Biden must seize chance to end US racial crisis
With astonishment and apprehension, the whole world is closely following the latest wave of violence in the US, with clashes between angry rioters and the police in the streets of several major cities.
While the trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin — who is accused of murder over last May’s killing of George Floyd, which triggered worldwide protests — nears its end, the fatal shooting of another black man in the city of Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, has sparked rage and animosity. Twenty-year-old Daunte Wright was shot by police officer Kimberly Potter when, according to the local police department, she accidentally discharged her gun instead of her Taser in a traffic stop.
A new cycle of violent and destructive riots subsequently spread across America, in cities such as Minneapolis, Washington, New York, Portland and Chicago. Scenes of looting, burning and the destruction of private and public properties have been broadcast worldwide, insinuating that a civil war is about to erupt in the US. Nonetheless, US liberal media outlets continued to refer to the unrest as peaceful protests. No, what is happening in Minneapolis is not a peaceful protest. Thugs looting alcohol and flat-screen televisions are not peaceful protesters. Provoking law enforcement with Molotov cocktails is not the behavior of peaceful protesters.
When racial incitement is emanating from our own officials, politicians and activists, it rapidly increases the rate of violence and grants the rioters fake legitimacy, giving them the green light to actively hunt down the men and women in blue, seeking revenge instead of racial justice.
The hard-liner, progressive Democratic trio of Reps. Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who previously accused former President Donald Trump of inciting racism and supporting an insurgency, are now doing exactly what they accused him of.
Omar, who is supposed to represent the people of Minneapolis and lead them to a safe path, posted on Twitter: “This violence is a basic part of police interactions with communities of color. It must stop.” In January, she posted a picture of her daughter wearing a necklace bearing the anti-police acronym FTP, and BLM.
Meanwhile, Michigan’s Rashida Tlaib tweeted that Wright’s death was not an accident. “Policing in our country is inherently and intentionally racist. Daunte Wright was met with aggression and violence. I am done with those who condone government funded murder. No more policing, incarceration, and militarization. It can’t be reformed,” she wrote.
And Ocasio-Cortez posted: “Daunte Wright’s killing was not a random, disconnected ‘accident’ — it was the repeated outcome of an indefensible system that grants impunity for state violence, rewards it (with) endlessly growing budgets at the cost of community investment, and targets those who question that order.”
The White House should turn the current crisis into an opportunity to unite the people and prevent these riots from happening on a regular basis.
These three officials should be held accountable for encouraging violence against a government entity, forgetting that the same people they were inciting violence against are responsible for providing 24-hour protection for them.
The question is, are they willing to abolish them too?
The radical left has shown us that if they disagree with you, any response including violence and insurrection is legitimate and justified.
We cannot deny the existence of tension between black communities and the police, nor is anyone trying to change historical facts; yet the rhetoric that is being spread nationwide is irresponsible and damaging to the American way of life.
The US is perhaps more polarized today than it has been at any other time, but this rage and hopelessness should be channeled in peaceful and productive ways, for the sake of the whole country. Defunding the police is not the solution. On the contrary, such a move would risk the lives of millions of innocent people.
The Democrats are in charge of the country until the 2022 midterm elections; therefore, they have the opportunity to implement the right reforms in the policing and justice systems and thus avoid further bloodshed.
The Biden administration should focus on the social issues that divide the American people and turn the current crisis into an opportunity to unite the people and prevent these riots from happening on a regular basis.
The government must address the underlying social conditions and put a stop to the forces that are trying to drive a wedge between the different communities.
Could Biden stand up to the progressive members of his own party? So far, there have been no visible indications that he will do so.
- Dalia Al-Aqidi is a senior fellow at the Center for Security Policy. Twitter: @DaliaAlAqidi