by Victor Davis Hanson, National Review Online
June 18, 2016
In future presidential editorialization about the shooting deaths of police officers, perhaps the president himself might first offer a few “words matter” gestures that would reassure law enforcement, to use another Obama phrase, that he “has their back.” Here are just three low-bar proposals for how to discourage those who glorify or advocate lethal violence against criminal-justice officers:
- No longer invite into the White House any leaders whose affiliated members have marched chanting their desire to kill police officers (e.g., “What do we want? Dead cops” / “Pigs in a blanket; fry ’em like bacon”).
- Do not consult with any self-appointed leader in the White House whose past has included overt and implicit calls to shoot police officers (e.g., Al Sharpton: “I believe in offing the pigs. Well, they got pigs out here. You ain’t offed one of them. What I believe in, I do. Do what you believe in. Or shut up and admit you’ve lost your courage and your guts to stand up”).
- Do not invite into the White House any artists whose work has glorified the killing of officers of the criminal-justice system (e.g., Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly album, one of whose songs was dubbed by Obama as his favorite of 2015), whose cover depicts a group of African-American youth celebrating with champagne and cash on the White House lawn over the corpse of a white judge with his eyes X-ed out).
Victor Davis Hanson is the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow in Residence in Classics and Military History at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, a professor of Classics Emeritus at California State University, Fresno, and a nationally syndicated columnist.