Justice, n. Proper administration of laws. In jurisprudence, the constant and perpetual disposition of legal matters or disputes to render every man his due.”~ Black’s Law Dictionary
I have been giving a great deal of consideration to the riots in Charlotte, following on the heels of yet another shooting of a black man by police. This is really nothing new – those old enough remember the 1992 LA riots initiated by a media narrative built around the beating and arrest of Rodney King. In the subsequent riots, entire sections of LA were burned to the ground, over a billion dollars of damage was done and 55 people died and over 2,000 injured – among the injured was Reginald Denny, a white truck driver who was pulled from his truck and almost beaten to death by 4 black thugs.
Important to note that I state that the riots were due to a “narrative” because the outrage was stoked by an edited CNN video (yeah, they have a long history of that) that was extremely sympathetic to King and not so much to the police. Due to the narrative this video created, police misconduct took top billing – but many to this day do not know that King was high on PCP. Recounting the story, Tim Dees, a retired Reno, Nevada policeman and criminal justice professor stated, “When ordered out of the car, King laughed at the CHP officers, then turned his back to them, bent over, grabbed his rear end, and shook it at them. The other two occupants, both black males, exited the car and followed the officers’ instructions. They were “proned out” [lying face down on the ground], handcuffed, searched and questioned briefly, and were released without charges or injuries.” King continued to resist arrest and the police increased or decreased their response in proportion to King’s resistance. These are facts supported by the court testimony and witness statements of the others in King’s car that night.
The 1992 riots were truly a case where terrorists were inspired by a video.
Now, decades later, we have had a number of race riots that can trace their genesis to similar narratives – narratives that have been both broadcast and supported by urban legends. “Hands up. Don’t shoot!” being the most memorable one.
Sitting back and watching each one of these riots reveals there is a common theme – the theme of “justice” but given the immediate mass hysteria of the madding crowd, the rush to judgment of police guilt (pre-judgment, actually), the instant canonization of the alleged victim (no matter your background or the length of your rap sheet, the fastest way to #blacklivesmatter bestowed sainthood is to get shot by a cop), the lack of demand for any rational process of fact-finding and examination of evidence, all combined with the lack of focus for the target of the rioter’s rage (is it the institution of policing, white cops or just white people in general), one must wonder what this “justice” is.
It is curious that those who seek “justice” also seek to destroy the institutions tasked with protecting it by undermining trust in these institutions but the true endgame for these “justice seekers” is not anarchy, rather it is the replacement of one system of justice for another more favorable to their positions.
The conclusion one derives is this – contrary to the Black’s Law definition, people do not want “to render every man his due,” they do not seek true justice, they simply want the power to define what justice means to them. This typically means that “justice” will be defined in political terms of power over others – which means it isn’t actual justice at all, it is a political movement with political goals.
But the fact remains the institutions themselves bear a lot of blame for the current tension – they also have had a hand in their own destruction, causing a loss of trust and faith through arbitrary and capricious application of laws and regulations. The relativism, equivocation and Orwellian newspeak of the progressive movement in America has accelerated this deterioration. In their efforts to attain and retain power, they have bent the laws until they have broken. They have used unequal treatment in an effort to create equality and behaved in such arbitrary and capricious manners that literally no citizen can affirmatively state what laws will or will not be enforced. Isn’t this the supposed genesis of #blacklivesmatter complaints? Isn’t their battle cry based on the arbitrary and capricious enforcement of law and subsequent application of force toward black people?
If I believed the true goal was true justice, I might feel differently – but I don’t believe that. I believe the current agitators would be just fine with the current corrupt system as long as they were in charge of it. The fact that in several of recent issues involved institutions controlled by black mayors, black city councils, black police chiefs and the black “victim” was shot by a black cop indicates that this is about the institution of government, not racism (at least not racism alone).
In a 2013 column, Charles Krauthammer wrote:
“A Senate with no rules. A president without boundaries. One day, when a few bottled-up judicial nominees and a malfunctioning health-care Web site are barely a memory, we will still be dealing with the toxic residue of this outbreak of authoritative lawlessness.”
And so we are.
What to do?
Tough question – I don’t have a ready solution but one thing I do know, the answer won’t come from increasing the power of already corrupt institutions.