For the first time in a very long time, no one is second-guessing the decision by a police officer to use deadly force against an unarmed woman. Why?
The storming of the Capitol was criminal and a disgrace. Assaults upon our democratic institutions, whether from the Right or the Left, should never be tolerated. At a minimum, former President Trump is morally liable for the violence that occurred and quite possibly legally liable as well. We may never know for sure because the Democratically-controlled House chose to impeach him for political gain rather than seek a criminal indictment against him as a now-private citizen. Of course, a criminal trial in a court of law is a more onerous and ponderous task that would preclude high drama and theatrics, but the point of the impeachment was never for justice to be served anyway. That Mr. Trump narcissistically misled and fooled so many for so long is a great tragedy and that he is gone from power is a good thing, but it should not blur our vision to what else is happening.
It was a clean kill. A single bullet to the neck. Probably an intended head shot. It wasn’t a big deal. We should all just move on. It wasn’t as if she were a social-justice activist, benignly lugging home a 60-inch flatscreen TV from a burnt-out department store. She was little more than a rabid animal needing to be “put down,” at least according to Wisconsin state legislator, Jonathan Brostoff. And she bled out like a diseased dog on the pristine, sacred, sinless marble floor of our Capitol. “A Trump terrorist,” Mr. Brostoff further explained, who was shot by a law enforcement officer who was just doing “his duty to protect democracy.” Really, time to move on. Nothing much here to see. Neither her white privilege nor her 14 years of honorable military service could protect her from that bullet. The sad irony that she, like the police officer, was trying to “protect democracy” in her own confused, criminal manner is lost on most of us.
There will be no elegiac memorializing for this piece of terrorist trash. No write-ups in the mainstream newspapers about how she was trying to get her life back in order, no testimonials about what a kind, sweet person she might have been, very little talk about the possible hardships she had endured. No. That would be “abhorrent” to use Disney’s new catchphrase. She was from the Right and so she was nothing. Nothing to think twice about. Instead, we have our new Unifier-in-Chief helpfully commenting that “no one can tell me that if it had been a group of Black Lives Matter protesters… that they wouldn’t have been treated very differently.” I’m uncertain about the accuracy of that comment: It seems that the police were equally ineffective and courageous against rioters this summer and rioters on January 6, but I am certain his comment will serve only further to divide and alienate Americans from one another. And whatever the treatment by the police, the treatment by the media has been markedly different. We have, for example, the Washington Post blithely and churlishly referring to her military service as “long but undistinguished.”
It is, however, a genuinely good thing that the police officer is being presumed innocent by the Left and the media. When, after all, was the last time any cop anywhere was presumed innocent after killing an unarmed civilian? When was the last time no one raised the possibility that the cop was perhaps a little trigger happy? When was the last time no one asked about less drastic measures: Why didn’t he fire a warning shot into the ceiling? Why did he go for a head shot? Why not aim lower? Try a leg shot, perhaps? Why is no one asking about his record? Has he ever shot someone before? Has he ever been disciplined before? Why doesn’t anyone yet know his name? There are probably good answers to all these questions; at least I choose to believe so. I have already noted, but it bears repeating, that it is remarkable that for the first time in a very long time no one is second-guessing the decision by a police officer to use deadly force against an unarmed woman.
And what about that Wisconsin legislator? Perhaps we should take President Biden at his word and seriously examine what would happen to any legislator who implicitly characterized the killing of any BLM activist/rioter as merely an animal needing to be “put down”? Where is the outcry against him? Why hasn’t he been compelled to vacate his seat? Where are all the petitions demanding his ouster and where are the op-eds demanding that this sort of nastiness stop on both sides in order to heal our nation? Any healing, if it is even possible at this point, should have begun at least with the ancient admonition: De mortius nihil nisi bonum.
If a woman falls in a forest and no one cares to hear her, does she still cry in pain?
Yet, for the most part, from the media’s perspective at least, her death is a nonevent. The silence of the mainstream media is deafening; the hypocrisy fills the country like the stench from an open whited sepulcher. She was on the wrong side of history and that’s pretty much the end of the story. No one is going to say her name. For now. We will see what the future may bring as our nation tears itself further and further asunder. Will this callous killing just go down the memory hole of our newly-emerging Libertopia or will it be a catalyst to even darker forebodings in the future? Will she or some other broken, confused rightwing martyr be the next Horst Wessel for an increasingly embittered and expanding extremism that feels betrayed, and whose pains and fears and ideals are marginalized by the ever-righteous media?
Editor’s Note: Ashli Babbitt of San Diego, California, died on January 6, 2021, due to wounds caused by a single gunshot fired by a Capitol Hill police officer. Requiescat in pace.
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