Specifics ultimately don’t matter to leftists, only larger narratives that can validate their activism and justify their own governmental authority. And leftists believe that the total of human history is defined by an unjust power imbalance that they have licensed themselves to correct.
Believe it or not, what you have just reviewed above is primarily how the Left persuades people. And the entire progressive industry relies on that barbarian protocol.
That’s how we know this will all occur again.
Travis Rowley (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a former Tea Party/Republican activist.