Opinion

Ready…Fire…Aim

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Posted: Jan 23, 2019 1:10 PM
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not represent the views of Townhall.com.
Ready…Fire…Aim

Here we go again. A cellphone video that checked all the boxes on the liberal media’s insidious game of identity politics score sheet was recently captured in Washington D.C., and it caught some conservative sites and writers in the unsurprising web the liberal media messily spun. 

The story involving some students from a Catholic Kentucky high school supposedly confronting a Native American activist with a reported military service past had all the desired variables. It included whites, males, religion, abortion (March for Life), a protected class (Elderly Native American veteran), and the best visual of all for the liberal media—people involved wearing the Make America Great Again hat. It was visual overload for the salivating, race hustling, agenda-driven liberal press.  It came complete with a bonus—the ability to drag President Trump into the narrative and smear him.  Finding this story was like hitting the identity politics lottery.

In a knee-jerk fashion, the media and race hustlers made the story go viral. They pounced at the prospect of this story of a group of white kids— I said kids for heaven's sake— supposedly attacking liberal activist Nathan Phillips with racist intent in their hearts. However, there was more to the story—as there usually is—as inconvenient facts emerge that jam the gears of the media’s wanted narrative. Moreover, facts are still developing about Nathan Phillips’ claimed military service in Vietnam. 

This isn’t the first time that a snippet of cellphone video or false reports ignited a collective national outrage. Remember Trayvon Martin? Initial media reports were that a white guy gunned down a black teen for simply walking down the street of a white subdivision eating Skittles. We soon thereafter learned Martin was slamming the head of not a white guy, but a Hispanic, into the pavement, and that the real victim, George Zimmerman, shot and killed Martin in self-defense. Remember in Ferguson, Missouri when it was initially reported that a white cop shot an unarmed black man who had his hands up while pleading not to shoot him? The credible evidence and facts proved that this supposed victim of police violence had just robbed a convenience store and tried to disarm the approaching police officer. This false narrative fueled by race provocateurs and an eager liberal media contributed to the subsequent rioting, arson and looting all over the country. 

While many people believed the initial report of these incidents, I did the TV talk show circuit warning people and the media not to rush to judgment, and to hold their fire, but it was like speaking to a brick wall and expecting it to respond. Their ready, fire, aim mentality was perplexing. Therefore, when I first saw the story of the Covington kids and Nathan Phillips, my initial thought was that something didn’t seem right. Catholic kids marching against abortion turning assaultive?  I waited like I always do for the facts to emerge. And as is usually the case in these combustible stories, I was proven right again. It didn’t happen as first reported. I paused before going off half cocked. It is better to be accurate than to be first in getting out a story or comment.

When the media realized that they once again pushed false narratives, many rushed to be the first to point out the context of the video. They should have known better. They did not care. Conservative writers also shamefully took down their initial jump-to-conclusion posts and didn't even issue an apology. They acted as if no one would notice. Well, I did, as did many others.

The irresponsible media did no due diligence or fact-checking. That is standard operating procedure for them.  More disappointing was that some conservative writers and media elites ran after this shiny object seeing it as an opportunity to morally cleanse themselves of implicit bias by running to the well to drink of the water of moral purity and bathe in the fountain of virtue signaling. As a conservative, this phony self-righteousness should be seen not as an act of what is good. In my view, it is a display of a white guilt complex for an injustice (slavery) that occurred before they were born and that they or their ancestors had nothing to do with. It’s self-flagellation of the worst kind. 

Today’s conservatives have nothing, nothing to feel guilty about. So here’s my message to them. Stop your groveling every time the left manufactures a race politics incident. Humiliating yourself will not get you any consideration from Black Lives Matter or the Southern Poverty Law Center. They hate you. They always will—not because you are truly racist—but because your political ideology stands in opposition to their own. Wake up. Or should I say get woke. 

This was an opportunity to get up off your knees and push back against the race politics played by the left, yet, apparently, it was just too enticing an opportunity to flaunt your racial sensitivity. 

This immediate activity of falling on your sword for no reason makes it harder for the rest of us willing to confront these race-card-playing schmucks on the left. If you’re going to act like you’re on the front lines of the conservative movement, find the courage to not jump at every opportunity to morally cleanse yourself of implicit bias and the rest of the crap the left has weaponized against you. If you can’t, then get out of the way and let those with true mental fortitude move to the front.

Sheriff David Clarke Jr. is former Sheriff of Milwaukee Co, Wisconsin, President of AmericasSheriff LLC, Senior Advisor for America First, author of the book Cop Under Fire: Beyond Hashtags of Race Crime and Politics for a Better America. To learn more visit www.americassheriff.com