After rioting broke out in the Watts section of Los Angeles in August 1965, concerned Republicans persuaded Ronald Reagan to run for governor on a stern “law and order” platform. The former movie star did exactly that, trouncing California Gov. Pat Brown by 15 percentage points, the biggest prize among the eight governorships that the GOP picked up in 1966. And the Gipper was on his way to the White House.
We face a similar moment today. We need more Republicans, like Gov. Chris Christie, calling for an end to the mayhem outside of St. Louis and reminding the public, as then-Gov. Reagan advised the GOP’s 1968 platform committee: “We must reject the idea that every time a law’s broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker.” Spare us from Sen. Rand Paul, who parroted the phony line in Time: “Given the racial disparities in our criminal justice system, it is impossible for African-Americans not to feel like their government is particularly targeting them.” That’s the tale the mainstream media want Americans to believe.
While the Kentucky senator considers the liberal press his base – much like his colleague John McCain did in 2000 – the media and their accomplices continue to spin the Ferguson lawlessness as the latest chapter of their never-ending anti-American trope that casts African-Americans as permanent victims of a racist and bigoted country that never mended its ways. John Gaskin III of the St. Louis County NAACP, for example, has now declared Missouri “the most racist state in the country.”
So as “peaceful protesters” have destroyed all sorts of retail businesses, the Missouri governor and the U.S. attorney general, both Democrats, vent indignation over the release of footage showing a 6’4”, 300-pound Michael Brown roughing a diminutive immigrant cashier during a convenience-store robbery. That’s because the evidence doesn’t fit the mythology of an oppressive and hateful white America that the global Left and the Democratic party have preached since the assassination of JFK, a Cold Warrior, by a left-wing defector to the Soviet Union.
Indeed, media kingpins, who handle Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson with kid gloves, are on a constant witch-hunt for another Rodney King video. That nine-minute tape, too, is instructive: The only clip the media played in 1991 – over and over – was 20 seconds that framed the cops as the bad guys. Yet the entire video reveals the officers putting themselves in harm’s way to restrain King when they could have just shot him. For that restraint, the cops were subject to relentless prosecution, once for assault in state court for which they were acquitted, and once again for violating King’s civil rights in federal court for which they were found guilty. And Paul claims our biggest problem is the militarization of local police responding to civil upheaval.
We also need to slow down. In the age of mobile devices and instant news, everyone wants the information and answers immediately, even when that isn’t possible. And it is really hard to stay objective when the “answers” are created by a media that is hell bent on ratings.
With Ferguson, for instance, I am trying really hard to not pick a side. I found this easier to do by choosing my media sources accordingly… little liberal, little conservative, because the answers they are coming up with are clashing with each other. But most won’t do this… most people have a news source – be it liberal or conservative – and they stick to that alone.
And it would be nice if the media allowed the investigation to at least begin before coming up with all the answers and telling us what to think. But that will never happen.
We don’t have a whole lot of information about the Michael Brown shooting, let’s face it. We think we do, but we don’t. What we have is a lot of opinions and theories, but not a whole lot of concrete facts. And because of this, you have people lashing out on both sides of the opinion fence. Rioters. Politicians. Race baiters. Pundits. News casters. You have people burning down the city, and you have people begging for peace. You have people who have decided the cop is guilty and you have people who have decided Michael Brown was guilty.
I don’t think we have enough information to lay blame on anyone, be it the cop, the system, Michael Brown, Brown’s parents, evil black rifles, or little green men from Mars. We certainly don’t have enough information that we should be using to fire up either side of the debate.
We want law and order. But before we can have law and order, we need to re-learn how to slow down. Let the investigation progress, done by whoever the state deems fit to do it (state cops are a great choice, in my opinion). Hold blame, hold judgement, and stop firing up whatever side you’ve taken. Don’t take a side. You don’t have the information you think you have.