Tuesday Talk*: What’s A Black Lawmaker To Do?

For a brief and shining moment, woke radicals decided that Hispanic people were being oppressed by the word “Latino,” and so they did as they’re wont to do, changed the word to the ingenious “Latinx.” It turned out there was only one flaw in the plan. Hispanic people overwhelmingly hated it.

A Vox ‘splainer made a typically comical pitch for why the word was “catching on” with everybody but Latinos, not that the 98% of them mattered. Probably just self-loathing Latinx, as the woke rationalization for why anyone wouldn’t do as they decided was fabulous goes.

As the 37 excuses flavors of Defund Police wind their way through legislative halls, who, other than racists and Nazis wouldn’t see why the reimagination of society from the ground up wouldn’t magically make all the bad things people do to each other go away? In the New York City Council, it turned out to be black councilpeople.

With New York City on the cusp of cutting $1 billion from the Police Department, a city councilwoman, Vanessa L. Gibson, told her colleagues that enough was enough.

She acknowledged that some Council members, spurred by the movement to defund the police, were seeking to slash even more from the department’s budget. But she pointed out that her constituents did not agree.

They “want to see cops in the community,” Ms. Gibson said.

It wasn’t that everything was hunky-dory as it was. Gibson wanted reform, to end needless violence, to stop black men from dying needlessly. But what she didn’t want was her community without police.

“They don’t want to see excessive force. They don’t want to see cops putting their knees in our necks,” she said. “But they want to be safe as they go to the store.”

Ms. Gibson is not a conservative politician speaking on behalf of an affluent district. She is a liberal Black Democrat who represents the West Bronx, and her stance reflects a growing ideological rift over policing in one of the country’s liberal bastions.

What Gibson, and her constituents, understood was what activists conveniently miss. While they’re indulging grand fantasies of life after racism, people on the street want to make it home alive, without being mugged, beaten or shot. And between the cops and the alternative, they choose the cops.

It is a clash across racial, ideological and generational lines that is dividing Black and Latino council members in New York City. The discord illustrates how complicated the nation’s struggle with its legacy of racial oppression and discriminatory policing has become after the killing of George Floyd and the coronavirus crisis magnified longstanding and widespread racial disparities.

On the one side, there are people facing reality. On the other, there are dreamers, imagining a better world. You can’t blame anyone for wanting a better world, but there are a few problems which get in the way of life on the street today. First, the glorious future is theoretical; nobody knows if any of these idea will work. Second, these are grand ideas which will take years, maybe even generations, to come to fruition. What happens in the meantime? Third, if the dream begins with the defunding of police, and the glorious theoretical future is a generation away, what do you do in the meantime when you call 911 and nobody answers?

There is, of course a fourth concern. If the Utopian dream turns out to be a steaming pile of bullshit, what then?

Laurie Cumbo, a Black councilwoman from Brooklyn who is majority leader, compared calls to defund the police to “colonization” pushed by white progressives. Robert Cornegy Jr., a Black councilman also from Brooklyn, called the movement “political gentrification.”

Mayor Ras Baraka of Newark, N.J., called defunding the police a “bourgeois liberal” solution for addressing systemic racism.

In other words, these elected black politicians think as well of the schemes adored by woke white college radicals as Hispanics did of Latinx. But their concern for the welfare of their community, the lives of their constituents, won’t prevent them from being attacked as heretics and traitors to the cause, the passion and certainty of progressives being so absolute that not even black people get to say, “thanks, but no thanks.”

There are many available arguments to explain that cops don’t stop crime, cops are the problem, all cops are lying bastards, and they may well be true to some greater or lesser extent. What these arguments fail to do, however, is address the choice made by these black legislators and mayors who are faced with reality and their constituent’s needs: As bad as cops may be, they still want them, and they want them more than they want armed guys in lawn chairs.

Is there any room, any tolerance in the “discussion” for challenge to the demands for social justice? Will black voices who just want to make it home from the store intact be heard over the chanting and sound of broken windows? Will black lawmakers be ousted and replaced by white saviors who know better what the people of the West Bronx need?

*Tuesday Talk rules apply.

12 thoughts on “Tuesday Talk*: What’s A Black Lawmaker To Do?

  1. Robert A. McReynolds

    It seems to me that a lot could be accomplished by just rolling back some of the affronts to the 4th Amd handed down by SCOTUS. I am thinking of Terry Stops, policing in “good faith” when in actuality the cops are either lying or woefully mistaken, and no-knock raids during the pitch of darkness. These policing tools protected by SCOTUS have created a situation where the people have zero respect for the police and the police view the people as an insurgency a la Falujah, Iraq. If the State, i.e., police, want our respect, then the State must respect our rights as human beings.

    1. SHG Post author

      Unless you were recently elected universal decision-maker for Black Lives Matter, is “seems to [you]” the relevant metric for rioters? And you might want to reconsider your need to explain the significant of Supreme Court decisions to criminal defense lawyers and judges. We aren’t nearly as stupid as you think we are.

  2. B. McLeod

    Most of the support for this “defending” thing seems to be coming from young, bored, white anarchists who are basically hijacking the BLM protests in the guise of “allies.”

    1. SHG Post author

      They are allies. Black people just don’t realize yet how they’re wrong and the white kidz know stuff.

  3. Rxc

    “Change is good. Change is good. Change is good. ”

    That is what the management experts from the business schools and consulting firms say all the time to the recalcitrant front-line managers in business and government. And they get a lot of money to say that.

  4. John Barleycorn

    So is it gonna be a bad trip or a good trip when you look in the mirror and see Alistair Cooke?

    Don’t try to hard now, it might be better to just let it happen and roll with it.

    Could be fun either way…

  5. xerxes

    The thing about the English language is that it is ungendered*. And there is a perfectly good word already available: Latin. What am I missing by pointing this out?

    *Actors/actresses excepted. When will the woke abolish this distinction and thereby cut in half the number of Oscars to be awarded? “And the Academy Award for Best Actrox goes to…”

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