The United States is now being consumed by a wave of audacious double standards and hypocrisy, rooted in racial bias and oppressive partisanship. Exposing it, condemning it and opposing it is to invite “cancellation” and being tarred as an ally of white supremacy. In the words of George H.W. Bush to Saddam Hussein, “This will not stand.”
I. Rep. Maxine Waters.
By any fair and reasonable standard, Waters’deliberate attempt to incite violence and law-breaking among already agitated and agitated protesters in Brooklyn Center, the Minneapolis suburb where Daunte Wright was killed, should earn her serious sanctions from Congress, her own party, and by the standards previously asserted by her party, the justice system. She exhorted the potential “mostly peaceful” mob to “get more confrontational” when the city had already seen burning, looting, and attacks on police. She directly threatened the jury in the Chauvin trial just a few miles away. In response, the judge in that trial, Peter Cahill, castigated Waters by name as the trial went to the jury, saying that her words were “disrespectful to the rule of law,” and adding,
“I’m aware that Congresswoman Waters was talking specifically about this trial, and about the unacceptability of anything less than a murder conviction, and talk about being ‘confrontational.’ [I wish] elected officials would stop talking about this case…I think if they want to give their opinions, they should do so in a respectful and in a manner that is consistent with their oath to the Constitution, to respect a coequal branch of government.Their failure to do so, I think, is abhorrent.”
Then, whistling in the dark, he tried to deny the obvious, saying that her comments wouldn’t affect the jury because he had instructed them not to pay attention to them. Right. Everyone knows that the old “pretend you didn’t hear what you heard’ command is a perfect remedy. (See: “The Verdict.”) Pathetically, Cahill said that one congresswoman’s opinion “really doesn’t matter a whole lot anyway.” Then why did the judge take the extraordinary course of mentioning it during the trial?
Cahill’s refusal to sequester the jury after Wright’s death was a terrible error, and it is coming back to haunt him quicker than anyone could have predicted, thanks to Waters. Later, the truth battled its way out of his mouth and he blurted out that Waters “may have given” the defense grounds “on appeal that may result in this whole trial being overturned.”
And yet Nancy Pelosi, who led a contrived impeachment of Donald Trump for urging demonstrators to peacefully protest because she claimed it sparked an “insurrection,” claimed nothing was amiss with Waters’ speech. “Maxine talked about confrontation in the manner of the Civil Rights movement. I myself think we should take our lead from the George Floyd family. They’ve handled this with great dignity and no ambiguity or lack of misinterpretation by the other side…No, I don’t think she should apologize.”
The rule, then, appears to be that a Democratic Congresswoman can cross state lines to urge an already inflamed crowd to get “more confrontational” while threatening a demonstration showing that it “means business’ if a jury does not provide the verdict she demands, while a Republican President should be impeached and charged with a crime for urging demonstrators to peacefully protest what they and he believe to be an undemocratic election.
Is it material that the Congresswoman inciting a riot is black, and the President who called for a peaceful protest is white? Are we allowed to wonder? Is it permissible to consider reality?
2. Ashli Babbitt
How is this possible?
From the Times: “Prosecutors will not pursue criminal charges against the Capitol Police lieutenant who shot to death a woman who stormed the Capitol during the Jan. 6 riot, the Justice Department announced on Wednesday after a three-month investigation.”
The woman was Ashli Babbitt, a 35-year-old Air Force veteran. She was unarmed. She was climbing through some broken glass doors, and a police lieutenant on the other side fired a single shot that killed her. How can this shooting not be prosecuted? The officer used deadly force when there was no deadly threat. A police officers who killed a man trying to flee an arrest has been charged with manslaughter for shooting him accidentally. The sneering Times story says that “In death, [Babbitt] became a martyr-like figure for the far-right extremists who have supported former President Donald J. Trump.” Oh, a martyr-like figure like, to just pull an example out of the air, George Floyd? Except that the cop involved in his death, which was not intentional, and did not involve a shooting, is now on trial for murder, while an officer who shot an unarmed woman is not.
Note that the shooter’s name has never been released. Neither has his race. Have any of the officers involved in the deaths of black citizens been given this courtesy? No, of course not. The Mystery killer cop’s lawyer said, incredibly, that the decision to not bring charges was “the only correct conclusion” and that his client had “saved the lives of countless members of Congress and the rioters.” I know that the media narrative about the January 6 riot at the Capitol has been absurdly embroidered, but does anyone believe that shooting an unarmed woman “saved the lives of countless members of Congress”?
I’m also mystified about how I missed the “no justice no peace” demonstrations on Ashli’s behalf by Black Lives Matters supporters. After all, we were told in Oregon, “Protesting killer cops is going to happen regardless of the race of the victim.” Of course it is.
(to be continued)