The Corner

A Broader Point about Ferguson

Let’s assume that it turns out that a policeman there acted with racial malice in killing a young black man. That may be one additional bit of evidence that the Left is justified in some part of its racial agenda, but one incident, no matter how dramatic, is not a universal proof. So it’s important that justice be done in this case, but it won’t tell us anything definitive about what goes on elsewhere. It’s not as if lots of people think that racism is nonexistent so that finding one example of it is really important. 

I can see the argument that an incident like this can be appropriately seized upon to force a particular reform in a particular community. But that’s about it. And, of course, you would want to wait until you actually knew what had happened.

And we know it may well turn out that what actually happened was somewhat different, or a lot different, from what the Left believes/hopes happened. In which case the Left’s world view will not change, because that won’t be universal proof of anything either.

If the shoe were on the other foot, and a young black man was accused of some horrific crime, no one on the left would concede that one young black man’s guilt made the case for this or that policy that the Left opposed. They would argue, rightly, that one incident can’t bear that much weight. And naturally we would hear a lot about being innocent until proved guilty.

I suppose it is human nature to like drama and, especially, to have a struggle come down to one decisive moment. But that’s not a sane way to view a broader reality or to make political decisions.

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