“Let the leftist cities burn,” some people say. Initially, I was one of them. However, the Cultural Revolution taking place isn’t stopping in Seattle or New York. According to the latest census data, Kenosha, Wisconsin’s population of 169,000 is 76 percent white and only 7 percent black. The city is prosperous, boasts a streetcar system despite its relatively small size, and has several museums and cultural attractions. It’s not Chicago, Baltimore, or Portland. Nonetheless, it was in flames last night because it’s impossible to enforce the law against blacks.
Police shot a black man, Jacob Blake. Video clearly shows Mr. Blake defying police orders and attempting to get into his car. Obviously, police did not know if Mr. Blake had a gun in the car or if he was going to run them down. Several tweets with the clip have already been taken down. It’s unclear whether Twitter did this or users did. The person who posted this clip says the shooting was unjustified. Judge for yourself.
Many attackers have shot police who let them reach to into their cars. These cases have nothing to do with race. It’s simply common sense that you can’t let a suspect either to grab a weapon or take control of a vehicle. You can’t let suspects get out of a car without permission. Cases that start normally can turn deadly. You also can’t rely on a taser or physical restraint to prevent a suspect from firing a weapon. Even in Mr. Blake’s case, officers tried physically to prevent him from getting into the car before they fired.
In one infamous case, Andrew Howard Brennan, a Vietnam war veteran suffering from PTSD, murdered Deputy Kyle Wayne Dinkheller. (Both men were white.) Deputy Dinkheller let Brennan reach into his car and grab a rifle. Dinkheller was even calling Brennan “sir” before he was murdered. Some instructors have reportedly used this video to train police officers. The state executed Brennan.
Given everything that’s happening today, Mr. Blake may have thought officers would be too restrained to shoot him. A recent study showed police officers are more hesitant to shoot black suspects than white suspects, probably because they don’t want to become media targets. These officers almost certainly felt threatened, but it makes no difference to most media. The headlines are variations on “police shoot unarmed black man in the back.”
- “Protests after Black man shot in the back by police in Wisconsin,” Al Jazeera, August 24, 2020
- “Wisconsin police shoot a Black man as his children watch from a vehicle, attorney says,” CNN, August 24, 2020
- “Wisconsin Cops Shoot Black Man in the Back as He’s Getting Into Car With Kids,” Daily Beast, August 24, 2020
Whether there were kids in the car is irrelevant, except possibly to show Mr. Blake’s contempt for their lives. Mr. Blake has a criminal record. There was an outstanding warrant for his arrest. (In 2015, a black man named Jacob Blake injured a police officer and was subdued with help from a police dog. Though the ages reportedly match, we can’t confirm with absolute certainty that this was the same Mr. Blake.)
Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, a Democrat, released a statement which said that, while he didn’t have all the details, he did “know for certain . . . that he is not the first Black man or person to have been shot or injured or mercilessly killed at the hands of individuals in law enforcement in our state or our country.” He also said that “we will demand” action to fight “the racism in our state and our country for far too long.” He’s already called a special legislative session to investigate law enforcement. The Milwaukee Police Association said he’s “pushing a false ideology” without knowing the facts. It’s hard to disagree.
Other leading Democrats:
Last night, rioters looted stores and spray-painted “BLM.” They lit cars on fire and caused explosions. Armed paramilitaries stopped police officers. If such violence came from the Right, Waco would look like a traffic stop.
The local Unitarian Universalist church supports Black Lives Matter. Its “faith” (its term) in BLM far surpasses its belief in the Christian god. Nonetheless, BLM signs didn’t earn the church a “passover.”
The National Guard is in the city and there’s a curfew tonight. But will there be the political will to enforce it? I suspect not. Joe Biden said the gunshots “pierce the soul of our nation.” America is not a nation. It’s a crumbling multiracial empire. It also may not have a soul. How many politicians demanded action when a black man executed five-year-old Cannon Hinnant?
No one seems to care about the officer injured with a brick last night, the businesses destroyed, and the people who will suffer because a criminal thought he didn’t have to obey the law. This can’t go on. We can’t function if routine police-work against blacks leads to rioting and violence. We can’t waste our national life babysitting these people. We need a divorce. We need a place of our own.