Discover more from Bernard Goldberg's Commentary
White Liberals and the New Racism
I attended a forum the other night at a liberal synagogue about “the tragic trend of police shootings of unarmed black men.” Let’s set aside that there is no “trend” and that the “unarmed” black men were also resisting arrest, and in the case of Michael Brown was trying to take the gun away from the police officer who felt he had to shoot him in order to save his own life.
I’m pretty sure at least 99 percent of everyone in the room –- not counting me and the 3 co-conspirators I dragged along – were committed liberals who were convinced that the biggest problem plaguing black America is white cops who hate black people and shoot them if they so much as look at the cop funny.
No, they didn’t say so in just that way, but that was certainly the gist of what was said that night.
During the opening remarks, we heard from the panelists -- a black activist who didn’t want anyone to be called a “criminal,” and opposed prisons on principle; a member of the ACLU who thought that America was “further away from equality” today than in 1965 when he marched from Selma to Montgomery; a cop who said he believed Michael Brown was trying to take away Officer Darren Wilson’s gun only to “humiliate him,” presumably with no intention of shooting the cop; and a judge who for the most part simply explained how grand juries operate, though she tiptoed into liberal terrain too.
They talked about how cops had to change their behavior in order to stop the “trend” that was killing off “unarmed” black men. But during their presentations, not one of them uttered even one word about what criminal suspects needed to do to avoid being shot by police.
When the moderator asked for questions I was the first one on my feet. I noted that everything said up to that point was about police behavior, and the obligations of white society, and the supposed failure of America’s educational system. I told the libs I found it troubling that no one was holding criminal suspects responsible for their actions. Then I offered up a list of three things people needed to do to avoid trouble with the police.
Obey the law.
Don’t resist arrest
Never – NEVER! – try to take a cop’s gun away from him
If suspects did those things, I said, the number of unarmed black men would go down to near zero. I noted that I said “near zero” because there are some bad cops out there, and I made clear they should not be allowed to wear a badge or carry a gun.
I sensed more than a whiff of unease in the room. Good.
Inside the bubble they inhabit, nobody talks the way I did, even though I didn’t say anything even vaguely controversial. Inside the bubble, they can go for a day, a week, a month, a year, practically an entire lifetime and not run into somebody with a right-of-center point of view. The comfort of the bubble enables them to glide through life believing that it’s not so much that they’re liberal, but more that they’re … reasonable.
Then I dropped a statistic on them. Black police officers account for a little more than 10 percent of all fatal police shootings (according to the most current government statistics). But of those they kill, 78 percent were black.
That leads us to one of two conclusions I told the lefties: Either black cops are just as racist as they believe white cops are … or … a lot of black criminal suspects do things that bring about their own demise.
Next question, please, said the moderator.
Afterward, in informal gatherings, one of the libs told me that crime stems from poverty. I responded that 72 percent of black babies are born out of wedlock and that often leads to poverty, which too often leads to crime. Cut down on that kind of behavior, I said, and a lot of the crime problem – and confrontation with cops -- goes away.
I must have said something about how liberals would never tell 15-year old black girls to stop having babies because one of the libs told me that it’s not up to white people to tell black people how to raise their families.
Oy! It's true: There are no limits to white liberal guilt.
It’s comfortable living in a bubble. You never have to defend your positions. All your friends think the way you do. But it’s not healthy to be so cut off from what really amounts to mainstream American thought. And most of all, living in the white liberal bubble doesn’t do young black men, who this group supposedly cared so much about, one bit of good.
Here’s what I didn’t tell the group, though I was tempted. They are the new face of racism in America. They are the kinder, gentler, liberal kind. They are enablers who make it easy for too many black people to see themselves as victims. They are the ones who would never tell black people that the best way to avoid confrontations with cops – yes, some of whom are racists – is to not get into trouble in the first place.
A few days later, with their liberal rubbish still clogging my thoughts, I remembered that old observation by Winston Churchill. “Show me a young Conservative and I'll show you someone with no heart. Show me an old Liberal and I'll show you someone with no brains.”