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10/29/2015

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https://www.commentarymagazine.com/.../james-comey-war.../

The Cost of a Liberal War on Police
JONATHAN S. TOBIN / OCT. 29, 2015

At the Democratic presidential debate earlier this month, the candidates were asked about the “black lives matter” meme. With the exception of Jim Webb, who would soon realize that he had wandered into the wrong party, all present on the stage genuflected in the direction of the racial hucksters who have led demonstrations around the nation in the last year demonizing police. For the left, this is not merely an exercise in political correctness. It is a feel-good ritual that allows all participants to demonstrate their opposition to racism. They do so confident in the belief that doing so comes at no cost to anyone. But what we have learned in the last year is that their posturing and pandering does come at a very high cost. The cost is borne by police who now feel more threatened than ever as they carry out their very dangerous jobs. Even worse than that, it is paid by the very members of minority communities that the “black lives matter” movement and their Democratic Party enablers pretend to care about, in the form of high crime and the consequent economic devastation that stems from insecurity.

Of course, liberals dismiss the notion that there is a war on police that is hurting the poor. But you don’t have to believe me or any other conservative who has repeatedly pointed this out since the riots in Ferguson, Missouri, and Baltimore last year. Last Friday, the man appointed by Barack Obama to be the head of the FBI made these same points. Here’s what FBI Director James Comey said in a speech at the University of Chicago excerpted by the Wall Street Journal:

I have spoken of 2014 in this speech because something has changed in 2015. Far more people are being killed in America’s cities this year than in many years. And let’s be clear: far more people of color are being killed in America’s cities this year. And it’s not the cops doing the killing.

He went on to diagnose the problem in stark language that cuts through the politically correct mush we have been served by the administration he serves and the mainstream media that serves as cheerleaders for the man who appointed him:

Nobody says it on the record, nobody says it in public, but police and elected officials are quietly saying it to themselves. And they’re saying it to me, and I’m going to say it to you. And it is the one explanation that does explain the calendar and the map and that makes the most sense to me.

Maybe something in policing has changed. In today’s YouTube world, are officers reluctant to get out of their cars and do the work that controls violent crime? Are officers answering 911 calls but avoiding the informal contact that keeps bad guys from standing around, especially with guns?
I spoke to officers privately in one big city precinct who described being surrounded by young people with mobile phone cameras held high, taunting them the moment they get out of their cars. They told me, “We feel like we’re under siege and we don’t feel much like getting out of our cars.” I’ve been told about a senior police leader who urged his force to remember that their political leadership has no tolerance for a viral video.
This is something that a lot of people have been saying in the last year as President Obama, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, and the entire roster of MSNBC race baiters have done their best to delegitimize police as armed racists. Crime rates have gone up in New York and Baltimore and in other places. But now that Comey has stated the plain truth about why this is happening, it’s no longer possible to pretend that such complaints are merely the ravings of right-wing radio talkers. It’s the truth, and it’s high time somebody acknowledged it.

But don’t expect those hard truths to come from this administration.

What we are witnessing in many of our urban areas is a man-made disaster that is, in some ways, very much the equal of the Katrina catastrophe that Democrats always wave like a bloody shirt in the face of former President George W. Bush.

There are instances of police misconduct in this country and, where proved, those involved deserve to be punished. But when our president and even the top law enforcement official in the nation like former Attorney General Eric Holder lend their moral authority to those who only goal is to undermine police, this is not a victimless crime.

Communities in which police do not feel safe going about their duties or that the legal system will not back them up when they do so in good faith are, in effect, being deprived of the protection of the law. That means ordinary citizens — black, Hispanic and white — are at the mercy of criminals and thugs. Businesses, jobs and opportunity will disappear from such communities. That is what Obama, Holder, de Blasio and the others who have been allowing people like Al Sharpton and “black lives matter” activists to intimidate the police.

The Obama Justice Department continues to devote its efforts to proving that American police are unjust, alleging bias against minorities in traffic stops among other things. Statistics seems to bear out these charges, although the context is often lacking. For all of the national outrage about Ferguson, the more we learned the facts about that case, the more it was clear that the killing of Michael Brown resulted from a justified shooting and was not murder. But even if we accept that the police make mistakes or have acted to disadvantage minorities in some communities, attention also needs to be paid to the process by which police are being deterred from protecting these same minority populations. But that’s exactly what has happened as Obama and the liberals have waged their war on police by promoting a narrative in which racism is the norm rather than the exception.

I don’t expect that Comey’s comments will have any impact on the administration or the Democrats as even those who initially rejected the “black lives matter” mantra like Martin O’Malley, now humble themselves before its advocates. Black lives do matter, but more black lives are put at risk by attacking police than by police misconduct. As Comey concluded:

If what we are seeing in America this year continues, we will be back to talking about how law enforcement needs to help rescue black neighborhoods from the grip of violence. All lives matter too much for us to let that happen. We need to figure out what’s happening and deal with it now.

Unfortunately, the war on police being waged by the president and the Justice Department Comey serves is a big part of the problem. It won’t be solved until our government realizes the terrible cost of liberal rhetoric.

Amen, Fred.

And unfortunately, we have a bunch of nincompoops here in Greensboro-- in the media, within city government, in the community and online-- who are just as bad as those described in the article you excerpt.

Those Annoying White Racists Are At It Again...

The Times alerts its readers to the latest abuse of white privilege:

In Heroin Crisis, White Families Seek Gentler War on Drugs

http://justoneminute.typepad.com/main/2015/10/those-annoying-white-racists-are-at-it-again.html

By KATHARINE Q. SEELYE OCT. 30, 2015

...

When the nation’s long-running war against drugs was defined by the crack epidemic and based in poor, predominantly black urban areas, the public response was defined by zero tolerance and stiff prison sentences. But today’s heroin crisis is different. While heroin use has climbed among all demographic groups, it has skyrocketed among whites; nearly 90 percent of those who tried heroin for the first time in the last decade were white.

And the growing army of families of those lost to heroin — many of them in the suburbs and small towns — are now using their influence, anger and grief to cushion the country’s approach to drugs, from altering the language around addiction to prodding government to treat it not as a crime, but as a disease.

I foresee a long, cold winter for objectivity as the New York "Black Lives Matter" Times views every story through this new prism.

But do let me note - it is quite obvious that, forty years into it, the public attitude towards our War on Drugs has changed.

As to the notion that the crack epidemic started this, my goodness, what else do we need to forget? Richard Nixon declared the War on Drugs in the early 1970s. New York's Rockefeller drug laws were passed under - wait for it - Governor Rockefeller in 1973.

And lest you wonder, in the 1970s heroin was a scourge in inner city black communities and there were prominent black leaders, such as Charles Rangel, who were all in favor of tougher drug laws and more vigorous policing.

Here is WNYC News:

In March 1971, New York City faced a growing heroin epidemic. That year, Charles Rangel — then just 41 years old — was part of a delegation of newly-elected black congressman who won a closed-door meeting at the White House with President Richard Nixon.

It was a historic moment. Nixon had already begun the process of criminalizing drugs in new ways, ramping up the federal effort to crack down on dealers and addicts. Over the decades that followed, those policies would send millions of young black men to prison. Some African American leaders were already voicing doubts and concerns.

But during the meeting, Rangel didn’t urge Nixon to rethink his drug war strategy. Instead, the Harlem Democrat urged Nixon to ramp up drug-fighting efforts more aggressively, more rapidly.

“We could bring a halt to this condition which is killin off American youth,” Rangel told Nixon.

In their encounter, secretly taped by Nixon’s White House recording system and broadcast here for the first time, Rangel called on Nixon to use America’s military and diplomatic power to stop the importation of drugs.

He urged the the president to view the spread of heroin and cocaine as a “national crisis” and warned that if Nixon didn’t act fast, more Americans would demand that narcotics be legalized.

“It seems to me that more white America is saying, let’s legalize drugs because we can’t deal with the problem,” Rangel cautioned.

...

Rangel would later write warmly of his partnership with Nixon on drug war issues. “Nixon was tough on drugs,” he recalled in his 2007 memoir. “[We] worked closely together on what was the beginning of our international war on drugs.”

In the decade that that followed, Rangel himself emerged as one of the black community's toughest and most persistent voices on drug issues, pushing for more money and manpower for the police, and for more military drug interdiction overseas.

He lobbied for the creation of a special House subcommittee on narcotics and then served as its chairman, using the post to support creation of the Drug Enforcement Agency and a national Drug Czar.

Under his leadership, many members of the Congressional Black Caucus voted in favor of some of the most punitive drug-war era legislation, expanding mandatory minimum sentences, funding more prisons and boosting penalties for crack cocaine.

In a profile in Ebony magazine in 1989, Rangel bragged about pressuring Nixon and President Ronald Reagan to get even tougher on drugs, blasting them for what he called a “lackadaisical attitude.”

Even as questions and doubts about the drug war grew, Rangel wrote editorials mocking the idea of drug decriminalization and describing narcotics as a "genocidal" poison.

It is tricky to track the players without a scorecard but do keep in mind - to some black leaders (e.g., Stokely Carmichael, Ebony June 1970 "Blacks Declare War On Dope") the availability of drugs was a white plot to weaken and enslave the black community and the police role was to look the other way. Locking up the dealers need not be entirely at odds with that, but why bother?

And the Times reviewed a recent book, "‘Black Silent Majority,’ by Michael Javen Fortner, describing black support for tough-on-crime policing. The gist - "Black Lives Matter" notwithstanding, it is not only rightwing pundits that have noticed that the biggest victims of crime are blacks; back in the day many black leaders noticed the same thing.

Is a picture worth a thousand words? From the 1970 Ebony article:

HarlemDrugs

Let me highlight "We are calling for Federal troops, state and local law enforcement forces to move into the streets of Harlem and New York City now and clean it up".

I should add that education and treatment were also emphasized as part of this 1970 black war on drugs.

But today it is all a story of white privilege, racism and indifference. Whatever.

DON'T USE THAT PRIVILEGED LOGIC ON ME... from the Times story I infer that some people think a middle class kid with a family support structure, no criminal record other than the drug use and the financial means to afford rehab should be treated differently from a kid from a violent neighborhood and broken home who is supporting his drug habit by a mix of petty and violent crime. Yeah, go figure.

Meanwhile, this former urban youth was in a drug diversion program until he shot a cop and this nice suburban addict killed his parents and left their bodies hidden in the wilds of Connecticut. Which proves nothing, since anecdotes make for bad policy, but still.

Posted by Tom Maguire on October 31

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