The left’s social justice warriors in Seattle, Washington, Portland, Oregon, and here in the East march under the flag of Black Lives Matter, but seem, well, mostly White. They claim to speak for Blacks, Hispanics and others “of color” as well as for the sexually confused but are really the intellectual and cultural heirs of the White, upper-middle class college students of the ’60s who shut down universities in the name of Mao and Fidel.
Their demand that movies of which they disapprove from “Gone with the Wind” to “Kindergarten Cop” be banned and their demand that police forces be defunded or abolished are both silly and dangerous. The attacks on the police are proving particularly dangerous and have created an atmosphere in which crime and murder rates are escalating in city after city. The cruel irony is that the victims tend to be precisely the men, women and children the protesters like to think they are helping.
In Minneapolis, Minnesota, police have already warned citizens that since they cannot rely on the police to be there when needed, they should be prepared to give up whatever those who confront them on the street or break into their homes demand to avoid violence or death. That’s similar to the advice they use to give women facing rape; don’t infuriate the rapist, just let him finish and leave. That was bad advice then and worse now.
The protesters have thus far revealed that pusillanimous is the best way to describe the way liberal city mayors and officials react to bullies and driven millions of urban residents to their local gun stores in search of the weapons they might have to rely on to defend themselves, their families and their homes as the cities in which they live spiral toward lawlessness and chaos.
In July alone, the National Shooting Sports Foundation reports that Americans purchased some 1.8 million firearms, making total firearms sales through July just about the same as for all of last year. Most of the guns being bought now are not for hunting or competitive shooting or to squirrel away as part of a multi-gun collection, but by first-time buyers to have available in case they might need a gun to protect themselves from the very thugs the protesters champion.
Most are buying handguns, 40% or more of the customers showing up in gun stores are women and Blacks are buying more guns than ever and buyers are signing up for classes to learn how to use the guns they are buying.
The fact that sales to Blacks have increased by nearly 60% over the last six months makes all the sense in the world. Many Black families live in precisely those neighborhoods witnessing stark increases in home invasions, assault, rape and homicide amid a real fear that the police are about to abandon the war on crime. Anyone looking for an explanation need look no further than the finding of a recent Gallup poll which give the lie to the protesters who argue that in defunding the police they are doing what American Blacks want done.
Gallup pollsters last month asked those interviewed to say whether they would prefer police to spend more, less or the same amount of time in their neighborhoods. More than 80% of Blacks said they would either like the police to spend as much time as they have been in their neighborhoods or even more.
This was a higher percentage volunteered by any other demographic surveyed. In fact, 19% of Black respondents wanted a more visible police presence and support for the police is strong even among those who aren’t confident that they will be treated with “courtesy and respect by the police.”
This isn’t to say they believe the police are perfect, but they, unlike the White college age protesters demand the police want to defund, know just what would happen to them, their families and their neighborhoods if the police are unable to deal with the thugs, gang bangers and drug dealers who are already driving many of them to leave the cities in which they were born and raised.
One can only wonder in the wake of what’s happening around them that these voters will react to the Democratic Party’s jihad against guns when they realize that both the party leadership and its presidential candidate will, if they get the chance, further weaken the ability of the police to protect them and deny them the right to protect themselves.
• David A. Keene is an editor at large for The Washington Times.
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