The mindless murder of a handcuffed black man by a white policeman in Minneapolis has set off continuing protests, riots and looting. The multi-racial demonstrators are calling into question our country’s rule of law, its social contract and its treatment of minorities. Their signs say they hate all policemen.
Under the title “Silence or justice, we can’t have both,” a Jackson woman, Elizabeth Quinn, wrote a heartfelt and sincere treatise for the Northside Sun (June 4, 2020). It examines what the left calls “white privilege,” as well as a perceived need for anti-racism.
Among her thoughts aimed at reducing everyday racism, Ms. Quinn suggested that contributing to Black Lives Matter might be a gesture of atonement and advanced the theory that Black Lives Matter really means “Black Lives Matter, Too.,” which begs the question, “Why didn’t they call it that?”
She also provided a reading list to help us along, quoting University of California, Santa Cruz, professor emeritus Angela Y. Davis, a Marxist and winner of the Lenin Prize: “It is not enough to be not racist, you must actively be anti-racist.”
Ms. Quinn urged us to read “How to Be an Antiracist,” a book by Ibram X. Kendi, head of Boston University’s Center for Antiracist Research. And the article “75 Things White People Can Do for Racial Justice” by Corinne Shutack, whose goal is “a world where pain and suffering isn’t caused by a fellow human being.”
Another recommended writer was Ijeoma Oluo, who once accused the “police” of killing “thousands of people every year,” but who had the integrity to lower that to 1,000 — the correct average according to the Washington Post.
I’d like to expand Ms. Quinn’s reading list. In random order, I suggest two books by Shelby Steele: “Shame: How America’s Past Sins Have Polarized Our Country,” and “White Guilt.” Steele is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute. Dr. Carol Swain, a Vanderbilt professor, is worth reading. “Start with Abduction: How Liberalism Steals the Hearts and Minds of Our Children,” and move on to “The New White Nationalism: Its Challenge to Integration.”
If his Borkish chin whiskers don’t sink him, Dr. Wilfred Reilly from Kentucky Southern University, will become a dominant voice in discussions of racism. Reilly wrote “Taboo,” about topics the Thought Police don’t want us to discuss. He penned “Hate Crime Hoax: How the Left is Selling a Fake Race War.” Dr. Reilly once accused Donald Trump of aiming “dog whistles” at the alt-right.
The eldest of my authors is Bob Woodson, 83. Woodson is an old-time civil rights soldier who once headed the Urban League’s criminal justice department. He wrote “The Left Forgets What Martin Luther King Stood For.”
These scholars are African Americans. I’ve heard none of them commend Black Lives Matter for creating the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone in downtown Seattle. CHAZ is becoming CHOP, Capitol Hill Occupied Protest, to avoid secession accusations, but it’s keeping its warlord and, saints preserve us, its walls and border guards.
Black Lives Matter may be anti-racist, but it is assuredly anti-police. Its demands to “defund” or dismantle police departments, if successful, will do more to wreck black communities, particularly low-income communities, than a battalion of Klansmen. It should ask black communities to vote on defunding, but it won’t.
Police have problems and could use sane reform. That’s not news. But an overwhelming percentage of cops, based on performance numbers, are not racists. Our national racism, whatever its actual depth, Ms. Quinn claims is caused in part by “systemic and structural racism,” a now-familiar talking-point phrase.
Here’s my talking point: the “system” and the “structure” in our major cities — especially those plagued by recent riots — have been Democrat strongholds for decades. However, like the thousands of black deaths resulting from black-on-black encounters, we’re not supposed to examine this.
New York City, under leftist Bill DeBlasio, just fired its entire plainclothes division. There’s some well thought out “reform” for you. Baltimore, where Nancy Pelosi’s father and brother were mayors, elected its last Republican mayor in 1967. Detroit’s mayors are “non-partisan” but the last Republican-leaning mayor left office in 1962. In 1952, Minneapolis and Philadelphia voted out their last GOP mayors.
Chicago has boasted a Democrat city hall since 1931. That’s 89 years of Democrat mayors. The last 11 mayors of San Francisco have been Democrats. Los Angeles shows surprising diversity: the last GOP mayor left in 2001, and there were three others, beginning in 1938. We’ll end this by noting that the GOP holds 13 mayoral offices in our 50 largest cities.
Why is any of this important? Because when we endlessly accuse a system or a structure of suborning racism, the people in charge — whatever their race happens to be — need to take responsibility for the situation and fix it.
We have miles to go before we sleep — all of us — but we can hope that the journey doesn’t involve foot-washing or abject prostration before Black Lives Matter warlords — the folks, you may remember, who brought us “Pigs in a Blanket, Fry ‘em Like Bacon” and “What do we want? Dead cops! When do we want it? Now!” (chants available on videotape).
If, in the cause of anti-racism, I am to contribute to Black Lives Matter, why don’t I make it two cents? Not that BLM’s contribution to the national welfare is worth that much.
William Jeanes is a Northsider.