The Radio Derb transcript for October 29th is up—go here to read or listen:
The arrogance of power. A big part of the current upheaval going on in politics all over the West, including the U.S.A., is public disgust with the arrogance, the corruption, and the entitlement mentality of elected politicians.Example: the Eric Garner case.
In case you don't recall, Eric Garner was a black New Yorker, 43 years old, 6 foot 4 inches tall, morbidly obese, and a sufferer from asthma and some unspecified heart condition. He was a chronic lawbreaker with a rap sheet going back to 1980.
In July of 2014 Garner was making pocket money by selling loose cigarettes on the street without a license. New York police, responding to complaints by legitimate merchants nearby, tried to arrest him. Garner resisted.
After some shoving, Officer Daniel Pantaleo, who is white, took Garner down with an arm around his neck. The officers held Garner on the ground while he declared several times over, "I can't breathe." The officers called an ambulance, Garner was taken to a local hospital, where he was declared dead.
The city medical examiner ruled that Garner's death was a homicide. That just means that some person killed some other person; it's not a synonym for "murder." It doesn't mean that necessarily any crime at all was committed.
A county grand jury was empaneled to find out whether there was evidence a crime was committed, evidence sufficient to bring Officer Pantaleo to trial. The grand jury determined that there wasn't.
Eric Holder, who was then U.S. Attorney General, thereupon announced that the U.S. Justice Department would do an investigation to determine whether Officer Pantaleo violated Garner's civil rights.
Federal agents based in New York went and did that investigation. After two years of investigating, they declared that there were no grounds to bring charges against Officer Pantaleo.
That was the wrong answer. Since a black career criminal had died shortly after being restrained by a white police officer, as a matter of social justice it is necessary for the white man to be punished. This week Eric Holder's replacement, Attorney General Loretta Lynch, took the local agents off the case and declared a new investigation by agents sent down from D.C.
The feds have made it plain they intend to get Officer Pantaleo on some charge or other as a matter of racial vengeance. Bill de Blasio, New York City's communist Mayor, is fully on board, quote: "I'm sure she has her reasons for what she's done, and our message to her is we will cooperate in any way she asks," end quote.
This is the arrogance of power. They are the government; they can do what they like. If they want you in jail, they'll charge you with some offense or other, whether or not you did anything wrong. If they can't get a conviction, at least they'll wreck your life.
It goes without saying that in the two-and-a-half years since his death, Garner has been elevated to a victim of white racism. There have been protest marches, chanting of "I can't breathe," and speeches by Rev'm Al Sharpton. Oh, and Mayor de Blasio had the city pay a six million dollar settlement to Garner's family, notwithstanding the absence of evidence that any city employee did anything wrong to them.
You might think that the moral of the Eric Garner story is, that if you are morbidly obese and suffer from heart and breathing problems, don't struggle with police to resist arrest. If you do think that, you are a shameful bigot, far removed by your white privilege from the oppression that African Americans suffer daily at the hands of racist cops.