Politics

Always Asking What’s Next? How About Using Race as a Disability?

Out on patrol one day, driving on a busy arterial street, I saw a van driving ahead of me with expired registration tabs on the rear license plate. I hit my overhead lights and chirped my siren.

The driver pulled over and stopped in front of a gas station. I was intending to give the driver a warning (some people really do just forget to renew), as long as they had no warrants or outstanding tickets.

As I approached the driver, the woman in the driver’s seat hefted a huge helping of attitude out the window at me. Even after I’d explained the reason for the stop was not her driving but her expired registration, she somehow knew I’d pulled her over because of her race and gender. In fact, her words were: “You just pulled me over because I’m a strong black woman.”

(Credit: Facebook/The Melanated Maven)

Her accusation struck me as odd  her van was windowless except for the driver’s cab up front. I couldn’t have determined the driver’s race, ethnicity, or gender. Why would that matter to me, anyway? We’re talking a simple expired registration for which I’d intended to warn her. Still, the woman maintained her defiant demeanor. It seemed she wasn’t in the mood for a warning. So, I went back to my car and wrote out a little keepsake.

I went back up to the driver’s window and explained her options for handling the ticket. I gave her a copy of the citation and asked if she had any questions. After dismissing me, she slammed the van into gear and gunned it, nearly running over my foot.

I got back in my car, let the dispatcher know what had happened, and called for a backup unit. I caught up with the driver and pulled her over again. This time, I knew exactly who she was—race, gender, and demeanor. And this time, I wasn’t intending to give the driver a warning.

I went up to her and explained I had to jump out of the way to avoid her running over my foot. She said nothing and stared forward. I went back to my car and wrote her a criminal citation for reckless driving.

Think about what her poisoned, political, anti-police perspective got her.

Think about what her poisoned, political, anti-police perspective got her. What would have been a registration warning, turned into a criminal citation.  I could have even arrested her for attempted vehicular assault on a police officer!

When the media, leftist organizations, and academia constantly tell you that you are a victim until it is embedded within your soul  when will you ever not see yourself as a victim? Perhaps only after you read the words of independent-minded people like Frederick Douglass, Shelby Steele, or Thomas Sowell. They have powerful counter-arguments to leftist, political victimology. If only the left would encourage kids to read these great black scholars  but they don’t.

(Credit: Facebook/The College Fix)

The left teaches minorities and women that every time you get a B instead of an A, poor service at a restaurant, denied employment or a promotion, or pulled over by the police, it is always and every time because you are a fill in the blank. To the left, it seems these negative outcomes are “legitimate” only when they happen to those with so-called white privilege, particularly men. For everyone else, it seems, those adverse interactions happen because they are…not privileged with whiteness.

The following example of this problem comes from academia. You know, those lofty, erudite elites teaching (indoctrinating) our kids not how to think but what to think.

Fordham Law Professor Argues Blackness is a “Disability”

In a move that likely has Frederick Douglass and MLK spinning in their graves, Professor Kimani Paul-Emile, of Fordham School of Law, is arguing that “being black in America is a disability as a new legal strategy toward enacting protections for the black community against unconscious bias, stereotyping and structural inequality.” She says Americans of African descent and “blackness” have “an independent disabling effect.”

Professor Kimani Paul-Emile, of Fordham School of Law, is arguing that “being black in America is a disability as a new legal strategy toward enacting protections for the black community against unconscious bias, stereotyping and structural inequality.”

By equating African-Americans to those who have lost their sight, hearing, and ability to move, Professor Paul-Emile has no problem further dividing Americans along racial lines—this time in court.

This racial crisis entrepreneur is adding to race divisiveness. Is it just me, or does this concept seem more wicked than clever? While this adds another obstacle of racial victimology for black Americans to overcome, how will this make people with actual disabilities feel?

Now, no sane person argues against the fact that ancestors of many of today’s African-Americans suffered unspeakable horrors too difficult for modern Americans to imagine, and that many of their older relatives suffered under institutional racism throughout the last one-third of the 19th Century and first two-thirds of the 20th Century.

Americans alive today, in a country that has come so far in race relations, can’t conceive of such evil. But we can still have sympathy and empathy for people who suffered so much under such a brutal institution as slavery, as well as those who suffered the degradations of segregation.

Americans alive today, in a country that has come so far in race relations, can’t conceive of such evil. But we can still have sympathy and empathy for people who suffered so much under such a brutal institution as slavery, as well as those who suffered the degradations of segregation.

In his indispensable book  Setting the Record Straight: American History in Black & White  David Barton writes that the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was ratified predominately by Republicans and signed by a Democrat president. According to Frederick Douglass, it would only be after such an act was passed that black Americans would finally be free. Douglass said, “Slavery is not abolished until the black man has the ballot.” Now, though the black man had the ballot, Douglass also talked about the continued unfairness for a class of folks starting from nothing.

George Will wrote, in the above-linked article about Douglass, “Although Douglass entered the post-Civil War era asking only that blacks at last be left to fend for themselves, he knew that “it is not fair play to start the Negro out in life, from nothing and with nothing.” But as a lover of liberty, Douglass seemed willing to settle for freedom and to build from there, overcoming the unfairness if the government would leave him be.

If only the Democrats had allowed post-war black Americans to enjoy their hard-won liberty and prosper. Unfortunately, Southern Democrats booted the blacks who’d won political office in the South out of office. The Democrats, aided by the KKK, continued this post-Civil War oppression through Reconstruction and throughout the following century.

Even after the passage of the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts, President Johnson’s Great Society social experiment to help black families flourish failed miserably. President Obama’s recent racially divisive tenure delivered shockingly poor results for black Americans.

If any of these Democrat-led efforts had not occurred, the state of race relations would not be as contentious as it is today. Sadly, the new Democratic (-socialist) Party needs “victims” to “help” to stay relevant.

(Credit: Facebook/Judge Jeanine Pirro has Fans)

Avenues for mitigating the damage slavery did to generations of people is worth a discussion. Believe me, as a libertarian-leaning republican, the fact that slavery existed makes my soul ache. But even if some algorithm could be devised to compile, direct, and disburse monetary or other forms of reparations, when would it end, if ever? And who gets to decide allocation percentages to individuals? At some point, society would also have to ask if it is reparation or retribution? Last I checked, no one alive in America today was a slave or slaveholder.

What about people of mixed ancestry whose ancestors were both slave and slave-master? What of black Americans who are not descended from slaves? Would they be entitled to individual or government program-type reparations for being black? What about white Americans who are descended from slaves? What about black Americans descended from blacks or Native Americans, who owned black slaves?

Of course, the vast majority of slave-holders were white, but the complete history should not be ignored. The nuances are important. Bringing up the racial anomalies of slaves and slaveholders should not be seen as minimizing the historic abuses of people brought to America from Africa. Americans should study the unvarnished history for themselves.

Bringing up the racial anomalies of slaves and slaveholders should not be seen as minimizing the historic abuses of people brought to America from Africa. Americans should study the unvarnished history for themselves.

I recently did a DNA test and found several surprises. The first was at the very top of the page: 99 percent European (Caucasian, from a wide variety of ethnicities of which 1 percent of the European was Jewish) and 1 percent African. I had no clue about the “diversity” within me.

Some people in America did have an unfair head-start. Hell, some still do—for many reasons. And while a good number of whites may have been “privileged,” by no means was it anywhere near most whites. Just ask anyone of Irish, Italian, or Hispanic origin if their white ancestors were privileged (yes, increasingly, Hispanics identify as white).

With racial atrocities, such as the Japanese-American internment ordered by Democrat President Franklin D. Roosevelt, some of those specific individuals could be found and the government could make an attempt at reparations to persons directly injured. In the case of slavery, full reparations to those directly impacted can never be made without going back in time. Slaves’ descendants have been indirectly affected, to be sure, but to countless varying and indefinite degrees.

In a nation based on individual liberty, individual responsibility, and equal justice under the law, no American today should suffer because of his or her race.  Nor should they suffer because of the actions of past generations. It just may be that the best thing America can do moving forward is promoting individual liberty, individual responsibility, equal justice, and diligently condemning and correcting, and, when applicable, punishing those who violate these American principles.

Enough of the history digression  let’s get back to the good professor and her wish to exploit blackness as a disability. How much does Professor Paul-Emile truly believe in her thesis? Is she simply casting a line hooked with racial bait in an effort to gain publicity for her radical stances? I can’t say. I don’t know her heart. However, The College Fix contacted the professor several times and reported receiving no response.

Now, the professor may not respect The College Fix due to its conservative leanings, but she can’t argue that this issue wouldn’t be of interest to any group. But to folks like the professor, The College Fix asking questions amounts to a hate-speech attack. Otherwise, why not respond to defend your point of view?

In their email, The College Fix also asked Professor Paul-Emile, “whether Hispanics or other minorities could also be labeled disabled, and what her opinion would be if a white person made the claim that black people are disabled?” And let’s not even broach the issue of Asian success in America. That inconvenient reality always throws racial-victimhood out of whack.

The professor betrays herself as a typical leftist academic with a seemingly demeaning notion of people for whom she claims to care. She even included one of the left’s favorite myths in her list, while enumerating several other victim statuses, by stating that blacks are, “facing increased likelihood, relative to Whites [sic], of…being killed during a routine police encounter.”

(Credit: Facebook/NOOR)

As a retired cop, I say let’s have a truly open discussion on race, and let’s stop looking for reasons to be offended when people ask sincere questions. Cops are more affected than most by the left’s social-justice agenda.

Finally, with regard to race relations, the left makes the claim that white people, especially men, are afraid of the country becoming “less white.” Speaking as a mostly white American male, I can say that I’d much rather live where every single person is a different race, ethnicity, religion, etc. As long as they revere the U.S. Constitution, limited self-government, and America’s commitment to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

The opinions expressed here by contributors are their own and are not the view of OpsLens which seeks to provide a platform for experience-driven commentary on today's trending headlines in the U.S. and around the world. Have a different opinion or something more to add on this topic? Contact us for guidelines on submitting your own experience-driven commentary.
Steve Pomper

Steve Pomper is an OpsLens contributor, a retired Seattle police officer, and the author of four non-fiction books, including De-Policing America: A Street Cop’s View of the Anti-Police State. You can read a review of this new book in Front Page Magazine and listen to an interview with Steve on the Joe Pags Show. Steve was a field-training officer, on the East Precinct Community Police Team, and served his entire career on the streets. He has a BA in English Language and Literature. He enjoys spending time with his kids and grand-kids. He loves to ride his Harley, hike, and cycle with his wife, Jody, a retired firefighter. You can find out more about Steve and send him comments and questions at www.stevepomper.com.

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