Inflammatory rhetoric is to blame for any subsequent atrocity — unless it’s our inflammatory rhetoric. More specifically, we should credit a mass-murderer’s self-description of his motivation unless he cites something we said:
[A]ccording to the (black) police chief of Dallas, the killer told police who cornered him that Black Lives Matter got him riled up about white cops. Again, that’s certainly not enough to blame BLM, but it’s more than the BLM loudmouths had when they blamed everyone to the right of Pol Pot for Orlando.
(Rod Dreher, emphasis added) Dreher may be too critical of BLM sometimes, but this one was fair.
The New York Times played that game, too.
Speaking of recent race-tinged incidents, there are elements so deranged that they will always insist on twisting President Obama’s words. It’s so bad that even James Taranto can’t stand it:
Meanwhile, the president has come in for harsh criticism from the right. City Journal’s Myron Magnet:
True to form, Obama went into grievance-mongering mode on July 7. . . . . His familiar conclusion: “If you add it all up, the African American and Hispanic population, who make up only 30 percent of the general population, make up more than half of the incarcerated population. Now, these are facts. And 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.” . . .
If you want to ignite race riots, a sure-fire way to do it is to stir up black hatred and suspicion of cops, which will in turn make cops warier of blacks and more trigger-happy, and so on, until an explosion occurs. So thanks, President Obama. You have set back American race relations by 50 years.
The National Interest’s Robert Merry recalls Obama’s response to the Ferguson, Mo., riots in 2014:
In the midst of it, President Obama weighed in with ill-considered remarks that positioned himself as the arbiter of just where the proper balance should be struck in the fast-moving and perilous standoff between thousands of protesters, with significant looting and rock-throwing going on, and the authorities charged with ensuring that this highly charged situation didn’t flip out of control and lead to serious bloodshed. His admonitory words, directed at both protesters and local government officials, implied a moral equivalence of the two sides, which served to undermine the standing of local officials.
Some of the criticism is well placed. In particular, it would be better for Obama (or any president) to speak in soothing generalities and avoid opining on matters that have yet to be investigated.
But we’d like to offer a qualified defense of the president. It seems to us his statement that “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” is undeniably true, and for him not to acknowledge it in some way would be a breach of faith with black voters.
Just so. And you have to be some kind of brazen to set out the quote in print and then immediately issue an obviously unfounded indictment for inciting hatred of police.
I assume he knows his audience, though I hadn’t thought of City Journal as unhinged.
Whether our next President be Hillary or Donald, I’ll miss a President who, although he could also stick it in and twist it, knew when to speak healing words, too.
At some point, I saw pointed out that right-leaning sources picture Obama with darker skin than do progressive source. Damned if I know just what shade he is — or if I care.
But it does seem as if someone is darkening his skin for sinister effect or lightening it for, er, the opposite of sinister effect. Either way, is it not (a) racist or (b) assuming that one’s countrymen are racist?
Something dreadful has happened. Like police not releasing names until family is notified, I can’t publicly share what I know.
It hits me because I know most of those most closely involved. But here’s my mood, in song.
That’s all for now.
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“In learning as in traveling and, of course, in lovemaking, all the charm lies in not coming too quickly to the point, but in meandering around for a while.” (Eva Brann)