Where Is the Protest

Ever since the #BlackLivesMatter movement got going shortly after the shooting of Mike Brown there has been an attempt by (overwhelmingly white) conservatives to challenge with a very consistent meme of “Where is our protest?”

The meme works this way…people find an incident where a person shoots and wounds or kills a cop.  They then demand to know where the protesters are.  It is an attempt at a big gotcha for hypocrisy.  Except…it is not even kind of an example of hypocrisy.  And therefore it is not a successful gotcha either.

Here is the thing…the protests related to unarmed black men being killed by cops are not based in “One guy killed another guy.”  So right there, examples where a cop is injured in the line of duty start to crumble.  The specific protest here is that it is a cop doing the killing.  And the reason people are marching in protest is that police represent the system.  They see a problem in the system that they want corrected.

When a criminal shoots a cop, it is always seen as tragic.  It is pretty much never justified outside of the most fringe elements and the cop is proclaimed a hero in local media.  It does not become a nationwide news story very often because…well, their jobs are dangerous and it is presumed there are risks.  If there is not an angle that makes it unique from other “line of duty threats”, such as the shooter citing a national incident, it pretty much remains a local story.

And, the shooter is usually a criminal, which is why there is only candle light vigils instead of protests.  The police will hunt this guy down and no grand jury is going to say, “Nope, no reason to indict!”  The system will demand punishment forth acts of the criminal, not argue the criminal had no choice.  Marching in the streets against a confirmed criminal act makes no sense…what change would people be calling for?

People protest to change the system and problems within the system.  Criminals who shoot cops are outside the system and breaking the law and do not get the cover of the law for what they did.

It should also be noted that very few of the people shot by cops get protests.  By and large, most people killed by cops are never national news, and largely accepted as justified.  It is when there are other elements that make careless police work (to be polite) stand out and people take notice.

So…no, of course there are no protests when cops are shot…everybody thinks the shooter was in the wrong and deserves punishment.  Cops do not get protests, they get candlelight vigils in their memory.

 

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