Beliefnet
At the Intersection of Faith and Culture

In the wake of the shooting death of a young black man by a white Ferguson, Missouri police officer, it is to no one’s surprise that the usual suspects on the left are screaming “racism” from the rooftops.

Infinitely more disturbing for the lover of liberty is that ever growing legions of “libertarians” are regurgitating this same talking point.  Moreover, the libertarian’s obsession with “the State” has endowed him with boundless sympathy for the hordes of violent black criminals that have been violating every principle that he claims to hold sacred while attributing the assault against civilization on display in Ferguson to “the militarization” of the police.

“Paleo-libertarian” and long-standing World Net Daily writer, Ilana Mercer, takes to task Paul Craig Roberts, who recently suggested that “racism” may very well play a role in accounting for why so many whites are inclined to think that the shooting was justified.  In her own inimitable way, Mercer puts this line out to pasture by noting it for the “nonsense” and “bullshit” that it is.

There could be any number of reasons for why white Americans are disposed to sympathize with the decorated police officer for whose death the rioters are now calling, Mercer notes. Among such reasons, she remarks, is that these “ordinary Americans who Paul Craig Roberts maligns as likely racists…have simply experienced ‘black crime’ first hand, or are fearful of experiencing ‘black-on-white’ violence in all its ferocity [.]”

Some remarks are in order here.

First, anyone who is interested in thinking clearly and honestly must realize that “racism” is the rhetorical ware of bumper stickers and t-shirts: Because it means—and is intended to mean—all things to all people, it has become meaningless.  All that we do know is that “racism” is a dreadful, probably the most dreadfulthing, of which a white person can be accused.

To be called a “racist,” then, is like being called a “creep” or a “jerk,” only much, much worse.

Of course, no one knows why it’s supposed to be so terrible to be a “racist.”  In and of itself, a “racist” could signify someone who has a special place in his heart, a certain partiality, toward the members of his own race. Yet such affection for the members of one’s race no more betrays a weakness in one’s character than does a fondness for one’s family or one’s nation.

May not “racism” be the moral equivalent to “family-ism” or “patriotism?”

However we choose to slice and dice this matter, the point is that “racism” is a vapid term that any thoughtful person should’ve abandoned long ago.

But there is another reason why this silly word should never spring from the lips of any self-professed lover of liberty: the word isn’t just silly, it is dangerous. 

In fact, “racism” has proven to be more inimical to liberty in our time than has any other.

It is under the pretext of combating “racism,” after all, that freedom of association, private property rights, “’states’ rights”—comprehensively, the principle of “equality under the law”—have been decisively routed.  Our national government has all but revoked the federal government ratified by our Founders.  To no slight measure, this has occurred in the name of securing “racial equality” (while generating more inequality than ever).

In fueling the notion that, to this day, white America remains consumed by “racism,” self-avowed “libertarians,” whether they realize it or not, hasten liberty’s extinction by exacerbating the steady impulse toward ever greater concentrations of power.

The verdict is unambiguous: Incessant chirping over “racism” is inimical to both good sense and freedom alike.

As if the happenings in Ferguson, Missouri aren’t bad enough, now we have the situation in Salt Lake City, Utah with which to contend.

As the whole country knows, for the last week or so, large groups of blacks have taken to the streets of Ferguson in order to express their outrage over the shooting death of a young black man, 18 year-old Michael Brown, by a white 28 year-old police officer, Darren Wilson.  Mayhem and violence have been the order of the day. President Obama has weighed in on the issue, describing it as “heartbreaking.”  Attorney General Eric Holder has promised that “change is coming.”

On Wednesday, August 20, a white woman—a lone Darren Wilson supporter on the streets of Ferguson—had to be taken into police custody for fear of her life as swarms of angry blacks began to close in on her.  In addition to being screamed at, she was reportedly assaulted because she dared to sport a sign that read: “Y’all need to get your facts straight.”

Now, however, word has gotten out that there has been another police shooting of a young, “unarmed” man out in Salt Lake City, Utah.  Only this time, the man killed is white and the police officer who shot him is—wait for it!—black!

On August 11, 20 year-old Dillon Taylor was outside of a convenience store with two other men when he was approached by police.  The latter were allegedly on the scene in response to reports that an armed man was waving a gun.  According to witnesses, Taylor was wearing earphones and may have been trying to pull up his pants when an officer shot him dead.

Taylor did have a criminal record consisting of felony robbery and obstructing justice convictions.  Yet a woman, Marissa Martinez, whose sister had at one time dated Dillon, swears that he was in the process of amending his ways.  She characterizes his fate as “heartbreaking,” for “he was trying to do better for himself.”  And yet, Martinez asks, “this is what happens to him?”

Taylor’s aunt, Gina Thayne, insists that the police “killed an innocent kid,” a fact, she assures us, will indeed see the light of day in the event that the video of the event that police claim to possess is disclosed.

Chris Burbank, the police chief, refuses to reveal either the name of the officer or any other details, asserting that it would not be “appropriate” at this time to do so.

Notice both the similarities and differences between this case and the situation in Ferguson.

The similarities:

(1)There is an inter-racial encounter between law enforcement officer and a suspect.

(2)The suspect is allegedly “unarmed.”

(3)The officer opens fire upon the allegedly “unarmed” suspect.

(4) The allegedly “unarmed” suspect is shot and dies.

The differences:

(1)In Ferguson, the officer is white and the suspect is black.

In Salt Lake City, the officer is black and the suspect is white.

(2)Courtesy of media outlets around the country that have been tirelessly bombarding audiences with coverage of events in Ferguson, everyone and their mother now knows the names of Michael Brown and Officer Darren Wilson.

No one outside of Salt Lake City has ever heard of Dillon Taylor, and no one even there has yet any clue as to the identity of the black police officer who killed him.

(3)Legions of rabble have crawled out of the woodwork to terrorize—yes, terrorize—the town of Ferguson under the pretext of securing “justice” for Michael Brown.  People have been viciously beaten, law enforcement attacked, and businesses burnt to the ground.  And their apologists from the Obama administration to the Missouri Governor’s mansion to the media have shown expressions of solidarity for the rioters.

There has been absolutely no rioting or violence of any kind in reply to the shooting death of Dillon Taylor. There hasn’t even been much in the way of demonstrations of any sort.

(4)Michael Brown, we now know, was a criminal who engaged in the strong-arm robbery of a convenience store owner just moments before he attacked and beat the police officer who shot him

There is no evidence to suggest that Dillon Taylor committed any crime on the night that he died, and no evidence, at this juncture, to suggest that he even resisted arrest.

(5)The police chief in Salt Lake City is observing protocol, to say nothing of protecting one of his officers, by refraining, at this time, from disclosing the identity of the officer involved in the fatal shooting of Taylor.

The authorities in Ferguson, due to pressure by the lynch mob that is further ruining the quality of life in this once nice suburb of St. Louis, have unveiled Darren Wilson’s identity, forcing this young, decorated officer and his family to go into hiding.

The juxtaposition of these two situations is instructive, for it establishes beyond a doubt that among the motives driving the pro-Michael Brown forces in politics, in the media, and in the streets of Ferguson, a desire for truth and justice isn’t one of them.

 

To the proliferation of articles on the shooting death of black Missourian Michael Brown via white police officer, Darren Wilson, I register the following considerations.

Firstly, at this time when black underclass thugs are ruining the quality of life in but another once- decent town while their black and white media spokespersons bellyache over the unrelenting racial oppression to which black Americans are supposedly subject, let us call to mind all of the rosy promises made six years ago when Barack Hussein Obama first set his sights on the presidency.

Pundits both black and white, Democrat and Republican, assured us that the election of a black man with an Islamic-sounding name was sure to endear America to Muslims around the globe while ushering in a “post-racial” era here at home.  Remember that?

The Islamic world, always a cauldron of violence, is even more violent, more emboldened now than it has been in the past.  Something similar can be said for the world of black America, or at least black urban America—as the current happenings in Ferguson, Missouri painfully reveal.

Secondly, those “conservative” commentatorswho claim to be agnostic on whether Darren Wilson, in the absence of any provocation on the part of Michael Brown, killed the latter solely for thrills imply that they’re open to the possibility that this actually could have happened.  In other words, they legitimize the outrageous notion that white police officers routinely seek out unsuspecting, law-abiding black citizens to gun down.

I’ll say it now: While, admittedly, I do not know the details of what actually transpired between Wilson and Brown, I most certainly do know—and so, too, I’m ready to bet, does every other commentator who isn’t an anti-white, anti-police ideologue—that Officer Wilson is not guilty of any of the charges that the black criminals in Ferguson and their apologists in Washington D.C. and the media are leveling against him.

Wilson is a decorated police officer.  Brown was a thug who just moments prior to his fatal encounter with Wilson had been captured on video surveillance engaging in a strong-arm robbery of a convenience store.

This is one reason why my I’m strongly disposed to sympathize with Wilson’s and the Ferguson Police Department’s account of events over that supplied by Dorian Johnson, the 22 year-old who was with Brown when he was killed—and who served as his accomplice to the robbery and assault of a clerk.

But there is another reason why I believe Wilson acted justifiably. And this brings me to my third piece of food for thought:

We have heard this story before.

Last summer, it was the Trayvon Martin shooting death that had the agents of the “Racism-Industrial-Complex” (RIC) in the media in a tizzy.  Presumably, genuinely white “racists” were slim pickings.  Thus, they invented one by turning the clearly Latino-looking George Zimmerman into a “white Hispanic.”  At the same time, these same activists substituted for the unflattering portrait of the real Trayvon Martin a disinfected one that was more friendly to their template of white oppression and black victimhood—the same template through which they are now filtering the incident in Ferguson.

And like in the case of Martin, RIC agents would have us rather see their sanitized depiction of Michael Brown—the bright-eyed, college bound “gentle giant”—than the hulking man whose audacity and recklessness were as large as his physical stature, the punk who thought nothing of either depriving another man of his hard earned property or assaulting him when his victim resisted.

A bad actor is one who makes it obvious that he or she is trying to act.  Similarly, in “miscasting” the most unlikely types into the roles that they’ve written, it’s obvious, painfully obvious, that the Al Sharptons of the world are trying to sell us a bill of goods.

Fourth, that the shameful violence and crime—the “rioting”—that’s occurring in Ferguson and the insidious rhetoric from which it arose have absolutely nothing to do with a desire for justice or interracial peace can be gotten all too easily from the deafening silence with which the shocking rate and nature of black-on-white violence is invariably met.

For instance, just last month, in Iowa, a white 97 year-old veteran of World War II—Rupert “Andy” Anderson—and his 94 year-old wife of many years were bludgeoned with a pipe courtesy of a black Ethiopian immigrant.  Mrs. Anderson, though bloodied, survived this attack that occurred in her home.  Her husband, however, wasn’t so fortunate.

Whether it’s this case or any other number of grisly instances of black-on-white violence, when the media decides to cover it at all, they invariably either avoid or deny the racial dynamic.  In writing about the Anderson murder, journalist Nicholas Stix refers to this phenomenon as the “preemptive MSM [Main Stream Media] propaganda template [.]”

Finally, while it is verboten to raise this question in “respectable” (i.e. Politically Correct) company, raise it we must: If things are really as terrible—as “racist”—in America as so many blacks in Ferguson and elsewhere would have us believe, then why aren’t these same blacks demanding—not requesting, but demanding—that blacks be granted their own separate homeland?  We’re not necessarily talking about a “back-to-Africa” movement, but perhaps a country carved out of American land?

After all, today, when blacks demand something, anything—or when they’re demanding it from whites—they usually get it.  At any rate, blacks, or at least black “leaders,” have zero reluctance about expressing their demands.

And wouldn’t it be infinitely better for everyone to peacefully go our separate ways rather than perpetually be at each other’s throats?

That not a single black “leader,” or anyone else, for that matter, has so much as suggested this as a possibility, much less demanded it, speaks volumes.

Thomas Sowell once noted that few topics so tap the irrational excesses of a person’s intellect as that of race.  At the very least, contemporary race-related discussions are almost invariably ridden with irrationality.

The issue of Ferguson, Missouri is but the latest exhibition of this all too pervasive phenomenon.

Yet, to be sure, it isn’t just the usual suspects on the recognizable left—the obvious racialist and socialist ideologues—that have revealed just how dangerously shallow, both intellectually and morally, they can be on this racially-charged front.  Some neoconservative and libertarian commentators are also guilty on this score.

First, in order to sound “objective”—and, truth be told, not all that politically incorrect—neoconservative commentators continually caution against judging hastily: Since we weren’t there, they say, we should remain agnostic on the question regarding the guilt or innocence of Officer Darren Wilson (the officer who the black rioters in Ferguson and their apologists in the media say murdered Michael Brown).

In taking this line, however, these same commentators actually legitimize the notion that, in 2014, there are white police officers who routinely patrol the streets in search of young black teenagers to gun down in cold blood.

Give me a break.

We know enough now—if we didn’t know enough when word of this story first broke—that, at a minimum, there was no murder that took place here.

Second, we’re hearing quite a bit about “the militarization” of the police in Ferguson, and how it is this, and not the riotous conduct of the black citizens of that city and the incendiary rhetoric of their self-avowed “leaders, that is responsible, or largely responsible, for the undermining of civilization that is transpiring there.

National Review writer Kevin Williamson is one person busily advancing this line.  Some libertarian writers at Lewrockwell.com are (predictably) doing so as well.

It’s rubbish, but another transparent, and transparently pathetic, attempt to excavate some “root cause” to account for black dysfunction. The idea that the presence of “militarized” police is somehow responsible for the exhibitions of barbarism that have unfolded in Ferguson is of a logical piece with the old, tired mantra that poverty causes crime.  But as Walter E. Williams once remarked, while there certainly is a causal relation between poverty and crime, it runs in exactly the opposite direction of that imagined by the conventional wisdom: crime causes poverty.

Similarly, the police in Ferguson are “militarized” precisely because of the legions of merciless black rioters with whom they have to contend.

Yet there’s another consideration that gives up the lie that the police in Ferguson have provoked the black violence there: Sixty-seven percent black Ferguson, like heavily populated black areas throughout the country, was ridden with crime and violence long before anyone ever heard of Michael Brown.  Most of this criminality, though, consists of black-on-black attacks.

Is the militarization of the Ferguson police responsible for the obscene rates and grisly nature of the crime that has been everyday life in Ferguson for years?  Is it this that explains why blacks are murdering, raping, beating, and pillaging other blacks?

Is the “militarization” of police in Detroit, Chicago, Atlanta, Camden, Newark, the Bronx, Los Angeles and black cities throughout the nation the cause of the truly scandalous degree of violence and vice that’s become a permanent fixture of daily existence for the residents of these areas?

At long last, let’s be truthful: Police officers in high crime areas—which, today, is virtually synonymous with high black areas—must be armed to the teeth to protect themselves as well as the law-abiding citizens of these areas who are routinely victimized by the predators in their midst.

Rand Paul—who, at one time, I was strongly disposed to support—has recently made shameful comments concerning the shameful goings-on in Ferguson. “Given the racial disparities in our criminal justice system,” Paul said, “it is impossible for African-Americans not to feel like their government is particularly targeting them.”

To judge from this sentence, one could be forgiven for thinking that “the government” arbitrarily arrests, tries, convicts, and sentences (or executes) a wildly disproportionate number of blacks over whites (and Hispanics, and Indians, and Asians, etc.).  Again, what we witness in this piece of unreason is causal confusion run amok: There is a stronger “government” (police) presence in black communities because blacks are wildly overrepresented among criminals.

Or, if you will, “the government”—the police—is doing exactly what it should be doing in “targeting,” not “African-Americans,” but criminals—many, all too many, of whom are black.

Let’s see: For six years, we’ve had a black president, a person, remember, who blacks and whites, Democrats and some Republicans, assured us was going to usher in a post-racial era.  We also have a black Attorney General.  The government at the most powerful levels, in other words, is run by black men.

And yet, according to Rand Paul, it is reasonable for blacks to suspect that their government is targeting them?

Sowell has never been more right: nothing screams “irrational” like contemporary talk over race relations.