Does anyone really believe that the chaos and savagery we have all witnessed since the death of George Floyd was primarily the result of a bad policeman and Systemic Racism?
To believe that requires a degree of mental blindness equal to believing that the earth is flat or man has never landed on the moon. In other words a mind that is either invincibly ignorant or obsessed with a false conspiracy theory. I trust most Americans black or white Liberal or Conservative young or old are neither. What any American citizen who has witnessed the multiple nights of mostly young Americans engaged in a frenzy of destruction and larceny should be able to recognize is a deep social pathology at work. It is safe to say that the perpetrators of these violent crimes are not first time offenders carried away by love and sorrow over the tragic death of George Floyd. Those who commit acts of injustice in order to end injustice are either fools or someone who lies to justify venal purposes. While this dangerous mayhem is going on one must ask where are the concerned parents of these teenagers and young adults? Each night we see these young people dancing and gleefully celebrating their short term victories over law and order. We see them playing a cat and mouse game with police we see them mocking law and order with raised hands all along using it as a cynical tactic. Should riots arson and violence be this much fun? Should it be rationalized by the Liberal Media? Should the true ugly cause of these riots never be voiced by the same Liberal Media?
We have listened to Chris Cuomo play the role of the nightly philosopher comparing some of the violent rioters to those who took part in Americas Boston Tea Party. Really is this the most trenchant analysis CNN can offer a nation of troubled confused viewers? I dont remember reading in history anything about the Boston patriots burning the shops of their fellow citizens or stealing the tea and taking it home. The Boston Tea Party was not a mindless act of rage aimed at harming the innocent.
It would be instructive to know how many of the rioters who stole or set fires were young people from broken-homes or single-parent families. How many grew up in homes lacking moral guidance and responsible parenting? The national and international statistics reveal the same pattern of violence and criminal behavior on the part of young people brought up in single-parent households. All the sociological studies show that children born out-of-wedlock and raised without caring loving mothers and fathers are on a fast track to crime violence and low educational achievement.
Back in the 1970s when the Democratic Party still had honest courageous intelligent leadership Daniel Patrick Moynihan sounded the national alarm over the destruction of the Black Family. He warned that the positive influence of the Black Family was being destroyed as a result of rising out-of-wedlock childbirths. Since his warning the problem has grown from 25 to 72. Most telling is the statistic provided by the Progressive Policy Institute that showed if you removed the factor of single-parent families from the crime reports the rates between whites and blacks are almost the same. A new study by Child Trends published in 2018 showed that over all 40 percent of births in the United States occur outside of marriage up from 28 percent in 1990. This is no longer just an African-American problem. Its no surprise that as families disintegrate so does the behavior of children.
Black Americans make-up a little over 12 of the population but 33 of those in federal and state prisons. It is ludicrous to believe that there is a giant racist conspiracy on the part of lawyers judges juries and police officers to lock-up innocent African-Americans for no valid legal reason. A certain number of blacks as well as whites Hispanics and Asians are victims of racism and police brutality. The fact that there are more black victims is not caused by Systemic Racism. It is the product of their communities perpetrating more crime and violence than other communities and their common pattern of resisting arrest when caught.
Systemic Racism is one of those tendentious Left-Wing terms used to confuse rather than enlighten the public. Instead of dealing with and proving individual acts of racism it is far easier to use a categorical condemnation of an entire nation people or culture. It is a term used by the Left to gain the upper- hand in any political discussion related to public policy. There are of course real examples of Systemic Racism such as Nazi Germanys Nuremberg Laws or the Jim Crow Laws of the old south or the laws of Apartheid in South Africa.
There are no racist laws in the United States of America today. They were stripped away by the 13th 14th 15th amendments as well as Brown v. The Board of Education... and the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The major thrust of American public policy public sentiment public education and the actions of the business community since the 1960s have all been in favor of lifting up lower-socio-economic African-Americans out of poverty and breaking the cycle of crime and despair. Regardless of their policy differences this has been true of both the Democratic and Republican Parties. Since the 1960s America has spent trillions of tax payer dollars to ameliorate the problems of the Under-Class and for all intents and purposes Reparations have already been paid. The un-justified and un-workable call for Reparations is really a frighten publics desire to pay rioters and looters protection money to restore calm. Do we really need to reward mob-rule to be able to safely walk the streets of America?
The primary cause of America social pathology is the huge increase in single-parent families but there are other contributing factors. One can see similar dysfunction in Weimar Germany in the 1920s. Their society like our own was politically polarized between Left-Wing and Right Wing extremists. The political middle ground began to shrink and there was less room for compromise and respect for the views of others. There was a general political hatred in the air suffocating both reason and humanity. After the catastrophic death toll of the First World War there was a decline in religious faith and moral standards which affected the young. The same thing has happened in America as a result of the long-term corrosive influence of mass-popular culture. A culture saturated with Rap music and violent TV and movies.
One last parallel between Weimar Germany and America today is that both societies had to deal with economic crisis. Weimars was triggered by the Great Depression ours by the economic dislocation brought on by Covin-19. With millions of young mostly unskilled workers unemployed the level of pain and uncertainty contributes to a Perfect Story of social unrest.
What happened to George Floyd was evil and clearly calls for legal punishment and better efforts a policing in the future but every time an individual peace officer abuses his or her authority can not become a free pass for general assault on society. That is what the Rule of Law means that is what Due Processmeans. That is the reason we have courts laws judges and juries to prevent wrong doing or punish it after the fact. Mob-rule is not part of the solution but a hyper-extension of the problem.
The favorite chant of the protesters is No justice no peace. They like it because its simple and seems to justify any action they may take. In reality it is one of the most pernicious bits of false reasoning ever advanced. First of all you cant have justice without having peace first. Without general law and order and its effect peace you only have anarchy the Law of the Jungle with each person deciding for himself basing his decisions on his own emotions not logic or truth. Justice takes time what the protesters are calling for is an immediate verdict and punishment without the space of time we call Due Process. It is ironic to see African-Americans who have suffered more than any other Americans at the hands of white mobs and vigilantes being willing to endorse what amounts to a lynching. George Floyd is entitled to justice but our American society is also entitled to justice and not burning cities robbed businesses and assaulted and murdered police.
If we use Martin Luther Kings standard for judging people only by the ... content of their Character... the violent rioters have failed that test.
William D. Howard is a freelance writer who had a long career as an educator. He holds degrees in philosophy and history and has traveled widely in over 40 countries.