The sniper-style murders of five Dallas police officers last Thursday night should provoke universal outrage. Yet many observers are justifying them. While not defending the killings, they are assuming moral equivalence between the massacre and earlier deaths of criminal suspects in police custody. They claim the murderer, a black ex-Army reservist, Micah X. Johnson, killed by police during a standoff, was a “lone wolf,” not one of the peaceful protestors. This is nonsense. The tactics differ; the goals are the same. Dallas Police Chief David Brown, also black, admits Johnson was driven by a hatred of whites. And that’s what drives Black Lives Matter, the social network behind protests in Dallas and other cities that enables this attitude.
National Legal and Policy Center several times this year has put Black Lives Matter (BLM) and its enablers under the spotlight for poisoning debate on race. More than once, its members have manufactured or publicized hoaxes to give the appearance of white “hate crimes” against blacks. BLM came into being during the summer of 2013 after a Florida state trial jury, wholly justifiably, exonerated a white (actually mixed-race) anti-crime patrol volunteer, George Zimmerman, of murder in the shooting death of a teenaged black attacker, Trayvon Martin. Black Lives Matter, aided by cash from multibillionaire George Soros, became a major force the following year in Ferguson, Missouri, where they organized street protests demanding prosecution of a white police officer, Darren Wilson, who had shot a violent black youth, Michael Brown, in self-defense; a grand jury that fall decided, properly, that there was no basis for prosecution. These protests turned riotous more than once. They were anything but peaceful.
On the basis of these and other cases, Black Lives Matter activists insist that blacks in this country are being targeted for extermination and thus require direct action, even if illegal, on their behalf. Yet the evidence indicates that the claims of “murder” have ranged from dubious to ludicrous. George Zimmerman used his revolver that evening in Sanford, Florida on February 26, 2012 because he was being sucker-punched and then beaten by Trayvon Martin. Officer Darren Wilson shot Michael Brown on that residential street around noontime on August 9, 2014 because Brown had sucker-punched Wilson in patrol car, tried to steal his service revolver, and then, after walking (or running) away from the scene, wheeled around and charged at Wilson at top speed. A trophy-hungry state prosecutor in Baltimore, an African-American, thus far has been unable to secure a conviction against any of the six city cops she had indicted because there is no evidence that any of the officers had acted with malice toward a deceased black arrestee, Freddie Gray, who deliberately had tried to injure himself. The two Minneapolis cops who had shot a volatile black male, Jamar Clark, in November 2015 did so because Clark tried to take the gun of one of the officers. Federal and state prosecutors each decided against filing criminal charges.
If justice truly prevailed in this country, Black Lives Matter already would be a historical footnote. But aside from its large network of black supporters, especially via social media such as Facebook and Twitter, BLM enjoys political support at the highest level. On February 18 of this year, President Obama held a meeting with more than a dozen black leaders from around the nation to discuss race, crime and policing. Among the attendees were Black Lives Matter leaders DeRay McKesson and Brittany Packnett. The White House summit, which lasted at least an hour and a half, was a prelude to the annual presidential celebration of Black History Month. “Overall, what I am most encouraged by is the degree of focus and constructiveness that exists not only with existing civil rights organizations, but this new generation,” remarked Obama. “They are some serious young people. I told them that they are much better organizers than I was at their age, and I am confident that they are going to take America to new heights.” With an endorsement like that, it’s hard to see BLM disappearing into the dustbin of history anytime soon.
Black Lives Matter and its allies these past couple weeks have had extra ammunition for their perpetual campaign. With great vehemence, they are pointing to separate incidents in which a black male suspect was killed by local police during an attempted arrest. The deceased, respectively, are Alton Sterling (Baton Rouge); Philando Castile (suburban St. Paul); and Delrawn Small (New York City). Black identity politicians, and their innumerable cheerleaders in the press, are insisting that each of these deaths were a case of murder (“police killings“). Yet when held up to scrutiny, none of these shootings, including the two most publicized ones, those of Sterling and Castile, even resemble such a claim. This is highly significant. For the purpose of the march in downtown Dallas last week, as it was for marches in other U.S. cities, was to dramatize black outrage at these deaths. The legitimacy of the protests, in other words, rests entirely on whether a case can be made for police murder in the deaths of Sterling, Castile and Small. And the facts point to only one conclusion: None of the deaths was a murder. Indeed, it can be argued, and convincingly, that had the alleged offending police officer not fired his weapon in each instance, he would have been the one to die. As always, the devil is in the details.
Alton Sterling. During the wee hours of Tuesday, July 5, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, police had just gotten a call about trouble at a local convenience store. Apparently, a man was very angry at someone who had objected to his selling bootleg (i.e., illegal) CDs just outside the store. The suspect’s name was Alton Sterling. At 6’4” and over 300 pounds, Alton Sterling, 37, was an imposing figure. Making him even more imposing was the distinct possibility that he was armed. In the police audio, a dispatcher relayed a message from an anonymous “911” caller who had complained about Sterling pulling a gun on him. The dispatcher sent out the word: “Selling CDs on the corner. Gun in his pocket. He pulled a gun on a complainant and told him he couldn’t be around there.” When police arrived at the scene, they found a highly agitated Sterling, a man with a 46-page-long rap sheet with prior convictions for: illegal weapons possession; battery; carnal knowledge of a teenager whom he had impregnated; failing to register as a sex offender; possession of stolen property; disturbing the peace; and domestic abuse. While the two white cops weren’t about to veer from standard procedure, especially as they were wearing body cams, Sterling proved a daunting challenge to their self-restraint. Without knowing the full story – the body cams reportedly came loose during the encounter – the officers, Blane Salamoni and Howie Lake II, pinned Sterling to the ground. Several seconds later, one of the cops shot him fatally. During this time, unbeknownst to the cops, the owner of the convenience store, Abdullah Muflahi, was making a video of his own. And he saw gold, posting it on the web, where it promptly went viral. Black Lives Matter activists and their hopped-up audiences took it from there.
Philando Castile. It was Wednesday evening, July 6, in the Twin Cities-area community of Falcon Heights, Minn. A 32-year-old black male, Philando Castile, was driving a car, accompanied by his girlfriend and her 4-year-old child from a previous relationship. Two cops, Jeronimo Yanez and Joseph Kauser, a Hispanic and a white, allegedly noticed a broken tail light. They pulled Castile over to the side. Even if true, this storyline should not have cast the police in a bad light. It is a matter of public safety that motorists, especially after dark, be apprised of a vehicle malfunction. Castile, unfortunately, did not take kindly to this gesture. Without a video recording of what led up to the violence, it was difficult to tell who provoked who into doing what. But there was a confrontation. And during the altercation, Officer Yanez shot Castile multiple times. Castile’s girlfriend, “Diamond” Reynolds, quickly made a video recording from her front passenger seat showing her wounded boyfriend. Castile died about a half hour later. A police attorney issued a statement afterward: “Regrettably, the use of force became necessary in reacting to the actions of the driver of a stopped vehicle. Officer Yanez is deeply saddened for the family and loved ones of Philando Castile.” And those actions might well have been violent. Castile happened to be a robbery suspect. According to the radio dispatch of Officer Yanez: “The occupants look just like people that were involved in a robbery. The driver looks like one of our suspects, just ‘cause of the wide set nose.” A BOLO (Be on Look Out) alert had been issued for that suspect for an armed robbery committed four days earlier. Castile, in fact, had an unregistered handgun resting on his left thigh at the time of his fatal encounter. In other words, the “broken tail light” story very likely was an invention of Ms. Reynolds.
Delrawn Small. In the early morning hours of Monday, July 4, Delrawn Small, 37, a black resident of Brooklyn, was feeling disrespected. Apparently, another motorist had cut him off from the front. The motorist was an off-duty police officer, Wayne Isaacs, driving an unmarked car. For Small, it was road rage time. He followed the car down a Brooklyn thoroughfare for about seven blocks until both reached a red light. Sensing opportunity to make a statement, Small got out of his car, ran to the unmarked cop car, and sucker-punched Officer Isaacs through an open side window. Rightly fearing for his life, Isaacs responded by pulling out his service revolver and shooting Small. The suspect died at the scene soon after. Delrawn Small was a hardened career criminal. He had been arrested at least 19 times over the previous 20 or more years and had served three separate prison terms during 1996-2010, respectively, for attempted robbery, attempted drug sale to an undercover cop, and assault with a knife. The NYPD, rather than stand by its own, stripped Officer Isaacs of his gun and badge, and assigned him to a desk job. Thanks to a homemade video, plus pressure from Reverend Al Sharpton and his minions, Isaacs could face manslaughter charges.
Civil rights radicals, oblivious to cause and effect, now had a fresh supply of martyrs. None of the allegedly incriminating incidents seemed to add up to murder. In the case of Delrawn Small, a police officer’s decision to use his firearm may have saved his life. Black Lives Matter and their white Social Justice Warrior allies weren’t hearing any of that. Convinced more than ever that white racist America needed street agitprop, they sprung into action, smart phones intact, and organized ad hoc protests in cities across the country. These protests were “peaceful” in name only. On numerous occasions, demonstrators blocked traffic and threw rocks at police. In St. Paul, a large crowd, furious over the death of hometown hero Philandro Castile, blocked traffic on Interstate 94. Some of the protestors threw liquid, rocks and concrete blocks at local cops; at least one protestor hurled a Molotov cocktail. Police made over 100 arrests, while sustaining about 20 injuries in the riot. In Baton Rouge, police likewise had to make more than 100 arrests; one of the arrestees, in fact, was BLM’s DeRay McKesson, recently a mayoral candidate in Baltimore and recently hired by that city’s public school system at $165,000 a year. Hundreds of persons were arrested other cities as well in the last several days.
Dallas was among the cities targeted. On the evening of July 7, demonstrators conducted a downtown rally and march, determined to display their might. According to witnesses, many participants chanted: “Pigs in a blanket, fry ‘em like bacon.” That was one of the war cries of black demonstrators in New York City that inspired a disgruntled black male, Ismaaiyl Brinsley, to ambush and murder at point blank two NYPD officers, Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu, in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn in December 2014. By any reasonable definition, such a chant constitutes an incitement to riot. Upstairs from the action, in a downtown building near Dealey Plaza where President John F. Kennedy had been assassinated over 50 years earlier, another disgruntled black male had a plan far more radical than anything happening on the street. He was going to fry some cops for real. And he had the means to do it.
His name was Micah Xavier Johnson. A resident of the Dallas suburb of Mesquite, Tex., Johnson, 25, had served in the Army Reserve from 2009 until April 2015. During that period, during November 2013-July 2014, he was deployed with the U.S. Army in Afghanistan, though in a non-combat role of carpentry and masonry specialist until his discharge for repeated harassment of a female soldier. His Facebook page, confirmed by a federal law enforcement official, showed him raising his fist in a Black Power salute. Military-trained and possessed of a bad temper was a bad combination. Perched inside a building, Johnson learned enough from his training manual to know that shifting vantage points could minimize the possibility of detection. It was about 9 P.M. – time for revolution. He let loose with bullets at Dallas police below. The crackle of gunfire terrified nearby pedestrians. Demonstrators and bystanders alike scattered. Several cops were down. This was a full-blown crisis situation.
Dallas Police called in SWAT units who were mobilized for action. It wasn’t easy to locate Johnson, but they succeeded, tracking the suspect to the second floor of a parking garage at El Centro College. They quickly cornered and gave him the option of surrendering. Johnson refused to surrender. An exchange of gunfire ensued. Police tried to negotiate, but to no avail. The minutes turned into hours, with Johnson singing and laughing for much of the standoff. Dallas Police Chief David Brown announced that Johnson sought racial payback. “He said he was upset about the recent police shootings,” said Brown. “The suspect said he was upset at white people. The suspect stated he wanted to kill white people, especially white officers.” He also told officers that “the end is coming” and referred to bombs he had planted downtown. Though none were found, a search of his home turned up rifles, ballistic vests, bomb-making materials and a combat journal.
By 2:30 A.M., the patience of police was exhausted. Not wishing to see more of their comrades shot, the cops decided to send an armed robot into Johnson’s immediate area. The bomb detonated, killing the suspect. Johnson left an ugly legacy: five murdered police officers. Their names were Patrick Zamarippa, Lorne Ahrens, Michael Smith, Michael Krol and Brent Thompson. Zamarippa, Ahrens, Smith and Krol worked for the City of Dallas; Thompson worked for Dallas Area Rapid Transit. The death toll could have been much worse. Johnson had wounded seven additional officers, plus two civilians, one of them a young mother protecting her sons.
Political leadership, for the most part, has been a model of fecklessness. Rather than admit the obvious – that these murders were executions hatched in a hothouse of anti-white animus – our leaders have responded with denial, assuring the public that the murder of five police officers, though bad, was no worse than the murder by police of “unarmed” blacks in cities elsewhere. The murder of the Dallas cops was tragic, they admit, but whites should be more attuned to the pain that leads one to commit such deeds. As a nation, we must heal together and find common ground. The black demonstrators in several cities who blocked traffic and engaged in other acts of disruption Saturday night into early Sunday morning must not have gotten that memo.
President Obama typified the duplicity. On Sunday, during an official trip to Spain, he commented: “Whenever those of us who are concerned about failures of the criminal justice system attack police, you are doing a disservice to the cause.” Notice the tone here. Obama was condemning the murders of police, yet he also was endorsing the goals of Black Lives Matter. Indeed, he explicitly added that BLM is in the grand tradition of American protest of abolitionism. His attorney general, Loretta Lynch, provided the same song and dance: “This has been a week of profound grief and heartbreak and loss. After the events of this week, Americans across our country are feeling a sense of helplessness, uncertainty and fear…but the answer must not be violence.” Yet this June, she announced that all department officers and prosecutors must take training in implicit bias, defined as “the unconscious or subtle associations that individuals make between groups of people and stereotypes about those groups.” The problem with white police, of course, is not their “bias,” but their attackers’ anti-police bias. Perhaps Lynch can advise certain black individuals to take a training course on respect for the law.
There was more where that came from. Hillary Clinton, who wants to be our next president, sent out a pair of tweets unwittingly revealing a shameless desire to play to her party’s base. Her first message, sent out on July 8, 9:06 A.M., read: “I mourn for the officers shot while doing their sacred duty to protect peaceful protestors, for their families & all who serve with them.” On the surface, that seemed reasonable. Yet examined more closely, it wasn’t. Who exactly posed a threat to the Dallas demonstrators? Later in the day, at 6:24 P.M., Hillary revealed her true self in another tweet: “White Americans need to do a better job of listening when African-Americans talk about the seen and unseen barriers you face every day.” This moral equivalence, repugnant as it was, was a bipartisan affair. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, a Republican, ever sounding like his friend, Al Sharpton, remarked on Facebook Live: “It took me a long time, and a number of people talking to me through the years, to get a sense of this. If you are a normal white American, the truth is you don’t understand being black in America and you instinctively underestimate the level of discrimination and the level of additional risk.” Perhaps Gingrich hasn’t noticed that anti-white discrimination for nearly 50 years has been official U.S. government policy. Dallas Police Chief Brown also provided a dose of moral equivalence: “This must stop, this divisiveness between police and citizens.” Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings implicitly advised everyone to drop the issue: “We believe now, that the city is safe. The suspect is dead, and we can move on to healing.”
Such opinion leaders might consider the fact that white police officers have continued to be targets since the Dallas shootings. Consider:
Ballwin, Mo. In this suburban St. Louis community, a black male, Antonio Taylor, after being pulled over for a routine a speeding violation, got out of the car, ran toward the white officer and shot him in the back of the neck with a .22-caliber gun. Taylor was arrested; the officer, Mike Flamion, was listed in critical but stable condition. According to court documents, Taylor has a lengthy criminal history.
Valdosta, Georgia. A white police officer, Randall Hancock, was ambushed and shot multiple times soon after arriving at an apartment complex in response to a phone call. According to police, the shooter was a young man of Oriental ancestry, Stephen Paul Beck, 22, a recovering drug addict, who had called “911” to lure police to the complex. Beck, along with the officer, was shot. Both are expected to recover.
Bristol, Tennessee. A man opened fire on motorists at a motel and along the Volunteer Parkway, killing a 44-year-old woman and wounding three others, including a police officer. According to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, the suspect, a black male, Lakeem Keon Scott, 37, appeared angry over police “murders” of blacks elsewhere. Witnesses said they heard someone yell, “Police suck! Black lives matter!” just before bullets were fired. Scott was arrested and the officer was reported in critical condition.
There are a lot of potential copycat killers with warm, fraternal feelings toward the late Micah Johnson. A group called Black Power Political Organization (BPPO) took credit for the Dallas killings, promising more to come. BPPO issued the following bloodcurdling apocalyptic message: “#BlackPower! #BlackKnights! Sniper Assassins Take Down Five Police Officers! And More Will Be Assassinated in The Coming Days! Do You Like The Work Of Our Assassins? Get Your Own Sniper Rifle And Join Our Thousands of Sniper Assassins in The Fight Against Oppression!” Here’s a sampling of other black tweets. [email protected]_jones: “Micah Xavier Johnson. I don’t agree with the whole situation. But we appreciate you and your courage. Fly high.” [email protected]_ray: “Pigs Getting Rolled Left and Right in Dallas.” G(@ItsaGthaang): “Put them pigs in a blanket.”
Family members of Micah Johnson, while not overtly defending his mass murder, are in deep denial. Sandra Sterling, an aunt who had raised him after his mother had died, told NBC News that he was driven to attack cops by recent incidents in which black men died in a police encounter. “I think a person can take only so much,” she said. “It should not have happened. Nobody wants to see that kind of tragedy.” Nicole Johnson, Micah Johnson’s sister, put it this way in a Facebook post: “White people have and will continue to kill us off. The only difference is they serve the system hiding behind that blue suit and get off easy murdering civilians.” Spoken like a true zealot and ignoramus.
If we are to avoid replications of the Dallas massacre – far easier said than done – it is absolutely crucial to identify and avoid the rationalizations for such acts. One must recognize fake appeals for unity for what they are, and call out the politicians, community activists and “civil rights” leaders who peddle them. Among the most common:
Moral equivalence. A black killing a white cop in premeditated fashion, and because of his race, is not on par with a white cop killing an unruly and possibly lethal black criminal suspect. When in high-stress situations, cops often must make split-second decisions as to whether to use force. Nobody, least of all police, cheers the prospect of shooting of a suspect, regardless of race. But police work is dangerous. About 150 law enforcement officers each year in this country die in the line of duty. Every cop knows that his next day on the job could be his last. Police cannot possibly predict with 100 percent accuracy what a suspect’s true intentions are. They have to go on gut instinct. A suspect’s spoken and body language speak volumes. To murder a cop without warning, especially via ambush, is the lowest sort of felony. In no way is it comparable to the recent deaths of black criminal suspects at the hands of white cops. What happened in Ferguson, Baton Rouge and Minneapolis, at worst, were logistical police errors. Far closer to the truth, they saved the lives of innocent cops.
“Lone wolf.” This is another common rhetorical device to deflect outrage toward murderers such as Micah X. Johnson. Its ulterior motive is to discourage whites from noting the obvious fact that black crime, proportionately, is far worse than white crime. By claiming that a “loner” or “lone wolf” murdered those Dallas cops – various news reports have reveled in this claim – a writer or speaker more effectively can convey to an audience that the killer was merely a “bad apple,” unlike the vast majority of blacks. One notices a certain shock of recognition here. Our political leaders now reflexively make exactly this sort of rationalization whenever there is an Islamic terror strike; the bad guys were “lone wolves,” unlike the vast majority of decent, law-abiding Muslims. Such a summation is pure self-deception. And in the Dallas situation, it may not be true even in the literal sense. Shortly after the shooting began, two unnamed men and an unnamed woman were arrested by police in connection with the attack. City authorities have been reluctant to release any details, but one of the male suspects reportedly had been involved in a shootout with SWAT officers. Even if these persons were not materially involved in the massacre, there is a larger point: Racially-motivated murders do not take place in a vacuum. Micah Johnson didn’t simply wake up one morning and proclaim, “Gee, I feel like killing some white cops today!” These murders were the end product of an aggressive inculcation of racial hatred by countless black identity politicians, prominent and obscure. That Johnson was not formally affiliated with Black Lives Matter or other revolutionary groups is virtually meaningless. People don’t “belong” to such groups so much as communicate resentments with each other via smart phone or laptop computer. When it comes to escalating racial grievance, Twitter, Facebook and other social media have become weapons of mass mobilization. It’s little coincidence that the respective CEOs of Twitter and Facebook, Jack Dorsey and Mark Zuckerberg, are strong supporters of Black Lives Matter, something NLPC explained at length several weeks ago.
“Healing.” Also known as “moving forward” or “moving on,” this bit of sentimental mush is designed to tell whites to shut their mouths, pretend nothing happened, and attend a candlelight vigil with people of different backgrounds to celebrate the Great American Rainbow. Of course, healing is essential. Nobody denies that. But quickly sweeping a social problem under the rug is a sly way of avoiding it. And violent black disruptions in cities and on college campuses are a social problem. Whites are rightly scared. It is not “hatred,” but fear of being a crime victim that triggers a desire to avoid blacks. Any “national conversation on race” is doomed to failure if whites are not allowed to do something other than grovel, atone and search for “root causes” (i.e., themselves). Justice requires accountability. And groups such as Black Lives Matter have a lot to account for.
It will be some time before the wounds of the Dallas massacre heal in any meaningful sense. But until people at the apex of power in this country have the courage and wisdom to speak out against groups such as Black Lives Matter, most Americans will continue to cower before them. Black Lives Matter is more than a “protest group.” It is a threat to this country’s public safety and political order. Virtually nobody in a leadership position so far even has hinted at the necessity of going after these moral terrorists. If and when we do challenge them, it will be none too soon.