Michael Tomasky is basically right, but there's more!
I covered New York politics for 15 years, and I saw some awfully tense moments between the police and Democratic politicians. But there has never been anything remotely like the war the cops are waging right now against Mayor Bill de Blasio for the thought crime of saying something that was completely unremarkable and so obviously true that in other contexts we don’t even bat an eye when someone says it. And for that, the mayor has blood on his hands, as Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association head Pat Lynch said Saturday evening after the hideous assassinations of two NYPD officers?....
Right around the time de Blasio spoke, Marist was in the field with a poll asking people whether they think police treat whites and blacks differently. Here are some answers. In each case, the “yes, differently” number comes first.
So two decades’ worth of statistics tell us that black men are killed by police at 21 times the rate white men are, and yet half the public has persuaded itself that police treat blacks and whites no differently. And it’s controversial for a mayor with a black 16-year-old son to say something so obvious—indeed, what every parent of a black son has to say.
Sure, that's fucked up, right there.
But it's even more fucked up right below the surface.
What black people are being denied here is not simply justice for certain victims of police violence in specific cases, but the right to publicly describe their own lived experience.
What was DeBlasio's great sin? He told his kid to be extremely careful around the police -- in other words, basically, to not give the police any reason whatsoever to overreact. If, say, he were stopped while walking down the middle of street at night or something, or if he were in the process of being arrested for an extremely trivial misdemeanor, he should immediately comply with all police orders, lest he be shot or strangled.
Are there any black Americans who wouldn't give similar advice to their sons? Sure! By the poll numbers above, a whole frickin' 14% of them wouldn't.
This is really the source of the white hysteria over these protests. Only black comedians and rappers are allowed to say to a mass audience that they distrust the police, and that consent is always deeply qualified -- laughed off, ignored, sometimes denounced, never taken seriously.
You can tell a lot about a society and culture by what kinds of speech it most desperately wants to suppress. In the case of 21st century America, the hypocritical and frankly lunatic attempts to tell an entire ethnic group that they are deluded traitors for talking about their experience of government law enforcement officials, as they see it, tells us that right here, right now, too many white folks want to watch the world fall back asleep into 19th century history.
Fuck that shit. Wake up, motherfuckers, democracy's knocking.
MAS. This Politico thing is revolting, even for Politico. It's pretty damn close to "Martin Luther King Jr. should have had more political savvy if he really wanted his favorite candidates to win this season's 1965 Alabama by-elections." Fuck off.