The latest and greatest trend in corporate and institutional public relations is the issuance of fulsome statements of support for the “black community” in the wake of the death of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis Police Department. It isn't just the usual suspects like our woke friends at Nike getting on the bandwagon either. From Facebook, to the NFL, to Uber, and from colleges, to media conglomerates, to local and state governments, to small businesses, it has become de rigueur to grieve with black Americans, to condemn racism and police violence, and to commit to making greater efforts to overcome “systemic” bias and discrimination.
Besides the nagging problem that America is actually less racist (towards blacks) than it has ever been, coupled with the inconvenient truth that the United States is the freest and most opportunity-rich country in all of history (for people of all races), the current vogue for apologies to and abasement towards the “black community,” always assumed to be monolithic, leaves one burning question unanswered.
It is this: if police brutality towards black people is important — and it is — and if black lives matter — and they do — then why is it that the leaders of the companies and institutions that dominate our society and culture seemingly have so much trouble acknowledging anything else as important, and why is it that so many other lives, even if they are lost in tragic circumstances, merit no mention at all? Put another way, how are decisions being made at the highest levels about what and who matters, and why are so many worthy causes, and worthy human beings, left out?
To use a starkly contemporary example, numerous law enforcement officers have been killed or wounded in the violence that has washed over America in the last two weeks. Where is Facebook's statement of support to the “thin blue line” that is struggling against the odds to keep all of us, including protesters, safe? There is no such statement. Instead: silence.
In Washington, DC, where the Mayor has ordered one street to be painted with the slogan “Black Lives Matter”, approximately 160 people every year are killed by criminals, especially by gangs. It is the lives taken by police officers in other cities that merit political exploitation, though, not the lives of DC residents killed in routine violence. They are simply forgotten.
And where are the press releases expressing solidarity with the victims of opiate or alcohol abuse, of excessive, irrational coronavirus lockdowns, of car accidents, of heart disease, or of bigotry directed against people of faith? Where is the principled opposition to the campaign of harassment and intimidation perpetrated against Trump supporters? Is the pain of these Americans not great enough? Do their losses and travails, and sometimes their injuries and their deaths, not matter? It would appear not.
And, speaking of Donald Trump, assuming that these corporations and institutions care about fair-mindedness, the integrity of our Constitution, democracy, and the international reputation of the United States, where were their statements of support for our president as he faced years of baseless, shameless, and utterly contrived accusations of “collusion” with a foreign enemy? Did that outrage not merit a press release? Apparently not, unless it was to adjudge the president guilty, or at least unfit.
As conservatives, and as patriots, we are certainly not opposed to the punishment of police officers who break the law, nor to sensible, balanced efforts to root out discrimination. Likewise, we would never deny any individual, company, institution, or group the constitutional right to express sympathy with those who are victims of brutality or hatred.
The problem, though, is that increasingly it is political correctness, “wokeness”, and genuine fear of left-wing outrage, activism, and, yes, violence, that determines when Americans speak up on politically-charged issues, and what they have to say about them.
The dialogue on race that our country needs is rapidly becoming a monologue, as only one version of “racial justice” is recognized, and only one voice for the “black community” — and for all communities — is permitted or heeded.
This cannot stand.
As Americans, we must never surrender to feckless corporate executives and spineless bureaucrats the ability to decide for all of us which issues matter, and which victims of injustice and misfortune are important and worthy of commiseration. For, the second that we do so, these gutless wonders will inevitably forfeit their power to decide to whatever mob gathers in the streets, or coalesces in the ether of Twitter and Facebook, and imposes its will through sheer shrillness and rank intimidation.
As it is, there is precious little courage and critical thinking left in America. As the last two weeks have proved, the leaders of our corporations and key institutions won't fight these battles for us. Only we, the American people, can save this country and its culture from the intolerant, rampaging “progressive” horde.
It makes no difference in the end whether they wield Molotov cocktails or laptops as their weapons of choice. The goal is the same: the destruction and erasure of their enemy, and the enemy, in case there was any doubt, is us.