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A Tale Of Two Deaths: How Democrats Treat Victims Differently Based On Race

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.

All the Democratic Party presidential candidates have come under fire from the #BlackLivesMatter crowd for not addressing the rare occurrence of black people dying at the hands of police. They appear to have learned their lesson and are in full political cover mode when it comes to the death of Sandra Bland.

Bland, who was black, hanged herself, according to all the evidence, after an arrest following a traffic stop in which she became combative with police. But she has become the latest cause for the progressive left, particularly the #BlackLivesMatter movement. In spite of a coroner’s report to the contrary, activists have seized on her suicide to accuse police in Texas of murder.

The three top Democrats in the race wasted no time in weighing in on the death and feeding into the sort of paranoia that led to the “hands up, don’t shoot” lie in Ferguson, Mo.

Hillary released a statement saying:

My heart breaks at seeing another young African-American life lost too soon. Sandra Bland had a bright future ahead of her, and it is particularly tragic that she lost her life just as she was to start her new career.

From what I've seen, the circumstances of this case are incredibly disturbing. I hope and expect that there will be a full investigation into this situation. It is also a tragic reminder of the ongoing systemic issues of race and justice in America that we must address with urgency, and we have to do more than talk—we have to take action.

Conversely, the one time Clinton spoke about the death of Kate Steinle, the 32-year-old murdered in San Francisco by an illegal alien, she never once mentioned Steinle’s name, never told us her heart was broken, never even mentioned one way or the other how she felt about it or whether Kate’s death affected her in any direct way.

Clinton told CNN:

Well, what should be done is any city should listen to the Department of Homeland Security, which as I understand it, urged them to deport this man again after he got out of prison another time. Here’s a case where we’ve deported, we’ve deported, we’ve deported, he ends back up in our country, and I think the city made a mistake. The city made a mistake not to deport someone that the federal government strongly felt should be deported. So I have absolutely no support for a city that ignores the strong evidence that should be acted on. However, there are — if it were the first time traffic citation many, if it were something minor … a misdemeanor –that’s entirely different. This man had already been deported five times, and he should have been deported at the request of the federal government.

Saying “the city made a mistake” was all Hillary could muster. No heartbreak. No lamentation on Kate’s lost future. No demands for investigations.

Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley released a statement on Steinle’s death that also did not mention her name. He did, however, defend sanctuary cities and released his statement in both English and Spanish.

O’Malley said:

It’s lamentable that the senseless and tragic act of violence that occurred in San Francisco is prompting a rush to judgment and finger pointing: We can and should do better.

Local governments should not be blamed for the federal government’s inability to fix our broken immigration system, nor should they be held responsible for doing the federal government’s job.

He did not name Steinle, but he did at least refer to her murder as a “senseless and tragic act of violence” before warning not to “rush to judgment.”

But his statement on Bland did exactly that.

O’Malley’s statement on the death of Bland reads:

My heart breaks for Sandra Bland and her family. This is a horrible loss of life that demands a full, thorough and independent investigation of the traffic stop, the arrest and Ms. Bland's tragic death in custody

His heart breaks for Bland, not for Steinle, and he “demands a full, thorough and independent investigation.” No cautioning against rushing to judgment of sanctuary cities for ignoring the law.

Another Democrat candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, also released a statement on Bland’s death. It reads:

This video of the arrest of Sandra Bland shows totally outrageous police behavior. No one should be yanked from her car, thrown to the ground, assaulted and arrested for a minor traffic stop. The result is that three days later she is dead in her jail cell.

This video highlights once again why we need real police reform. People should not die for a minor traffic infraction. This type of police abuse has become an all-too-common occurrence for people of color and it must stop.

There was no similar “outrage” expressed or call for reform of any law after the death of Steinle. In fact, I could find no statement from Sanders on the death of Kate Steinle whatsoever.

It would seem, when a death can be useful to Democrats they offer a full-throated statement expressing sadness and a call for action. When a murder goes against their chosen narrative or preferred policies they can’t even be bothered to say the victim’s name.

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