Is Trump’s ‘bigotry’ is an im­peach­able of­fense?

Antelope Valley Press (Sunday) - - Opinion -

Of the rea­sons crit­ics of­fered for President Don­ald Trump’s im­peach­ment, the one sug­gested by Rep. Al Green, D-N.Y., is among the most ridicu­lous. Green ar­gues that Trump’s al­leged racism serves as a le­git­i­mate ba­sis for im­peach­ment.

In July, Green an­nounced plans to in­tro­duce ar­ti­cles of im­peach­ment: “The Mueller hear­ing has noth­ing to do with what we’re do­ing now. The Mueller hear­ing is all about ob­struc­tion. This is about bigotry and racism.”

Never mind the re­cent re­search pa­per by Uni­ver­sity of Pennsylvan­ia po­lit­i­cal science pro­fes­sor Daniel Hopkins and re­search as­sis­tant Samantha Wash­ing­ton. Hopkins re­cently wrote: “On av­er­age, anti-black prej­u­dice dropped sharply among whites, from a score of 8.1 just be­fore the 2016 elec­tion to 5.4 two years later. … That marked the low­est level of anti-black prej­u­dice since we first con­ducted this study in late 2008.

Prej­u­dice against His­pan­ics also dropped. … In both in­stances, de­clines were larger among Democrats, but they ap­peared among Repub­li­cans, too.”

The FBI, in a news re­lease on its 2017 hate crimes re­port, cau­tioned that the year-to-year in­crease in hate crimes might be an aber­ra­tion: “Although the num­bers in­creased last year, so did the num­ber of law en­force­ment agen­cies re­port­ing hate crime data — with ap­prox­i­mately 1,000

ad­di­tional agen­cies con­tribut­ing in­for­ma­tion.”

If, by Green’s logic, Trump could be im­peached for in­cit­ing bigotry, would this stan­dard ap­ply to President Barack Obama? Could he have been im­peached for mak­ing false ac­cu­sa­tions about racism and ex­ag­ger­at­ing its im­pact?

For ex­am­ple, by meet­ing with rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the so-called Black Lives Mat­ter move­ment, Obama gave cred­i­bil­ity to a cam­paign that rose to promi­nence based on the lie that Fer­gu­son, Mis­souri, sus­pect Michael Brown held up his hands while im­plor­ing a cop, “Don’t shoot.” Both the Fer­gu­son grand jury and the Jus­tice De­part­ment de­ter­mined that the cop who killed Brown acted law­fully.

The ev­i­dence sug­gested Brown ran to­ward the cop — not away from him, as Brown’s friend and wit­ness had told in­ves­ti­ga­tors.

Af­ter Fer­gu­son, Obama’s ac­cu­sa­tions and oth­ers’ caused cops to pull back, to be less proac­tive. It’s called the “Fer­gu­son ef­fect.” Crit­ics of the po­lice ig­nore re­cent stud­ies find­ing cops more hes­i­tant and more re­luc­tant to use deadly force against blacks.

Heather Mac Don­ald, author of “The War on Cops: How the New Attack on Law and Or­der Makes Ev­ery­one Less Safe,” said: “What the re­cent FBI re­port showed is that not only are black lives be­ing taken be­cause of­fi­cers are back­ing off from proac­tive polic­ing un­der this re­lent­less lie that they are racist for try­ing to bring pub­lic or­der to high-crime com­mu­ni­ties, but blue lives are be­ing taken as well.

There was a 53% in­crease in gun mur­ders of po­lice of­fi­cers last year that the FBI an­a­lyzed and con­cluded it was driven over­whelm­ingly by an ide­o­log­i­cally fo­mented ha­tred of cops.”

Pas­sive polic­ing, in­duced by the Fer­gu­son lie, em­bold­ens the bad guys, which causes an in­crease in crimes whose vic­tims are dis­pro­por­tion­ately blacks liv­ing in the in­ner city — the very peo­ple the Democrats claim to care about.

The Fer­gu­son lie also makes young black men dis­trust the cops, as­sum­ing that, as young blacks, they serve as tar­gets of po­lice bru­tal­ity. How does this mind­set, en­cour­aged by the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion’s rhetoric, af­fect the in­ter­ac­tion be­tween black civil­ians and cops? Is that “im­peach­able”?

The lie of sys­temic or in­sti­tu­tional racism in­spired three dif­fer­ent black suspects to mur­der, ex­e­cu­tion-style, two cops in New York City in 2014, plus three in Ba­ton Rouge, Louisiana, and five in Dal­las in 2016.

How do we know the mur­ders were in­spired by the bo­gus no­tion of anti-black po­lice bru­tal­ity? The suspects said so, ei­ther to oth­ers or in their so­cial me­dia posts. About the Dal­las shoot­ing, the head of the city’s po­lice de­part­ment said the sus­pect told cops that he was up­set over re­cent po­lice shoot­ings and he “wanted to kill white peo­ple.”

As to al­leged in­sti­tu­tional racism, Obama falsely claimed that “more young black men lan­guish in prison than at­tend col­leges and uni­ver­si­ties across Amer­ica.” This is not even re­motely true.

There are twice as many black men at­tend­ing col­leges and uni­ver­si­ties than in pris­ons and jails. If one fo­cuses on col­lege-age black men, there are five times as many at­tend­ing col­leges and uni­ver­si­ties than in state and fed­eral pris­ons.

Even the Obama-lov­ing Wash­ing­ton Post, which factchecke­d it, gave Obama’s claim four “Pinoc­chios,” as bad a grade as the pa­per al­lows.

Pro­fes­sor Ivory A. Told­son of his­tor­i­cally black Howard Uni­ver­sity calls Obama’s false as­ser­tion “the most fre­quently quoted statis­tic about black men” and warns us about the con­se­quences of pro­mot­ing this “myth.”

Is it “im­peach­able” to falsely ac­cuse whites and the po­lice of racism? Is it im­peach­able to en­cour­age blacks to be­lieve they re­main per­se­cuted by an “in­sti­tu­tion­ally racist” crim­i­nal jus­tice sys­tem?

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