It was inevitable as death and taxes. Enter Tea Party Nation with the cry #whitelivesmatter. Because this is all about them. On Sunday, a black youth shot a police officer investigating a robbery. The black youth, Xavier McDonald, was killed, the officer, John Downs, left in stable condition with a bullet wound to the leg.
What does this have to do with the death of Michael Brown, gunned down in the street by Officer Darren Wilson? Or with the death of Eric Garner, choked to death by Officer Daniel Pantaleo? Everything, apparently. According to Judson Phillips on Monday, Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton wouldn’t go rushing to Nashboro Village, Tennessee:
No, you won’t see the poverty pimps and race grievance guru’s out on this one because this story does not fit the narrative.
McDonald was the suspect in a robbery and not surprisingly had a juvenile record. Where are Sharpton and Jackson? Are they coming to Nashville to thank the police officer for serving his community? Are they coming to express their gratitude that there will not be another police funeral?
No, they will not talk about this case nor will the drive by media. This case will be conveniently forgotten about.
For people like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, only certain lives matter.
Given Phillips’ hashtag, #whitelivesmatter, you would think a white youth had been gunned down by a black police officer. Nothing like that though. The implication seems to be that Jackson and Sharpton don’t care about white lives, but no white lives were lost.
Michael Brown wasn’t even a suspect in a robbery when he was gunned down by Darren Wilson. He was jaywalking. Eric Garner was suspected of selling tax-free cigarettes. Xavier McDonald was suspected of a robbery.
The problem in all three cases is that our judicial system demands suspects be arrested, not executed in the streets for crimes that have not been proven. You investigate a crime, you arrest a suspect, you try the suspect, and then the courts decide guilt and innocence. Only at this point is a criminal punished for his or her crime.
We could go back further, to the case of Trayvon Martin. His offense? Walking down the street. He wasn’t even jaywalking when vigilante George Zimmerman gunned him down.
Judson Phillips apparently saw this incident and thought he had a point to make, but for the life of me I cannot see what it is.
The difference between these cases and that of Xavier McDonald is that McDonald apparently shot at a police officer who tried to pat him down, an attempt to disable him with a taser failed, and only at this point was fire was returned. In other words, the police did not see him and just grab him and choke him to death or gun him down in his home.
Thus, his death is nothing like that of Michael Brown, who was unarmed, or Eric Garner, who was unarmed, or for that matter, Trayvon Martin, who was unarmed. Yes, a white officer was wounded, but he was not killed.
An Associated Press report makes the very same point:
McDonald is black and the injured officer is white. Recent police killings involving white officers and black suspects have made national headlines and prompted widespread protests regarding police brutality, though the suspects in those cases were unarmed.
So far, it appeared the killing of McDonald, who was armed and shot an officer, was not generating the same outrage.
Police spokesman Don Aaron told the media Monday that, “What happened here is starkly different than what happened in Missouri, and what happened in New York.”
Right. Got that. The AP went on to say,
The Rev. James Thomas, a pastor at Jefferson Street Missionary Baptist Church and one of a group of black church leaders who meet Chief Anderson every month, expressed a similar sentiment.
“We understand this young man shot a policeman,” Thomas said in a telephone interview. “Someone talked to the young man’s mother and she said he wanted to kill her too.”
Anderson said at the news conference that McDonald’s mother has sent her condolences to the family of officer Downs.
Anderson said the shooting involved “multiple tragedies,” including that of a young man who “lost his way.”
What, exactly then, is Phillips’ point? What is with this #whitelivesmatter deal, other than the opportunity to assail @blacklivesmatter and take a dig at Jackson and Sharpton, and at blacks in general?
Even if a white man had been gunned down by black police officers, it would not have even been in the same ballpark of what is taking place around this country:
As Daily Kos points out, blacks are disproportionately the victims of police shootings. In 2012, the percentage of people killed by police who were black was 91% in Chicago, 87% in New York, NY, 100% in Rockford, Ill, and 100% in Saginaw, MI. The corresponding percentate for whites are 4%, 4%, 0%, and 0%.
People like Phillips will claim that this is the result of blacks being criminals and having no respect for authority, and indeed, certain police departments seem to be claiming that if you don’t want to be killed or raped by the police, you should consider obeying the law.
But the fact is, blacks don’t get the benefit of the doubt whites do. Here is how it looks to the public, because it is true: Whites get arrested. Blacks get gunned down. A black can be gunned down for no reason or any reason, while a white guy can beat up two cops and have nothing worse happen than a gun pointed at him:
Yes, Phillips is apparently right: #whitelivesmatter. More than #blacklivesmatter, at any rate.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.