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Blatchford: Political identity, the commonality among places, defunding police, tolerating terror and desecration l COMMENTARY

The so-called caring individuals who are roaming our country’s public streets terrorizing whoever they can (attacking Congress members and police alike) are permitted to desecrate or destroy symbols that they’ve identified as unworthy. Some are peaceful and orderly. Then we have the others. Minneapolis tolerates them. Seattle tolerates them as do Washington, D.C., New York City, Richmond and Baltimore among others. All these cities have a common political identity. Go figure.

Seattle’s mayor called a halt by finally permitting law enforcement to engage, but only after two Black teens were killed. The mayor of Olympia, Washington, resorted to a return to civil order by calling in law enforcement only after the vandals targeted her own neighborhood and home. Her home was spray painted with graffiti. Previously, it was only a “protest.” She sat back and watched. Now she calls it “domestic terrorism.” How’s that for ironic? Remember the argument in Baltimore after the Freddie Gray incident? The mayor denied claims that the police were told to stand down. Regardless, the mayor delayed ordering law enforcement to halt the illegal vandalism, theft and destruction.

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For many years now, whites have been lectured about our alleged inability to comprehend the reality of being Black. When was it — back in the ’80s? — a common mantra was: “It’s a Black thing. You wouldn’t understand.” That killed the conversation. A dogmatic statement that implied that whites were incapable of comprehending the plight of others. Surely it applied to some whites, but not all. No effort to reason or explain to those perceived to be ignorant. Just drop it. Let ‘em stay dumb. Nothing in that served to foster better relations.

Similar attitudes exist today. I read a statement recently which seemed to discourage communication. The author wrote, “… whites have got to stop saying, ‘I’m not prejudiced’ or ‘This is not a racist country.’ They don’t understand that they’re not Black, and this is not about them, and never has been.” Now there’s a statement demanding dissection. That white writer referred to white people as “they.” “They don’t understand that they’re not Black?” For real?

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One: I am not prejudiced. I will state that whenever appropriate. Why would I not deny a false charge of racism made by ignorant people? Two: I believe that most people in this country are not racist. Why would we not deny that this is a racist country when so many people of various colors continue to flood in — illegally or otherwise? Because I believe that, I will affirm it. Three: Of course, I understand that I am not Black and have not experienced many of the trials and tribulations experienced by Blacks. I can, however, try to set the best example of that I can by treating others with respect. Four: The writer claimed that the demonstrations are not about white people. Seriously? White people are taking the brunt of it all. It is whites who are blamed for past and present sins — all of us. I completely understand that it is not all about us (whites), but it’s clearly about all of us — Black, white and every shade in between.

I’ll close with comments from another leftist writer who wrote “ ‘It’s just a few bad apples,' and ‘the liberals want to defund the police’ are the only two conservative responses you hear regarding the daily barrage of documented wrongdoing by reckless police …” “The daily barrage of … wrongdoing by reckless police?” Surely there are too many incidents of police wrongdoing but saying “barrage” is a gross exaggeration. What am I missing here? Even NBC hasn’t used that word.

That writer attempts to refute the use of the phrase “a few bad apples.” It is inarguable that the actual number of police with attitudes is unacceptably high. One is too many, but we should look beyond raw numbers. What are the percentages among the more than 800,000 police officers in the U.S. today?

In attempting to downplay the defunding of police, the writer says, “Just because a few ignorant people say [defund police] doesn’t mean [the movement] represents an entire political party or political perspective.” Consider the following from Bloomberg City Lab: “The leaders of New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston and Seattle [to name a few] have all pledged to slash police spending …”

What common group controls each of those coastal cities?

Rick Blatchford writes from Mount Airy. His column appears every other Tuesday. Reach him at rpblatch4d@comcast.net.

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