The Breathless Left - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
The Breathless Left

In recent weeks, members of the Left, seeking to defame police departments, have hurled around the term “murder” with ease. They are eager to leave the public with the impression that police officers are targeting black males. It is “open hunting season on black men,” says PBS host Tavis Smiley.

What the Left calls “murder,” a sane society would call justified self-defense or accidental killing. Even in the Garner case, no evidence exists to establish that the police officers, not all of whom were white, acted out of racial animus. Nor is it clear that the accused police officer’s actions amounted to manslaughter. The grand jury may have concluded that the officer’s actions, while flawed, didn’t rise to the level of manslaughter.

The Left has read enormous significance into an arrest that took place in a minute. The officer had probably performed similar arrests countless times without controversy. But this time the suspect died. Arresting a 350-pound-man who is resisting arrest with minimal force is no easy feat; jurors may have sympathized with the trickiness of the task. It is said that the videotape makes this an obvious case of manslaughter. But it doesn’t. The videotape may have actually saved the officer, as it establishes that Garner did in fact resist arrest and that the officer did not dramatically deviate from normal police procedure. Close viewing of the video lends some credence to the officer’s testimony before the grand jury that he was not using an illegal or unsanctioned chokehold but a wrestling move he had learned at the police academy. It also shows the officer placing Garner on his side after he was taken down, a practice consistent with his training.

Whatever happened, it wasn’t “murder.” It was a tragic accident in which the deceased played an unfortunate role by resisting arrest. If the Left truly doesn’t want these incidents to ever happen again, it would urge compliance with lawful arrests. Instead, it essentially argues for a right to resist arrest and the criminalizing of traditional police procedure. The consequence of the new training the protests are designed to inspire will be feckless police officers who place legal fears before law and order. Out of fear of prosecution, police officers simply won’t do everything necessary to protect the public safety and enforce the law.

Wearing their “I Can’t Breathe” or “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” shirts, liberals push for revolutionary changes that will embolden criminals, whose suffocating or shot victims never merit such fashionable concern. Real murders multiply while they protest endlessly about fake ones.

Just as the Left dilutes the term murder out of an anti-police bias, so too does it tinker with the term “rape” out of a feminist one. The Rolling Stone debacle is exactly what one should expect at a time of war-on-women hysteria. Similarly, liberal darling Lena Dunham could get away with her transparently flaky account of a campus rape in her memoirs. When the Left cries murder or rape these days, the claims often hinge on what it likes to call “subtle” analysis. In Dunham’s case, rape was so subtle that it only occurred to her after the fact, when she began to reflect about “a sexual encounter that no one can classify properly,” an encounter which was “my fault” in “fifty ways”” but at another level didn’t “feel like a choice at all.”

The state of California, relying on this sort of feminist doublespeak, now holds in rape cases that “lack of protest or resistance does not mean consent, nor does silence mean consent,” and that “Affirmative consent must be ongoing throughout a sexual activity and can be revoked at any time.”

In this world of ideological deception and fantasy, criminals who grab at the guns of police officers are the victims of “murder” and loose women who pursue, as Dunham described her own alleged rape, “upsetting but educational” sexual encounters are victims of rape.

The bottom line for the Left is that the historically aggrieved can never be held responsible for their actions. It believes that society should accord them the right to redefine reality any way they wish, out of deference to that past. Who cares about a few falsely accused cops and frat boys, it figures, in this important transfer of power? Its twisted fables of victimology are not at the service of the restoration of law but its final destruction.

George Neumayr
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George Neumayr, a senior editor at The American Spectator, is author most recently of The Biden Deception: Moderate, Opportunist, or the Democrats' Crypto-Socialist?
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