Paine’s “trying times” once again

July 17, 2016

Black-PanthersTHESE are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Thomas Paine, The Crisis, December 23, 1776

There is no doubt that there is trouble in America today.

Will more police stations be fired upon?  Will police officers continue to be targeted for murder simply because they wear the uniform?

Should we expect more public streets and interstates shut down as the Black Lives Matter group ignores the rule of law?

Will violence beget more violence or will cooler heads prevail?  Sadly, the impetus behind this latest round of vitriol and hate towards law enforcement predicts more violence.

It started November 8, 2008 outside a polling place in Philadelphia when two New Black Panther Party members, King Samir Shabazz and Jerry Jackson dressed up in paramilitary outfits (Shabazz completing his wardrobe with a billy club) and spouted racial slurs at approaching voters.

A civil suit backed up by witness affidavits and video was brought by the Civil Rights Division as the Bush administration was on its way out. Yet when they didn’t appear in court and career prosecutors moved to pursue a default judgment they were overruled by newly appointed acting Assistant Attorney General Loretta King and acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Steve Rosenbaum.

Subsequent investigation into the matter by the United States Civil Rights Division revealed a Justice Department replete with staff of the belief that the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was not passed as race-neutral legislation and therefor only minority cases should be the focus of prosecutions.

And in July 2012, Judge Reggie Walton ruled that the Justice Department was obligated to pay fees associated with the group Judicial Watch’s Freedom of Information Act litigation in the matter because documents showed that political appointees did indeed interfere with the case.

Since that first case we have watched the Obama administration’s cloak of political protection literally suffocate the rule of law.

Fast and Furious?  Shut down by a last minute claim of “Executive Privilege”.

IRS targeting conservative groups?  Stonewalled to extinction by destroyed data and political pit bull John Koskinen.

Ferguson and Baltimore riots?  Cops lives ruined while prosecution of rioters scant to none.

Classified documents on unsecured private servers?  Not even a nick of justice.

Does the Black Lives Matter group have some legitimate grievances?  Absolutely

Will attacking innocents and endangering the public safety help?  Absolutely not, but it won’t matter.

Because the very day after President Obama couldn’t help injecting politics into the memorial for 5 slain Dallas police officers he included on his invite list to a White House conference on the matter one DeRay McKesson.  The very same DeRay Mckesson at the core of Ferguson and Baltimore unrest and who was just recently arrested with others in Baton Rouge, LA for blocking a public road.

As long as those breaking the law know their protection reaches all the way to the Oval Office there will be no peace.

The fuse of lawlessness lit by politics those 7 years ago is now at the powder house door.  Will it be snuffed out in time, or is an explosion of anarchy now inevitable?

I pray for the former, but am prepared for the latter.

Because as George Washington noted: “When one side only of a story is heard and often repeated, the human mind becomes impressed with it insensibly.”  And because there is none better at telling only one side of a story than the Obama administration.

Prepare your soul America, it is about to be tried.

A version of this column first appeared in the July 17, 2016 print edition of the Joplin Globe.

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