At the Democratic presidential debate earlier this month, the candidates were asked about the “black lives matter” meme. With the exception of Jim Webb, who would soon realize that he had wandered into the wrong party, all present on the stage genuflected in the direction of the racial hucksters who have led demonstrations around the nation in the last year demonizing police. For the left, this is not merely an exercise in political correctness. It is a feel-good ritual that allows all participants to demonstrate their opposition to racism. They do so confident in the belief that doing so comes at no cost to anyone. But what we have learned in the last year is that their posturing and pandering does come at a very high cost. The cost is borne by police who now feel more threatened than ever as they carry out their very dangerous jobs. Even worse than that, it is paid by the very members of minority communities that the “black lives matter” movement and their Democratic Party enablers pretend to care about, in the form of high crime and the consequent economic devastation that stems from insecurity.
Of course, liberals dismiss the notion that there is a war on police that is hurting the poor. But you don’t have to believe me or any other conservative who has repeatedly pointed this out since the riots in Ferguson, Missouri, and Baltimore last year. Last Friday, the man appointed by Barack Obama to be the head of the FBI made these same points. Here’s what FBI Director James Comey said in a speech at the University of Chicago excerpted by the Wall Street Journal:
I have spoken of 2014 in this speech because something has changed in 2015. Far more people are being killed in America’s cities this year than in many years. And let’s be clear: far more people of color are being killed in America’s cities this year. And it’s not the cops doing the killing.
He went on to diagnose the problem in stark language that cuts through the politically correct mush we have been served by the administration he serves and the mainstream media that serves as cheerleaders for the man who appointed him:
Nobody says it on the record, nobody says it in public, but police and elected officials are quietly saying it to themselves. And they’re saying it to me, and I’m going to say it to you. And it is the one explanation that does explain the calendar and the map and that makes the most sense to me.
Maybe something in policing has changed. In today’s YouTube world, are officers reluctant to get out of their cars and do the work that controls violent crime? Are officers answering 911 calls but avoiding the informal contact that keeps bad guys from standing around, especially with guns?
I spoke to officers privately in one big city precinct who described being surrounded by young people with mobile phone cameras held high, taunting them the moment they get out of their cars. They told me, “We feel like we’re under siege and we don’t feel much like getting out of our cars.” I’ve been told about a senior police leader who urged his force to remember that their political leadership has no tolerance for a viral video.
This is something that a lot of people have been saying in the last year as President Obama, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, and the entire roster of MSNBC race baiters have done their best to delegitimize police as armed racists. Crime rates have gone up in New York and Baltimore and in other places. But now that Comey has stated the plain truth about why this is happening, it’s no longer possible to pretend that such complaints are merely the ravings of right-wing radio talkers. It’s the truth, and it’s high time somebody acknowledged it.
But don’t expect those hard truths to come from this administration.
What we are witnessing in many of our urban areas is a man-made disaster that is, in some ways, very much the equal of the Katrina catastrophe that Democrats always wave like a bloody shirt in the face of former President George W. Bush.
There are instances of police misconduct in this country and, where proved, those involved deserve to be punished. But when our president and even the top law enforcement official in the nation like former Attorney General Eric Holder lend their moral authority to those who only goal is to undermine police, this is not a victimless crime.
Communities in which police do not feel safe going about their duties or that the legal system will not back them up when they do so in good faith are, in effect, being deprived of the protection of the law. That means ordinary citizens — black, Hispanic and white — are at the mercy of criminals and thugs. Businesses, jobs and opportunity will disappear from such communities. That is what Obama, Holder, de Blasio and the others who have been allowing people like Al Sharpton and “black lives matter” activists to intimidate the police.
The Obama Justice Department continues to devote its efforts to proving that American police are unjust, alleging bias against minorities in traffic stops among other things. Statistics seems to bear out these charges, although the context is often lacking. For all of the national outrage about Ferguson, the more we learned the facts about that case, the more it was clear that the killing of Michael Brown resulted from a justified shooting and was not murder. But even if we accept that the police make mistakes or have acted to disadvantage minorities in some communities, attention also needs to be paid to the process by which police are being deterred from protecting these same minority populations. But that’s exactly what has happened as Obama and the liberals have waged their war on police by promoting a narrative in which racism is the norm rather than the exception.
I don’t expect that Comey’s comments will have any impact on the administration or the Democrats as even those who initially rejected the “black lives matter” mantra like Martin O’Malley, now humble themselves before its advocates. Black lives do matter, but more black lives are put at risk by attacking police than by police misconduct. As Comey concluded:
If what we are seeing in America this year continues, we will be back to talking about how law enforcement needs to help rescue black neighborhoods from the grip of violence. All lives matter too much for us to let that happen. We need to figure out what’s happening and deal with it now.
Unfortunately, the war on police being waged by the president and the Justice Department Comey serves is a big part of the problem. It won’t be solved until our government realizes the terrible cost of liberal rhetoric.