The fire this time

Prsident Obama’s brief statement on the murder of Baton Rouge police officers was formulaic and annoyed (video below). When it comes to lamenting crimes against law enforcement, which he has done so much to foment and abet, Obama doesn’t have his heart in it. He prefers to lecture us on the alleged racism of the criminal justice system in the “inflammatory rhetoric” and “careless accusations” he purported to condemn. Even though Obama’s accusations are premeditated rather than careless, this was a shocked-to-discover-gambling in Casblanca performance.

Heather Mac Donald says what needs to be said about it in “The fire spreads.” She writes:

[T]he overwhelming odds are that this most recent assault on law and order, taking the lives of three officers and wounding at least three more, is the direct outcome of the political and media frenzy that followed the police shootings of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge and Philando Castile in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, less than two weeks ago. That frenzy further amplified the dangerously false narrative that racist police officers are the greatest threat facing young black men today.

President Barack Obama bears direct responsibility for the lethal spread of that narrative [that . In a speech from Poland just hours before five officers were assassinated in Dallas on July 7, Obama misled the nation about policing and race, charging officers nationwide with preying on blacks because of the color of their skin. Obama rolled out a litany of junk statistics to prove that the criminal justice system is racist. Blacks were arrested at twice the rate of whites, he complained, and get sentences almost 10 percent longer than whites for the same crime. Missing from Obama’s address was any mention of the massive racial differences in criminal offending and criminal records that fully account for arrest rates and sentence lengths. (Blacks, for example, commit homicide at eight times the rate of whites and Hispanics combined, and at about 11 to 12 times the rate of whites alone.) Instead, Obama chalked up the disparities to “biases, some conscious and unconscious that have to be rooted out . . . across our criminal justice system.”

Then five Dallas officers were gunned down out of race hatred and cop hatred. Did Obama shelve his incendiary rhetoric and express his unqualified support for law enforcement? No, he doubled down, insulting law enforcement yet again even as it was grieving for its fallen comrades. In a memorial service for the Dallas officers, Obama rebuked all of America for its “bigotry,” but paid special attention to alleged police bigotry [quoteation omitted].

The irresponsible zealotry of this rebuke was stunning. Obama was fully on notice that the hatred of cops was reaching homicidal levels. And yet his commitment to prosecuting his crusade against phantom police racism trumped considerations of prudence and safety, on the one hand, and decent respect for the fallen, on the other. Of course, Obama also uttered the mandatory praise for officers who “do an incredibly hard and dangerous job fairly and professionally,” and he warned against “paint[ing] all police as biased, or bigoted.” This was self-indulgent hypocrisy. A passing denunciation of stereotyping hardly compensates for the insane accusation that black parents rightly fear that any time “their child walks out the door,” that child could be killed by a cop.

In her conclusion Heather direclty addresses Obama’s statement yesterday:

It may be too late to stop this fire from spreading. But Obama has one more chance to try to put it out. He failed that opportunity in his remarks hours after the Baton Rouge carnage, delivering instead an anodyne call to heal “our divisions” and discard “inflammatory rhetoric thrown around to advance an agenda.” Implication: Blame for “inflammatory rhetoric” is equally shared by those who attack cops and those who defend them. Sorry, Mr. President, those who tell the truth about crime and policing are not part of the problem and they bear no responsibility for the massacre of cops. The killing of cops is furthered exclusively by those peddling a false narrative that cops harbor lethal bias toward blacks. Obama should call for the Black Lives Matter movement to fold its tent—and he himself should start telling the truth about inner-city crime.

Whole thing here.

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