- - Tuesday, September 1, 2015


Joining a street march is a long-standing American tradition, right up there with pancakes for Saturday breakfast and church on Sunday. There was a time when most children made the march, as a member of a Boy Scout troop or a school marching band on Memorial Day. But marching in support of cop killing is something entirely different and wholly un-American. Those leading the Black Lives Matter protests are advocating only revenge. Their message isn’t a solution to violence but an appeal to the anger that perpetuates the cycle of hatred.

The life of an innocent Texas police officer didn’t matter to a man with murderous intent on Friday night. He ran up behind Deputy Darren Goforth, 47, who was refueling his squad car, and fired 15 rounds into the deputy as he fell to the ground. Shannon J. Miles was arrested at his home a short time later and was charged with capital murder, and is now assisting police with their investigation.

Harris County Sheriff Ron Hickman tied the murder of his deputy to the outbreak of anti-cop anger that has swept the nation since the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., a year ago. “When rhetoric ramps up to the point where cold-blooded assassination has happened, this rhetoric has gotten out of control,” he said. “We hear that ‘black lives matter.’ All lives matter. Well, cops’ lives matter too, so why don’t we drop the qualifier and say ‘lives matter’ and take that to the bank.”

As if to reject the sheriff’s appeal, marchers from the Black Lives Matter movement took the streets in St. Paul, Minn., the following day, blocking traffic and chanting, “Pigs in a blanket, fry ‘em like bacon.” The use of the derogatory term for policemen is a relic of the lamented decade of the ‘60s. It was an era when such left-wing extremism unleashed blind fury at everything organized and orderly. Moderns who march under similarly hateful banners are driven by ignorance and malice.

It’s tempting to downplay the effects of harsh words and believe Black Lives Matter proponents are simply pushing extremism to nudge the country closer to the day when there are no more Michael Browns, and chants about killing actual pigs would mean no harm. But to do that would ignore the real and deadly effects of such rhetoric.

In addition to the murder of Deputy Goforth in Texas last week, two police officers were shot in Louisiana, bringing to 25 the number of cops killed so far this year. Moreover, as law officers become more cautious on the beat in the face of growing peril, evil men are growing bolder on the streets. The rising body count in major cities across the nation is comprised mostly of black Americans. Do their lives matter to the marchers with their murderous rhymes?

Those who reject the proposition that “all lives matter” have chosen payback as their guiding principle and have consigned the call of Martin Luther King for a color-blind society to the dustbin of history. Americans yearning for a similar leader won’t find him in Barack Obama, whose presidency has cultivated racial resentment and anger. The model they seek is reflected in the love and kindness of the black Christians of North Charleston, S.C., who, when their loved ones were murdered by a white man with hate in his heart, responded with forgiveness. Only their conviction that humankind is one family has the power to forge a nation unified.

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