Memo to Liberals: We’ve Had Enough!

RaceAbout a week ago, the New York Times ran an op-ed by Georgetown sociology professor Michael Eric Dyson under the headline “Where Do We Go After Ferguson.”

In it, the professor writes about what he sees as “the plague of white cops who kill unarmed black youth.” He writes that the grand jury “failed” to indict Officer Darren Wilson. And he says, “To the police officer and to many whites, Michael Brown was the black menace writ large, the terrorizing phantom that stalks the white imagination.” And then there’s this observation about how, in the professor’s view, whites generally see black males in this country: “Our American culture’s fearful dehumanizing of black men materialized once again when Officer Wilson saw Michael Brown as a demonic force who had to be vanquished in a hail of bullets.”

In other words: blacks = victim, whites = bad. We get it, professor.

That op-ed produced a number of letters to the editor of the Times including one by an emeritus professor of political science at Purdue University. Here’s one sentence from that letter: “I am ‘white,’ so is my wife, so are most of our friends. Not one of us views the events as Mr. Dyson suggests. All of us are horrified by police brutality and the victimization of another young black man. Although a majority of whites may indeed blame the victim, a substantial minority does not.”

There it is: good white, liberal racial manners on display right there in the letters section of the New York Times. What the professor is saying is: Yes, a “majority of whites” are racists who insensitively “blame the victim” but there are some of us – and I am one – who are not racists. We are among the few good white people.”

And by “victim” the good professor is referring to Michael Brown who as we all know robbed a convenience store, pushed around its owner, walked in the middle of the road and mouthed off to a cop who told him to walk on the sidewalk, got into a scuffle with the cop and then tried to take his gun away.” Only after all that was he shot dead.

But to liberals, Michael Brown was a “victim.”

So here’s a bulletin for the erudite professor from Purdue and to all the other liberals who think the way he does:

There are lots of us who were once liberal and are now conservative who care deeply about fair play and equal opportunity and civil rights. Those of us of a certain age were on the side of black people fighting for equality in the 60s. We detested the white cops who beat them simply for marching.

In other words, we are not the bigots you think we are.

And not that you’ll care, professor (and all you other liberals who see yourselves as morally superior) but we’ve had enough. And so have millions of so-called moderate Americans who aren’t bigots either and are tired of being lumped in with George Wallace, Bull Connor and David Duke. We’ve all had enough of being called racists because we don’t think Michael Brown is a victim, let alone a civil rights saint.

We’ve heard enough about how racists used to wear white sheets but now they wear suits (and vote Republican).

We’ve had enough of your “Hands up, Don’t Shoot” demonstrations, which are based on lies.

We’ve had enough of your slogans like “black lives matter.” We know that.   Many of us knew that in 1965. But we’re sick of hearing that mantra when you do nothing about the black lives that are taken every weekend in places like Chicago. I guess black lives only matter when a white person is somehow involved in the death.

We’ve had enough of Al Sharpton, though truth be told, we had enough of him a long time ago. But now there’s something new involving the Reverend. Sharpton has become what Martin Luther King, Jr. once was — the leading voice for civil rights in America. Yes, I understand that this is like being the tallest midget. Still it’s pathetic.

But if the absence today of great men in the civil rights establishment has left Sharpton standing atop the mountain – and if a tone deaf President Obama wants to bring Sharpton into the White House for conferences on how to bridge the gap between the races — then it is liberals – not conservatives – who are inflicting great damage to the ideals of liberalism in America regarding race.

Liberals like Professor Dyson and the professor from Purdue and all the others who see America in black and white have hardened decent Americans who hate discrimination. We don’t want to hear about so-called white privilege as a root cause for black problems – not when it comes from people who won’t talk about the dysfunction in parts of black America that lead to chaos and death.

Basically, we’ve had enough about hearing about how bad we are.

And here’s another shocker, my liberal friends: Many of us are not only saddened by the death of Eric Garner on Staten Island but also think that his death should never have happened; that cops need to use better judgment when trying to arrest an unarmed man who whose crime was selling loose, untaxed cigarettes to people who can’t afford more than $10 for a pack. Should Garner have resisted arrest? No! Should he have been treated as brutally as he was? No!  Should at least one cop have been indicted? In the view of many of us on the right, Yes!

And you know what? While we think Michael Brown brought about his own demise, we wish that could have ended differently too. Maybe Officer Darren Wilson could have shot him in the legs, or waited for backup. We don’t know.

But we do know that too many liberals don’t care what Michael Brown did that day that brought about his death. All they care about is that Michael Brown was black and Darren Wilson is white. Case closed, right?

We know there are some white racist cops out there who shouldn’t be allowed to wear a badge and carry a gun. But it’s not the “plague” that too many liberals like Professor Dyson tell us it is. We’re tired of hearing that white cops are the problem, when it’s too much black crime that’s the real problem. And black crime is something liberals are not comfortable talking about.  Too many white liberals have become apologists for bad behavior among too many African Americans. If liberals truly cared about young black men they would march with signs that scream: Don’t Break the Law … Don’t Resist Arrest … and Never Ever Go for a Cop’s Gun.

We’re not the people too many African Americans and white liberals in and out of academia and the media think we are. But the more important point is that, while it’s been a long time coming, we don’t give a damn what they think about us anymore.




The Presumption of Racism Has Stunted America’s Growth

presumption of racismWhen Barack Obama won the presidency in 2008, I was not a happy camper. The thought of a liberal ideologue with no leadership experience (but grand dreams of “fundamentally transforming” the country) sitting in the Oval Office wasn’t at all appealing to a right-leaning fellow like me. Still, I did see a silver lining in his victory. I thought the election of our first black president would go a long way in helping to heal the country’s racial divide that still existed – despite having made significant strides over the decades.

Boy, was I wrong.

It didn’t take long for some on the left to begin using the president’s skin color as a political weapon against those who had the gall to disagree with his agenda. Loud opposition to President Obama was not portrayed by the media as patriotic, like it was during the Bush era, but as an ugly display of racial bias put forth by people who just couldn’t accept that a black man was now the leader of the free world.

The Tea Party, who had a very clear policy message, was depicted and marginalized as a bunch of angry, old white guys, and during the 2012 presidential campaign, liberal media outlets obsessed over dissecting the political rhetoric of Republican candidates and deciding that it contained a slew of racist “dog whistles.” That sentiment trickled its way down to the public and became conventional wisdom for some.

The incessant race-baiting has harmed American culture. It has diminished the capacity of people to view accusations of racism responsibly and objectively. A reasonable level of scrutiny no longer has to be met in order for a divisive racial narrative to be put forth and bolstered by the media. In far too may cases, a presumption of racism has been applied to people and events that have provided no basis for that judgement. We’ve seen it done recently with the high-profile, unfortunate deaths of black men like Michael Brown in Ferguson.

The so-called civil rights leaders like Al Sharpton, who’ve latched onto the tragedies, seem to be pushing the theme that any scenario, that results in a black person being killed by a white person, is murder attributable to racism. The circumstances surrounding the event don’t really seem to matter. Neither do the eye-witness accounts or the physical evidence. The narrative being wielded is that it’s “open season” for killing black men in this country, and the facts and statistics just aren’t going to stand in the way of the oratory.

Many people are reasoned enough to see past the vitriol and recognize these deaths as the tragedies they are without jumping to the conclusion that institutional racism is to blame. They realize that while racism still exists, it’s not a contributing factor to the number of untimely, black deaths in this country.

Many others, however, aren’t so reasoned – especially young people. They’ve been taught through academia and media-driven, politically correct sensibilities that America is still a fundamentally bigoted country, despite a black man being elected to the highest office in the land – twice. They’ve been taught that the societal sins of several decades ago are still being practiced with impunity by the white establishment.

The dishonesty of this narrative, and society’s inability to have a mature, open discussion about race is absolutely devastating to our culture. We’ve seen it in the way the country’s economic and social discrepancies are portrayed as a products of racial oppression. We’ve seen it in the stores that were looted and set ablaze in Ferguson. In my home state of Colorado on Wednesday, we saw it in the way high school students, who were protesting against the Ferguson grand jury decision, reportedly cheered when four police officers managing traffic for their march were struck by an out of control vehicle.

Let’s examine that last example for a minute. In Denver, police officers were working on traffic control duty for the benefit of students from East High School who walked out of class to protest the decision not to indict Officer Darren Wilson. When four of those officers were struck by a runaway car – resulting in critical injuries to one of them – some of the protesters were heard cheering and chanting “hit him again.” That is beyond deplorable.

The Denver Police Protective Association released the following statement in regard to the protesters: “These actions are not only reprehensible but quite possibly the most disturbing thing this Association has ever heard.”

I don’t doubt the sincerity in that statement. I’m sure it was indeed one of the most disturbing things the DPPA has ever encountered, and its no coincidence that it happened now, in 2014, when reckless, racial rhetoric is drowning out reasoned discussion.

When people let ethnic solidarity or collective guilt blind them to the cold, hard facts surrounding a situation, we have truly lost as a society. Never did I think in 2009 that race relations would actually worsen in this country over the next six years, but that appears to be what has happened. Presumptive racism has been a major cause of it.

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Why the Calls for ‘Justice’ in Ferguson Ring Hollow

justiceA few months ago, one of this website’s frequent visitors posted a comment under a column about Michael Brown and the nightly protests that were taking place in Ferguson, Missouri. The commenter, whose name is Steve, was convinced that Brown was murdered by police officer Darren Wilson, and he was adamant in his assertion that the incident was racially motivated.

How did Steve know this? To him, it was all quite obvious: A white cop shot a black, unarmed, young man. End of story.

Of course, Steve received a lot of push-back from this website’s other regulars. They called his statements irresponsible and pointed out that they were based on pure speculation – speculation that stood at stark odds with the few facts, surrounding the incident, that had already been released to the public. No one was able to persuade Steve that he might be wrong. No one was able to plant a seed of doubt in his mind. He showed up to this website just about every day, restating his claim and providing hyperlinks to odd sources that he said proved his assertions to be correct.

One day, Steve linked to a YouTube video entitled, “Michael Brown, Ferguson Victim Paid For His Rellos.” He cited it as concrete proof that Michael Brown, in fact, had paid for those cigars that security cameras captured him taking from Ferguson Market and Liquor, approximately 15 minutes before he was killed.

This was Steve’s aha moment. You see, if Brown had paid for (and not stolen) those cigars, the series of events that followed couldn’t have possibly gone down the way police were saying it did. A call to the police would have never been made or even warranted, thus Officer Darren Wilson would have had no reason to confront someone fitting Michael Brown’s description in the first place – unless, of course, he was a racist cop looking to shoot a black kid.

Out of curiosity, I went ahead and watched the video. It was taken from a security camera inside the store that day – a different one than the one that recorded Brown famously strong-arming the small shop owner who tried to keep him from leaving his store with a package of cigars. This video was trained on the cash-register counter and showed exactly the opposite of what Steve claimed it showed. There was no visible transaction of cash for merchandise. The recording clearly showed Brown reaching over the counter in an aggressive manner, grabbing a handful of merchandise, and leaving the store with the store owner in cautious pursuit of him.

Somehow, Steve was able to watch that video and actually see something that just wasn’t there. It was then that I realized once and for all that Steve simply didn’t care about justice when it came to the Michael Brown shooting. It was the furthest thing from his mind. He didn’t care at all about what really happened that day between the two individuals involved. All he wanted was a sacrificial lamb to quench his thirst for retribution against what he perceives as a fundamentally racist society.

Being a black man in his fifties who grew up in a different part of the country than I did, Steve undeniably has vastly different life experiences than I do. I’m sure he’s encountered various forms of racism throughout is life. Whatever bitterness those experiences have left him with was probably behind his need for the narrative of an unarmed black man being shot for “no reason” by white officer to be true. It was probably what was behind his need for a glaring example of institutional racism – one that he could hold up high in the air and point to in order to plead his case of what he believes is a much broader issue.

The problem, however, is that the facts surrounding the Ferguson case just didn’t match up with the narrative. They didn’t early on, and they certainly didn’t after the details of the grand jury’s decision were released on Monday. If you erase skin color from the equation, I don’t believe any fair-minded person would view the actions of Officer Wilson as criminal, or even inappropriate. According to the eye-witnesses and the physical evidence, Michael Brown assaulted Wilson and grabbed for his gun. After a short pursuit, the vastly larger Brown then charged at Wilson like a football player.  Under those circumstances, what difference would Brown’s skin color have made? The notion that Wilson wouldn’t have fired his gun at a white man engaged in the same actions is ludicrous.

Will these facts and this logic make any difference to Steve? I doubt it. They didn’t make a difference to the hostile, unprofessional reporters who peppered St. Louis County Prosecutor Robert McCulloch with breathtakingly stupid questions on Monday night. They didn’t make a difference to the rioters who took to the street and looted small businesses before burning them to the ground. They didn’t make a difference to cable news personalities like MSNBC’s Ronan Farrow who evoked a Martin Luther King Jr. quote to romanticize the street violence that he was watching on television. They didn’t make a difference to the New York Daily News who nearly ran with the Tuesday morning headline “Killer Cop Goes Free”. They didn’t make a difference to the race hustlers like Al Sharpton who continue to fuel the flames. They didn’t make a difference to the Congressional Black Caucus who wrote that the grand jury decision meant that people may now “kill Black men in this country without consequences or repercussions.” Perhaps most disturbingly, they didn’t make a difference to scores of low-information Americans who’ve spent the last 24 hours on social media continuing to ask why it’s now “okay” to shoot an unarmed black man for “no reason.”

The fact of the matter is that these people don’t want justice. What actually happened between Michael Brown and Darren Wilson is of no interest to them. What they want is restitution for a society they view as unfair, and they are perfectly willing to capitalize on tragedy and convict an innocent man of murder in order to get it.

I find that sad beyond belief.




Trayvon Martin, Meet Michael Brown

All it took for Al Sharpton and the other race hustlers to rush off to Ferguson, Missouri, was for a 6’4,” 250-pound gangbanger named Michael Brown to be shot while struggling for a cop’s gun. That’s also all it took for Eric Holder to decide to send the F.B.I. in to investigate what he decided within mere hours was a federal crime.

My question is why none of these actions are ever taken when, as is usually the case, it’s some black thug who’s killing other black people in Chicago, Detroit, Atlanta, Philadelphia and L.A. Perhaps it’s because if they did, Mr. Sharpton wouldn’t have the time left to host his MSNBC show and even Eric Holder would have to start skipping meals if he wanted to keep calling white people “racists” on what seems to be a daily basis.

As for Barack Obama, after finding a moral equivalence between Israel and Hamas, it wasn’t too surprising that he did the same when it came to the rabble who were rioting and looting in Ferguson and the members of the Ferguson P.D. who were merely trying to protect the law-abiding citizens and the businesses that employ them and serve their community.

Clearly, the president is a hollow shell without a moral compass. In fact, if anyone ever decided to stage a production of “The Wizard of Oz,” they could do it on the cheap by hiring Obama to play all three of Dorothy’s traveling companions. Unlike Ray Bolger, Jack Haley and Bert Lahr, this fellow was born to portray a man without a brain, a man without a heart and a third who lacked courage.

Although I have seen a number of photos on the Internet showing young Mr. Brown flashing gang signs that suggest he was an active member of the Bloods, the photos I haven’t seen, I’m happy to say, are those showing him as a cherubic-looking 10-year-old, as was the case with the 6’2” Trayvon Martin.

As you may have noticed, Hillary Clinton has been trashing Barack Obama’s foreign policy lately, hoping that we’ll all forget that as his Secretary of State, she implemented most of it for four long years, and that as recently as a few months ago she doubled down on the reset with Russia, insisting, with a straight face, that it was brilliant statecraft.

In the Middle East, we have the clearest divide between good and evil that has existed since World War II. On one side, we have peace-loving Christians, Jews and Yazidis, while on the other we have blood-lusting Islamic butchers. Things are so apparent that even the Vatican, against its long-standing tradition, has called for military action. And, yet, Obama, playing to his left-wing base, keeps assuring our enemies that we will never have boots on the ground. My question is: why do we even have a military, aside from providing a backdrop on those rare occasions when Obama wants to appear patriotic?

I’m just asking, you understand, but when people join the Army these days, is it with Obama’s personal guarantee that they’ll never be expected to engage in warfare?

When I heard that the divorce rate was going down in America, I took that as a good sign until I discovered it was because the marriage rate has plummeted even faster. Like just about every other societal calamity, I assume the source of this decline can be traced to our colleges and universities. One would assume that curriculum devoted to feminist studies, achieving self-induced multiple orgasms, experimenting with homosexuality and the acceptance of transgenderism as an alternate life style, would culminate with a generation that is so self-absorbed that marriage licenses will at some future point only exist at the Smithsonian, along with Jefferson’s writing desk, Franklin’s walking stick and dinosaur bones.

Another contributing factor is the portrayal of marriage on TV and in the movies. It is usually depicted as armed warfare, with husbands depicted as stupid, boring, close-minded louts and wives pictured as potential high-flyers who would be soaring through the clouds were it not for having had their glorious wings clipped through the twin tragedies of marriage and children.

These days, when laughs are at a premium, I found myself chuckling while watching a documentary dealing with Charley Chaplin’s depiction of Adolph Hitler in “The Great Dictator.” One of the talking heads in the documentary was Reinhard Spitzy, apparently a friend of Der Fuhrer. When asked if Hitler, apparently a great fan of American movies, had ever seen Chapin’s satire, Spitzy said he had, and not just once, but twice.

And when asked how Hitler would have reacted to it, Spitzy, insisted “He would have laughed. Hitler wasn’t dull. Hitler wasn’t a killjoy, and within the inner circle, he could definitely laugh at jokes.”

If Mel Brooks ever decides to make a sequel to “The Producers” with its “Springtime for Hitler” musical number, he could do a lot worse than “Hitler Wasn’t a Killjoy.”

Finally, someone let me know about a sign that was allegedly posted on the wall above the latrine at a country club. In my estimation, not since the great English humorist P.G. Wodehouse hung up his niblick, has anyone done a better job of summing up the world of golf: “Welcome to This Facility. It is the only place on the grounds where nobody will try to change your stance or adjust your grip.”

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©2014 Burt Prelutsky. Comments? Write BurtPrelutsky@aol.com.




Life and Death in Polarized America

Divided AmericaSooner or later everything becomes polarized in this divided country of ours. It’s against the rules to see the other side’s point of view.   That’s like giving ammo to the enemy. Besides, in media circles, where people make a good living dividing Americans, seeing the other guy’s point of view is bad for business.

When he first ran for president Barack Obama promised to unify us. You remember what he said about no Red America or Blue America, just a United States of America.

Instead we got the most polarizing president since Lincoln. I don’t know anybody who’s lukewarm on Mr. Obama. Liberals adore him – or at least have adored him for most of his presidency. And conservatives don’t simply disagree with him; many detest him. If he were caught on video robbing a bank, liberals would find an excuse to exonerate him. “He was just withdrawing money he had deposited, but the bank was closed. What was he supposed to do?” And if he found a cure for cancer, conservatives would condemn him for not finding it sooner. “If he didn’t play so much golf, he’d have found a cure years ago which would have saved the lives of many little children.”

Which brings us to Ferguson, Missouri. Nobody knows what actually happened there, except for the police officer involved – and we haven’t heard from him. Was he justified in shooting an unarmed kid 6 times or did he panic and overreact to some imaginary threat? We don’t know.

But in a polarized America, everybody is an expert. And everybody must take sides. To sit on the sidelines and wait for the facts to come in is a sign of weakness.  Warriors don’t sit on the sideline — ever.

So if you’re a liberal who gets what passes for news from MSNBC you know what happened: The racist white cop shot the black kid because he’s a racist white cop.

And if you’re a conservative who gets the lowdown from Fox, you’re pretty sure the cop is getting railroaded. Didn’t Michael Brown bust the cop in the face and fracture his eye socket? That’s what Fox News reported, initially getting its information from a conservative website. The report may be true – or not. But so far no one in authority has confirmed the story. But if you play right field, you’re hoping the story is true because that would confirm what you always knew – that the cop was right and the kid was wrong.

When they’re feeling generous both sides will say, “We have to find out what really happened” right before they tell us what really happened, even though they don’t know what really happened.

On MSNBC, we get contributor Michelle Bernard, a black woman, telling us that what happened in Ferguson amounts to a “war on black boys” that could turn into “genocide.” We get nothing from her about the inconvenient fact that black boys are far more likely to be killed by other black boys than by white cops.

Liberals condemn abusive cops – especially when young black males are involved. Conservatives say the problem isn’t racism, but dysfunction in too many black communities.

I’ve been a reporter long enough to know that there are bad cops out there. And some are racist bad cops. I’ve also seen dysfunction in too many black neighborhoods. But both sides have a problem in polarized America acknowledging that the other side might have a point. And on TV or talk radio or on the Web, it’s simply bad business to see more than one side. People turn to partisan media to get their own biases validated. They don’t want to hear the other side. That might require them to consider some arguments they’d rather not consider.

When the police in Ferguson released the video of Michael Brown stealing some cigars and roughing up the convenient storeowner, liberals said it was a “smear.”  Conservatives said – correctly, in my view – that a kid who had just committed a crime might also go after a cop he thought was on to him.

We don’t know.

None of this is a case for wishy-washy even-handedness. We all have deeply held opinions based on our values. There’s nothing wrong with that. But sometimes, especially when we don’t know the facts, it might be a good idea to keep an open mind. Maybe that cop was one of the bad ones. Who knows? Maybe the kid was a thug who after stealing the cigars instigated a confrontation with the cop that turned deadly. Could be. Hanging on to deeply held principles is one thing. Circling the wagons to protect your side, and your preconceived notions — ahead of the facts — is something else altogether.