Esaw Garner (shown), the widow of Eric Garner, told a nationwide television audience that she does not believe the death of her husband at the hands of police was racially motivated. It was not “a black or white thing,” she said, contradicting the inflammatory narrative that is being pedaled by much of the media commentariat, race activists, and the United Nations.
In a December 7 Sunday interview with NBC’s Meet the Press, Mrs. Garner blasted New York City law enforcement, claiming her husband was “murdered unjustly” as a result of a police chokehold. But she threw a wrench into the Left-liberal narrative that her husband is the latest poster-victim of rampant racism in American law enforcement.
NBC reporter Chuck Todd attempted to steer the interview along the racism propaganda path, beginning with his opening comment and question: “Your husband is now the face of bias in our law enforcement; how do you feel about that?”
“"I really don't feel like it's a black and white thing," Mrs. Garner responded. She believes it was a case of excessive force that had to do more with a police culture of harassment of citizens, but not necessarily based on race. However, Al Sharpton, who was sitting beside her in the NBC studio, was not about to allow the racism issue get away. The infamous race baiter jumped in to insist that if Eric Garner were of a different racial background, that if he were not black, he would have been treated very differently.
Protests erupted around the nation following a Staten Island grand jury’s decision not to indict NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo in Garner’s death. This followed closely in the wake of riots and violent protests in Ferguson, Missouri, and elsewhere in response to a failure by a grand jury to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown.
As in the cases of Brown, Trayvon Martin, and others, Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and their media allies have pushed mightily to turn the tragic deaths into racial conflagrations. But not everyone is willing to fully cooperate in the deadly race game they are promoting.
Eric Garner’s daughter Erica has also voiced the same concerns that her mother mentioned. “This is not a black and white issue. This is a national crisis. I believe this is a crisis,” Erica Garner told CNN ‘s Don Lemon during an interview on December 4. “I mean, for white people to come out and show how deeply they was hurt, and Asians and different people from different nations and different parts of the world to come out and show they felt the same way I felt. I greatly appreciate it.”
In the video, Don Lemmon seems to be pressing Garner for a more racially tinged response: “I’m sure, do you think this was a racial issue?”
“I really doubt it,” she said. “It was about the officer's pride. It was about my father being 6'4" and 350 pounds and he wanted to be the top cop that brings a big man down,” Erica continued. “I mean, my father wasn't even doing anything. He didn't have no gun, he didn't run, he didn't smack him — nothing.”
When Lemon pressed once more on the race issue, Miss Garner said, no it wasn’t about race. Rather, “it was about police and their abuse of power.”
Popular black sports commentator and NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley also played havoc with the racism narrative, saying the idea that police are systematically targeting black people is “just flat-out ridiculous.”
"The notion that white cops are out there just killing black people, that's ridiculous," said the two-time Olympic gold medalist and Philadelphia 76ers star, in an interview with CNN. "It's just flat-out ridiculous.... I hate that narrative coming out of this entire situation."
The basketball legend, who has repeatedly angered “progressives” with his politically incorrect statements, has also upset many with his criticism of the Ferguson rioters and his comment that he doesn’t believe the Garner death was a case of homicide. "I don't think that was a homicide," he said. “I think excessive force, but to go right to murder” would be wrong.
"Black is not always right, and white is not always wrong," Barkley told CNN. Erica Garner and Esaw Garner seem also to understand this basic truth, even if the media talking heads refuse to see it. America is suffering from an increasing militarization of local, state, and federal police agencies that is resulting in the inevitable escalation of police abuse cases. But, rather than focusing on the issue of the increasing federalization and militarization of law enforcement, and the abuses this trend has spawned, the media choir and its favorite radical vocalists want to hijack each and every tragic death to advance the claim that American law enforcement is systemically racist.
However, as Alex Newman reported for The New American recently, the facts tell a different story. “Estimates suggest that around 100 blacks are killed each year by police, compared to 300 whites,” Newman noted. “Black police officers are reportedly also slightly more likely to kill blacks than white officers. So, while there are doubtless plenty of so-called ‘bad apples’ within American police departments, the UN’s characterization of local cops in the United States as a monolithic gang of murderous anti-black racists is, for the most part, a fantasy or a lie. By contrast, about 8,000 American blacks are murdered every year by other blacks, and more than 35,000 black babies die every year at the hands of abortionists.”
Nevertheless, the progressive media agenda is set for inciting racial rioting and mayhem. At Democracy Now! Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez hosted a video panel on December 8 under the title, “A Racist and Unjust System? A Discussion on Policing in Wake of Michael Brown and Eric Garner Deaths.” One of the panelists was Mychal Denzel Smith, a contributing writer at the far-Left journal The Nation, who told the Democracy Now! audience that the Michael Brown-Eric Garner sagas are about “the disposability of black life.”
“Like, we’re dancing around it, but the reason that Eric Garner lay there and no one helped him is this is a large black man,” insisted Smith, in his systemic racism rant. “The reason Michael Brown’s body laid in the street for four-and-a-half hours is because this is a black man. The reason that the police show up on the scene and shoot Tamir Rice when he’s holding a toy gun in Cleveland is because he’s a black boy. Like, we are talking about the fact that, you know, you have a racist and unjust system. You have racist and unjust laws. Your law enforcement then has no choice but to be racist and unjust. That’s built into the fabric of what the police do.”
Yes, it's much easier — and more useful to the leftwing agenda — to point the finger at America’s “systemic racism” than to draw attention to the fact that Republican and Democrat administrations have been ramping up the federalization/militarization of local police dramatically since 9/11. The New York Times acknowledged earlier this year that “During the Obama administration, according to Pentagon data, police departments have received tens of thousands of machine guns; nearly 200,000 ammunition magazines; thousands of pieces of camouflage and night-vision equipment; and hundreds of silencers, armored cars and aircraft.”
Yet President Obama, ever the facile politician, insisted, after the first riots and mayhem in Ferguson last August, that we don’t want “to blur the distinction” between cops and soldiers. “There is a big difference between our military and our local law enforcement, and we don’t want those lines blurred,” Obama told reporters at the White House. “That would be contrary to our traditions.” It is also contrary to our U.S. Constitution, which does not empower the president (or Congress) to provide military equipment — or funding — to state and local law enforcement agencies.
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon, another liberal Democrat, has likewise played both sides of the issue. Last August when the riots began, he claimed that he was “thunderstruck” to see the Ferguson police rolling with armored vehicles and all decked out in military gear.
But as reported here, Gov. Nixon had no excuse to be shocked by the images, since he was the one who had applied for the huge transfusion of military equipment from the U.S. Department of Defense.
Photo of Esaw Garner: AP Images