Any brainless twit can break up a rally, screaming incoherently about “justice” while interfering in the democratic process of choosing the next president.
Common sense would dictate that such disruptive protestors should be dealt with firmly. At the very least, they should be given a good talking to by their elders about the proper legal and democratic channels to work for change.
But what happens when the elders side with the youngsters, whose desire to shout down those who don’t agree with them while throwing an infantile tantrum because their issues are not being given the priority they think they deserve threatens an orderly and thoughtful democratic process of choosing our next leader? Such veiled threats of violence have no place in an American presidential campaign.
No one was more shocked than socialist Bernie Sanders when protesters charged the stage from which he was just beginning to speak last Saturday and began to shout gibberish and seized the microphone so he couldn’t continue. They refused to relinquish the stage, much to the chagrin of a crowd who did not come to the rally to hear raving lunatics who don’t care a rat’s ass about democracy
The Gestapo couldn’t have done a better job.
So instead of responsible adults in the Democratic Party — indeed, all Americans — standing together in opposition to these kinds of undemocratic tactics, some black lawmakers are actually egging the protestors on.
The activists have employed the controversial tactic of interrupting stump speeches and other public forums, which has drawn ire from many Democrats as an uncivil and misguided effort that targets allies, rather than opponents, of such reforms.
But a number of black Democrats disagree, arguing that race-based problems have been neglected for too long, even by liberal policymakers, and the activists have tapped into a vein of frustration that justifies their methods.
“They really are speaking to the issues, and we’re really long overdue responding to those issues,” Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) said in a phone interview. “They’ve been pointed, nonviolent and strong, and I’m not offended.
“They’re asking for nothing more than to lift up a system to treat them with justice.”
Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) echoed that message, alluding to recent high-profile cases of young unarmed blacks killed by police officers as proof that America’s racial problems persist and demand a specific response from the presidential candidates — liberal and conservative alike. The public debate that’s followed the recent protests, he suggested, merits their controversial tactics.
“For Black Lives Matter activists, the issue is literally a matter of life and death as evidenced by the continued killing of unarmed Black men and women by police officers across the nation,” Johnson said in an email. “When presidential candidates fail to acknowledge how the current criminal system detrimentally impacts Black lives, they [the activists] resort to disruptive tactics to force attention to the issue.
“While disruption is uncomfortable, it does result in candidates acknowledging and addressing the issue with policy proposals,” he added. “When that happens, the need to protest is abated.”
Black Lives Matter, a national but largely decentralized movement, arose in response to the rash of recent police killings around the country, including in New York City, Baltimore, Cleveland and Ferguson, Mo. The nonpartisan group bills itself as “an ideological and political intervention” aimed at pressuring lawmakers of all stripes to adopt specific policy prescriptions for advancing “the needs and dreams of black people.” Central to its message is a push to overhaul the criminal justice system and combat the structural racism it says pervades American politics and the culture at large.
Yes, the killings of unarmed kids by the police are tragedies. But what kind of “criminal justice reform” would have saved those lives? Most activists looking at reform say there are too many black men in jail. All the criminal justice reform in the world will not substantially impact the black prison population. The only thing that will accomplish what the protesters want is if blacks commit fewer crimes.
And while the death of unarmed blacks — and whites — at the hands of police is serious, it is extremely myopic to want to address that problem at the expense of the much larger issue that blacks are killing other blacks at an astonishing rate.
It’s ludicrous to buy into the narrative being advanced by protesters that police deliberately set out to kill black men, or target them intentionally. There may, in fact, be bias in law enforcement directed against blacks. But the idea that police want to kill them all is an evil fantasy deliberately being advanced to put fear and loathing in the hearts of other blacks directed against the police.
Ask the black residents of Baltimore how that’s working out for them.