There is no more important book to read right now than Heather Mac Donald’s clear-eyed, riveting new work The War on Cops: How the New Attack on Law and Order Makes Everyone Less Safe. You cannot fully get to the core of the truth about the current anti-cop sentiment in the country, or be armed with the facts to shoot down Black Lives Matter lies without reading it. If you can get a copy, that is – demand is so great that there is currently a one-to-two month wait for it on Amazon.com. Don’t wait – get the ebook.
In case you haven’t already been following everything Mac Donald writes, she is the Thomas W. Smith Fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a contributing editor of City Journal. Her writings have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, New York Times, The New Republic, Partisan Review, The New Criterion, and elsewhere.
She is the recipient of the New Jersey State Law Enforcement Officers Association’s 2004 Civilian Valor Award, the 2008 Integrity in Journalism award from the New York State Shields, the 2008 Eugene Katz Award for Excellence in the Coverage of Immigration from the Center for Immigration Studies, and the 2012 Quill & Badge Award for Excellence in Communication from the International Union of Police Associations. In other words, unlike the legion of talking heads in the news media pontificating about the racism in American law enforcement, Heather Mac Donald has actually done the journalistic legwork, is qualified to discuss the subject, and is bold enough to speak the truth about it.
The War on Cops begins by noting that crime is skyrocketing in cities across the United States as “the most anti-law-enforcement administration in memory draws to a close.” This isn’t, however, “the greatest danger in today’s war on cops. The greatest danger lies, rather, in the delegitimization of law and order itself.” If we don’t begin to counter the present lies about law enforcement propagated by the Black Lives Matter movement and facilitated by a complicit media and by the “academic victimology industry,” Mac Donald concludes, civilized urban life will break down – which we are already beginning to witness.
Ms. Mac Donald took time out to answer a few questions about crime, terrorism, and the recent Dallas cop shooting for FrontPage Mag.
Mark Tapson: More than a dozen years ago you wrote Are Cops Racist? in which you pushed back against the anti-profiling crusade and warned that it was undermining the law enforcement progress of the previous decade. What, if anything, has changed between that book and your newest one?
Heather Mac Donald: We are now living in the most anti-law enforcement administration in recent memory and most likely in American history. The specious “driving while black” crusade of the 1990s and early 2000s was mostly promulgated by left-wing activists, albeit with help from the mainstream media.
Today, we have a president who regularly spreads the poisonous lie that the criminal justice system is racist. The academic victimology industry, presciently identified by David Horowitz’s pioneering work, has only become more entrenched and powerful over the last decade. It, too, is the essential helpmate of the Black Lives Matter movement, propelling the anti-cop narrative to powerful mainstream status.
MT: What were your thoughts upon hearing of last week’s Dallas shooting in progress, when police were dying and being wounded even as they tried to protect the demonstrators who had gathered there to protest their supposed racial bias?
HM: I was overcome by acute fear for this country. The elite establishment has been playing with fire in stoking the Black Lives Matter hatred of the police, and that fire may now be raging out of control.
MT: With the rise of Black Lives Matter and a news media and government administration that are fomenting anti-cop sentiment, is it too alarmist to suggest that we are headed toward a breakdown of civil society if nothing is done?
HM: It is not only not alarmist to warn of a breakdown of civil society, it is imperative to issue such a warning. Officers working in inner-city areas face animus and resistance to their lawful authority on a daily basis. Law and order, and respect for the law, are disintegrating. A Chicago police officer told me last month that he has never experienced such hatred in his twenty years on the job. The Dallas assassinations, like the assassinations of two New York City police officers in December 2014, are just a more extreme, horrific version of the animus that officers encounter regularly in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement.
MT: This is a little off-topic from your book, but you’ve written about anti-terrorism before – in light of the proliferating Islamic attacks on American soil, are our counterterrorism efforts being hindered in much the same way as our law enforcement is with crime?
HM: Our unwillingness to speak the truth about Islamic terrorism is if anything more perverse than our unwillingness to recognize the reality of black crime. The elites mostly just ignore black crime. In the case of Islamic terrorism, however, they affirmatively rebrand it as, for example, an eruption of Republican homophobia or opposition to transgender bathroom use, as we saw in the recent Orlando attacks.
My guess, however, is that actual anti-terrorism activity is much less hindered by official myopia. Intelligence agents are not encountering vicious and sometimes physical hatred as they go about their work, unlike police officers in urban areas. And intelligence gathering, the key to successful counterterrorism, still largely occurs off-stage, despite the efforts of Julian Assange, Edward Snowden, and their allies in the cyber libertarian Left.
MT: Why do you think the left is so impervious to facts and common sense where law enforcement and counterterrorism are concerned? Is it just willful blindness or is there also a radical element that simply finds common cause with criminals and jihadists?
HM: The nation’s elites are committed to the belief that white racism is the biggest evil in the world. That narrative is a source of self-righteousness and a sense of superiority. It blinds the elites to any acknowledgement of inner-city dysfunction or Islamic misogyny and homophobia.
And since the 1960s, we have glorified anti-establishment protest. College bureaucrats and professors encourage high school and college students to play at being oppressed radicals, notwithstanding that those students are among the most privileged individuals in human history, enjoying access to intellectual, social, and physical resources that kings in the age of absolutism could never have dreamed of. It is hard to know whether there are any true “radicals” in our society, whatever that may mean, or whether it is all self-engrossed play-acting for the gratification of the preening elites.
From FrontPage Mag, 7/15/16