It’s come to this.
If you need evidence of how deeply divided the nation has become on the subject of race six years into the presidency of a man who falsely promised to usher in an era of post-racial harmony, the picture below provides it. It is a shot (which is perhaps a poor choice of words) of Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), who took to the floor of the House of Representatives Monday to make the “hands up, don’t shoot,” gesture that has become something of an unfunny joke in recent days.
The gesture originated early in the saga of black teen Michael Brown, who was shot by a white police officer in Ferguson, Mo. Claims made by a friend of Brown that the teen had his hands raised in a gesture of surrender were proved false by forensic evidence and testimony under oath of other witnesses. But the “hands up, don’t shoot” mantra has remained a rallying cry among low-information types who point to the shooting of Brown as typical of wanton police brutality toward minorities.
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It is understandable, if not excusable, that a bunch of overpaid professional jocks would make the gesture as a sign of solidarity. But a member of the U.S. Congress? Jeffries was joined in his symbolic gesture by other members of the Congressional Black Caucus, including Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) and Al Green (D-Texas).