The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Dog Whistle

The President of the United States sets a tone for the country. The president must be very certain that the positions he takes on any social or societal issue is based a clear, unequivocal facts. His words should not serve to further exacerbate, rather than remedy, societal conflict. In general, the president should not insert himself into local events and must avoid drawing broad-based conclusions based on isolated anecdotal evidence. He and his attorney general should not imply that isolated events indicate systemic trends, unless there is clear and unequivocal proof, backed by compelling data from multiple studies, to indicate that a trend exists.

Barack Obama, possibly inadvertently, but more likely with intent, has done exactly the opposite—particularly when race is involved.

Investor's Business Daily comments on the shooting of two Ferguson, MO police officers during a street protest, spurred by a Justice Department report painting the entire Ferguson Police Department as "racist."
"Nothing in this travesty of a report proves that [the entire police department is 'racist'], and the fact that Justice produced a report so buffoonish, so replete with conclusions unsupported by facts, so lacking in basic methodological rigor, is an embarrassment," blasted U.S. Commission on Civil Rights member Peter Kirsanow, who is black.

But "the report has accomplished its objective," Kirsanow added. "It's smeared police officers across the country, giving the administration excuse to exert greater control over local police departments."

It's also enlarged the target on their backs. Holder excused anti-cop violence that broke out after the Brown shooting, suggesting it was justified by his overall findings.

"Members of the community may not have been responding only to a single isolated confrontation, but also to a pervasive, corrosive and deeply unfortunate lack of trust — attributable to ... abuses, unreasonable searches and seizures, and excessive and dangerous use of force ... against African Americans," he said, only encouraging more violence against cops.
Progressive commentators and activists are fond of using the term "dog whistle" as a bludgeon to silence unpleasant discussion of race. When a Caucasian person uses a word like "thug," those on the left often claim that it's really a substitute for the N-word and therefore telegraphs the speaker's covert racism. I don't agree, but for the moment, let's stipulate that dog whistles do exist.

What Eric Holder did in releasing his report was to create a dog whistle of his own. By indicting the entire Ferguson, MO police department as racist, he "dog whistled" that all cops are racist and therefore provided warped justification for anarchists and the extreme left to agitate protestors to a level that results in attacks on the police, no matter where they are. Of course, Holder would argue he meant no such thing, just as the person who used the word "thug" would argue that its use had nothing to do with race. But if "dog whistles" do exist, the implications go both ways.

What Barack Obama and Eric Holder have done does nothing—absolutely nothing—to remedy the problems facing portions (but not all) of the African American community. The sad reality is that as African Americans themselves, Obama and Holder have a unique opportunity to speak honestly to the community. They could point our structural problems and propose realistic programs that address the underlying problems of family structure, lack of education, and attendant government dependency that have plagued portions of the black community for generations. Instead, their actions have served to convince African Americans that they are victims and that their future is beyond their control.  What they've done doesn't help. Not. One. Bit.