Beirut, America is not an option.

August 16, 2020

The Wall Street Journal’s editorial headline read:  “Seattle’s Best Resigns” – “The city’s first black police chief is out—thanks to progressives.”

A few hours earlier, Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best had announced that she would be retiring effective September 2.

Best still had at least a decade to mentor new recruits and share her 28 years of knowledge with the rest of the force.  She was liked and respected by the rank and file, and beyond qualified for the job.

So why now; why so sudden?

Because unlike the radical left Seattle City Council that had just voted the day before to arbitrarily cut her and her command staff pay, require the layoff of 100 police officers (many of whom are minority recruits) and slash the remaining budget by $4 million dollars, Chief Best has class.

Instead of surrendering to the CHOP mob that took over a police precinct and established the six blocks of Mayor Jenny Durkan’s “summer of love” no cops zone, Chief Best stood and publicly decried the decision to abandon the precinct to the mob.

When the council stripped her department from the ability to use pepper spray and tear gas to control ever increasingly violent crowds, she called that out as well.

And even after the City Council refused to condemn the mob that had descended on her private residence and the surrounding neighborhood, still she stayed.

But as it became increasingly clear that the Seattle City Council had no desire to work with her in their rush to appease the mobs and “re-imagine” policing with a new force of social workers and crisis interveners, Best wrote to her colleagues “This is a difficult decision for me, but when it’s time, it’s time.”

The Journal editorial board summed it up:  “In the name of Black Lives Matter the progressives in Seattle have now pushed out a black police chief. In so doing they have revealed that their efforts are not an attempt to correct police abuses but an attack on policing itself. Good for Chief Best for resigning rather than trying to do a job that Seattle’s political class is actively trying to stop her and her fellow officers from doing.”

When the call comes in at 3 am, it’s not political rhetoric and feel good phrases that the scared citizen on the end of the line wants, it’s a cop.  A real life, professionally trained police officer willing to put his/her life on the line to respond to that call for help.

Seattle stupid and the cities where it has spread is doing far more damage to this country than a virus from China ever could.  The virus will pass.  Vaccines and treatments will come.  We will defeat it.

But how do we defeat a crazed ideology that makes folk heroes out of rioters and looters?  How do we defeat a mentality ingraining itself into young minds that it’s OK to bust windows and grab what you want because it’s “owed” them?

How do you counter the outright lawlessness of Chicago BLM organizer Ariel Atkins who told a crowd Monday outside the police precinct where arrestees from the previous night of looting in the Magnificent Mile shopping district were being held:

“I don’t care if somebody decides to loot a Gucci or a Macy’s or a Nike because that makes sure that person eats.  That makes sure that person has clothes.  That is reparations, anything they want to take, take it, because these businesses have insurance. They’re going to get their money back. My people aren’t getting anything.”

The Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. tried to bring some sanity back when he tweeted:  “This act of pillaging, robbing & looting in Chicago was humiliating, embarrassing & morally wrong. It must not be associated with our quest for social justice and equality.”

A sentiment that Ms. Atkins dismissed out of hand:  “Jesse Jackson has nothing to do with Black Lives Matter, Jesse Jackson was not there for the creation of Black Lives Matter, Jesse Jackson can keep his opinions to himself.”

No, Ms. Atkins, Jesse Jackson wasn’t there for the creation of whatever it is that Black Lives Matter has become, but he was there with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. the day an assassin’s bullet struck him down in Memphis.

Even the liberal of liberal St. Louis Post Dispatch was shocked:  “If the protest movement truly believes looting and destruction are the proper reaction any time police officers do their jobs, America is in for some very difficult times ahead.…Is this America, or a scene from civil war Beirut? Do the protesters understand how little it takes to go from neighborhood occupations and rationalized looting to armed encampments and anarchy?”

America or Beirut?  What a surreal question to be pondering two decades into the 21st century.

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