Sunday’s murders of three police officers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana made Monday’s “Law and Order” theme at the Republican National Convention resonate louder.
Donald Trump has proclaimed himself the “law and order candidate” and criticized President Obama’s leadership on the issue in a Facebook post Sunday.
In a televised statement Sunday, Obama said “nothing justifies violence against law enforcement.” Monday he sent a letter to the National Fraternal Order of Police, expressing gratitude for the work of law enforcement officers, acknowledging the dangers they face and the valor in which they perform their duty.
But for some, Obama’s supportive words for police ring hollow because he has also voiced concern and understanding for blacks who have been killed by police under questionable circumstances.
As the Republican and Democratic conventions play out over the next two weeks, the political rhetoric about race and police will likely continue.
Murdering the Police Will Not Stop Police Brutality
Jarvis DeBerry – The Times -Picayune
Police brutality is not a problem snipers can solve. Police brutality will not be halted with guerrilla warfare or with ambush techniques. We’ve recently seen uniquely disturbing videos of black people killed by police. But lying in wait for police officers – as Baton Rouge authorities say Gavin Long did Sunday and Dallas authorities say Micah Johnson did before him – is not justice. It’s a gross perversion of that concept arising from the kind of eye-for-an-eye mentality that, as Martin Luther King Jr. famously noted, leaves the whole world blind….
If the attacks on police in Dallas and in Baton Rouge signal a new trend – and God help us if they do – then it’s important to acknowledge that they have arisen in a context where a large share of the public has lost all confidence that police who do wrong will be duly punished.
This Is a War, and Black Lives Matter Is the Enemy
Sheriff David Clarke – The Hill
The murders in Baton Rouge, and before them Dallas, were not acts of domestic terrorism but guerrilla urban warfare against the police – who represent law and order – against the Constitution, and against the American way….
It’s time to come to the aid of our police, our front-line soldiers, by calling this war, and not terrorism. Avoiding the truth through wordsmithing – the false narrative of the lone-wolf – is contemptible as more innocent officers perish while our politicians hem and haw….
Black Lives Matter organizers hold the same values of America’s age-old enemies, who have always fought the ideals of our Constitution and our nation. That they have now taken on as their costume a false concern for Black America only adds to their depravity.
After Dallas and Baton Rouge, how do we Stop the Killing?
Editorial Board – The Washington Post
Support for police does not mean turning a blind eye to issues in law enforcement that have adversely affected minority communities. It is insupportable that police officers are being gunned down — and it is insupportable that blacks are unfairly targeted and wrongly killed. It is not fair to suggest that the Black Lives Matter movement that has pushed for fair policing of minorities is responsible for the actions of two evil and cowardly men….
So what is needed? “Everyone right now, focus on words and actions that can unite this country rather than divide it further” was the call from Mr. Obama. “We need to temper our words and open our hearts, all of us.” In the aftermath of Dallas, police and community leaders met to talk about concerns and solutions. And Sunday in Wichita, what was originally planned as a protest march against police turned into a cookout after protest organizers and the police chief decided that sitting down together and breaking bread was a better way to open up communication and build trust. That’s a start.
The Anti-Cop President
Myron Magnet – City Journal
Any hopes that the nation’s first black president could uplift the nation’s black underclass went up in smoke Sunday when Barack Obama doubled down on his blaming of America’s police for the recent cop massacres that amount, as Heather Mac Donald rightly says, to a war on cops….
It seemed to me that Obama had a unique opportunity to speak about values and virtues to this minority of African Americans—to tell them that his own life exemplified how in twenty-first century America you could get an education, work hard, get married, be an attentive husband and father, and maybe even become president of the United States. How disappointing that he chose the other tack, stoking grievance and resentment over supposed victimization by all authority, whether from teachers, cops, or potential employers. He and his attorneys general went sniffing out evidences of racism everywhere, and demonizing the police.
A Slain Officer’s Example for Us All
Christopher J. Tyson – The New York Times
In these difficult times, we must reject these false choices. Acknowledging that black life has historically been devalued does not inherently devalue the lives of others. Advocating for more and better community policing can happen in a manner that doesn’t marginalize law enforcement. Bearing witness to the legacy of racial division in our community does not undermine the necessary steps toward progress. It is possible to deplore and mourn the conditions surrounding the death of Mr. Sterling and those of Officers Jackson, Gerald and Garafola. We can oppose unnecessary, excessive force just as zealously as we oppose violence against the police.
Officer Jackson not only understood this as a black male police officer, he modeled it for us. In a Facebook post from July 8 he wrote: