How to Not Take Responsibility

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criminal justice

This past June, when two Las Vegas police officers were shot and killed by a couple of anti-government white supremacists, right-wing bloggers and media went into overdrive blaming just about everything but anti-government white supremacy. For example, The Dumbest Man on the Internet® blamed “meth-using neo-Nazi socialists.” (Note to the oblivious: fascism began as a reaction against liberalism and socialism; 20th century European fascism was emphatically and expressively anti-socialist. “Neo-Nazi socialists” is an oxymoron.) Many readers of this and other right-wing blogs blamed Attorney General Eric Holder for these murders, accusing Holder of staging a “false flag” operation to distract us from something, possibly the Bundy Ranch circus going on at the time.

Fast-forward to yesterday’s execution of two police officers in Brooklyn. The Right is blaming Mayor de Blasio, Al Sharpton, and … Islam? Seriously.

Before going any further, I want to second what Zandar wrote:

Supposedly the suspect also shot and killed his girlfriend and posted a picture of his blood-covered leg to Facebook, but at this point details are still coming in.  It’s completely rational to say that nobody here deserved to die, the cops, the suspect, his girlfriend, and neither did Tamir Rice or Eric Garner or Michael Brown.

But see also Steve M. It isn’t just right-wing bloggers casting blame on everyone on the Left, especially Mayor de Blasio; it’s the NYPD Sergeants Benevolent Association and former New York Governor George Pataki. Fox’s Eric Bolling also blamed Al Sharpton, Louis Farrakhan and Samuel L. Jackson. Possibly the first black people who popped into his head?

Bernie Kerik — you do remember Bernie Kerik — stepped up and said Mayor de Blasio and Al Sharpton have “blood on their hands.” And (same source) former Mayor Rudy “Giuliani Time” Giuliani blamed “anti-police propaganda.” And several NYPD officers turned their backs when Mayor de Blasio entered a room to give a press conference.

I must’ve missed the memo where de Blasio advocated shooting police officers. Otherwise, Some People are behaving like spoiled children.

Just last week NYPD officers were filmed beating up a 12-year-old boy. And we’ve all seen the video of the death of Eric Garner. No, I don’t think all cops are bad. I certainly don’t think Police Officer Rafael Ramos and Police Officer Wenjian Liu, the two men murdered yesterday, deserved to die. But the NYPD needs to realize that it does have a massive problem, and that people have legitimate reasons to protest them.  It isn’t just “propaganda.” It isn’t just a few “socialists” or whatever black men whose names first popped into Eric Bolling’s head badmouthing them in public, assuming they even did.

One thing we know about yesterday’s murders is that the act appeared to be committed by one man, who then killed himself. One man who was not a New Yorker but whose last known residence was in Georgia and who had just arrived in NYC after shooting his ex-girlfriend in Baltimore. This was not a conspiracy. This was not an act carried out by political activists or protesters, but by a violent man with a long criminal record who appears to have been associated with a criminal gang of some sort (see Steve M for details). He appears to have had a beef with police, but most criminals do. A New York Post headline screamed Gunman executes 2 NYPD cops as ‘revenge’ for Garner, but his motivation is speculation.

Seems to me this likely was more about one man’s personal issues than about politics. Of course, we might be dealing with some borderline personality, and anti-police rhetoric sluicing around in media and the Internet may very well have pushed him in the direction of murdering police officers. Just as anti-government rhetoric no doubt incited Jarad and Amanda Miller to murder two police officers in Las Vegas. As I wrote in my original post on the Las Vegas shootings, I don’t blame the Bundy Ranch crowd specifically for what the Millers did, particularly since the Bundy Militia guys were all about hating the federal government but were willing to work with state and local government. But people with loose screws do sometimes scramble the messages they get. What the Millers did was no doubt founded on their personal issues, and they seized on anti-government rhetoric as a kind of permission slip to do what they wanted to do. The man identified as the Brooklyn shooter, Ismaaiyl Brinsley, may have done likewise.

However, I am seriously tired of the way conservatives — or the Right, or whatever they want to call themselves — steadfastly refuse to take responsibility for anything, just as I fear the NYPD is not going to reform until it can honestly appreciate that there are legitimate reasons people are angry with them. And just once I’d like to see Bernie Kerik and Rudy Guiliani own up to their own role in creating a dysfunctional and violent NYPD. Yes, maybe we’re all at fault here, to some extent. Apparently many are blaming Mayor de Blasio because he met with protesters. They wanted him to ignore protesters? And the heads of the NYPD should have been meeting with them too, for that matter, instead of acting like spoiled children whining that people are either for them or against them.

And how much any of this really has to do with the murders of Ramos and Liu possibly will never be known, since the perp is dead. But I’m sure we can all look forward to the Right’s shameless politicizing of the deaths of these officers. Because that’s what they do.

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20 Comments

19 Comments

  1. Bill Bush  •  Dec 21, 2014 @1:19 pm

    All I want for Christmas if for you to get a “like” button.

  2. Lynne  •  Dec 21, 2014 @1:42 pm

    I agree with Bill B.

  3. Swami  •  Dec 21, 2014 @2:01 pm

    Bernie? Who can forget Bernie! Guys like him kinda make you lose faith in the system. Senior Vice President of Giuliani partners. Stun gun magnate? It’s no small feat to have your name emblazoned on the Tombs only to become it’s prime inhabitant.

  4. c u n d gulag  •  Dec 21, 2014 @2:20 pm

    Conservative POV:
    White cop-killers are all “Lone Wolves.”
    Minority cop-killers are all conspiring socialist thugs.
    _______________________________________________________
    Our Reich-Wingers politicize any and every thing.
    And the viewers of the FOX fiends, and the listeners of RW Talk Radio, believe every word.
    With their effective communications skills, imagine how much good they could have done if they weren’t bigoted sociopaths and psychopaths. hell-bent on keeping the rich white people – mostly males – in power?
    Of course, it’s far easier to appeal to people’s basest and “darkest” fear and hatred, than in appealing to the “better angels of our nature.”

    I’m mortally sick of their bigoted propaganda, and how much it has done to help destroy the America I grew up in.

  5. c u n d gulag  •  Dec 21, 2014 @2:20 pm

    Conservative POV:
    White cop-killers are all “Lone Wolves.”
    Minority cop-killers are all conspiring socialist thugs.
    _______________________________________________________
    Our Reich-Wingers politicize any and every thing.
    And the viewers of the FOX fiends, and the listeners of RW Talk Radio, believe every word.
    With their effective communications skills, imagine how much good they could have done if they weren’t bigoted sociopaths and psychopaths. hell-bent on keeping the rich white people – mostly males – in power?
    Of course, it’s far easier to appeal to people’s basest and “darkest” fear and hatred, than in appealing to the “better angels of our nature.”

    I’m mortally sick of their bigoted propaganda, and how much it has done to help destroy the America I grew up in.

  6. grannyeagle  •  Dec 21, 2014 @3:45 pm

    Happy Solstice!

  7. paradoctor  •  Dec 21, 2014 @4:18 pm

    I think that the police union’s theory is that if anyone anywhere shows the slightest self-respect, then someone somewhere, other than a cop, might go on a rampage. Therefore we should all be slaves, so we can all be free.

    A corollary of this theory is that there is no abuse of power, nor are there legitimate grievances; people only protest because other people tell them to. If only there were no dissent, then there would be no problems.

  8. Nicholas  •  Dec 21, 2014 @4:41 pm

    The right are bullies, the true heirs of Alinsky, and I’m at a loss at what can be done about it. The next two years are going to be ugly.

  9. buddhasteps  •  Dec 21, 2014 @4:44 pm

    I am white, elderly, gay,poor & female. When am I going to become eligible for removable from the gene pool? Any day now, from the looks of it.
    Is there somebody who makes these decisions or has the world gone completely mad? Again.

  10. Dan  •  Dec 21, 2014 @6:30 pm

    “Those who make peaceful change impossible, make violent change Inevitable”

    -John F Kennedy

    The rightwingnuts hope they can suppress peaceful progress; we’ll all pay if they succeed.

  11. uncledad  •  Dec 21, 2014 @6:31 pm

    “And just once I’d like to see Bernie Kerik and Rudy Guiliani own up to their own role in creating a dysfunctional and violent NYPD”

    Fat chance of that happening unless of course they can somehow make a profit on it!

  12. Swami  •  Dec 21, 2014 @9:33 pm

    From a jack to a king…from a chauffer to police commissioner. Didn’t Neil Diamond have a song that has the line: “Did you ever dream about being a Police Commissioner, and then became one?”

    Go Bernie go!. Bernie says his appointment as police commissioner was a bigger thrill than his roll in the hay with Judith Miller.

  13. Doug  •  Dec 21, 2014 @10:00 pm

    I got into a discussion on Facebook with a teabagger about the Vegas shooters. They had been guests at the Bundy cookout – or whatever you want to call it. The TP wanted to distance themselves politically from the cop killers after the shootings and they claimed – maybe true – that the shooters were evicted from the Bundy crowd because they were too violent or extreme. Stipulate that it’s true – that the shooters announced their intent to kill ALL cops, including State cops and local cops, and the Bundy crowd evicted them because the Tea Party only wanted to kill federal cops.

    If the TP knew their violent intent, weren’t they obliged as good citizens to warn the local authorities of the mad dogs they had evicted? If there was a liberal group with knowledge of a violent plan against the authorities, the TP would clearly see a legal and social obligation to turn them in. But with an ultra-violent ultra-conservative pair, the most the TP will do is cut them loose.

  14. csm  •  Dec 22, 2014 @2:06 am

    No matter who does the shooting and why, its ALWAYS the fault of liberals/democrats/progressives. And Obama, of course.

    When will the “personal responsibility” crowd ever take responsibility, for anything? And when will the media hold them accountable for always being the first to point the finger while never offering any solutions? For anything.

  15. Swami  •  Dec 22, 2014 @2:29 am

    Doug… The Teabaggers were just playing Army. Adult children indulging in a childish fantasy with no intentions of fulfilling what they claimed they wanted to do. They knew the cop killers were not play acting when the wouldn’t get with role playing. In all probability the cop killers ditched the baggers when they figured out they had stumbled upon a nest of fantasy role playing has beens and wantabees. Oath keepers?
    I don’t know how it is today, but when I was in the military your oath expired at the same time as your enlistment expired. And I think they were inseparable.

  16. erinyes  •  Dec 22, 2014 @6:35 am

    We have a machine gun tourist attraction here in kissimmee, grand opening this past weekend. That should attract the gun fetish crowd like a duck dynasty festival.
    Packages start at $99. Just what we need to fill in the gap between the abandoned restaurants, crack head motels, pawn shops, and massage parlors.

  17. uncledad  •  Dec 22, 2014 @9:30 am

    “Packages start at $99”

    Erinyes, that sounds like a lovely way to spend a weekend, pawn a guitar or two, buy some crack, shoot up some moochine guns then finish the weekend off with a nice massage! Ahh Florida the sunshine state!

  18. uncledad  •  Dec 22, 2014 @9:32 am

    I think Bernie and Rudy have the final solution they just haven’t found a PR friendly way to say “kill all the Blacks”!

  19. Bill Bush  •  Dec 22, 2014 @9:56 am

    Anyone else remember all the “good conservative Christians” who were all for having Phil “Duck Dynasty” Robertson become president and lead us Biblically ? Thinking is not the strong point of the followers of Rudy and Bernie. They just want a good slogan, some flags and a bit of slapping down the “others”.

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