Over these many years, legitimate critics of law enforcement have been wrongly accused of radicalism. Defenders of the most mediocre – let alone wrongful – practices have insisted hysterically that their critics are extremists, fanatics, blacks, browns, ‘soft’ whites, liberals, members of the ACLU, libertarians, Rastafarians, whatever. In a place like Whitewater, a former police chief self-servingly, but ludicrously, relied on a version of this approach to excuse his serial failures.
And yet, and yet, comes now a genuine, dangerous threat – an armed, fanatical, undisciplined horde. One takes no comfort in seeing how foolish the defenders of institutional authority have been, with their overly-emotional concerns about rational and lawful criticism. (It’s safe to say that the lumpen protesters at the Michigan capitol have no interest in ‘backing the badge.’)
If there should be true threats to the civil order, they will not come from blacks’, browns’, or whites’ critiques. They will come from an irrational, nativist horde that gives not a damn about what stands against it, recognizing no fraternity, and respecting no identity, save its own.