By Erik Rush
A Nebraska state senator who represents a predominantly black, high-crime district seems like just the kind of guy the Obama administration, dedicated to perpetuating racial tension, could use – and for all we know, might be using already. Nationally, career civil rights activists and even black militants have enjoyed a high profile and enhanced political power since Barack the Divider took office in 2009.
State Sen. Ernie Chambers (who also happens to be Nebraska’s longest serving senator) represents north Omaha, “a high-crime area where racial tension simmers and sometimes erupts after encounters with police,” according to Watchdog.org’s Deena Winter. Recently, one of Winter’s columns featuring Chambers was picked up by Fox.com; in the piece, an account of Chambers comparing American police to the ISIS terror group is related, as is his intimation that he would sooner shoot a cop than one of the Islamic terrorists.
“If I was going to carry a weapon, it wouldn’t be against you, it wouldn’t be against these people who come here that I might have a dispute with. Mine would be for the police,” Chambers, a 77-year-old Independent, told a session of the legislature. “And if I carried a gun I’d want to shoot him first and then ask questions later, like they say the cop ought to do.”
I can’t speak to who “they” are, or the convention that suggests police ought to “shoot first and ask questions later,” but Winter claims that Chambers regularly makes inflammatory public statements. Otherwise, “he’s seen by many as a lovable curmudgeon, iconic liberal and defender of the downtrodden.”
He is also someone who is speaking from ignorance, and very superficially, regarding the dynamic of what occurs in his district. One might say that Chambers ought to know better, being an older gentleman, but there are millions of intelligent, older Americans of every ethnic persuasion who have not yet seen through the institutional conditioning and widespread exploitation of blacks by the political left.
In Winter’s piece, a March 2013 incident involving police in north Omaha who beat a man in an altercation tangential to a raid that was occurring across the street. Four officers were reportedly fired “amid allegations of excessive force, evidence tampering and a police cover-up.”
“The police are licensed to kill us,” Chambers said on the floor of the legislature. “Children, old people…”
While police do indeed have the latitude (“license,” if we must) to kill in the course of their job, this is the sort of reflexive, bomb-throwing rhetoric that was used to enflame black residents in Ferguson, Missouri. Painting a picture of police who prowl the streets hunting for black children and old people to abuse or even kill is not only fallacious, it is manifestly dangerous.
Chambers’ view and delivery is as superficial as those of the angry urban blacks, black activists, and some politicians who have been on this hamster wheel for decades. Whether through ignorance or by design, they fail to address the causes and conditions that give rise to high crime in black communities, and the subsequent atmosphere of tension on both sides that this spawns.
Irrevocably, it is the liberal/progressive policies advanced over the last several decades that perpetuate the socioeconomic stultification in black communities. Sadly, a majority of black voters continue to support these policies due to the deceit of progressive politicians, mostly in the Democrat Party. It is not an accident, nor ought it be any surprise, that the preponderance of these communities – the ones most plagued by high crime, violence, and tension between residents and the police – have been under the political yoke of liberals for many years.
It begins in the public schools wherein curricula are substandard by design, funds are squandered, and corrupt, agenda-driven teachers’ unions prevail. Administrators benefit handsomely while teachers have to spring for their students’ paper and pencils.
So the students – whose family units have been annihilated through years of entitlements, inculcated moral ambivalence, and grinding poverty – naturally suffer academically. Dropout rates are high, and jobs are scarce considering the economic malaise that invariably follows liberal economic policies. All of which provides the enticement toward criminal activities. Markets for drugs and guns emerge. Career activists and politicians at every level – many of whom are themselves black – have a political and/or an economic imperative to perpetuate these very conditions.
So there is no one telling those in black communities the truth…
Now, let’s look at what police are typically up against in such an environment: Most are just trying to do a job, and find themselves in enemy territory or outright war zones. Citizens who they are supposed to protect hate them. They’re accused of not caring about the community, yet when they intercede against offenders on citizens’ behalf, they’re accused of overreach or police brutality. Sometimes they are even targeted for assault or assassination by members of the communities in which they work. The “normal,” baseline stress of being a peace officer is multiplied exponentially.
Blacks in areas such as Senator Chambers’ district believe that their hostility toward police is warranted, because they have been convinced (by the same self-serving career activists and politicians) that the police are the enforcers for shadowy “racists” who keep them in poverty and squalor.
Which brings us full circle. While those beliefs concerning the police might have been applicable in 1935 or 1955, in 2015, they are propaganda. Whether Ernie Chambers’ motivation is ignorance or political gain I do not know, but it isn’t the only area in which he has learned to play the games that more prominent black politicians play in more prominent venues.
As Winter’s column illustrates, there are those who are appalled by Chambers’ behavior, such as KFOR talk radio host Coby Mach, who said that “Senator Chambers seems to be wanting to incite violence.” Chambers has publicly accused all whites of being racist; Mach has said he believes that others in the legislature are afraid to challenge Chambers because they might become his target.
Or they might be afraid of being labeled as racists. Sounds almost like Washington…