by Ned Ryun
Every major city—and probably every community for that matter—has some form of a police commission. Police commissions are entrusted to monitor the activities of the police department as a whole, and in most cases determine appropriate discipline for individual officers who break the public trust. These commissions have existed for decades. Most major cities also have some form of an office or department for civil rights or civil liberties or human rights. Police review boards are often housed within those offices, as in Minneapolis.
So let’s talk about Minneapolis, where a police officer who was identified for nearly 20 years as a problem had 18 complaints since 2001. Officer Chauvin faced multiple complaints and formal reviews for his actions but he was left on the street, with a badge, harassing people of all races, and ultimately killing a black man.
Let’s have a frank conversation about one of the roots of the problems people of color have with police departments in major cities. The problem is that the Democratic Party has allowed this particularly virulent form of racism to take hold. Minneapolis, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and Seattle have all been under virtually uncontested Democrat control: from the mayor’s office through the city councils for decades, almost entirely uninterrupted. They hire the chiefs of police. They approve the chiefs of police. They, to very large degrees, monitor the chiefs of police and law enforcement in their communities. And yet?
Look at the communities that are crying for “justice” most loudly—and not for the first time. The riots in Baltimore of two years or so ago? Perhaps worse than what we have seen over the past week? It is another Democrat-controlled city.
Feel free to verify these facts by looking at the websites of the Chicago Police Board, the Minneapolis Police Review Board, Washington D.C.’s police complaints site, Baltimore’s Office of Legal Affairs, the Los Angeles Police Commission, and the San Francisco Police Commission. So yes, let’s have a frank conversation about race and social justice in this country.
Let’s consider, too, that in three years Donald Trump helped foster an economic environment that saw historic employment highs for African American and Hispanic Americans. Eight years of Barack Obama could not do that. Eight years of Obama could not repair the water system in Flint, Michigan (also run by Democrats). Eight years could not impose some level of accountability on law enforcement. Social justice? Nope. In fact, one might make the case that such efforts took major steps backward given the unrest we see today.
So how did this happen? That is the frank conversation that has to be had and that no one wants to have. Because the truth is, when Joe Biden said he never took the African American vote for granted, he lied. It is perhaps his biggest lie and the biggest lie of the Democratic Party. They not only take those votes granted, but they also view those votes as theirs and theirs alone. History—real history, not the kind invented by the New York Times or at Harvard—tends to reveal inconvenient truths.
Take, for example, Margaret Sanger, the patron saint of Planned Parenthood who was financed at the beginning of the last century by powerful Democrats in New York and across the nation. It was she who gave succor to the eugenics researchers who would return to Germany to help Adolf Hitler in his vile and inhuman agenda, and who espoused mass sterilization and abortion for African Americans, as well as for Irish and Italian Americans. This is the woman Democrats will defend until the cows come home. This is the woman the likes of Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer embrace. Read this letter. It is housed in a university library and is, without question, authentic. It is also without question at the root of a Democratic Party platform plank.
Or consider the governors or mayors of most of the cities across the South post-World War II who defended segregation to its last gasp: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee. It wasn’t Republicans who used their power to continue institutionalized racism across the South. It was the political party that, for whatever reason, believed it could do just about anything it wanted with impunity until it became too difficult for it to do so.
Very few people, especially now, want to have such a frank conversation about real facts and data, which is why this rioting and looting and violence appear to be so coordinated. When folks are exhausted from the argument they are too tired to talk or to gather themselves to be calm, and focused on the facts—the history of the Democratic Party and how it all ties together. Because if we did focus on the facts and on the Democratic Party’s history, in the distant past and more recently, people would see that our circumstances have not changed much because the people and the party in charge have not changed much either.
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Ned Ryun is a former presidential writer for George W. Bush and the founder and CEO of American Majority. You can find him on Twitter @nedryun.
Photo “Black Lives Matter Protest” by den, Janine and Jim. CC BY 2.0.