In 2014, New York Mayor Bill De Blasio ripped the NYPD after the death of Eric Garner, who was subjected to a submission hold by the police during an arrest for selling “loose” cigarettes, and then died of a heart attack. De Blasio went on national television and said, “What parents have done for decades who have children of color, especially young men of color, is train them to be very careful when they have…an encounter with a police officer.” He then said that he’d told his own son, who is black, about the supposed racism of the police: “With Dante, very early on, we said, ‘Look, if a police officer stops you, do everything he tells you to do. Don’t move suddenly. Don’t reach for your cellphone. Because we knew, sadly, there’s a greater chance it might be misinterpreted if it was a young man of color. It’s different for a white child. That’s just the reality in this country.”
That isn’t the reality in this country – a new study reported by The New York Times says that black people are significantly less likely to be shot by police than white people in similar circumstances.
But those lies matter.
Days after De Blasio’s statements, two NYPD officers, Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos, were murdered in cold blood by criminal Ismaaiyl Brinsley, who pledged to put “wings on pigs.” When De Blasio attended the funeral for Ramos, hundreds of officers openly turned their backs on him. De Blasio wasn’t responsible for the deaths of the officers, but he was certainly responsible for slandering them before their murders.
In Dallas, officers should do the same to President Obama.
Obama isn’t responsible for the murder of Dallas police officers, as I wrote last week. But, like De Blasio, he is responsible for slandering them before their murders. Hours before the massacre, Obama said that police shootings in Louisiana and Minnesota – both of which were under investigation, and about which Obama said he knew little – were “not isolated incidents. They’re symptomatic of a broader set of racial disparities that exist in our criminal justice system.” Obama then reeled off a list of statistics designed to show systemic racism against black people by cops – ignoring, of course, higher rates of criminality in the black community. He added, “when incidents like this occur, there’s a big chunk of our fellow citizenry that feels as if because of the color of their skin they are not being treated the same. And that hurts. And that should trouble all of us.”
But there are a large number of cops who feel – rightly – that because of the color of their uniform, they aren’t treated the same. The President doesn’t wait for evidence before charging them with racism. He doesn’t separate off the bad apples from the rest of the police community. He simply talks about institutional racism, providing no solutions, and then postures for the cameras.
And after the Dallas massacre, President Obama is still pretending bewilderment at the motivation for the shootings: “I think it’s very hard to untangle the motives of the shooter,” Obama said on Saturday. He had no such problems ascribing motivations to police officers without evidence.
He’s been doing this for years. Back in 2014, just before the shootings of Liu and Ramos, Obama condemned the cops, saying that racism was “something deeply rooted in our society; it’s deeply rooted in our history.”
There is a reason that the vicious, vacuous Black Lives Matter movement has taken off under President Obama: he’s incentivized them, backed them, supported their evidence-free argument that the criminal justice system is racist. And that movement, with Democratic help, has dramatically polarized race relations in the country. That has real, predictable effects, including less trust of police in black communities and greater anger at police departments.
Cops have every right to be angry at the president who slanders them. They should show it instead of allowing President Obama to use the funerals for the officers he slandered for his own brand of political agitprop.