Sunday, June 14, 2020

The Newest Absolute (UPDATED)

     The Left is fond of absolutes. Not all absolutes, mind you; just the ones it finds politically profitable in its unending quest for power.

     For a while, the Left’s favored absolute was a peculiar approach to freedom of expression: Mario Savio’s “Filthy Language Movement.” That didn’t have much impact, probably because America has too many Navy veterans for a few four-letter words to shock us much. But then came the next absolute: sexual freedom without consequences, which reached its apogee with Roe v. Wade and the Supreme Court’s sanctification of abortion.

     Time marches on, and so did the Left. Pretty soon it proclaimed the right to “affordable housing,” and the right to a “living wage,” the right to proclaim your own “gender identity,” and of course we all know about the right not to be offended (a.k.a. the demand for a “safe space” that has swelled to encompass the entire nation). Americans have been frankly staggered by all these “rights,” for which no basis can be found anywhere except in the Left’s whiny insistence upon them.

     Recent events have brought us a new absolute, one that the Left’s master strategists probably think will crown their victory over us Normals:

The right of non-whites to do:
Whatever they please,
To whomever and whatever they please,
And suffer no negative consequences.

     You probably think I’m kidding about that. I’m not:

     Atlanta police were called to a local Wendy’s restaurant Friday night on University Avenue where a man was passed-out in his vehicle in the drive-thru. After police arrived Rayshard Brooks, 27, was given a field sobriety test which he reportedly failed. Two officers then told Mr. Brooks he was under arrest.

     Mr. Brooks then struggled with police officers as they attempted to handcuff him.

     The struggle escalated and Mr. Brooks is seen on video fighting with the two officers and gaining a taser in the fight.

     Mr. Brooks ran from the two officers who pursued him.

     During the chase Mr. Brooks turned and fired the taser at the police. One of the officers fired his handgun at Mr. Brooks who later died in the hospital. Both officers were put on leave while the shooting is investigated by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI).

     So Brooks, who had already assaulted an officer and stolen his Taser, ran from the police, turned and fired the Taser at them. One cop fired his service pistol in reply, fatally wounding this miscreant.

     So far, it sounds as if it was just one more unfortunate encounter between police and a lawbreaker, in which the lawbreaker, by his own actions, reaped an impromptu execution. But what followed?

  • The mayor of Atlanta immediately declared the shooting “unjustified.”
  • Unruly, riotous protests immediately followed.
  • The Wendy’s where the police first found Rayshard Brooks passed-out-drunk behind the wheel was attacked and burned down.

     Need I tell you of Rayshard Brooks’ race? How about the race of Keisha Lance Bottoms, the mayor of Atlanta?

     Maura Dowling asks this question:

     Do they [the cops] have the right to use force if the accused is a white person? Just wondering.

     But of course, for asking it, Miss Dowling will undoubtedly be called a “racist.”

     The moral of the tale should be clear: Negroes are to be held immune from police action. Failure to honor that immunity is grounds for a violent, property-destroying riot. Nor does the property to be destroyed need to be at all relevant to the incident that triggers the riot.

     I said Negroes, but the Left will surely insist that this newest absolute also applies to other pet minorities...and to its street thugs, of course.

     This is happening, to some degree, in every American city of substantial size. The administrations of those cities are uniformly Democrat. Those cities’ police forces are restrained by orders from above; they are effectively rendered incapable of protecting the persons and property of the law-abiding. The rioters can do as they please, having been placed de facto above the law.

     Moreover, the Left has declared its intention to spread its “protests” from the urban areas into the suburbs and exurbs. Black Lives Matter. AntiFa. Black Bloc.

     President Trump has threatened to use federal troops to quell this obvious, well coordinated insurrection. For that he’s been castigated by every major media organ. In the idiom of a friend, they’ve called him “everything but white.” Whether those calumnies have caused him to stay his hand, I cannot say. But I can say this: The United States of America is no longer a nation governed by law. It is now a nation where some persons, at least in some locales, are deemed innately and absolutely above the law, owing to their race or ethnicity. Anything done to them in service to the laws that bind the rest of us is cause for a protest destructive rampage.

     Quoth Matt Walsh:

     There is no bridge that can connect the Left to the Right. The differences are too deep, too wide. For unity to occur, one side or the other must simply abandon almost everything they believe and profess, and join the ranks of the other. That is not likely to happen any time soon. So the divisions will remain, and grow deeper, and we will be less united over time.

     I don’t know where to go from here, or how to fix it, or if it can be fixed at all, but I know that any path forward must begin with an honest assessment of the situation. This is my honest assessment, for what it’s worth.

     It’s my assessment, too.

     I think I’ll accelerate the timetable for our relocation to Idaho.

     UPDATE: I’ve received some email dissenting from the above. One correspondent was particularly incensed about Brooks being arrested for a malum prohibitum: i.e., an offense that’s an offense simply because a legislature declared it to be one, rather than a malum in se: an offense in which an objective injury or wrong is done to someone. That misses the point. Brooks did not die because he failed a sobriety test; he died because he:

  • Resisted arrest;
  • Struck at least one of the cops;
  • Snatched one cop’s Taser;
  • Tried to flee;
  • And then pointed the Taser at a pursuing cop.

     The cops were doing what they’re charged with doing under the existing law. Brooks had passed out in the drive-through at a Wendy’s, thereby infringing on the restaurant’s property rights and its ability to conduct business1. He proved to be drunk, and as he was behind the wheel of an auto at a place other than his residence or an associated parking spot, ipso facto he’d been driving while intoxicated2. He then resisted arrest3, struck one of the cops4, stole a Taser5, and tried to use that Taser as a weapon6 against the police in pursuit. That’s a minimum of five acts – 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 – that are against the law everywhere, and one – 1 – that’s considered actionable in nearly every American jurisdiction.

     It is not for the municipal police of Atlanta to repeal the Georgia state law against DWI. The cops were doing their duty in performing an arrest. Once an arrest is in progress, for the detainee to resist, fight back, snatch a cop’s weapon, and threaten him with it are deeds that cannot be waved aside. Whether maintaining a public police force is a good or a bad thing is an entirely separate subject, as is the rightness or wrongness of laws against driving while intoxicated. It was by his own actions that Rayshard Brooks, who had no excuse for not knowing better, invited his death.