A man died tragically after being held in a savage knee-to-neck hold by a policeman. What was the officer thinking? Protests have turned to riots in several of our big cities. Why does this happen? History is a teacher but we ignore its lessons.
The “we” above, however, is more of a “they.” In a nation of about 330 million, those who refuse to learn number only a few thousand: the few law enforcement officers who abuse rather than protect and serve; the elected officials who don’t police the police nor police the riotous, and even tacitly encourage violence; and the rioters themselves who on some instances refuse to govern their own emotions and in others plan to sow societal disorder.
The rest of us, though, say about 329.95 million, who aren’t white supremacists, or bigots, or racists, or feckless politicians pay for their offenses. There’ll be more bad cops until local lawmakers make better hires, and crack the union arrangement that protects the rogues. And another generation of rioters and looters will follow the criminals we have today unless those same policymakers make it clear that outlaw behavior will not be tolerated.
Meanwhile, everyone else just wishes to go about their business in a peaceful society.
But we can’t. We’re interrupted by intermittent societal convulsions, so are confined by curfews, find ourselves hoping violence doesn’t flare up where we are, and watch helplessly as businesses are emptied and burned, their owners assaulted, either while trying to protect their property or in dealing with the financial ruins of a destroyed enterprise.
It’s heartbreaking and infuriating. Just as it was in 1965, 1967, 1968, 1970, 1982, 1992, 2014, 2015 and 2017.
We’ve seen these sad and appalling incidents so many times. Can’t we do better? Well, it’s really not up to us. We’re reliant on lawmakers and true community leaders (not the usual agitators who stoke rage and create division rather than bridge gaps). Unfortunately, too many of the former are ill-equipped for the offices of power they occupy, and too few of the latter have the influence necessary to mend the communities that need it the most.
Policymakers can’t fear taking hard lines on violence. Nor can they waste more time pretending that Antifa is not toxic to our civilization and must be treated as an organized crime syndicate.
They can’t continue, either, to endorse divisive figures while decent men and women who can repair the damage done by the self-appointed, media-annointed “leaders” of the black community are marginalized. There are extraordinary Americans out there who can do what Barack Obama was expected to do but had no interest in doing, which is to bring racial healing. Identify and promote them.
Forget that their politics might not fit the leftist narrative that drives the Democrats and the media. Support their efforts and they will achieve in years what others haven’t been able to in decades.
The media could play a role, as well. But there’s little hope there. They are parasites who feed on conflict and disorder. Like the policymakers who pretend it’s not their job to make law enforcement accountable, then act as if they have no choice but to appease the violent, and the community “leaders” whose primary interest is to build their own empires, they have learned nothing.
But this is of course because they don’t want to. So the rest of us have to keep cleaning up behind them.
— Written by the I&I Editorial Board