Travis Rowley: Racism or Resentment?
“Racism is not dead, but it is on life support — kept alive by politicians, race hustlers, and people who get a sense of superiority by denouncing others as ‘racists.’” Thomas Sowell
It has already been noted many times that all Americans — liberals and conservatives — were united in horror after viewing the footage of George Floyd being killed at the hands of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. Unlike more-ambiguous viral videos, this one left little room for doubt that Chauvin had used excessive force. Everyone was crying out for justice to be served.
But there’s nothing to be politically gained by way of agreement.
So progressives everywhere began to echo similar remarks to those of RI Governor Gina Raimondo (D): that the “painful truth” is that “racism” was the motivating factor behind Chauvin’s decision to kneel on Floyd’s neck for eight long minutes.
The political Left set out to exploit the entire episode by coordinating unruly protests across the country, resulting in mass destruction and death — validating their barbarity by publicly considering Floyd’s demise to be merely the latest episode of police brutality suffered by, as Raimondo put it, “far too many black Americans.”
Of course, it was overtly racist for Raimondo to assume the racist intent of a cop based on his skin color. But nobody cared. Nobody even noticed.
For some reason, it was settled long ago that whites are fair game for all types of abuse and ridicule. Raimondo was merely joining the chorus of a decades-long double standard. She won’t have to answer for her racism, or to explain exactly how she came to understand Chauvin’s bias against dark-skinned individuals.
Raimondo’s bigoted assumption is consistent with the Left’s larger narrative of minority victimhood and is thereby protected from scrutiny by an agreeable media and the Left’s intellectual authoritarianism.
Indeed, any resistance to the charge of “systemic racism” or the notion that blacks are the direct targets of many white officers across the country is only considered to be further evidence of “white privilege” — white people’s pitiful “inherent racism.”
As the former-communist-turned-progressive-activist Van Jones explained on CNN, “White people are always innocent” in the aftermath of these controversial events. “And their innocence constitutes their crime. It is too late to be innocent … We’ve had too many funerals for white people to be still this innocent and this shocked.”
And now you know the source of all that annoying virtue-signaling across social media platforms.
Moreover, such intellectual threats ensure that any remaining detractors of leftist orthodoxy won’t be willing to point out the Left’s own racist theories — and just how important it is in these moments to be precise, judicial, and steady.
Important because this type of silence results in grave error.
Important because the lack of careful examination in this era of viral video is largely how millions of Americans have come to embrace a false narrative of bias policing and a populist bigotry against white officers.
And now cops are being assassinated. And your city is burning.
Comments like Raimondo’s expose the purposeful deception of the Democratic Party. All their yap and pap about “institutional racism” and “we realize not all cops are bad” is thin cover for what they truly believe and, moreover, what they want their activist mobs to believe: that white cops hunt black people and that many white citizens just don’t care.
Van Jones continued on CNN, “Even the most liberal well-intentioned white person has a [racism] virus in his or her brain that can be activated at an instant.”
Oh, you have something to say about that? Maybe you’d like to point out that patrolling urban neighborhoods is a complicated matter, one in which all the problems associated with it can hardly be boiled down to racism. Or that we are already in the wake of decades of police reform, diversity initiatives, and sensitivity training — much of it at the direction of black leaders who have themselves often called for more aggressive policing at the behest of their black constituents. Perhaps you want to discuss fatherless homes, dropout rates, decrepit union-directed school systems, and embarrassingly high violent crime rates. Maybe you find it important that recent studies unveil “a solid body of evidence [that] finds no structural bias in the criminal-justice system with regard to arrests, prosecution or sentencing. [That] crime and suspect behavior, not race, determine most police actions.” Perhaps it seems to you that media dissemination of a false narrative is inspiring more young black men to resist legitimate police action, resulting in evermore unfortunate encounters (that the Left can videotape, of course, and then use as evidence of ongoing police brutality).
Maybe you want to point out that the world is burning at the hands of perception and politics.
Well, too bad.
Sally Boynton Brown, Executive Director of the Idaho Democratic Party, received massive applause at the Democratic National Committee when she declared, “My job is to shut other white people down when they want to interrupt. My job is to shut other white people down when they want to say ‘Oh no, I’m not prejudiced’” — and finally submitting to the crowd, “I’m a white woman. I don’t get it.”
You want tribal warfare? Then just keep establishing tribes. You know, to bolster your identity politics, maintain minority loyalty, and enslave the black mind.
As the 2020 Democratic presidential nominee (a white man) recently explained to black voters, “If you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black.”
And suddenly I’m reminded of what conservative author Michelle Malkin once wrote: “Liberals see racism where it doesn’t exist, fabricate it when they can’t find it, and ignore it within their own ranks.”
For both Republicans and Democrats it’s popular to admit during the course of these discussions that racism, obviously, still exists in America. But racism of the white supremacy variety is all but extinct. It’s more accurate to say that racial resentment is at a hemorrhaging point.
And it’s a small wonder why.
Unless you think decades of double standards, anti-white racism, and hard-pressed political correctness hasn’t taken its toll. And this is to say nothing of the Left’s recent doubling-down on its historic hatred for law enforcement.
“What do we want? Dead cops! When do we want them? Now!” was the chant of choice for New York City protesters in 2014. “Pigs in a blanket! Fry ‘em like bacon!” was the tune of Black Lives Matter activists just hours after a black man — who “wanted to kill white people, especially white officers” — assassinated five Dallas cops in 2016.
Which brings us to Officer Chauvin and Governor Raimondo’s remarks.
Isn’t it strange to discover liberal Democrats so decided on exactly what drove Chauvin to use unlawful force against Mr. Floyd, particularly after decades of demanding that people consider the underlying conditions that cause people to commit crimes? Even today progressives are insisting that we understand why many of the protesters have chosen to plunder, maim, and murder as a response to Floyd’s death. Yet, for some reason, a petitioning to further comprehend Chauvin’s psyche is entirely absent from the progressive voice.
It’s curious that liberals are suddenly so, well, incurious.
After all, which scenario is more likely to occur: a racist white cop deciding to slow-murder a black man in the year 2020 while several people record him for the Internet? Or a white officer — already severely frustrated by years of politically validated hatred against him — deciding to keep his knee on the back of a criminal’s neck longer than he otherwise would have if not for a rabble of social justice warriors challenging his professional authority and personal ego?
Chauvin is entirely responsible for his actions, and justice should be served. But that doesn’t mean that political rhetoric didn’t play a role in Floyd’s death.
Travis Rowley is a former Tea Party / Republican activist.
Featured image by Artem Beliaikin.