Kevin D. Williamson:
For the Left, particulars do not matter: It does not matter whether Michael Brown was in fact shot in the back with his hands raised in a gesture of surrender, or whether that University of Virginia student did in fact suffer the horrific gang-rape described in Rolling Stone. For the Left, this is all tribal, white hats vs. black hats. Fraternity members and police officers are, in their view, by definition on the wrong side of every dispute. That is why we have such rhetorical inventions as “rape culture” and pervasive white supremacy—these are metaphysical propositions that cannot be disproved, because they are not subject to evidence. If the particulars do not support the general case, then the particulars either are ignored or are dismissed as lies produced by a conspiracy.
For the Left, this is a bit of a problem insofar as it touches police, because the Left believes in effectively unlimited state power. It is difficult to reconcile a taste for unfettered state power with a belief that those entrusted with that unfettered power are violent and psychopathic white supremacists.
If you doubt that this is a fundamentally tribal question, consider this: What would the Left’s reaction be if police officers were being hauled in on charges of sexually abusing children as frequently as public-school teachers are? We’d have presidential speeches and blue-ribbon commissions up to our lumbar clefts if that were the case. But public-school teachers are white hats, in the Left’s view, while police are black hats.