ESR points out that it’s not always possible to take a side:
After Brinsley’s mini-murder-spree, the temptation for any reasonable person to weigh in on the side of conservatives and the cops is great. And yet…and yet…important distinctions are in danger of being lost. On the evidence we have, Michael Brown was a violent thug who deserved the death he got, but the live-on-video strangulation of Eric Garner was a genuine atrocity. The New York medical examiner deemed it a homicide.
But because humans are excessively tribal, it’s difficult now to call for justice against Eric Garner’s murderers without being lumped in with the “wrong side”. Nor will Garner’s partisans, on the whole, have any truck with people who aren’t interested in poisonously racializing the circumstances of his death.
I don’t have a fix for this problem. But someone needs to be pointing out that both of the pseudo-tribes that have sorted themselves around this dispute are behaving badly. “Death to cops” is totally out of line, but the New York police had innocent blood on their hands before Ismaayil Brinsley did on his. There should be an accounting for that, not by assassin’s bullets but by a trial in which justice can be seen to be done.
I’m not on the side of the Africans or the Badge Gang. One is a barbarian force, the other has devolved into a destabilizing one. Both are dyscivic. I’m on the side of civilization, but watching what is taking place in the USA is somewhat akin to watching Tutsis butcher Hutus and vice-versa. It doesn’t make any sense to cheer for either side, nor will it accomplish anything positive.
The Badge Gang must be held considerably more accountable than it presently is, for its own sake, if nothing else. Once it loses its perceived moral authority, as is increasingly the case today, it doesn’t actually have much else to fall back upon.
The temptation to choose sides is understandable, but in cases such as these it should be resisted. We live in a fallen world, a sinful world, an evil world, where often there are no good guys on either side. That’s the central point of the holiday we are celebrating tonight and tomorrow.