Six Simple Truths about Law Enforcement and #BlackLivesMatter

1) The protests might give the opposite impression, but virtually nobody in the US disagrees that George Floyd’s killing was an obvious injustice, for which justice is currently underway — the police officer who did it has been both fired and charged with murder.

2) To the extent the case indicates any broader institutional problem, it has little if anything to do with racism. Rather, it’s that a number of police departments are apparently failing to weed out people who have no business being on the force. (Don’t believe me? Look up the 2017 Justine Diamond case, also in Minneapolis.) The solution is to campaign to pressure the relevant authorities to review the departments in question, then replace leaders & reform policies as needed.

3) Racism is of course an evil that will plague humanity until the end of time, as will every defect of the human condition. Systemic racism, on the other hand — the idea that society is rigged against black Americans, that police are generally predisposed to murder blacks, that racism Is an inherent quality of our institutions or any kind of operating principle — is not a thing, no matter how many celebrities claim its is or how many corporations agree. It is a malicious, destructive fiction chiefly promoted by very, very bad people.

4) Whatever share of the protesting crowds are peaceful, any demonstrations rooted in the premise of systemic racism are fundamentally unserious because they misdiagnose the problem, and therefore cannot be part of the solution. You want to do something of actual value? Start by educating yourself (and no, parroting whatever narratives dominate your social circles does not make you “educated”).

5) The moment someone tosses a brick through a window, steals a TV, defaces a wall, or sets a car on fire (and those are the least of the monstrous acts being committed across the country by people the media is desperately trying to spin away) is the moment you should jettison any sympathy for him or her and stop giving a damn about anything he or she has to say. The same goes for any activist, organization, or commenter that stands with or makes excuses for such animals (I know somebody will lie about this point if I don’t add this, so to be clear: none of this is to say you should stop caring about Floyd or police brutality, but that rioters — and their apologists & enablers — shouldn’t get to be part of the discussion).

6) Once violence and chaos in the streets makes the citizenry of communities across the country too terrified to leave their homes, that pretty obviously becomes the far more immediate problem. Reasonable people can differ as to the most effective means of restoring peace, but if your primary concern is for the welfare of the perpetrators of terrorism — and let’s be honest, that’s exactly what a lot of what we’re seeing is — rather than the victims of it, there’s something deeply wrong with you.