Mothers Of The Movement Bear Responsibility For Black Lives Lost
By Alfred Regnery, LELDF Chairman
Two years ago, a young man named Dorian Johnson used a lie to open a crack in America. Today the breaches that opened in Ferguson, Mo., are so wide that law enforcement and its supporters on one side and African Americans and their supporters on the other can’t see each other.
On Tuesday night, that breach was stretched across the Democratic convention stage in Philadelphia just as it had been the week before in Cleveland. How Americans react in the coming months will play a big role in the November election.
Dorian Johnson was the Department of Justice’s Witness 101 in its report of the fatal encounter between Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson and Michael Brown. You can find the truth for yourself in the report — it is the best bureaucratese that Justice could find — under section III (C) (3) captioned, “Witnesses Whose Accounts Do Not Support a Prosecution Due to Materially Inconsistent Prior Statements, or Inconsistencies With the Physical and Forensic Evidence.”
In this case, though, the DOJ could have simply used the caption, “Liars.”
Witness 101, says the report, “is a 22-year-old black male who was walking in the middle of Canfield Drive with Brown when they encountered Wilson. Witness 101 made multiple statements to the media immediately following the incident that spawned the popular narrative that Wilson shot Brown execution-style as he held up his hands in surrender." Johnson created the “hands up, don’t shoot” myth of Ferguson. He started a movement based on a lie that was echoed by protesters across the country and for too long repeated by politicians, civil rights leaders and journalists.
Two years later, as Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump extols the virtues and sacrifice of police and the need for law and order, the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia included representatives of the Mothers of the Movement, a group whose members have lost children to gun violence or died in police custody. Among its members is Lezley McSpadden, the mother of Michael Brown, who appeared at the convention Tuesday night.
To some, McSpadden represents the suffering of mothers across the country who have lost children to needless gun violence. But to others, she represents a far different truth. That truth, read from the comprehensive Department of Justice report, is that her son was a violent aggressor, a criminal who stole from a convenience store, forcefully shoved a shopkeeper when confronted, and assaulted officer Wilson as he sat in the police car. The unarmed teenager struggled with Wilson for the officer’s weapon before being shot through the hand, turned to run, then turned back to charge the officer, who finally fatally shot the 300-pound Brown.
That version of events is an inconvenient truth to Democrats who'd rather embrace a myth. Teenagers and young men such as McSpadden’s son are responsible for an inordinate share of murder, shootings, robberies and other violent crimes that result in the painful victimization of the black community and draws our police into an endless cycle of response, friction, anger and recrimination.
McSpadden and her Mothers of the Movement associates are at once victims who deserve compassion and misguided tools in a political calculation that too willingly blame others, particularly the police, while ignoring the failings of the fathers and mothers who raise young men like Michael Brown.
As Hillary Clinton and Democratic convention leaders pander for every last vote, leveraging the flawed imagery and rhetoric of Mothers of the Movement and Black Lives Matter, they disregard and disrespect the sacrifice of our law enforcement officers, who disproportionately apply their resources to neighborhoods and communities that are stricken by the ravages of drugs, gangs, violent crime and despair.
In doing so, they ignore the truths stated so clearly by Dallas Police Chief David Brown in the wake of a hate-filled assassin’s bullets cutting down five officers in that city: “We’re asking cops to do too much in this country. ... Every societal failure, we put it off on the cops to solve.” The chief listed mental health, drug addiction, loose dogs and failing schools as problems the public expects ‘cops to solve,’ adding, “70% of the African-American community is being raised by single women, let’s give it to the cops to solve that as well.”
I will be listening to Clinton and the remaining Democrats who will command the podium in Philadelphia this week. I want to know what they will do to address Chief Brown’s list. I want to hear them explain why we should trust Democrats, who have run America’s most dangerous cities for decades, to solve the very problem they allowed to fester for so long.