News & Politics

About That 'Divisive' Rhetoric...

The eminently sensible Heather Mac Donald makes an important point:

Commentators on MSNBC and CNN have been shedding crocodile tears over Donald Trump’s “divisive rhetoric” and lamenting his failure to unify the country. This sudden concern for national unity is rather hard to take from the same worthies who have incessantly glorified the Black Lives Matter movement over the last year and a half.

Let’s dip into the rhetoric of a garden-variety Black Lives Matter march that I observed last October on Fifth Avenue in New York City. It featured “F**k the Police,” “Murderer Cops,” and “Racism Is the Disease, Revolution Is the Cure” T-shirts, “Stop Police Terror” signs, and “Hey Hey, Ho Ho, Racist Cops Have Got to Go” chants.

What about the rhetoric of Black Lives Matter leaders? Last October, DeRay Mckesson, one of the self-appointed spokesmen for Black Lives Matter, led a seminar at the Yale Divinity School, while his BLM ally, Johnetta Elzie (ShordeeDooWhop), tweeted about the proceedings. Mckesson (now running for mayor of Baltimore) had assigned an essay, “In Defense of Looting,” which justified the August 2014 Ferguson riots as “getting straight to the heart of the problem of the police, property, and white supremacy.” Elzie’s tweeted reporting on the class included “If you put me in a cage you’re damn right I’m going to break some glass” and “Looting for me isn’t violent, it’s an expression of anger.” (Let’s hope Baltimore residents do their homework before voting.

Let’s all back up a moment. What, exactly, are the “protesters” protesting? Donald Trump holds no national office. He is a private citizen and a man of some means who is exercising his right under our constitutional republic to run for the presidency. He has not instituted a single government policy that legally impacts the Left in any way. And yet:

Decades of academic rhetoric set the stage for the Black Lives Matter movement. Academia immerses students in the counterfactual propaganda that the world is divided between people enjoying white-male-heteronormative privilege and everyone else. Events such as New York University’s annual Ally Week reinforce the conceit that the student body is divided between, on one hand, the oppressed and their “allies,” and, on the other, their putative oppressors — i.e., everyone who can’t lay claim to membership in the two previous categories.

To the mainstream media, Black Lives Matter’s claims and academic identity politics are not “divisive,” they are simple truth. But if you don’t accept those truth claims — and the data refute them — the vitriolic anti-cop rhetoric of the last year and a half, and its underpinning in academic victimology, easily match the alleged divisiveness of anything that Trump has said.

No, what they are protesting is the very political process itself — for, to the Left, there can be no honest disagreement, only the suppression of views they don’t like. There’s a word for people like them, and it isn’t very pretty.