Wow. The Washington Post now reports this headline on the riot surrounding the death of Freddie Gray:
Prisoner in van said Freddie Gray was ‘banging against the walls’ during ride
The Post’s major story says a “prisoner sharing a police transport van with Freddie Gray told investigators that he could hear Gray ‘banging against the walls’ of the vehicle and believed that he ‘was intentionally trying to injure himself….’”
In other words? The Post is implying a black man in a majority-ruled black city where some 40 percent of the cops are African Americans was deliberately trying to injure himself. The effect of which would be to make it look like he was abused by the police of a black-run city. If the Post is correct? Nothing race-centric there. Wow again.
If true, the Post only goes further to make the case for Donald Trump’s blunt attack on using race to govern Baltimore and the America beyond. And attack Trump did, drawing bitter responses from progressives and progressive-wannabes everywhere.
Predictably, they were stung. Here’s the UPI version.
NEW YORK, April 28 (UPI) — As Baltimore erupted with rioting Monday night, presidential hopeful Donald Trump took to Twitter to air his opinions, which many users deemed racist and insensitive.
“Our great African-American president hasn’t exactly had a positive impact on the thugs who are so happily and openly destroying Baltimore!” he tweeted.
Thousands responded with disgust to the tweet.
Disgust — and outrage. Donald Trump, you see, was a “racist,” “rude,” “ignorant,” “idiotic” — and that’s before the real outraged comments poured in. Predictably, some celebrity somewhere joins the assault with the media swallowing unquestioned whatever nonsense is dispensed without doing basic research.
In this case it was actor Jussie Smollett of the Fox show Empire who fumed in a tweet on Trump: “You r the most ignorant man on the planet. A media whore w/ purchased intelligence. Disgusted to call u an American.” Smollett, by the way, likes to brag that “my mother is an activist [who has] marched with Angela Davis, Huey Newton and for civil rights my entire life.” In other words, his mother was marching along with two of the more prominent race-card players in 20th century history. Davis, of course, is famously a Communist. Newton, a co-founder of the Black Panther Party with a murderous taste for violence, was accused of at least two murders in his lifetime, one of them a cop. Along the way he fled to Cuba, finally returning to face the music. He was shot to death by a member of the rival Black Guerrilla Family — the latter in the news now for threatening to “take out” Baltimore police officers. Mysteriously, Smollett’s admiration for Davis and the murderous Newton never made it into the coverage of his furious tweets about Trump. Context, apparently, is not everything for some when it comes to writing about Trump.
Even before the Post story — and it’s important to emphasize there is surely more to come here before the truth is determined as to the report Freddie Gray was banging his head with an intent to self-inflict his injuries — on ABC’s The View, as reported on Mediaite, Whoopi Goldberg asked, “What are you talking about, Donald?” Incredibly, Mediaite went on to report this:
As the resident Republican who by default has to “claim” Trump, Nicolle Wallace requested that the show “ignore him” for now on, something he makes it difficult for people to do with his consistent threats to run for president. “He’s a clown and frankly those were irresponsible comments,” she added, noting that the Republican governor of Maryland hasn’t been able to solve Baltimore’s “systemic” problems either.
The Wallace comments are stunning. Do I think she’s a racist? No. But such unbelievably shallow analysis that has her nominally representing the Party of Lincoln yet just casually shrugging and sailing along with the most historically and institutionally racist sentiments of Democrats is mind boggling. And Donald Trump is the clown here? Wow. Say again? Wow.
Let’s cut to the chase here, shall we? There are two points — and really they are the same point whatever happened to Freddie Gray.
What Donald Trump did with that tweet was stand up and call out the utter failure of progressivism and its insistence on governing by race. Progressivism — as we have pointed out countless times in this space — depends on racism (or as it is politely called these days “playing the race card” or “identity politics”) to survive.
In the wake of the Baltimore riots the Wall Street Journal headlined:
The Blue City Model: Baltimore shows how progressivism has failed urban America.
Wrote the editors in part:
You’re not supposed to say this in polite company, but what went up in flames in Baltimore Monday night was not merely a senior center, small businesses and police cars. Burning down was also the blue-city model of urban governance.
Nothing excuses the violence of rampaging students or the failure of city officials to stop it before Maryland’s Governor called in the National Guard. But as order starts to return to the streets, and the usual political suspects lament the lack of economic prospects for the young men who rioted, let’s not forget who has run Baltimore and Maryland for nearly all of the last 40 years.
The men and women in charge have been Democrats, and their governing ideas are “progressive.” This model, with its reliance on government and public unions, has dominated urban America as once-vibrant cities such as Baltimore became shells of their former selves. In 1960 Baltimore was America’s sixth largest city with 940,000 people. It has since shed nearly a third of its population and today isn’t in the top 25.
Catch that first sentence? “You’re not supposed to say this in polite company….”
Exactly. But Donald Trump said it anyway, and the howls of outrage that resulted illustrated with the certainty of the sun rising exactly the cancer that is the progressive movement and its dependence on race card playing for its success.
How many times — they are literally countless — have we heard this or that liberal preen about President Obama’s race? From the moment he appeared on the national scene with his speech at the 2004 Democratic Convention, liberals have repeatedly emphasized Obama’s race. As if one’s race is a key to successful governing. Which, if true, would make the all-black governance of Baltimore (and other cities) gleaming empires of success. Which most decidedly they are not, as America is seeing right this moment in Baltimore.
Back there in 2004 Chris Matthews of MSNBC was typical with his emphasis on Obama’s race — and while he was at it Colin Powell’s: “Maybe I’m a romantic and I was rooting for, for Colin Powell who turned out to be a little less important politically than I thought he might be in his career. More of a soldier in the last situation we all know about. But I’ve just seen the first black President there.”
Got that? This wasn’t about Obama’s ideas or Colin Powell’s ideas. It was about their race. That was the seller. In 2007 then-Senator Joe Biden analyzed Obama’s potential as a presidential candidate this way: “I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that’s a storybook, man.”
Whether it was Chris Matthews or Joe Biden or literally hundreds of other liberal elites (especially in the media) when it came to assessing Barack Obama it was all about his race. When Obama faced Hillary Clinton in the 2008 South Carolina primary a stunned Bill Clinton angrily sputtered about Team Obama, “I think that they played the race card on me. We now know, from memos from the campaign, that they planned to do it all along.” In other words? Obama supporters played the race card on Bill Clinton yesterday — and this time they played it on Donald Trump. The problem this time is that Trump won’t play the game.
Question: How can one possibly expect anything else from supporters of the party that cut its political teeth supporting every race-based idea from slavery to segregation to lynching, the Ku Klux Klan and, in modern times, racial quotas and illegal immigration. Race is the Left’s addiction — and America’s shame. Look no further than ex-President Jimmy Carter who won his 1970 election as governor of Georgia by playing to segregationists, and now defends Obama from criticism by saying, “I think an overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity toward President Barack Obama is based on the fact that he is a black man, that he’s African American.” For Carter it’s always all about race, and like other progressives he plays the race card to suit the situation.
Now comes Donald Trump to point out the obvious — that it is not only wrong to judge someone by their race but utterly self-defeating to run a government based on race. And like clockwork tweets from angry progressives like actor Smollett pour in. Trump’s “sin” was turning the race question around on these people, asking in essence: OK, since you keep emphasizing Obama’s race, and the riots in Baltimore are being caused by all those black kids — “thugs” in Obama’s words — where is the impact of the African-American president? If race is the answer to everything why doesn’t the city that is 62 percent black, with a black mayor, black city council, black police commissioner, and heavily black police force and that has been governed by liberals for decades — why don’t they respond to the first African-American president if his race is as important as you say it is?
So a twitter eruption ensues. A nerve has been touched. Stung progressives, called to account by Trump for decades of failed policies, are being called out for addiction to playing the race card and the absolutely abysmal results that this produces. Forced to be judged on policy results rather than race, they freak out.
Well, good for Donald Trump. Who later added: “When America elected Barack Obama, we were optimistic that with our country’s first African-American president, race relations would improve and we would be able to move America forward. Unfortunately, the sad reality is that the president has set back progress on race relations and his failed economic policies disproportionately affect the African-American community.”
The epic failure that is the progressive governing of Baltimore and other cities across the country — not to mention the federal government as run by Obama himself — is now going to be — at last — an issue. And a serious one, as this new shocking story by the Washington Post reveals. Baltimore is now judged by its own elected officials to be so dangerous that an afternoon baseball game between the Orioles and the Chicago White Sox was played to a stadium deliberately kept empty because officials couldn’t guarantee the safety of the fans. A more eloquent illustration of the utter failure of race-centric progressivism would be hard to find.
“I want to make the country rich again,” says Trump routinely in his speeches. It’s abundantly clear that there has not been a soul in the governing progressive elite of Baltimore that has a clue how to “make Baltimore rich again.” In that same editorial the WSJ notes: “A 2011 city report on the neighborhood of Freddie Gray — the African-American whose death in police custody sparked the riots — reported an area that is 96.9% black with unemployment at 21%.” The now-famous Mom who was seen on camera whupping her teenage son upside the head for trying to join the riot? Toya Graham, among other things, reveals that she just lost her job — and she has six kids. One suspects that Ms. Graham would like to live in a city that worked — with jobs — which is most certainly exactly what Baltimore is not. But she doesn’t live in a city where jobs are plentiful precisely because of the poverty-inducing race-based progressive economics that have made her neighborhood poor and keep it that way. While rich left-wing elitists like actor Smollett snark and snarl about Trump calling out the truth. If the Post’s story is correct? No wonder Freddie Gray was banging his head against the walls of a police van.
Is there a political lesson for Republicans to come out of Trump’s experience with this dustup over his tweet? I’ll say.
Progressivism — a major political force in today’s America — has been tried (and tried and tried and tried) and found wanting. It is time — way, way past time — to stand up and finally say exactly what the Wall Street Journal has said “you’re not supposed to say … in polite company.”
This week Donald Trump did just that. He made it plain that when one depends on race to govern only disaster can follow. And he caught hell for saying it. Good for him.
The opportunity is at hand to finally hold progressives accountable for their governing. It’s time to realize the wisdom of John F. Kennedy that “race has no place in American life or law.”
One can only hope that other GOP presidential candidates will follow Donald Trump’s lead.