White House national security adviser Robert O’Brien denied Sunday that there was any “systemic racism” in America’s police departments.
O’Brien was responding to criticism of the police by activists who say that the reason for the death of George Floyd and other unarmed black men was due to a racist system.
“I don’t think there is systemic racism. I think 99.9 percent of our law enforcement officers are great Americans,” O’Brien said on CNN’s “State of the Union,” adding that “many” are African American, Hispanic and Asian.
“I think they’re amazing great Americans, and they are my heroes, but you know what there are some bad apples in there. There are some bad cops that are racist cops, and there are cops that maybe don’t have the right training, and some that are just bad cops and they need to be rooted out,” O’Brien added.
He said a “few bad apples” are giving law enforcement a “terrible name.”
What does “systemic racism” mean? Let’s ask Danyelle Solomon, vice president of Race and Ethnicity Policy at the Center for American Progress.
The past 48 hours have laid bare once again with stark clarity the entrenched systemic racism that pervades American life. In Minneapolis, an African American man, George Floyd, was killed by police, resulting in the firing of four officers. George Floyd’s death comes on the same day that a white woman in New York threatened an African American birdwatcher by calling the police and invoking his race. The following day, Black people protesting the brutal murder of Mr. Floyd were assaulted with police tear gas and rubber bullets. This police violence stands in sharp contrast to the images of police standing calmly while mostly white protestors—some of whom were carrying weapons—demonstrated for the reopening of businesses.
Those “protesters” were burning Minneapolis. That they were used as cover from police by rioters was self-evident. That Solomon chooses to omit that key fact reveals an anti-police agenda.
Police “stood calmly” because the white protesters weren’t threatening anyone — even though many were armed. It’s amazing how calm police can be when no one is screaming for their death or accusing them of wanting to murder all black people.
But what about “systemic racism”? There are several dozen laws on the books that make systemic racism illegal. That individual acts of racism like those described by Solomon occur is not evidence of “systemic” racism. It means there are racist idiots — some who happen to be police — that feed the deliberate misperception that society as a whole is racist.
Any vestiges of institutional (systemic) racism can and should be dealt with in a court of law. Sorry, but that’s the best the government can do. The government can’t change the hearts and minds of individuals so that we all love each other and live in perfect harmony and equality. The government can’t call into existence equal opportunity. The government can’t conjure up equality of results, even though Democrats promise every four years they’re going to do that.
What can be done is you can sue companies who are discriminating. You can sue people for denying equal opportunity and equal access to public facilities. You can even be charged with a “hate crime” if you do injury to a black person because of their color.
What the government can’t do is make white people love and respect black people. That’s what this is really all about. Take away the hateful rhetoric, the emotion, the rioting and protesting, and what you’re left with is the simple desire by blacks to be respected by white people. That includes white cops, white store clerks, white bankers, white judges, and any other white person that blacks come in contact with on a daily basis.
It’s difficult to respect someone who calls you names — names like “racist” and “white supremacist.” It’s difficult to talk to someone who proceeds from the assumption that you hate them. That’s where race in America is today. And the riots are going to happen again and again as long as it is profitable to gin up hysteria against police and white society.