By Ed Mazlish for The Liberty Block
Riots are sweeping the United States and the world in the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd by a member of the Minneapolis police department. Cries of “systemic racism” and “institutional failure” by the United States as a country and as a culture underlie many of those cries. Payback for these supposed institutional failures lies at the heart of the violence the rioters are causing in many American cities. This article seeks to shed further light on the institutional failures at the core of the rioters’ anger.
Prior to the election of Donald Trump in 2016, the American people elected Barack Obama President; not once, but twice. President Obama named not one, but two black Americans as Attorney General during his presidency: Eric Holder; then Loretta Lynch. Both oversaw the Justice Department, including the Civil Rights Division. All three of these Americans had the power and authority to correct any institutional problem they believed existed in America. And they had eight years to implement their desired reforms.
The city of Minneapolis is currently led by a white, progressive Democrat mayor. The chief of police in Minneapolis is a black American. Democrats have been the majority governing party in Minneapolis continuously since 1978. Other large cities where riots are occurring – such as Los Angeles, Detroit, and Chicago, have similarly been governed exclusively by progressive Democrats for decades longer than Minneapolis.
If there is an institutional problem in America today, it is the system of governance implemented by progressive Democrats in our inner cities. It is the poverty created – and more importantly perpetuated – by social welfare programs in our inner cities that is the institutional problem, insofar as an institutional problem exists in those cities. The institutional problem is the cultural degradation associated with single parent homes and children raised without fathers in our inner cities – which progressive Democratic policies support and encourage.
In short, insofar as there is an institutional problem in America today, that institutional problem is the Democratic Party and the social, cultural, and economic policies it implements.
Is there systemic racism and institutional violence being perpetrated against American blacks by local police departments? Is there systemic racism and institutional violence being perpetrated by American society generally toward American blacks? The rioters claim that the death of George Floyd is symptomatic of “genocide” toward American blacks. However, in order for there to be “genocide,” the number of victims would necessarily be so large that we would not know them by individual name, such as George Floyd, Eric Garner or Rodney King. Rather, we would know it by pointing to millions of nameless and faceless – but nonetheless identifiable – victims.
The Holocaust, with its six million dead Jews, involved systemic racism and institutional violence. The Armenian Genocide, with its 1.5 million dead Armenians at the hands of the Ottoman Turks, involved systemic racism and institutional violence. The Holodomor, in which Stalin intentionally starved millions of Ukrainians through the brute force of the Red Army, involved systemic racism and institutional violence.
Tucker Carlson has researched the statistics and found that approximately 7,000 black Americans were murdered in 2019. He claims that the statistics show that the overwhelming majority of those murders were committed by private individuals, not by police. He further claims that the statistics show that of the killings of black Americans by police in 2019, the number of those killed who were unarmed was fewer than a dozen.
Every wrongful death is a tragedy. But there is no genocide being perpetrated against black Americans, certainly not by any police department. And insofar as there is institutional failure in America that victimizes blacks in the inner cities, that institutional failure is the responsibility of progressive Democratic politicians who govern those jurisdictions, not the police departments who enforce the laws enacted by those progressive Democratic politicians.
Indeed, the aftermath of George Floyd’s death proves beyond any reasonable doubt that there is no systemic racism in America. As soon as the video of Floyd’s death went viral, there was near unanimous condemnation of the officer who knelt on Floyd’s neck as well as for the other officers who stood by and watched the killing happen. Within approximately 72 hours, Officer Chauvin was arrested and charged with third degree murder. The President immediately condemned the killing and instructed both the Department of Justice and the Civil Rights Division to open investigations into whether Mr. Floyd’s civil rights were violated. A week after Officer Chauvin was arrested and charged, the charge against him was upgraded to second degree murder, and the other three officers at the scene were charged as accomplices.
Those facts do not bespeak systemic racism. They do not bespeak institutional violence against blacks. They do not bespeak genocide. They bespeak a fair justice system moving at warp speed to provide justice in the case of a police officer who appears to have grossly exceeded his authority.
There is no institutional bias against black Americans by either the police or by Americans generally. Yes, individual racists exist, and some of them are even police officers. But such racism is not institutional. America fought a bloody civil war to eradicate slavery, then passed three constitutional amendments to try to ensure that black Americans would have their rights fully protected. America enacted numerous civil rights laws to further protect the rights American blacks. Few nations, if any, have done more to protect the rights of their minority populations than America has done. The rioters’ claim of systemic violence and institutional violence being perpetrated against black Americans by the police and by American society generally is a vicious lie.
That narrative is designed to undercut the moral self-confidence of the police and of American society in general. Its ultimate purpose is not to reform, but to tear down and destroy American society. People of good will should not lend any moral support to the rioters, who are destroying property and killing people who are as innocent as George Floyd was. Our political leaders need to stop kneeling down and appeasing the rioters, and restore peace and tranquility to our streets and neighborhoods.