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Support for Dorner Is Troubling
Anyone who fails to condemn the killer is failing in his duty.

Shooting scene linked to fugitive Chris Dorner, February 8, 2013.

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Dennis Prager

Just when you thought you’d seen it all with the Sandy Hook murders of a classroom full of children, America experienced another new low: A man named Christopher Dorner murdered three (as of this writing) innocent people in order to air personal grievances. And his grievances were given serious attention by the national media, not to mention by left-wing websites.

To better understand this: Imagine the outcry if, let us say, a white student who was certain that he was denied admission to a prestigious university because of affirmative action murdered a university official, the daughter of the dean of admissions, and her fiancé.

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Imagine further that this man had posted a lengthy manifesto delineating how unfairly he had been treated by that university, and promising that he would continue to murder admissions-department officials until the university admitted he was wrongfully rejected.

And imagine if the murderer had listed Fox News and conservative talk-show hosts as media personalities he admired, as Dorner listed Chris Matthews, Tavis Smiley, and Soledad O’Brien, among others, nearly all on the left.

Finally, imagine how the media, and perhaps the president himself, would have reacted.

A tsunami of vilification of conservatives and of conservative media would have ensued. We would be told 24/7 that talk radio is hate radio and that Fox News should be ostracized from civilized company. We would be told how right-wing hate had produced such a murderous man.

Moreover, the murderer would be labeled exactly what he was, a murderer, and would not be regarded by any conservatives as in any way heroic. Conservative commentators would, rightly, outdo one another in condemnation of the murderer.

This has not been the case with Christopher Dorner. He is widely depicted as a man with legitimate grievances that caused him to “snap.” His “manifesto” is widely read and often praised, a Facebook page has been set up to defend him, and thousands of commentators on left-wing sites concentrate their fury on the Los Angeles Police Department, while portraying Dorner sympathetically.

It is important to remember that Dorner murdered a young woman and her fiancé simply because she was the daughter of a cop — the man who acted as Dorner’s defense advocate in the LAPD proceedings against him. But as one comment on a left-wing site noted, that was a good idea: If the cop had been murdered, he wouldn’t have suffered, but now that his daughter and her fiancé have been murdered, the cop will experience real pain until he dies.

Any public figure, and especially any member of the clergy, who does not unambiguously condemn Dorner as a psychopathic murderer is failing his or her duty. This is not the time to discuss allegations of racism in the Los Angeles Police Department. For one thing, being wrongfully dismissed from a job — if, indeed, that is what happened to Dorner — inhabits a different moral universe than murder. For another, the more the public pays attention to this murderer’s “manifesto,” the more murders-for-attention will take place.

How could any number of self-pitying angry individuals who see themselves as victims not get the idea that murdering people is a great way to get people to take you and your grievances seriously?

Constance Rice, a prominent Los Angeles civil-rights attorney, a black woman called by NPR last year the “Conscience of the City,” wrote in a Los Angeles Times op-ed column about “the disturbing support for Dorner’s manifesto from the black community on the Internet and on black radio.”

And Rice, who has said that she woke up every day for years wondering how she could sue the Los Angeles Police Department for alleged abuses, went on to write, “Dorner is absolutely wrong when he states in the manifesto that ‘the department has not changed since the Rampart and Rodney King days.’ . . . The good guys are now in charge of LAPD culture.”

But that apparently does not matter to the many black Americans who have so much anger and so define themselves as victims that they will, in too many cases, support black murderers — from O. J. Simpson to Christopher Dorner.

What we have here is another proof that nothing leads to murder and other evils more than a sense of victimization. This is true for nations, just as it is for individuals. The German sense of victimization led to World War II. Dorner believes himself to be a victim and consequently feels entitled to murder.

But the real victims are decomposing in their graves.

Dennis Prager is a nationally syndicated radio talk-show host and columnist. His most recent book is Still the Best Hope: Why the World Needs American Values to Triumph. He is the founder of Prager University and may be contacted at dennisprager.com.



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