Howard Portnoy reported on this one earlier on Tuesday. He tied the story of the three men who came to a Florida deputy’s assistance, when the deputy was under attack, to other instances around the country of citizens watching out for law enforcement officers.
Howard makes a good point when he asks if this is a “national movement” starting. But I’d like to briefly make a different point.
The three men who came to Deputy Mike Walsh’s aid in Polk County, Florida are – unsurprisingly – a cross-section of America. George Cooper is a 54-year-old black man. Antonio Velazquez is Hispanic, and Christopher Carver is white. They both appear to be somewhat younger than Cooper.
On Sunday, the three of them happened to be in the same place when motorist Corey Johnson, a repeat offender with seven active warrants on his sheet, was attacking Deputy Walsh after a traffic stop. The men don’t consider themselves heroes; they’re just citizens who could see the right thing to do, and did it.
They remind me of the men who took down the terrorist on the train in France: Airman First Class Spencer Stone, college student Anthony Sadler, and Oregon National Guard Specialist Alek Skarlatos – another trio of Americans who are, respectively, “a white guy, a black guy, and a child of immigrants,” as William L. Gensert put it at American Thinker.
All six of these men are living proof that America has continued to transmit the ideal of the yeoman citizen – free, unassumingly noble, and empowered – to her people of every race and background.
In that sense, they’re also a living rebuke to the race-baiters and demagogues who rule our public information space today. Unforced, on their own quiet initiative, these men show clearly what America really is, and what it is to be an American. They show that it’s about everyone being a man before his fellow men in the same way. It’s the exact opposite of grabbing onto America so you can complain about other people.
Here’s George Cooper from his interview with the local Fox affiliate:
“It don’t matter what color you are — your race, your creed,” Cooper added. “Hey, he’s a police officer: He helps us.”
In Europe, the Western concept of the yeoman citizen, self-arming and with unique authority over himself, has been buried under layers of statism for decades now. But it still lives on the streets of America, in millions of homely examples. I don’t think it’s any accident that we’re being presented with those examples in Technicolor, at this freighted moment in history – if we just have eyes to see.