You can’t make this stuff up: some on the left are complaining that the Waco biker gangs have gotten more favorable press coverage than the rioters in Ferguson and Baltimore. The Associated Press headlines, “Differing Perceptions of Waco, Baltimore Bothering Some.”
The prevailing images of protests in Baltimore and Ferguson, Missouri, over police killings of black men were of police in riot gear, handcuffed protesters, tear gas and mass arrests. The main images of a fatal gun battle between armed bikers and police in Waco, Texas, also showed mass arrests — carried out by nonchalant-looking officers sitting around calm bikers on cellphones.
That’s because pictures were taken during the riots, but not during the biker gang shootout. Those nonchalant-looking officers had been shooting at the bikers a few minutes earlier, and may have killed some. No police officers shot at any Baltimore rioters.
Unlike in Ferguson and Baltimore, where protests went on for days, there was no live news coverage of the Waco shootout. And yet the incident at a Texas restaurant hasn’t been used as a bridge to discuss other issues about families, poverty and crime, media critics, columnists and civil rights activists say.
“And yet?” Why on Earth should a shootout between the Bandidos and the Cossacks be a “bridge” to discuss “families, poverty and crime?” If anything, it is a “bridge” to discussion of the dangers to public order posed by motorcycle gangs.
They complain that there appears to be little societal concern about the gunplay at a restaurant in Texas, whereas politicians — including President Barack Obama — described violent looters in Baltimore as “thugs,” and the media devoted hours of television and radio airtime to dissecting social ills that affect the black community.
I don’t know about societal concern, but some of the gang members will be charged with capital murder, which means they could be executed. The riots in Ferguson and Baltimore did, of course, generate a lot of talk about police-community relations, police tactics and social issues in the African-American community. The biker gangs are multi-ethnic, but I don’t think anyone considers them to be representative of any of the communities from which they come.
There were no deaths during the Baltimore and Ferguson protests, yet people immediately stereotyped all of the protesters as criminals, said Nicole Lee, a human rights lawyer who worked with protesters in both cities.
This is untrue. Rioters who assaulted passers-by, set buildings on fire and threw rocks at police officers were characterized as criminals, because they were. But everyone recognized the right to protest peacefully.
Civil rights attorney Charles F. Coleman Jr. said only minority communities get blamed for violence, while no one blames white families or white communities for fatal violence by white men, characterizing such events instead as “isolated incidents.”
More nonsense. No one blamed Asians generally for the mass murders perpetrated by Seung-Hui Cho, or Latinos generally for the murders committed by Richard Ramirez, or blacks generally for the people who beat Zemir Begic to death with hammers. The black homicide rate is seven or eight times the white rate so, yeah, that does get mentioned occasionally.
Coleman noted that protests, some violent, that flared up around the police killings of black men, most of which involved an overwhelmingly black crowd, were called “riots” while college and professional sports championship celebrations and losses that turned violent, most of which involved an overwhelmingly white crowd, are not.
As John McEnroe used to say: You cannot be serious! The phrase “sports riot” turns up 46,000,000 hits on Google.
Texas Monthly’s Dan Solomon wrote Monday in a column that comparing Waco with Baltimore or Ferguson “was probably not an apples-to-apples situation.”
No kidding! In fact, there is no relationship at all between the events.
“But it’s nonetheless difficult to imagine that if a shoot-out involving dozens of young black men that ended with nearly 30 casualties had happened in a strip mall in Waco, it would be perceived as an isolated incident involving only the people who drew their guns — or that police would be chatting and friendly with people in the area in gang attire afterward,” Solomon wrote.
The way the left drags race into every damn thing that happens is corrosive. The Waco/Baltimore comparison is ridiculous, but it is far too typical of the nonsense we see from newspeople and commentators every day.