Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Why is it "death" when cops kill black men, but "murder" when a black man kills two cops?

I checked. Barack Obama repeatedly referred to the "death" of Michael Brown and of Eric Garner, with all the politically required sorrowful noises. Yet when it was non-black policemen who were killed, he used the m-word.

"I unconditionally condemn today's murder of two police officers in New York City," said Obama when two New York City policemen were killed, as unjustly and unjustifiably as Brown and Garner.

I am not aiming to excuse any killing. Nor do I intend to encourage killing. But a sense of even-handedness, of fairness, has to be raised here.

Not even President Obama seems to have the courage to speak up. Suddenly everyone is tripping over each other to say how bad this is and what a crime it is -- no ifs ands or buts.

No talk of sorrow, no compassion for the man who killed the policemen, even though his actions might have justified an insanity plea had he lived. In the eyes of the media and the president, the man was wrong.

Where was this moral certitude when cops were the killers? The cops were given all sorts of leeway, even to the point of walking scot free from any criminal charge.

Yet it was murder, too, in the cases of Brown and Garner.

The dictionary tells us to murder is "to kill or slaughter inhumanly or barbarously." The multiple bullets fired at Brown and the strangulation of Garner qualify as inhumane and barbarous.

Those acts should have been condemned "unconditionally" (I would say unequivocally), by the same president who now rends his garments. And by all the sound-bite seekers who are now lining up to express outrage.

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