Why do we cringe? What is it that makes the incident above, and similar recent examples so fraught with differing emotions? First, it is the opposite of what we were taught as children, open disrespect for the police. Because it’s just water, the act of throwing it is at once harmless, and a test of the guardrails of American freedom, and freedom, after all, is exhilarating. It is humiliation, the fading of the once-gleaming thin blue line that protects the law-abiding from the lawbreakers. Finally, it is a terrifying glimpse into what could come, indeed, what some among us desire, and even design.
In the three incidents in New York, one in Atlanta, and another in Lubbock, certain details are the same. The jeering laughter and cackling patois of onlookers, the failure of anyone to offer assistance or disperse the antagonists, the sheepishness of the police who know all too well the fragility of their careers in the video age.
Imagine for a moment that you are an inner city black youth. The chances that you grew up in a one-parent household is staggeringly high, over 70%. The chances that your local public school is violent and inexcusably underperforming is a virtual certainty. The chances that you will be incarcerated is 1 in 3. The chances that your family receives dignity-dissolving welfare, subsidized housing, or food stamps is higher than for any other race. You might begin to suspect that “the system” is rigged against you. It is, but not for the reasons black folk have been taught.
Democratic-sponsored welfare ruined the black American family.
Democrats struck a Faustian bargain with black America in 1964. Lyndon B. Johnson got the raft of Great Society legislation passed into law and began the War on Poverty. In every imaginable statistic, the quality of life spiraled quickly downward, almost as if by design.
American blacks were coerced into becoming wards of the state, and to their lasting detriment, they took the bait. As CD Media reported weeks ago, the Democratic mantle has been taken up by every successive generation of “progressives,” dangling entitlements and mewling scraping apologies.
Programs that sought to address a problem have created one far larger, damaging the soul of an entire race. “Dignity consists not in possessing honors,” Aristotle famously wrote, “but in the consciousness that we deserve them.”
Black & Blue Lives
So what does this have to do with young black Americans dumping and spraying water on police officers in New York and elsewhere?
Politics is composed primarily of words. Promises, speeches, tweets, slogans, campaign emails and lawn signs. Some words become the basis for legislation, others stir followers to action. Rep. Maxine Waters exhorted her followers to confront Trump supporters. Trump supporters are regularly conflated with Nazis, and now “punch a Nazi” is part of the national lexicon. Joe Biden spoke of beating up President Trump, and this week on a late show, Cory Booker fantasized about punching Trump in the face. Those are but a few examples of the loss of perspective infecting American discourse today.
Inner city black youths–like the ones who dumped water on NYPD cops on three recent occasions, and the gaggle of teens who sprayed and doused officers in Atlanta and elsewhere–have no parlay with the powerful people who could change their lots in life. Other than fleeting glimpses at local politicians, no one apart from social workers go out of their way to help children of the ghetto. As Stevie Wonder wrote in his great lament, 1972’s “Big Brother”:
Your name is I’ll see ya
I’ll change if you vote me in as the prez,
The President of your soul
I live in the ghetto,
You just come to visit me ’round election time
So who’s left in the black community that might represent hierarchical structure? Police officers. Cops are the one living manifestation of governmental control, the quotidian face of the laws that ruined the black experience in America. The left’s narrative is of course diametrically opposed to this telling. The left would have you believe that law enforcement officers–who literally risk their lives on the job, make $50,000 a year on average, and are routinely portrayed on TV and film as bumbling fools–do their thankless work because they have psychological issues around power, control fantasies.
The left would have you believe that it is nationalist rhetoric that fans the flames of violence, but our lived experience tells a different story. From New York to Berkeley to Portland, the pictures of violence and suppression of speech rest almost entirely on leftist shoulders. Police officers, too often operating on stand-down orders from woke-signaling Democratic mayors, are cast in an impotent light.
Do bad cops exist? Of course, and the extreme stress of the job may well exacerbate an individual’s underlying character flaws. To generalize about any profession is careless, but it is only in interactions with police that virtually every citizen has been made uncomfortable, be it a traffic ticket or a deeper infraction. They are the easiest public target because on some level, they have reprimanded all of us.
Why Have Laws If They Aren’t Enforced? Case In Point: New York City
So why does it come as a surprise to see ghetto children displaying a complete lack of regard for uniformed officers on multiple occasions recently? It’s quite simple: give an inch and much of the public will take a mile. The lenient policies of leftist politicians like Bill DeBlasio–decriminalization of fare evasion for buses and subways, excessive noise, public urination, and public marijuana smoking have been in place for three years, long enough for the public to get comfortable flaunting their newfound freedoms.
For the prior twenty years, Mayors Giuliani and Bloomberg took a no-nonsense approach to running America’s most population-dense city, following the Broken Windows philosophy authored by Wilson and Kelling in 1982 and adopted by Bill Bratton in NYC several years later. The idea is that if small things like broken windows go un-repaired, they become signals to criminals that the area isn’t patrolled, and therefore a safe place to commit crime. It follows that enforcing petty laws such as littering has the knock-on effect of lowering rates of serious crimes.
And it worked. Crime went down dramatically in New York just as it has in other cities where Broken Windows methodology has been employed. New Yorkers were so happy with the way Bloomberg ran the city that they approved an exception to the city’s two-term limit law and let him serve a third. Then along came Bill “Big Bird” de Blasio.
De Blasio is the worst kind of spineless hack politician. For six years, New Yorkers have watched him learn on the job, or rather, fail to do so. His mayoralty has been, at best, painful to watch, and at worst, deadly: six cab drivers have committed suicide in the past year, one symbolically in front of City Hall, due to de Blasio’s clumsy handling of app-based ride services such as Uber crowding the already traffic-laden grid, and leaving New York’s iconic hackneys with medallions worth a fraction of what they paid, effectively erasing any hope of retirement.
NYCHA: A Microcosm of Democratic Mistreatment of Blacks
The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), its residents 89% black and Hispanic, have suffered the tortures of the damned under de Blasio, from a lead paint epidemic to un-repaired pipes leaking sewage, to sex parties and drug abuse by employees on NYCHA property. It serves as a microcosm: Democrats create subsidized housing, force poor minorities into said housing, then neglect and endanger their inhabitants. Republicans have no part in this vicious cycle because our dysfunctional large cities–Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington DC, Atlanta, Detroit–are run exclusively by Democrats.
As for the cops themselves, four NYPD officers committed suicide in a three-week stretch in June, due at least in part to de Blasio’s long history of failing to support them and their core mission of upholding the peace.
De Blasio knew he had inherited a well-conditioned, law-abiding populace and the most advanced, best-trained corps of officers in the country in 2014. All he had to do was maintain something like the course of his predecessors, but no. Virtue signaling has been his north star. His legacy will be the same as most Democratic mayors in the city: one progressive step forward, two lawless steps back.
In the case of Atlanta, which has had apologist, anti-reform black mayors for 44 years, it’s political suicide to crack down on the core constituency.
The Atlanta water fight situation, wherein the officer perceived that two women who were not participating in the fight felt endangered by continually being sprayed, attempted to intervene. The crowd turned on him, and in an ironic moment, they trained their guns on him with enough vigor to drive him back into his cruiser. It wasn’t until the officer, in a remarkable display of sangfroid, squawked the sirens, which somehow dispersed the unruly mob.
Incidents in other cities such as Lubbock, Texas didn’t catch the public’s eye to the same degree. Why? Because the correct measures were taken. As the officer in the video below says, “Y’all didn’t listen, so now people are going to jail.”
These dousing incidents would seem poignant if they were done differently. It’s hard to miss the irony of blacks spraying cops instead of Civil Rights-era blacks on the end of firehose spray. An orderly march of civil disobedience wherein blacks shoot at cops with water pistols, that would be a spectacle worthy of MLK Jr. But gaggles of preening kids hoping to get uploaded to worldstarhiphop.com or Instagram don’t make that lofty cut. This screeching chaos is the culmination of the broken black family, courtesy of the very party that fought against the ideas of Dr. King.
We cringe when things don’t go as we intuit they should. Unlawful actions deserve an appropriate response. After all, it isn’t really the act of dousing cops that captures our attention. It’s the lack of consequence.