A common talking point in the press and on the left at the moment is that over 95% of Black Lives Matter protests are peaceful and we should not play up the violent five percent as representative of the movement.
Why then should we play up the tiny number of bad police encounters with black citizens as representative of the whole? There’s a real double standard here and I am getting worn out by it.
I firmly believe we have problems in the country and racism is one of them. But when I see an activist walk up to a police car and try to execute two police officers then see Black Lives Matter activists try to block access to the hospital and cheer for the deaths of the police officers, I’ve got a real problem with it and a movement that could embolden it.
I have a real problem with an American media response being to downplay the incidents, excuse it all away, and pretend it is anomalous.
When I see a police officer kneel on George Floyd’s neck for eight minutes and forty-six seconds, I have a real problem it.
The difference between the two is that Black Lives Matter protestors seem to be increasingly violent as a movement while the police aren’t. But pointing that out gets one labeled a racist, denier, or worse.
There are bad police officers. We don’t need police body cameras to see similarly situated incidents between the police and white offenders tend to turn out better than with black offenders. Though police last year shot more white people in encounters than black people overall, per capita police encounters with black offenders are more likely to end badly.
It is something that needs to be addressed.
But also, it needs to be addressed based on individual circumstances. I need to note that because I have a hard time condemning the police over their handling of Jacob Blake. They told him to stay put, they attempted to tase him, they told him not to reach into his car, and he did anyway. He did not listen. I have a hard time condemning the police for that.
I have a hard time condemning police officers for incidents that play out over seconds, not minutes, where the people who were not there get to play armchair quarterback later. Not every violent encounter between police and a black person is because the police handled it wrong, but almost no one wants to let the facts come out before rioting.
We have seen the George Floyd situation. We know there are times the response from a police officer is wrong. But if we cannot blanketly condemn Black Lives Matter for its activists, we should not blanketly condemn the police.
There are problems in this country that need to be addressed. Racism is real in this country.
We also need to address the problem of people violently marching in the streets, harassing those eating dinner at restaurants, showing up at people’s homes to harass them, having politicians encourage that harassment, and trying to execute police officers in their cars.
We need to address why the media claims Donald Trump provokes violence with his rhetoric and never held Democrats to the same standard even after James Hodgkinson attempted the mass assassination of Republicans because he believed the Democrat rhetoric that Paul Ryan and the Republicans were trying to kill people.
If we aren’t willing to openly and honestly account for those things, I have to conclude all the handwringing over everything else is just political and none of the people pushing the outrage really care.