Augusta Free Press

U.S. sinking into lawlessness: And why might that be?

Conservative commentators are telling us in the wake of the senseless murders of two New York City cops on Saturday that the U.S. is about to sink into lawlessness because of the poisoned atmosphere surrounding ongoing protests of police killings of civilians in Missouri, Staten Island, Cleveland and a growing list of American cities.

Former cops among the commentariat are even suggesting that cops stop doing their jobs beyond a bare minimum. No irony there, that these former cops are decrying the poisoned atmosphere caused by protestors exercising their rights to speech and peaceable assembly as a root cause of a coming lawlessness apocalypse, at the same time that they’re advocating cops essentially stop being cops, in response to the protests.

The cops who literally turned their backs on New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio this weekend were themselves exercising their rights to make a political statement. A great country, ain’t it, that we can do those kinds of things, whether we’re police officers turning our backs on elected leaders, or athletes wearing “I Can’t Breathe” T-shirts for pregame warmups.

America is a grand place, indeed.

Well, except that the cops who’ve weighed in on that last one aren’t too fond of the athletes who wear the T-shirts.

The athletes should stick to sports.

Apparently athletes are poisoning the atmosphere, too.

Athletes, mayors, who should stick to mayoring, ordinary citizens, who should stick to, I dunno, being good citizens, who comply with lawful orders, the lawfulness of those orders having been determined by a judge and jury of one.

You got a problem with police, keep it to yourselves, otherwise, you’re on your own.

Police work is a thankless, low-paying job fraught with deadly danger on a daily basis. The vast majority of men and women who dedicate their lives to the profession are to be lauded for what they do.

Unfortunately, as in every other corner of life, there are some whose actions push the envelope of acceptable behavior, and when their actions violate criminal statutes, they need to be held accountable in the same manner that anyone else would be.

Those who advocate on behalf of justice for all weren’t granted the right to do so by any cop, by any politician; neither can any cop or politician take those rights away.

Somehow the cart got way, way out in front of the horse here.

If we are tumbling toward lawlessness, and God help us all if we are, it wasn’t because protestors started assembling in the streets. It would be because we forgot which end is up.

– Column by Chris Graham



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