Al Sharpton is a graduate of the Rahm Emanuel School of Civics. He never lets a crisis go to waste. He never misses an opportunity to mutate non-racial events into race issues. He did it again yesterday.
Joining the families of blacks killed by police, thousands marched toward the capitol and down New York streets on Saturday to protest what they called an epidemic of abuse at the hands of police.
But even though it was his event, many attendees didn’t want to hear from organizer Al Sharpton.
The march, organized by Sharpton’s National Action Network, once again chanted the oft-heard slogan, “No Justice, No Peace” with marchers demanding that federal laws be enacted to curb local and state police agencies use of force rules.
In an op-ed published on December 8, Sharpton noted that the “march against police violence” was needed to force Congress to “immediately start hearings to deal with laws that will change the jurisdiction threshold for federal cases and policing.”
Once the thousands of marchers reached the grounds outside the Capitol, Sharpton warned Congress that he and his supporters would not be ignored.
And the crowd left no doubt the intention:
When the cameras were directly on him, Sharpton frothed out less inflammatory rhetoric in his usual nonsensical, borderline incoherent fashion.
“You thought you’d sweep it under the rug. You thought there’d be no limelight,” he said. “We are going to keep the light on Michael Brown, on Eric Garner, on Tamir Rice, on all of these victims because the only way — I’m sorry, I come out of the ‘hood — the only way you make roaches run, you got to cut the light on.”
Race played no part in the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner and it is doubtful it played a role in the death of Tamir Rice:
Samaria Rice, the mother of Tamir Rice, spoke the same day his autopsy was released — ruling his death a homicide.
Cleveland police killed her 12-year-old son in November while he was holding an airsoft replica gun.
“Let that officer get arrested and bring him in front of a criminal jury so he can get the opportunity to prove his innocence and we can prove our justice,” she said. “My son was 12 years old, just a baby, a baby, my baby, the youngest out of four.”
She thanked the nation and the world for its support because that’s “the only way I’m standing up right now.”
The Tamir Rice shooting troubles me more than the other events. Two years ago a baby-faced youth killed twenty six people in a school less the twenty five miles from me. Police being skittish about a youth brandishing what appears to be a real weapon in a park is understandable but I think that was not handled well. The officers stopped their cruiser right next to Tamir Rice, exited the vehicle and shot the kid almost immediately. I might be looking at this wrong, but it seems to me that they might have parked the cruiser a little father away and given themselves cover and a few more seconds to make a decision. I don’t think it was a matter of racial malice at all but just not a good choice.
The blanket condemnation of and assault on police nationwide establishes one thing very clearly- the protesters are collectively ignoring the evidence and stereotyping the cops. In so doing they are no better than what they say they object to. In fact, they’re worse.
Another fact remains: had they not violated the law, Brown and Garner would be alive today. It seems that the goal of Sharpton and the protesters is to demand that police close their eyes to crimes committed by certain segments of the population. If the right person resists arrest, let them go. If the right person robs a store, let them go. I am all for enacting such an experiment in New York City. Let them enjoy what Chicago has become.
We look at things through very different prisms. Sharpton and his unthinking sycophants look at things through the prism of victimization, ignoring what led to the tragedies as though it mattered not. Many of us look through the prism of personal responsibility instead. Had I smart mouthed a cop when I was growing up I would have faced far more severe punishment at home than from the cop. If I had committed mischief in school and denied it my parents would have believed the teachers and not me.
I look at things differently. One hundred and eighty degrees differently. Unfortunately none of us should expect a tax dodging, rape concocting, riot-inciting phony in very expensive Italian suits to ever address the issue of personal responsibility. Shame on everyone who doesn’t.