Once again, a shooting by a police officer is headline news. The actual shooting was shown on national TV, and a Chicago police officer has now been charged with first-degree murder for the death of a black teenager. Predictively, the cries of “racist cops!” are deafening, and the incessant media coverage has precipitated the growth of endless protesters in the Chicago streets.
Let me be perfectly clear: Almost any death from unnatural causes is tragic, and the episode is magnified when the victim is relatively young. My deepest sympathies go out to the parents of the dead young man, as I have lost loved ones who had not lived out their lives – thankfully none to violence, but an unexpected death always generates shock and great sorrow.
I want to point out that the only reason I am not in prison, or dead, today is because an “accident” prevented me from being where I had intended to be. For most of the ’60s, I was known as “Malcolm Z” because of my commitment and adherence to the teachings of Malcolm X and the Black Muslims. (I have not always been a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ.) In fact, I have been arrested (but not booked) in my home town, stopped by police in six different states and rescued by the Air Police from Libyan police in Tripoli.
Some of these arrests occurred in the North, but most in the Deep South during the days when segregation was the law of the land; and, almost all cops then were white. In none of the occurrences, not one, was my life threatened or was I physically abused – all for a very simple reason: I did what the police said to do, when they said it.
I realize that is hard for some folks to comprehend, but when they said, “Halt!” I halted. When they said, “Show me your hands,” I did. When they said, “Lean against the car, hands on the roof,” I did it. (I confess that probably sounds inconceivable to anyone who hangs out in ‘da hood today.)
Now, however, the attitude toward police oversight has dramatically changed from the good ol’ days. Now it’s:
- “Even if I am guilty, am I obligated to be busted if I’m not in the mood?”
- “Even if I disagree with the cop’s suspicion of guilt, I’m supposed to let the man bust me?”
- “After all, I didn’t do anything all that bad!”
- “Besides, I’m sick of white cops telling me what is right or wrong!”
- “Nobody’s gonna tell me what to do!”
Apparently, these days you don’t have to obey the police if you don’t feel like it; consequently, we are reaching a stage that is having profound ramifications for the relationships between the police (our protectors) and the populace.
Consider this: As “unreported” by the “unbiased” media, there is a rising crime rate in Chicago. There have been more than 2,140 shootings in Chicago this year and more than 400 homicides. Eighty percent of the victims were black (including 45 shootings this past week), and only one by a police officer.
- Distress calls from predominately black area codes are automatically routed to the phone numbers of Rev. Al Sharpton, Rev. Jesse Jackson or other “civil rights” leaders’ centers.
- Ferguson, St. Louis, Chicago and other cities with predominately black ‘hoods establish “white cop no-go zones.” Only black cops would enter those neighborhoods.
- If no black cops are available, the residents handle the situation, or wait until one shows up.
The freedom to live in a safe and secure country is at almost as much risk from an out-of-control citizenry as from any foreign invader, if not more so. It is a serious thing to play political games with our agreed-upon rule of law. Political correctness will eventually show itself for the evil it is if we don’t govern ourselves and learn to exercise brain over brawn.
This new idea that some people have the right to defy the law will inevitably lead to anarchy in the streets of all our cities unless we are willing to hold the line in support of that law and stand down the perpetrators.
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. warned Aug. 28, 1963: “In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence.”