25,000 Wrongs Don’t Make a Right
This past week, American cities were burning. At least 11 people have died in the riots, hundreds have been injured, thousands arrested. Untold millions of dollars of damage have been done to businesses. Dozens of law enforcement officers, including Secret Service officers have been injured. Vast crowds of rioters and looters masquerading as “social justice warriors” have turned downtown sectors of major American cities into ugly, “no-go” zones. Curfews have been routinely ignored. Police cars have been torched. The rule of law and respect for those enforcing the law seems to have vanished, at least from the point of view of the rampaging mobs.
Is any of this going to bring back George Floyd? Does any of it honour his memory or lend itself to better laws, safer streets, greater respect for property, or the dignity of every person — regardless of ethnicity? No, not in the least. George Floyd died on May 25, 2020 under horrible circumstances, a victim of unbelievable police brutality, with an officer kneeling on his neck for nine minutes and three other officers doing nothing to intervene. From the President to police chiefs and mayors across the country, everyone agrees that the officer at the centre of controversy (who has now been charged with murder) was wrong. He and his fellows have been fired; he’s been charged with murder and will face the full extent of the law. The other three officers were charged with “aiding and abetting second-degree murder”. That’s what you do with murderers, whether or not they wear a badge. Nothing can bring George back. But where is the justification for inflicting terror on innocent, law-abiding citizens across the country?
The ongoing situation is changing so fast, it’s difficult to keep pace. There may never be an accurate count of the injuries, the lost businesses that will never come back, the people of every colour who will never get their jobs back, the policemen and guardsmen who will never again feel confident in their ability to restore order. Mayors, governors and police chiefs have tried the “soft” approach. Some good, upstanding police officers have been struck by bricks and bottles. Others have been told to stand down and then watched their precinct building destroyed. Officers trying to perform their duty to protect the public have been accused of brutality. Some have been fired. Others have “taken a knee” in an attempt to “build bridges” with the protestors. Those rampaging through the streets, in night after night of vandalism and looting, apparently did not get the message.
A retired black police chief, David Dorn, 77 years old, was brutally shot to death trying to stop looters stealing televisions from the store he worked at. Where is the outrage for the tragic murder of this kindly grandfather? A 22-year old woman of biracial descent, Italia Marie Kelly, was shot and killed by a rioter as she attempted to get into a car. Where are the signs protesting her killing at the hands of the mob? Shay Mikalonis, 29, an officer of the Las Vegas Police Department is in critical condition after being shot in the head. One officer in Oakland is dead and another injured after a shooting incident there. A NYC policeman was run over by a vehicle. Four police officers in St. Louis have been shot. The list goes on and on and on.
In Canada, there have been spin-off protests focused on lingering racism and the unequal treatment of minorities. So far, Canadian protests have not descended to the level of violence and anarchy we’ve seen in so many US cities but let’s not pretend we are immune from terror. Human nature is the same here as across the border and vile acts of sinful behaviour are not limited to any one ethnic group or economic class.
Remember back in February when Canada’s rail lines were illegally blocked, stifling the economy and strangling the free movement of goods and people? Remember the Nova Scotia shooter who, in April of this year killed 23 people, including a pre-born baby? All of his victims were white. The shooter even wore the uniform of a policeman but he no more represented the values and character of true keeper of the peace than the uniformed murderer who had his knee on George Floyd’s neck.
When people judge a whole class of people by the actions of one criminal, they cease to respect the dignity of every member of that group. That’s one reason why good people have been fighting for equal justice for centuries. To judge all black men or all white men or all police officers by the crimes of one is to deny justice for all. If we want to be judged—as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. famously said—“not by the colour of our skin but by the content of our character”, then we must also respect the life of every human being, whether or not they wear a badge.
The US has paid heavily, not only for the death of George Floyd, but also for the loss of respect for the law and the loss of respect for the moral law that undergirds the laws of the land. Jesus made it so simple when He said, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. If we would all live according to His words, we wouldn’t even need policemen. Canada and the US have both wandered far from those moral underpinnings. Children are no longer taught biblical values in public school, the importance of prayer or the relationship between rights and responsibilities.
The good citizens of both Canada and the US must stand up for justice and equality in every aspect. To truly honour the memory of George Floyd and every person who has been unjustly killed—either by rogue police officers or by an unruly mob—let us rededicate ourselves to the pursuit of justice and to re-establishing a respect for the moral laws given by God.
The Christian Heritage Party of Canada supports the Preamble to our Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which says: “Canada is founded on principles that recognize the supremacy of God and the rule of law”. Join us at www.chp.ca to help us restore righteousness and justice in Canada.
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Other Commentary by Rod Taylor:
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