Learning from Dallas
What happened in Dallas 5 days ago is nothing short of a tragedy, an outrage, a black eye for America. Unfortunately, it's also one outrage following a series of other outrages in which people who did not deserve to die were murdered. Nothing will bring back those murdered officers, nor will it bring back the black men recently shot by police in Minnesota and Baton Rouge. The best that we as Libertarians can do is learn from Dallas. We owe it to the dead, police and civilian alike, to seriously reflect on this wave of violence plaguing our country.
Micah Johnson was the shooter who murdered five police officers and wounded seven other officers, plus two civilians. He was also an Army veteran who served a combat tour in Afghanistan. Here we have a mental health issue. We know this is a mental health issue and not just a legitimate grievance because Johnson had been vocal about killing white people, not just police officers. Johnson wanted a race war. Maybe going to the 'Stan was bad for him, and the VA yet again failed to detect a serious mental illness in one of our country's veterans. Some vets with mental health issues commit suicide; others murder people. Remember Christopher Dorner, who waged a one-man rampage in Southern California?
While Johnson frankly deserved to be martyred for his cause, it would be irresponsible for us to simply write this off as one wacko acting alone. There are others like him; people who may have a legitimate grievance but who truly need professional help. One thing remains true: black males are statistically more likely to be shot dead by police than any other demographic in America. I have black friends who are not racist and don't hate police across-the-board like many BLM activists do, yet they still know full well than one wrong move at a routine traffic stop and their face will be on the 11:00 news. What a horrible realization to bear in mind every time one leaves home!
Although white privilege is gradually fading away, institutional racism still exists within the structures of law enforcement and corrections. Part of this is due to the War on Drugs which was waged by the federal and state governments specifically to keep men of color in a state of social subservience. Part of what drives people of color to commit crimes is the poverty that was institutionalized by the Democrat Party, whose party line keeps inner city communities in a state of dependence rather than economic self-sufficiency. The rest of this is due to the lingering effects of Jim Crow, grossly enabled by the conquering Federal Army that reconstructed white Southerners but abandoned newly freed people of color.
These are multi-generational problems, folks. There is no quick fix. America has a genuine culture problem. BLM tag-alongs are killing police; poorly trained police are killing unarmed civilians; homegrown wannabe Islamic terrorists are killing whoever they can; and the federal government continues to drop bombs on countries we aren't at war with. Furthermore, America has been at war for 15 years, and statistical research shows that violent crime and homicides truly increase following periods of prolonged war. That's what happens when killing people becomes an institutional process.
While I truly wish there could be a quick fix for the waves of violence plaguing our country, that fix simply doesn't exist. It took two full generations for racism to become highly unpopular in America. It will likely take two generations for killing people to become fully stigmatized, since that clearly doesn't seem to be the case today. After 15 years of war, even those who are horrified by the Dallas shooting have become largely desensitized to people dying. We have to change this, but we shouldn't delude ourselves to think a few pieces of legislation on Capitol Hill will relieve the problem in just a year or two.
I hate to say this, but more people are going to die in my beloved country. Some of them will be targeted for being black; some will be targeted for being white; some will be targeted for not being Salafist Muslims strictly obeying the Shariah; some will be targeted for looking suspicious; some will be targeted just because some drug-addict needs to rob someone and it doesn't matter who. The first step to turning this around is to be armed and trained for self-defense. The next, and equally important, step to take is for all of us to EDUCATE our children AND grandchildren in the future. I'm not joking about positive change taking two generations.
The more responsible gun owners who violate local laws and concealed-carry their guns in gun-free zones, fewer and fewer defenseless people will be murdered by mass shooters. (Yes, the government really is trying to disarm the mass population, and they shouldn't be allowed to do so.) Sorry folks, but America is the Wild West again. You can rant over theory and how things ought to be, or you can protect your loved ones from threats of violence that exist NOW.
The more that civil disobedience protesters racially integrate, the less credibility racists like Micah Johnson will have when they set out to instigate race wars. The more people of color who capture that old American spirit of rugged self-sufficiency and LEAVE the welfare plantation, the less the government will keep minority communities bound in a state of economic slavery in the inner city. This may not go over well with many people, but Affirmative Action and racial quotas in workplaces and universities actually hurt people of color more than they help them. For the full explanation, see the book David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell--he's an academic genius who happens to be black.
More importantly, the more that the Libertarian Party steps up and recruits men and women of color to join the NONVIOLENT Libertarian revolution, the sooner Americans will be able to roll back the War on Drugs, which has disproportionately affected the black and Hispanic communities. John McAfee was absolutely right when he called our party out at this year's Libertarian National Convention for being over-saturated with white males. Most of us thoroughly lack the courage to canvass urban areas with libertarian solutions to the issues favored by the Black Lives Matter movement. So let's get out there and DO IT already!
The Libertarian message is a message of unity. It's a message of peace and freedom. However, simply preaching to people online and debating 9/11 conspiracy theories at Denny's will NEVER bring that unity about. The movement needs Libertarian men and women; gay, hetero, and trans; people of all colors and creeds; to pound ground and bring the message of liberty to black civilians AND to the police patrolling their neighborhoods. What would the Libertarian legend Murray Rothbard say? He would say that black lives absolutely matter; more importantly, black freedom matters, and there cannot be black freedom without freedom for one and all.
This freedom rests on our natural rights as well as respecting the Bill of Rights. We need to end these military adventures and stop producing mentally unbalanced war veterans; civil society needs to help those vets since the federal government has willfully failed to do so. We need to abolish the War on Drugs so that institutional racism can be scaled back. We need to empower businesses to create jobs for the poor rather than keep those Americans enslaved on the welfare plantation. We need to exercise the 4th Amendment, retrain our police, and put body cameras on them in order to ensure fairness for police and civilians alike. We need to responsibly exercise the 2nd Amendment to stop mass shootings.
We need to recruit black Libertarians. Violations of freedom happen in different directions, but they combine in ways we could never have imagined to give us tragedies like the Dallas shooting. Give the people liberty, respect their dignity, and the majority of them will do the right thing.