24 November 2015
Race war in Minneapolis?
Jamar Clark was just another punk or just another victim -- or both, unless you see things purely in black and white. Unarmed, he was fatally shot during a scuffle with police in Minneapolis earlier this month, making the Minnesota city the latest rallying point for the Black Lives Matter movement. The cops say he was trying to grab a gun. His friends say he was on the ground, if not already cuffed, when he was shot. Business as usual on both sides, but things escalated when alleged white supremacists showed up to heckle the BLM demonstrators. Last night a group of three such characters allegedly shot their way out of a tense confrontation, wounding five people. In other words, if current accounts are correct, the sort of people who aren't supposed to exist anymore, except in black folks' paranoid heads, showed up in Minneapolis armed for combat. Of course, so far we have only the BLM side of the story. One suspect has been arrested, and another man taken in only to be released, as I write, but I'm sure once we definitely have the shooter or shooters we'll hear a different story, one having a lot to do with self-defense. And I don't doubt that the poor men felt threatened. After all, didn't you know that a black man of teen age or older can kill you with his bare hands? That may not actually be true, but juries and review boards across the country have ruled that you're entitled to believe that, at least if you're a cop or some sort of security guard. I don't know if people will be as indulgent toward the alleged knuckleheads in Minneapolis, but I may be underestimating, despite the evidence I see and hear every day, how infuriated many white people are by Black Lives Matter, which they see as a criminals'-rights movement. My hunch, though, is that examples will be made of these goons, unless truly extenuating circumstances come to light, since throwing the book at them, or applauding the throwing, will show that the rest of us aren't racist like that. Then it'll be time to double down on the true article of faith: the cops are always right.