The Use and Abuse of Democratic Freedoms

Advice to the perplexed: if approached by a police officer, do not pull out a revolver and point it at him. It doesn’t matter if you are white, black, pink, or purple: such behavior is not conducive to your longevity. And that, frankly, is the way things should be.


As I have noted here on several occasions, the militarization of the police in the U.S. is a minatory development that should be scrutinized and reversed. American police should not be swaggering about town in armored vehicles and accoutered like a Navy SEAL en route to bin Laden’s Pakastani retreat. In America, the default posture of the police should be like something out of Mayberry, province of sheriff Andy Taylor, protector of the peace on The Andy Griffith Show. Deep down, of course, it is not Andy but the townspeople of Mayberry who are responsible for maintaining order. “Andy,” as I wrote in one of the above linked columns,

is simply a sort of boundary marker. He represents what Walter Bagehot might have called the impressive side of the social contract. He has a sidearm. He rarely wears it. It’s usually at home, unloaded, hidden on top of a china cabinet. He barely wears a uniform. That’s to say, his uniform is homey, not scary.

Why? Because he wished people to trust and respect him and not fear him; he was an authority, not an authoritarian figure. His sidekick, the lovable but bumbling Barney Fife, likes the paraphernalia of police garb. Andy lets him wear a revolver, but it has to be unloaded. He’s allowed to carry one round of ammunition in his shirt pocket.

It might seem odd to bring up the militarization of the police just now. Not only is it Christmas Eve, a time when more pacific sentiments ought to be on our minds. But also this is a moment when the nation is torn, in a way we’ve not seen since the late 1960s and 1970s, by violent protests and skirling demonstrators screaming about “police brutality.”


The salient point, however, is that (in Michael Goodwin’s crisp summary) “the whole narrative of widespread police brutality is a big fat lie.”

But wait, isn’t that why all the folks in Ferguson and New York and California are marching and looting, chanting and burning down buildings? That’s what they say. But the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson was not an instance of police brutality. It was an instance of self-defense on the part of a police responding to an angry thug who had first made a grab for his gun and then was charging him head on. Which is why the grand jury declined to indict the police officer involved: he had done nothing wrong.

I know a lot of people who were upset by the video of Eric Garner being subdued by police after he resisted arrest. Perhaps the laws against selling individual cigarettes on the street are stupid and should be repealed. I think many  laws and a lot of rules and regulations are stupid and should be repealed. But the point is, Garner was actively resisting arrest. The police were duty-bound to do something. Could they have been more patient, kinder, gentler? Maybe. But the truth is, what killed Eric Garner was not the famous “chokehold” (if it was a chokehold) administered by the police. Garner was diabetic, obese, asthmatic, and suffered from a heart condition. He died from a heart attack in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. Accordingly, the grand jury (of whose 23 members 9 were non-white) concluded that there was insufficient cause to indict the policeman who subdued Garner.


We all know what followed: weeks of violent protests, hysterical rhetoric, and the emetic presence of that spectacular fraud, tax cheat, and Obama confidant, Al Sharpton.

Sharpton, no doubt recalling the palmy days when he was peddling lies about Tawana Brawley, has done everything he could to stoke the fires of racial hatred and social unrest. Really, though, Sharpton, ridiculous figure though he be, is yesterday’s news. The real news about these protests emanates from the more sinister sources.

This brings me to the core piece of deception that is operating in the protests against supposed police brutality.  It is a textbook case of the radical left using and abusing democratic freedoms in order to destroy those freedoms. On the one hand, you have the contention that the protests are simply a healthy expression of peaceful democratic protest. You’re not against free expression of political differences are you? Thus we have “progressive” Mayor de Blasio defending the protests: “Do we tell people they’re not allowed to raise their voice?  Do we tell people they’re not allowed to march?”

Then there is the other hand, e.g. the protests Saturday, December 13, when the operative chant was “What do we want? Dead cops! When do we want it? Now!” And listen to the voice from Ferguson gleefully chanting “Pigs in a blanket” the night the two NY police officers were murdered by a black Muslim. That is the voice not of democratic protest but of anti-democratic savagery. It is barbarism battling against civilization.


New York on Decmeber 13 was the protest at which two police lieutenants, who were, as the New York Post reported, on hand  “to ensure that protesters’ civil rights were respected by cops,” were

punched and kicked in their faces and heads when they went to arrest a CUNY professor, Eric Linsker, 29, of Brooklyn, as he tried to heave a garbage can onto other cops from an elevated walkway.

“You throw that from the upper level to the lower-level roadway, and you could kill someone,” said a police source who estimated that the can weighed “at least 40 pounds.”

Let’s pause a second over the identity of that rioter: Eric Linsker, a CUNY professsor.

Got that: a professor, i.e., a possible teacher of your delicately brought up children at a publicly funded institution. What do you think about that?

It actually gets worse. James Piereson, writing at The New Criterion weblog, provides a little eye-opening biographical data about some of the participants in the that melee December 13. Here’s what he turned up about Mr. Linsker:

Erik Linkser, 29, who began the incident by throwing the garbage can onto the roadway, was charged with assault, rioting, resisting arrest, criminal possession of a weapon, and possession of marijuana.  Mr. Linkser is an English professor at Baruch College in New York City where he teaches courses in writing and composition. He also teaches writing courses at Queens College. He holds degrees in English from the University of Iowa, and studied for a time at Harvard University. He writes and publishes poetry, including one interesting number that goes like this: “F— the police/To rise as you/Disappear below current/Interpretations of observations/F— the police!”


A rare lyric gift, I think you will agree. Piereson has equally revelatory data on the other principals in that violent episode. I especially liked the sketch of Cindy Gorn, who was charged with assault, rioting, and resisting arrest. Gorn, 29, is

a graduate student at Columbia University and a professor teaching courses in geography at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, NY.  According to the College’s website, Ms. Gorn studies geography from the perspective of Marxist philosophy, and is also interested in “social movements, autonomous labor movements, health, and the environment.” She is also a “healing arts practitioner.”  She teaches one course titled, “Mapping the World:  Critical Cartography and GIS (Geographic Information Systems) for Social and Environmental Justice,” in which she uses maps to demonstrate to students “the inherent contradictions of capitalist society.”  She also teaches at Hunter College, Columbia University, and Barnard College.

“Geography from a Marxist perspective,” eh?  Nice!  I hope she has tenure. And savor the bit about “the healing arts.” Not to mention her association at several top-tier educational institutions. No wonder people are talking about a higher education bubble.

Who are these pathetic people, why do they have a place in our colleges, and what is their role in these episodes of mayhem?  In a word, they are stooges. Whose stooges? Stooges of radicals, specifically, Communist radicals. As John Hinderaker points out at Powerline, “Communists are behind the anti-police protests in New York.”


Beginning way back in 2002, we wrote about International A.N.S.W.E.R., a Communist organization that was founded in September 2001 and that organized substantial antiwar demonstrations during the Bush administration. A.N.S.W.E.R. embodied within itself the seeming contradiction between the far left and Islamic extremism: it enthusiastically supported both Kim il Jung and Saddam Hussein, and is directed in part by the Muslim Student Association. . . . Given all of that, we shouldn’t have been surprised to see that the current demonstrations in New York against the police are being led by the Communist, pro-terrorist International A.N.S.W.E.R.

Hinderaker links to a Tweet from @answercoalition who were there with their banners in front of the Plaza in New York last night. Hashtags: #ShutDown5thAve, #Winter OfReistance, #JailKillerCops, etc. He concludes by noting that “A.N.S.W.E.R. is close to unique, in that it advocates for pretty much every form of evil in the world. Who pays for it, what masters it serves, remains unknown. But that evil infuses its every act, is obvious.”

It would certainly be worth looking into who is behind A.N.S.W.E.R. In the meantime, it is worth reminding ourselves about the nature of Communism. “Communists,” as Glenn Reynolds put it, “are on the same moral plane as Nazis, just with better press relations.”

With their non-stop racist interventions, Barack Obama, Eric Holder, Al Sharpton, Bill de Balsio, abetted by their enablers in the media and the academy, have pulled back the healing scab covering the atavistic passions of tyranny. What happens next is anyone’s guess. But these people already have blood on their hands.  The only question is where it all will end.




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