By Guest Columnist, Michael Ceremello – June 2, 2020
I began writing this column a couple of weeks ago due to the unanimity of opinion in the Ahmaud Arbery case. Due to the continuing problems stemming from the various Minnesota police agencies involved, it is now more appropriate and timely than ever. While I have no problem with the necessary evil of the police and government, I do have a problem with “bullies with badges” and the liberals who continue to not hold them accountable throughout the justice system.
Let’s get uncomfortable. I want to talk about a subject which many can’t handle. It is time to redefine exactly what it is and who is guilty of it. Let’s also examine the hypocrisy or when it is acceptable. First, let’s talk about racism’s reality.
What is bringing this to the forefront today is the Ahmaud Arbery case in Georgia. This is not simply about the indisputable fact that the authorities declined to press charges until a video of the incident was published. This is about what is right, what is wrong, and the unequal application of the media as well as the law.
We saw LeBron James tweeting about the case. Was it only because Arbery was black? Was it because the law failed to act? Was it a combination of both or simply a racist pushback covered by a compliant press with an age old agenda to push?
Perhaps you don’t remember the August 16, 2013 killing of Chris Lane by a 16 year old black boy, Chauncy Luna, who said the motive was “We were going to kill somebody” and “they were bored”. Being high on meth and being up for 3 days straight might also have had something to do with it. Where was LeBron on this one? Are you a racist, LeBron, simply excused by being black?
Next we have a Hispanic police officer shooting and killing a black man who told the officer he had a gun and was licensed to do so. LeBron didn’t care about this one any more than anyone else because it wasn’t a white guy shooting a black man. You have to ask yourself, was racism involved or just another case of police incompetence?
On July 6, 2016, Philando Castile,[a] a 32-year-old African-American, was pulled over while driving in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, and killed by Jeronimo Yanez, a 29-year-old St. Anthony, Minnesota police officer. Castile had been driving a car at 9:00 pm with his girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, and her four-year-old daughter when he was pulled over by Yanez and another officer in a suburb of Saint Paul, Minnesota. After being asked for his license and registration, Castile had told Officer Yanez that he had a firearm, to which Yanez replied, “Don’t reach for it then”, and Castile said “I’m, I, I was reaching for…” Yanez said “Don’t pull it out”, Castile replied “I’m not pulling it out”, and Reynolds said “He’s not…” Yanez repeated “Don’t pull it out” and then shot at Castile at close range seven times, hitting him five times, with two hits piercing his heart.
On November 16, 2016, John Choi, the Ramsey County Attorney, announced that Yanez was being charged with three felonies: one count of second-degree manslaughter and two counts of dangerous discharge of a firearm. Choi said, “I would submit that no reasonable officer knowing, seeing, and hearing what Officer Yanez did at the time would have used deadly force under these circumstances.” Yanez was acquitted of all charges on June 16, 2017. The same day, the City of Saint Anthony fired Yanez. (Wikipedia)
Willie McCoy of Vallejo was shot 55 times by police officers and the city of Vallejo hired a consultant who for $8000 told them what they wanted to hear: in his professional judgement the officers acted appropriately. I guess LeBron missed this one and it would have been right up his alley.
When Kori Ali Muhammed in Fresno killed 3 white guys and skipped a Mexican, his logic was “if I am going to jail for murdering a white guy, I might as well kill as many of them as I can.” Again where is the outrage from the black community over the death of whites? Is this lack of empathy not racism?
As you can see, there is plenty of evidence that racism is a factor in all of these examples. I had to wonder why conservative talk show hosts joined the bandwagon on the Arbery case but never mentioned Lane or any of these other ones. Could it be that conservatives are more interested in adherence to the law and its equal application than simply attempting to stir up an emotional response as liberals continually do?
In asking for help to find the case of Chris Lane, I got a response from one of my liberal friends, who accused me of being a racist and a homophobe. I have never denied that I am a racist in the sense that I can easily recognize and identify individual’s racial background. I no more make judgements on individuals based on their race than I do on their sexuality. I could care less about either. My opinions are based on people’s character and moral integrity … period.
I agree with those who say the authorities in Georgia waited too long to take action against those who killed Arbery. I do not necessarily agree with the liberal who says military training says, “Charge a gun, run from a knife.” If you know for sure those pursuing you will kill you, then yes, charge the person. Otherwise, I would make the assumption that giving no resistance, ala Martin Luther King, would de-escalate the situation. Having said this, I can’t say Arbery acted irrationally as I wasn’t in his shoes.
I did see the video. As the perpetrators’ truck obscures the initial confrontation and gunshot, it isn’t clear what happened. After the first discharge, it is logical to assume you are going to be killed and you fight. There is no justification for taking someone’s life over an assumed burglary nor is there a justification for a “thrill kill”.
The larger point here is that all of the hype from the media is generated for a purpose, to enflame the masses against “whitey”, a term used by one reporter in his opinion piece substituting for investigative reporting. The reason the media in this country ignored the Chris Lane killing was because it didn’t serve their narrative or goal of division.
Why is racism ignored when it comes from minorities? Why do we have a black Miss America pageant, a Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, or other broad racial and ethnic organizations but when those of European ancestry attempt to come together it becomes “white supremacy”? Is black supremacy acceptable any more than “Por La Raza todo, Fuera de La Raza nada” the motto of M.E.Ch.A. (Spanish: Movimiento Estudiantil Chicanx de Aztlán)?
More importantly, is police brutality acceptable under the premise that officers put their lives on the line every day? As the old saying goes, “if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen”. Much as Dixon’s officers Pedro Jiminez and Jeffrey Jacques acted in fear when shooting through the floor into the second floor of an abandoned building at individuals unknown to them rather than waiting on backup to eliminate any threat, I question the reasoning behind becoming an officer when you know you might be put into this type of situation.
When I first moved to Nevada, a young Hispanic man on a Tahoe beach was being held by a sheriff with a gun against his head after being cuffed and lying face down. The gun somehow went off. Nothing happened to the sheriff. A number of other cases in Nevada, including running transients out into the desert and dumping them, were also ignored.
Now we see rioting and looting being condoned by the divisive Left because “no one is listening to those with valid complaints”. This is a two year old’s response. I am not getting my way so I will throw a tantrum. On the other hand, how long can valid complaints be ignored? Unlawful actions as a reaction is a demonstration that two wrongs don’t make a right plus you are hurting those who had nothing to do with the problem in the first place.
Do I have a problem with Trump saying “when the looting starts, the shooting starts”? Do you remember Robert Blake as Baretta saying, “don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time”? If you don’t believe in property rights or simply protecting what you have put your time, energy, and mind into developing, then you probably don’t believe in repercussions for one’s actions. You couldn’t even justify the use of force to subdue a murderer at that point.
We, the United States of America and its people, are supposed to be a Nation of laws which are applied equally. When that ceases to be the case, we descend into anarchy where only the strongest or wiliest will survive. Protest is acceptable but violent protest is not. If you aren’t willing to obey the law, other than in the case of it being anti- or un-constitutional, then that is on you no matter how much your race has suffered.
Solutions are out there. Eliminating the police is not one of them. Putting them in jail for violating their oath of office or committing a crime is. When there are no repercussions, any and all respect for law enforcement goes out the window.
Just like any and all respect for the afflicted who act ignorantly and illegally to push their point …