Column: Systemic ignorance and criminal retraining
After viewing both the Republican and Democratic conventions, a few things are now apparent. First, the Republican establishment is out of power, at least for this election cycle, and probably for a lot longer. Second, the Democratic establishment is firmly ensconced in power, but a large segment of its voters believe their party is controlled by corrupt leaders. The Democrats may be able to win some of these voters back, but it will be a long uphill slog.
The leaders of today’s Democratic Party are far to the left of the classic Democrats. When I was growing up, both my parents were registered Democrats. Back then, the Democrats had slogans like, “The buck stops here” and “Ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country.” How does that compare with Hillary Clinton’s response when asked on 60 Minutes why all of the requests for more security in Benghazi were ignored? “It was not my ball to carry. … Those (requests) never reached me,” she said. “Those never came to my attention.”
With Obama adding 16 or so million people receiving food stamps and EBT cards, more and more individuals are rejecting President Kennedy’s words of advice and are asking what the government can do for them. For which party do you think the people receiving this largesse will vote?
These new Democrats don’t want to hold any individuals responsible for anything. They won’t blame themselves for creating a welfare system that has destroyed families, hitting black families the hardest. When fatherless black men are jailed at a much higher rates than other races, the Democrats don’t blame themselves or the individual black criminals, they create a new scapegoat. The cause, they say, is “systemic racism” in our law enforcement, our criminal justice system and our prisons. As proof, they offer statistics that, although blacks are only about 13 percent of the U.S. population, they make up about 37 percent of the federal prison population. Like all good statists, they undoubtedly believe in quotas. Since blacks make up 13 percent of the people in the country, Democrats imply that the cause of the large percentage of black prison inmates is due to systemic racism.
They fail to point out statistics that show black hoodlums commit a large portion of violent crimes. According to Heather MacDonald of the Manhattan Institute, Justice Department statistics for 2009 showed that blacks were charged with 62 percent of robberies, 57 percent of the murders, and 45 percent of the aggravated assaults in the 75 largest counties studied. Democrats, and not just a few Republicans, are now discussing criminal justice reform, which most assuredly will include releasing many convicted “non-violent” felons. Anyone familiar with the criminal justice system knows about plea bargains. Someone convicted of a non-violent felony may have plea bargained the more violent charges away. Since most crime, especially violent crime, is committed by suspects who are the same race as their victims, who will pay the price for this social engineering release of felons: the poor blacks living in the communities in which the crooks are released.
The real problem is the “systemic ignorance” pushed by Democrats and aided by many in the media. Nowhere was this ignorance more on display than at the Democratic convention where they pandered to the Black Lives Matter group that has been thoroughly discredited since the Ferguson riots. “Hands up, Don’t shoot” didn’t happen. There is no uptick in police shootings of black men. That doesn’t matter to Democrats. They honor “The Mothers of the Movement” that is based on a lie. They barely mention the murdered officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge. Hillary’s people wouldn’t let cops wear their uniforms in the convention hall. When a chief of police, speaking at the convention asked for a moment of silence for the fallen officers in Dallas and Louisiana, several of the Democrats could be heard yelling, “Black lives matter.” There is no moral equivalency between law enforcement and the Black Lives Matter movement. Law enforcement protects and serves and the “movement” wants to emasculate order and cause anarchy. Only a self-loathing or suicidal cop would vote for a Democrat after that. They showed the world where their leanings are and it’s not toward police.
The hand wringers in both political parties whine that police need more and better training. They want an open and honest dialogue between the police and the community. I strongly disagree with the former and in the interest of the latter, here’s my experienced view. Police training is as good as it’s ever been and is improving all the time. When an officer commits a crime, as happened in South Carolina, that officer is – and should be – arrested and prosecuted. If he or she violates departmental policies and/or procedures, the punishment can range from days off without pay to termination.
What is needed is training for the community. Look at any of the well-publicized, officer-involved shootings and this is what you will find. First, usually a crime occurred or a citizen reports suspicious activity or is observed by the officer. Then a suspect is confronted. Usually the suspect does not follow the officer’s lawful orders. There is a resistance to the arrest. That is when the death of the suspect usually occurs.
So here is the training the community needs to lower or stop these deaths: 1. Don’t commit a crime. 2. Follow the officer’s orders. 3. Do not resist arrest. If you feel you were unlawfully arrested or were the object of brutality, there are plenty of private and legal aid attorneys who would love to sue law enforcement officers so that they can get to the deeper pockets of the city, county, state or federal governments.
Buz Williams is a retired Long Beach, California, police officer who has lived in Prescott since 2004.