Commentators on MSNBC and CNN have been shedding crocodile tears over Donald Trump’s “divisive rhetoric” and lamenting his failure to unify the country. This sudden concern for national unity is rather hard to take from the same worthies who have incessantly glorified the Black Lives Matter movement over the last year and a half.
Let’s dip into the rhetoric of a garden-variety Black Lives Matter march that I observed last October on Fifth Avenue in New York City. It featured “F**k the Police,” “Murderer Cops,” and “Racism Is the Disease, Revolution Is the Cure” T-shirts, “Stop Police Terror” signs, and “Hey Hey, Ho Ho, Racist Cops Have Got to Go” chants.
What about the rhetoric of Black Lives Matter leaders? Last October, DeRay Mckesson, one of the self-appointed spokesmen for Black Lives Matter, led a seminar at the Yale Divinity School, while his BLM ally, Johnetta Elzie (ShordeeDooWhop), tweeted about the proceedings. Mckesson (now running for mayor of Baltimore) had assigned an essay, “In Defense of Looting,” which justified the August 2014 Ferguson riots as “getting straight to the heart of the problem of the police, property, and white supremacy.” Elzie’s tweeted reporting on the class included “If you put me in a cage you’re damn right I’m going to break some glass” and “Looting for me isn’t violent, it’s an expression of anger.” (Let’s hope Baltimore residents do their homework before voting.)
The rhetoric of Democratic presidential contenders is just as incendiary. Hillary Clinton says it’s a “reality” that cops see black lives as “cheap.” Bernie Sanders says the killing of unarmed black people by police officers has been going on “decade after decade after decade.” In fact, among the 36 “unarmed” black men killed by the police last year (compared with 31 unarmed white men), a large percentage had been trying to grab the officer’s gun, were pummeling the officer with his own equipment, or were otherwise so viciously fighting with the arresting officer as to legitimately put him in fear for his life.
Black Lives Matter ideology, eagerly embraced by media and political elites, has created a volatile, dangerous atmosphere in urban areas when officers make an arrest. Bystanders curse, throw rocks and water bottles, and stick cell phones in officers’ faces. “Our authority is routinely challenged now,” a New York Police Department officer told me this weekend. Suspects’ resistance to arrest has become more frequent and more intense, increasing the odds than an officer will have to escalate his own use of force. Black Lives Matter hate-mongering has led to the assassination of cops and may be contributing to this year’s increase of cop ambushes.