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Blather Unbound


"Why do they hate us?"

You might remember this was the universal cry of a segment of the Left who could not understand  --  or pretended not to understand  --  that the reason for the 9-11 attacks was doctrinaire Jihad against the West and, in particular, the United States.  In the minds of those Sixties holdovers who still pine for Ho Chi Minh and Che Guevara, no crime in or against the United States cannot be excused (or "explained," as they sometimes like to put it when they feel the need for slightly better PR) by recourse to listing the multitudinous sins our country has committed against............well, against the Grievance Group du Jour.  Hence, the slogan, "why do they hate us," implying, without having to argue directly, that we brought it all on ourselves.

Same deal in England, which shares a similar overload of liberal guilt and concomitant paralyzing masochism in the face of crime.  This was on full display in the opening stages of the recent riots there.  The tepid police response only fueled the rioters' gleeful rampage, as I argued here.

It didn't take long for the British contingent of the Why Do They Hate Us crowd to chime in.  It's not that they condone the rioting, exactly  --  oh no, not that!  --  as that they see it as providing a moment for seeking "mutual respect."

And no, I am not making that up.  It's not a time to put these hoodlums in the slammer for smashing a store window and making off with an iPod or a plasma TV.  Nope, it's time for the store owner, and the rest of us, to do some introspection about being racists.

Not for nothing did I title this entry "Blather Unbound."  It's provided here by Mr. Jason Jouavel, billed as the "NBC News assignment editor."

You get the gist right off:

As authorities and society at large condemn the rioters and looters who ran amok in cities throughout England over the last week, one theme jumps out at me -- anger many here feel towards the police.

Got that?  The problem is not that hooligans decided the night was theirs, with random destruction here and a few inconsequential murder victims there; the problem was that society is too darn quick to condemn, and that some people are angry at the police.

And who in particular might be angry at the police?  My goodness, it turns out to be Mr. Jouavel, who, being a highly educated person (as he describes himself), and a black man, once had an encounter with a police officer he remembers as abusive and disrespectful to His High Status.

In an article supposedly about the riots, Mr. Jouavel spends about two-thirds of the space describing this encounter.  He does not allege that the cop beat him up, called him by any racist name, or arrested him without reason (he was not arrested at all).  Instead, he describes being stopped for what he says was no particular reason.  He also describes the cop as being rude, unnecessarily aggressive and, by implication, racist.

That's it.  Making the somewhat generous assumption that Mr. Jouavel is relating every important aspect of this episode, and not filtering it through the prism of his anger, the encounter sounds bad.  It reflects poorly on the policeman involved.  Most citizens, me included, would probably resent it.

The difference is that they'd chalk it up to one bad apple, or to a good apple on a bad day, or to the fact that life is sometimes unfair, even greivously so.  And then they'd let it go. 

But letting go is not what happens in the Culture of Grievance.  Instead, it gets held onto and, more than that, turned into the centerpiece of what I guess is supposed to be serious journalism about the riots.  NBC certainly seems to think so.  Indeed, it gets turned into a general theory of the riots, divining the thoughts of hundreds or thousands of people Mr. Jouavel presumably doesn't know.  Indeed, if he's so much as interviewed a single one of them, he doesn't say so in his article.

Instead, what we have are things like this:

"While there is no excuse for the outbursts that ruined lives and livelihoods..."

Whenever you hear the disclaimer that, "while there is no excuse" for X, you know perfectly well that the thing you'll be reading next is an excuse for X.

"...as a Londoner it strikes me that we should use this opportunity..."

Hey, look, it's not mayhem, it's an opportunity!

"...to reflect on what may be behind some of the violence.  After all, understanding does not equal condoning."

One of the classic lies of the Left is that "understanding does not mean condoning," and here it is in full throat.  It's not that understanding always has to mean condoning  --  it certainly doesn't  --  but when it's used in this context, that's exactly what it means.

And why, now that the point is made, shouldn't we condone it?  As we've so often been told, including now by Mr. Jouavel, we brought it on ourselves.





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