Rep. Maxine Waters (D – Calif) laid it out neatly Friday night on a visit to Minneapolis, where she apparently went to stir a pot of racial hatred that was already on boil without her help, following the accidental killing of felonious bail jumper Daunte Wright (first-degree aggravated robbery, fleeing from police, and possession of a handgun without a permit): “We got to stay on the street,” Ms. Waters yelled at the mob gathered in the suburb of Brooklyn Center, “get more confrontational!” Yes, exactly what the sore-beset city needs, as it awaits this week’s verdict in the trial of Derek Chauvin, about which she added: “I am very hopeful… that we will get a verdict that says guilty, guilty, guilty. If we do not, we will not go away.”
Former police officer Chauvin is charged with Murder 2, Murder 3, and Manslaughter all predicated on varying degrees of intention and recklessness in the death of George Floyd, the internationally acclaimed saint-of-oppressed-peoples who died under Mr. Chauvin’s knee in an indelible video shared ‘round the world last May. The video has the status of a religious icon, portraying, as it seems to, the vivid distillation of the black experience in America: pure, unalloyed, hateful, murderous subjugation.
The trouble is what’s not in the indelible picture: Mr. Floyd’s prodigious ingestion of the world’s hardest narcotic, fentanyl, at a level likely to cause death, plus methedrine, plus THC, on top of a 90-percent blockage of a coronary artery, and other cardiopathies, and Covid-19, all according to the official medical examiner. Also, as it happened in the instance of his arrest, Mr. Floyd was failing to follow police instructions, and acting dangerously deranged — behavior apt to lead to police restraint, under which he died, rest his soul.
So, now it will be left to the jury to sort all this out, under the threat of getting “doxed” (having their home addresses disclosed) by the Black Lives Matter org, as well as following the $27-million lawsuit settlement on the Floyd family for “wrongful death” by the Minneapolis City Council before the trial commenced — not exactly a propitious lead-in for a fair outcome. One might even view the public expressions of black opinion leaders and politicians as coercive — but then coercion is the animating spirit of liberal Wokery, the wish and the will to punish at all costs.
In any case, the fine spring weather around the country invites the young and energetic to caper angrily in the streets after a harsh winter of lockdowns. The mobs will turn out, things will burn, businesses will get looted (and destroyed), and people will get hurt. So it will be for two reasons: groups of people follow social scripts and societies give tacit permission for the acting-out of feelings — in this case, feelings of grievance that demand retribution and vengeance.
What’s actually at issue here is whether black people in America really want to join with the other ethnic groups present in the land in a national common culture — that is, a consensus about behavior, ceremonies, and manners — or would rather opt out of it, oppose it, or violently destroy what’s left of it. The key to these questions is how to explain the failure-to-thrive of a large black demographic despite the apparent victories of a long civil rights campaign, colossal expenditures of tax money for assistance, and affirmative action galore. I would explain it as the malign influence of neurotic white liberalism acting on the aforesaid black ambivalence about joining in or remaining apart from that common culture.
The upshot, for now, is that white liberalism has given black America permission to act violently and destructively, to disobey the law, to oppose officers attempting to enforce the law, and to justify the whole package of uncivil behavior on the grounds that “systemic racism” and “white supremacy” are the forces that keep black Americans from thriving. The script for all this prevails because liberalism cannot otherwise explain its own failure to uplift black America over many years of sedulous striving. They are left disappointed, ashamed, and guilty, and neurotically give themselves permission to support black hostility and hatred against white people as a form of self-punishment. The catch is that not all white people in America are neurotic liberals and they are not in favor of continuing white self-punishment.
The question at hand is how much longer this crazy script will be allowed to run. It appears that the country is about evenly split between those in favor of promoting black hostility and those disinclined to further submission. It’s up to American political leadership to decide, and for now the liberals are the party holding the levers of power — government, in essence, representing the blunt force that determines which way things go. And, at the head of this government sits the inert and tractable Joe Biden, who seems to have had it decided for him.
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