I Have Four Sons, and They’re Not Trayvon

The sickening waltz continues with the tragic death of Stephen Clark, a young Black man, caught up in a frenetic confrontation with the police; where an officer had to make a split-second decision on a fleeing suspect. As usual, the second step in this waltz was accompanied by the obligatory shouts of police brutality followed by the tertiary connection of how innocent black men are indiscriminately hunted down by racist police. Combine this with the recent media-driven Kabuki Theatre surrounding the arrest of Milwaukee Buck’s star Sterling Brown, and the same disagreements are being acrimoniously resurrected as a referendum on the police.

Unfortunately, the culpability of the officers involved in both cases is being superseded by the well-established hagiography surrounding the deaths of Freddie Gray, Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin. In reference to the latter, one is reminded of the comments made by our former President, that if he had a son, he would’ve looked like Trayvon. But I doubt very much; he wouldn’t act like him.  And quite frankly, so does Barrack Obama.

The so-called profiling [i]and open killing of black men has more to do with a host of life decisions, proper mentoring, the devolution of a family in the black underclass as well as the fracturing of basic civic behavior that has been lost, or not even taught in Post-Civil Rights America.[ii] To be blunt, too many blacks are engaged in illegal activities that often bring them into contact with law enforcement where the potential of something going sideways has been ginned-up by the blatantly false narrative of police brutality orchestrated by the cultural left. This toxic way of thinking and “behaving” towards the police has been injected into a large segment of the black community. Subsequently, many blacks exhibit a response to the law enforcement that borders on Pavlovian.

More to the point, the breakdown of the rule of law which most of us socialized in basic civic behavior, is a “reciprocal relationship.” This has been systemically undercut by defiant comportment on part of many young black men, black elites like Eric Holder, many ESPN Sports analysts, as well as a host of unencumbered by reality liberal academics. They pay little for encouraging the false narrative that the police bear the primary responsibility in restoring respect for the law in an increasingly dysfunctional social fabric that percolates within the black underclass.  From a micro-relational standpoint, many street-level police officers, who are charged with maintaining a civil society, are reporting being met with recalcitrant behavior for even the slightest questioning of individuals, in neighborhoods that Obama and liberals, both black or white wouldn’t be caught dead. Mouthing off and other pejorative semantics that now proceeds many stops by police of blacks is dangerously being encouraged by the political class for the sole purpose of leveraging the currency surrounding such events.

Let me be clear here. This does not negate the fact that historically there have been real problems and blatant abuse of blacks by law enforcement.  But here is the point!  “Historically,” we are not talking about the world of the 1930s,1940s or 1950s which my eleven siblings and I grew up.  There is a world of difference in being deliberately brutalized by some law enforcement officials during these time periods, and the world of St. Michael of Ferguson.  Are we to believe that there is some Thomistic synthesis between someone who goes up to a law enforcement officer, punches him in the face, while trying to grab the officer’s gun, and the injustices that took place in Pre-Civil Rights America. The two cannot be conflated.  Who in the hell teaches, or more pointedly, doesn’t explain to their child, that if you try to engage with the police in such a manner, you will get shot!  The latter is not an epiphany to my four sons. The virulent soup that has been created in the past two decades is what I fear the most for myself and my four sons. It has made normal reciprocity based on the rule of law anathema within a large segment of the Black community.

Obama, being a father of two wonderful children, knows that he has done things to direct his daughters not to place themselves in malfeasant situations with law enforcement.  With the ubiquitous nature of social media and you-tube justice provocateurs, the police have already been under constant scrutiny by individuals and organizations who filter everything through the kaleidoscope of race. Race industry entrepreneurs like Obama, former Attorney General Eric Holder, Spike Lee, most ESPN Sports analysis, the Congressional Black Caucus, NAACP, and far too many Upper and Middle-Class blacks, know that the biggest threat to black men isn’t the police, but black criminals.[iii]As repeated in every statistic on black-on-black crime, Blacks make-up approximately 13% of the population, but account for over 52% of all murders in this country. [iv]In addition, blacks commit violent and other crimes at 7 to 10 times the rate that whites do. If you also take into consideration, that Black females make up only a small percentage of homicides; one comes closer to the truth of who exactly is the “real evil” among the black underclass.[v]This is as true today, as it was in an article I penned for Commonweal Magazine two decades ago. [vi]

The socio-cultural left needs to understand a simple truth. You don’t need racism to explain the on-going problems afflicting the black underclass. Nor is it compulsory to employ the redacted explanation dealing with the pernicious legacy of slavery. This latter interpretation is often elucidated by the Civil Rights Industry and the secular evangelists that dominate academia. Decades of peer-reviewed quackery discharged by Black/African American Studies Programs, Women/Gender Studies, Chicano Studies, Sociology, Criminology and other merchants of identity politics, have done more to sidetrack any real dialog on a host of socio-cultural and political issues that face the Nation. But then again, maybe that is the point of their mono-cognitive, if not reductionist interpretations of issues and events surrounding law enforcement within the Black community.

To reiterate, what is more, disturbing from a micro-analysis of police interaction with blacks is, that there exists not so subtle noncompliance on the part of young black men.  They are tragically being taught to defy even the simplest request by law enforcement and blowing it up into a situation that will often lead to a Stephen Clark or even Trayvon Martin confrontation.

The latter chose to ground and pound a neighborhood watch official, who was inquiring, why this young man was in the neighborhood. This escalated into an unnecessary and highly preventable situation which led to Mr. Martin’s death.   This charade fostered by black politicians, the news media, and groups like Black-Lives-Matter, guarantees that these gratuitous events will continue.   The Black Congressional Caucus, Blacks Lives Matter, and unfortunately the legacy of our first Black President, swayed for political reasons that these shootings are evidence of a rampant Bull Connerism within law enforcement. Given the political coinage that is invested by the cultural left after every police shooting or a Sterling Brown incident, they hardly want this lethal choreography to recede. In short, if the issue of law enforcement and the black community is ever really mollified, it disappears as a fundraising or electoral tool. Black Democrat like Maxine Watters and Corry Booker would cease to be needed since their primary product, “the-perpetual-victimization-of-blacks-in-a-racist-society,” is taken off the table. The rampant lawlessness that is a common feature in too many black communities speaks to a larger problem which has its genesis in the breakdown of the black family since the 1970s. This congenital social dislocation is characterized by the explosion of single-parent headed households, welfare dependency and the conspicuous absence of anything resembling responsible father figures. Subsequently, children are not taught, nor exposed to normative middle-class values. Of course, obeying the law and trying to make your life and your neighborhood better is often labeled “acting white.” Regrettably, blacks from all social classes still invoke this peculiar cultural doxology whenever possible.   I guess, being a cool jack-ass in jail, overrides being a responsible citizen, a good student or steward of one’s community.[vii]

[i]See., No Longer Elementary

[ii]See., Boy, Pick That Up!

[iii]See., No Longer Elementary

[iv]See., Black Lives Matter: To the Police

[v]See., All Enemies Fabricated and Imagined

[vi]See., Black and Blue. Commonweal, February 13, 1998: p 31.

[vii]See., White Privilege, Black Fathers

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