Michael Brown, Ferguson MO, and the real blacks who ‘get it’

Michael Brown, Ferguson MO, and the real blacks who ‘get it’

There are many factors that make Jason Riley of the Wall Street Journal ill-equipped to talk about the racially tense situation in Ferguson, Mo. First, he is an “Uncle Tom” (read: black conservative). Second, he is married to a woman (fellow journalist Naomi Schaeffer Riley) who is not only white (read: privileged) but Jewish (read: evil).

In spite of these limitations, Jason Riley was on “Special Report with Bret Baier” Monday evening to offer up his insights on the police shooting of black teenager Michael Brown. Real Clear Politics has a video of a portion of Riley’s commentary, which is reproduced below (transcript follows):

JASON RILEY: We don’t have all the evidence and I’m hesitant to try and litigate this in the press, but there’s also this false narrative being pushed out there by folks like Michael Eric Dyson and [Al] Sharpton and the rest of the hustlers is that black men live in fear of being shot by cops in these neighborhoods. That too is nonsense. I know something about growing up black and male in the inner city and it’s not that hard to avoid getting shot by a cop. They pull you over, you answer their questions, you are on your way.

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The real difficulty is not getting shot by other black people if you are a young black man in these neighborhoods and again that is something we need to talk more about. Cops are not the problem. Cops are not producing these black bodies in the morgues every weekend in Chicago, in New York and Detroit and so forth. That’s not cops. Those other black people shooting black people.

BRET BAIER, HOST: What about the president’s intervention here? He says he doesn’t want to tip the scales but the Attorney General is heading to Ferguson.

RILEY: I’ve talked to some former federal prosecutors in the Department of Justice and they find this very odd, this parallel investigation going on. They say normally if the feds sit back, they let the local authorities do their job, they see something amiss and then they intervene. That has not been alleged here. Or if the police department has a history of civil rights violations, then the Department of Justice might intervene early. Again, that has not be alleged here. I think this is a parallel investigation being done purely for optics. Political pressure that the president is feeling from his left to be shown doing something, I think that’s what driving it.

Riley’s views are reminiscent of those of LU’s own resident Uncle Tom (Aunt Tomassa?), Deneen Borelli. Neither views the situations quite the way a real black person does. Take Ta-Nehisi Coates, a bona fide black man, who wrote in yesterday’s Atlantic:

A few weeks ago I received an anxious text from my wife informing me that a group of young men were fighting outside of our apartment building. We’ve spent most of our adult lives in New York, and most of that time in New York living in Harlem. I love Harlem for the same reason I love all the hoods I have lived in. I walk outside in my same uniform, which is to say my same jeans, my same fitted [sic], my same hoodie, and feel myself washing away, disappearing into the boulevard, into the black and (presently) the brown, and becoming human. [Emphasis added]

Here is a man who “gets it,” who understands that blacks feel human only when they are among, to borrow Eric Holder’s formulation, “their people.” From this perspective, Coates found it is easy to tell us wife what to do … and not do:

She was not worried about her own safety — boys like this are primarily a threat to each other. What my wife wanted was someone who could save them young men [sic] from themselves, some power which would disperse the boys in a fashion that would not escalate things, some power. No such power exists. I told my wife to stay inside and do nothing. I did not tell her to call the police. If you have watched the events of this past week, you may have some idea why. [Emphasis added]

Coates’s cynical view of law enforcement is widely held among liberals. USA Today ran a piece last Friday that began:

Nearly two times a week in the United States, a white police officer killed a black person during a seven-year period ending in 2012, according to the most recent accounts of justifiable homicide reported to the FBI.

Did you pick up on the phrase justifiable homicide? Coates probably would, too, but he would view the deck as stacked, asking with a smirk, “Justifiable to whom?”

Wherein lies the rub. If you can trust no authority to provide justice, then you have nowhere to turn but to “the law of the street.” His message to his anxious wife becomes, in essence, “Let the brothers duke it out.” If one pulls a knife and slashes another’s throats, so be it. In fact, it happens all the time. Which brings me back to Jason Riley’s point: The only time we ever hear about a black man dying as the result of a violent act is when the killer is white and/or a member of law enforcement.

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Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy has written for The Blaze, HotAir, NewsBusters, Weasel Zippers, Conservative Firing Line, RedCounty, and New York’s Daily News. He has one published novel, Hot Rain, (G. P. Putnam’s Sons), and has been a guest on Radio Vice Online with Jim Vicevich, The Alana Burke Show, Smart Life with Dr. Gina, and The George Espenlaub Show.