American Elephants

What Do They Believe They Are Protesting and Why? by The Elephant's Child

What has become clear in the wake of the death of Michael Brown, and the death of Eric Garner is that what happened would be no different if Michael Brown and Eric Garner were white, with all other circumstances being the same. If a very large young white man were walking down the middle of the street, a passing police officer would still have asked them to get out of the middle of the street. Everything else that happened between Officer Darrell Wilson and Michael Brown would have been no different. If you try to take a policeman’s gun away and charge him, you are asking for trouble. It is of course a tragedy.

The death of Eric Garner came about because he resisted arrest. Even his widow says race was not a factor in his death. What does have a lot more to do with it would seem to be an unfortunate order from the Mayor about cracking down on those who were selling single cigarettes on the street.

There have been other unnoticed or barely noticed cases since, one in which a black policeman killed a white man, another truly awful case in which four black and Hispanic teenagers attacked a man’s car with hammers, in a St Louis suburb. When he got out of his car, they attacked him. He was beaten to death with hammers. He was apparently a Bosnian immigrant in a Bosnian neighborhood. His name was Zemir Begic and he was 32 years old. The media was not interested.

Nor were they interested in the death of a white Waynesboro, Virginia  police Captain Kevin Quick, allegedly shot and killed by black gang members. Eric Holder has taken the death penalty off the table for the members of Bloods gang 99 Goon Syndicate. “The prosecutor said the Attorney General reviews each death penalty case at his kitchen table, often late at night.”

So the country has burst out in protests and demonstrations because of race, or because of police, or because of the unfairness of grand juries, or because of the unfairness of life. Who can make any sense of it? When the protests become riots, cars are set on fire, buildings burned and looters head for the technology stores to make off with big screen TVs.

The media has performed disgracefully, encouraging and fostering the mobs and rioters. Riots make attention-getting television, which is why the other killings have been ignored.

The Reverend Al Sharpton has long been a rabble-rouser, turning up whenever there is a rabble to arouse. He turns up whenever there is a case with a black victim, to stir things up. I was familiar only with Mr. Sharpton’s appearance at major riots, but when I looked him up on Wikipedia, I was astonished at just how extensive the list of protests was. Nearly one-quarter of American blacks support his efforts.

Attorney General Eric Holder has been straightforward about his feelings about race. He believes, he has said, that we need more conversation about race, and has been adamant about claiming that requiring voter photo ID is racist and intended to keep blacks from voting — although photo ID is required to visit the Attorney General’s Justice Department.

President Obama hauled out the race card in an interview on Black Entertainment Television which will be broadcast Monday evening:

“This is something that is deeply rooted in our society, it’s deeply rooted in our history. When you’re dealing with something as deeply rooted as racism or bias… you’ve got to have vigilance but you have to recognize that it’s going to take some time, and you just have to be steady so you don’t give up when we don’t get all the way there.” He warned, “This isn’t going to be solved overnight.”

Just what is “All the way there?” Obama has frequently played the race card when it was convenient. In January, he said “there’s no doubt that there’s some folks who just really dislike me because they don’t like the idea of a black president.” Well, probably there are, but I’ve never run across anyone who does. I run across a lot of people who are really opposed to Mr. Obama’s policies. Bill Clinton even accused Obama’s campaign of “playing the race card on me.”

Maybe it convinces Black Americans to support the Democrats if they are constantly claiming that the reason Black Americans can’t succeed is because of racist Republicans. Republicans have pretty much always been on the side of abolition, voting rights, civil rights, and freedom. An awful lot of white Americans voted for Barack Obama because he was black, and they believed that to be a good thing.

From what I can tell, many of the protesters are professional protesters who turn out whenever there is a little excitement. They usually have their pre-printed signs, and socialist or communist materials to pass out.


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