BLM militants smashed police cars, assaulted police officers, vandalized police stations, and looted local businesses in Minneapolis on Sunday night. Video footage shows the pillagers ransacking shoe stores, auto parts retailers, pharmacies, dollar stores, and even pizza restaurants. As we have learned in recent months, no ointment can numb the pain of systemic racism quite like an armful of stolen merchandise.
The thing that caused the latest round of rioting is, as always, the depravity and moral degeneracy of the rioters themselves. But the ostensible excuse for the chaos is the death of a man named Daunte Wright, who was shot and killed by Brooklyn Center Police during a traffic stop earlier in the afternoon. Not many details were available about the incident, and body cam footage had not been released, when the riots began. The details never matter to the rioters. BLM has its narrative, which is always the same narrative, and is adjusted only to include the few sketchy and superficial details.
After a night of destruction, Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon released the body cam footage and offered a more detailed explanation of the circumstances surrounding the shooting. The footage shows two officers attempting to arrest Wright on an outstanding warrant after a traffic stop. Wright breaks from their grasp and climbs back into his vehicle. A female officer then shoots Wright before he drives away, wounded, and later dies. Gannon explained that the officer fired her gun by mistake, thinking that it was her taser. On the tape, that same officer can be heard shouting, “Oh, sh*t. I just shot him!”
By all accounts, the shooting appears to be a tragic accident, for which the officer might be held criminally liable. It does not appear to be the sort of racist execution that BLM has made it out to be. Indeed, none of the police shootings protested by BLM have lived up to that billing. What we have learned time and again is that the rioters don’t ultimately care what happened. Even less do they care about “police brutality” or “fascism” in general terms. Least of all do they feel any pain over the loss of human life. Their anger is performance. Their tears are for show. It is, for most of these rioters, all one big stage play and the only thing that’s real amid this whole charade is the physical destruction it causes.
If that seems like a harsh assessment, consider the fact that between January 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021 there have been 507 white people shot to death by police, compared to 271 black people. And yet nobody knows the name of any of those white people, save one: Ashli Babbitt. She was an unarmed woman shot in the neck and killed by Capitol Police on January 6. We know her name not because BLM rallied to her cause, but because they so conspicuously refused to do so. Indeed, her death was more likely to be celebrated by the very people who’d spent the previous year pretending to care about the killing of unarmed civilians.
Aside from Babbitt, the names of the other white people killed by police are known only to their families and friends. Not one mass protest has been staged on their behalf. Not one riot has broken out. Not one building burned in their honor. Not one pair of shoes looted from a Foot Locker. It is a curious thing that those who are still overwhelmed by the pain of George Floyd’s death, a year later, could be so selective in their pain. Was Floyd more deserving of our mourning? Was Daunte Wright?
The excuse most commonly given for this disparity in coverage and outrage is that, while black people are killed by police less often, when you account for population disparities, they are still more likely to be killed by police. That statistic needs context, however. Yes, black people are disproportionately likely to be killed by police, but they are also disproportionately likely to commit violent crime. The more violent crime a community commits, the more arrests there will be, and the more opportunities for arrests to turn lethal.
But that is all almost beside the point. Even if we put the above qualification to the side for a moment, a question still remains: How does the proportional racial disparity in police shootings explain or justify the fact that the people who protest police brutality never protest alleged brutality against white people? Does the fact that it happens proportionally less often mean that it’s not an outrage or a tragedy? Does the fact that black people are more likely to be killed by the police mean that George Floyd’s death warrants a year of public wailing and mourning while the death of a white man warrants absolutely no reaction whatsoever? If a smaller percentage of white people are killed by cops, does that mean that those deaths should account for zero percent of the riots? It appears that the Black Lives Matter crowd really does believe that only black lives matter. What other conclusion can one draw?
Well, here is another possible conclusion. And, I think, the correct one. Black Lives Matter is a purely ideological organization and movement. Only those deaths which are useful to their ideology can be acknowledged. Non-useful police killings can either be ignored or actively defended, as the political circumstances warrant. The outrage that tears our cities apart is a hollow, politically calculated outrage. It is an outrage that sits on its hands, waiting to spring into action only on behalf of those with skin tones dark enough to politically justify the reaction.
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.