Stay with me here. It take a bit to get this point across.
Larry Elder has a thoughtful article out, which you can read without the extraneous ads, here: Derek Chauvin: The Great White Defendant. As you can probably tell from the title, what Elder does is try to place the Floyd/Chauvin/Police event in the context of Tom Wolfe's novel, The Bonfire of the Vanities.
Here's how Elder does that:
A review of "Bonfire" explains:"The overarching theme of the book is the search for the great white defendant. The vast majority of defendants in New York City are minorities, arrested for killing another minority. The vast majority of the cops and prosecutors are all about the press and their careers. One drug dealer killing another drug dealer is not going to get you any attention; it's a dog-bites-man story -- no story. What you want is a man-bites-dog story. Therefore, subliminally, the police, prosecutors and press are always looking for a great white defendant who will make their careers."
Nobody, Wolfe writes, gets upset about massive media coverage of The Great White Defendant. Blacks enjoy watching media coverage of well-off white men, in this case a Wall Street trader, accused of serious wrongdoing, in this case murder. Guilty whites are used to perpetuate the systemic racism media narrative. And the media feel noble when pushing it. Win, win, win.
This brings us to the trial of Derek Chauvin, the white ex-Minneapolis cop convicted of murdering George Floyd, a Black man who initially resisted arrest.
What's a bit different now is that the Dems have latched onto this phenomenon in, yes, a systematic way. Whereas the earlier narrative leveraged publicity for the career purposes of prosecutors--which still goes on in the usual ad hoc way--this technique is currently being deployed for ideological movement oriented purposes. That's not entirely different, of course, from past efforts to incite public outrage and unrest, although the single minded determination of the MSM (broadly speaking) to drum the desired ideological narrative into the public mind over a period decades, utilizing mass rioting and show trials, is quite impressive.
This may seem subtle, but there appears to be shift from the usual unruliness of democratic societies, in which a degree of hucksterism is always present, to the type of mass movement activism espoused by totalitarian movements. The show trial element is particularly telling in highlighting this shift. Another aspect that highlights this shift is the contrast between the goals of past manipulative efforts--often in support of getting the US involved in a war--and the current open ended slogans espoused by the manipulaters: Change. Transformation. New Normal. Etc. There's a marked dearth of actual content.
Elder addresses some of this and closes by invoking the out of context quote from MLK. He attempts to fit this whole episode into Wolfe's narrative, while recognizing that it has been "leveraged":
Cable channel HLN has covered the trial from gavel to gavel. When bumping in and out of commercial breaks, HLN displayed a graphic, accompanied by foreboding music, showing two fists tearing an American flag in half, with the caption "America's Very Soul Is on Trial." ...
No, America's "very soul" is not on trial.
An individual ex-officer, Chauvin, who is white, stood trial for allegedly murdering an individual suspect, Floyd, who is Black. Nothing more, nothing less. ...
Thus far, the stock Wolfian story line.
By elevating the Chauvin trial into a referendum on cops in general and on America in particular, the media and irresponsible incendiaries like Echols and Waters make violence more likely if the state had failed to convince 12 jurors of Chauvin's guilt. Inevitably, as buildings and businesses burn, someone on the left reminds us that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. called riots "the language of the unheard."
The King quoters omit two things. First, at the time King said that, many doubted the credibility of investigations, given that whites ran the investigations. Today, most big cities have or have had Black mayors, Black police chiefs, Black prosecutors, Black leaders of city councils and Black superintendents of schools. Who, then, is not hearing the unheard? Second, King also called riots "self-defeating and socially destructive." King said: "I will continue to condemn riots, and continue to say to my brothers and sisters that this is not the way."
My point is this. In a democracy, politicians are supposed to be listening to the voices of the voters--the voters are "heard" through their votes. Moreover, politicians go to great lengths to attempt to divine what "language" the voters are trying to make "heard" through polling. At the same time, the politicians are also being "heard" by the voters--through their actions in office, as well as through their words.
My view is that, by and large, the majority of Dem politicians hear what the language that their voters are speaking--and for their part tell their voters what they want to hear. This process is simple enough for House elections, in which the district boundaries are often tailor drawn to suit the politicians. It gets more complicated in Senate races and even more in presidential races, in which the politicians are hearing multiple "languages" and are themselves, as a result, responding in several "languages"--of, as some would say, out of both (or multiple?) corners of their mouths.
The question that arises is: Is this a workable system? It sounds like it might work in practice, but does it?
Poll after poll after poll tell us that African Americans, by broad majorities, share the views of conservative White Americans. On the other hand, in election after election after election African Americans vote for representatives who not only act against the professed opinions of their constituents but even openly run on platforms that reject those opinions. Who is listening to whom? President Trump is one of the few politicians who, to a limited extent, broke through this pattern--and to a very major extent the show trials and riots we've been seeing reflect the cynical reaction to this existential threat (from a partisan Dem perspective). There is also the question of the Left's embracing a cynical strategy which favors societal upheaval, but we'll leave that aside.
Another side of what's going on involves White Americans who vote for Dems. I know, of course, that you have the usual suspects: elderly New Dealers, haters of corporate fat cats and/or theocratic Southerners, etc.--in other words, people who are out of touch with the actual social realities of America. However, the group I have in mind, and which seems to swing elections, are those White voters who are distressed by social division in America and who vote for "unifiers." As in the case of African Americans, these White Americans tell pollsters over and over that they want politicians who will "bring Americans together." Dems have become highly adept at exploiting those emotions--they speak the "language" that their targeted voters want to listen to. Thus, when Trump won their response was to create chaos and division and blame it on Trump. A certain demographic group of White Americans bought into that. As a result, in election after election this class of White Americans vote for politicians who--if one were to listen carefully and read policy platforms--embrace a strategy of division, and who proceed to implement that policy. And yet these same White Americans claim to long for unity.
Isn't that what we've seen repeatedly in the past decades? Sometimes it works for Dems, sometimes it backfires--largely depending on whether other factors distract the "swing" voters. The economy, crime, foreign wars, the makeup of the SCOTUS. Still, the same demographic groups are fooled repeatedly by the same political groups. One presumes this will happen again in 2022.
The problem, as it seems to me, when viewed from this perspective is not really that any significant group of Americans is not being "heard." The problem is that significant demographic groups which are easily large enough to swing election results ... aren't really listening. Their voices are heard, all right, and the politicians speak to them in a language that is similar to the language that these voters speak. But what the politicians grasp is that the voters haven't internalized the old adage that actions speak louder than words--and the politicians act accordingly. With the complete compliance of the MSM (broadly speaking).
And we see the results--which are, not to put too fine a point on it, increasingly a mess. Over the course of decades a government administrative state has been put in place which is largely at war with most of the country. This mess, unfortunately, reflects the mess that is the collective societal mess that America has descended into. Messy minds, if you will, that have been carefully cultivated for just that purpose. That's not the kind of situation in which the ship of state can change its course even over several presidential administrations. Even less can a society change its course quickly.
Is the American experiment fundamentally flawed? Or has it become fundamentally corrupted? These are the questions that are being forced upon our attention, in a context of comprehensive social decay.
UPDATE: Monica Showalter has a must read/enjoy post: My First Knife Fight? Leftists call knifings kid stuff in wake of Columbus police intervention. It's mostly a sample of responses to insane Leftist tweets claiming that knife fights ain't a thing--or, at any rate, it's just a thing that kids do.
FWIW, this is my favorite:
Apparently, Barack Obama’s senior advisor, Valerie Jarrett, missed the memo pic.twitter.com/gPLVE0k66N— 🎙 (@theaveragevoter) April 22, 2021
Well, this was pretty good, too:
Black Lives Matter*— Alex (@Alex_Z_01) April 21, 2021
What do you say to people who say or imply that knives are not deadly weapons? Who is really that insane? But, as in so much else, Obama set the tone. All this should make for an interesting Election 2022.
When things seem to be going to sh*t, sometimes ya just hafta laugh.