Of the reasons critics offered for President Donald Trump's impeachment, the one suggested by Rep. Al Green, D-Texas, is among the most ridiculous. Green argues that Trump's alleged racism serves as a legitimate basis for impeachment.
In July, Green announced plans to introduce articles of impeachment: "The Mueller hearing has nothing to do with what we're doing now. The Mueller hearing is all about obstruction. This is about bigotry and racism." Never mind the recent research paper by University of Pennsylvania political science professor Daniel Hopkins and research assistant Samantha Washington. Hopkins recently wrote: "On average, anti-black prejudice dropped sharply among whites, from a score of 8.1 just before the 2016 election to 5.4 two years later. ... That marked the lowest level of anti-black prejudice since we first conducted this study in late 2008. Prejudice against Hispanics also dropped. ... In both instances, declines were larger among Democrats, but they appeared among Republicans, too."
The FBI, in a news release on its 2017 hate crimes report, cautioned that the year-to-year increase in hate crimes might be an aberration: "Although the numbers increased last year, so did the number of law enforcement agencies reporting hate crime data — with approximately 1,000 additional agencies contributing information."
If, by Green's logic, Trump could be impeached for inciting bigotry, would this standard apply to President Barack Obama? Could he have been impeached for making false accusations about racism and exaggerating its impact? For example, by meeting with representatives of the so-called Black Lives Matter movement, Obama gave credibility to a campaign that rose to prominence based on the lie that Ferguson, Missouri, suspect Michael Brown held up his hands while imploring a cop, "Don't shoot." Both the Ferguson grand jury and the Justice Department determined that the cop who killed Brown acted lawfully. The evidence suggested Brown ran toward the cop — not away from him, as Brown's friend and witness had told investigators.
After Ferguson, Obama's accusations and others' caused cops to pull back, to be less proactive. It's called the "Ferguson effect." Critics of the police ignore recent studies finding cops more hesitant and more reluctant to use deadly force against blacks. Heather Mac Donald, author of "The War on Cops: How the New Attack on Law and Order Makes Everyone Less Safe," said: "What the recent FBI report showed is that not only are black lives being taken because officers are backing off from proactive policing under this relentless lie that they are racist for trying to bring public order to high-crime communities, but blue lives are being taken as well. There was a 53% increase in gun murders of police officers last year that the FBI analyzed and concluded it was driven overwhelmingly by an ideologically fomented hatred of cops."
Passive policing, induced by the Ferguson lie, emboldens the bad guys, which causes an increase in crimes whose victims are disproportionately blacks living in the inner city — the very people the Democrats claim to care about. The Ferguson lie also makes young black men distrust the cops, assuming that, as young blacks, they serve as targets of police brutality. How does this mindset, encouraged by the Obama administration's rhetoric, affect the interaction between black civilians and cops? Is that "impeachable"?
The lie of systemic or institutional racism inspired three different black suspects to murder, execution-style, two cops in New York City in 2014, plus three in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and five in Dallas in 2016. How do we know the murders were inspired by the bogus notion of anti-black police brutality? The suspects said so, either to others or in their social media posts. About the Dallas shooting, the head of the city's police department said the suspect told cops that he was upset over recent police shootings and he "wanted to kill white people."
As to alleged institutional racism, Obama falsely claimed that "more young black men languish in prison than attend colleges and universities across America." This is not even remotely true. There are twice as many black men attending colleges and universities than in prisons and jails. If one focuses on college-age black men, there are five times as many attending colleges and universities than in state and federal prisons. Even the Obama-loving Washington Post, which fact-checked it, gave Obama's claim four "Pinocchios," as bad a grade as the paper allows.
Professor Ivory A. Toldson of historically black Howard University calls Obama's false assertion "the most frequently quoted statistic about black men" and warns us about the consequences of promoting this "myth." Is it "impeachable" to falsely accuse whites and the police of racism? Is it impeachable to encourage blacks to believe they remain persecuted by an "institutionally racist" criminal justice system?
Larry Elder is a bestselling author and nationally syndicated radio talk show host. To find out more about Larry Elder, or become an "Elderado," visit www.LarryElder.com. Follow Larry on Twitter @LarryElder. To read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.