Waiting for the facts does hurt

Simon T. Meiners in the Courier-Journal:

B9317517125Z.1_20150529121838_000_G6EATVJGT.1-0“Waiting for the facts has never hurt anybody.”

A lot of moderate pundits trot out this plea for patience every time the media spotlights another black life stolen by the police. In this case, it's National Review editor Charles C.W. Cooke offering “A Few Thoughts on the Killing of Philando Castile” the morning after Castile was gunned down by Officer Jeronimo Yanez during a routine traffic stop in Falcon Heights, Minnesota. His death has become another rallying cry and another proxy for discussing state-on-black violence.

Using one tragedy as a stand-in for systemic racism is common, but it gives a lot of moderates, especially white ones, anxiety. Here's how they see it play out: police kill a black man under sketchy circumstances, and before the dust can clear, racial demagogues swoop in and shoehorn the story into some reductive narrative pitting evil racist cops against noble black victims — facts be damned; that's why fair-minded people of all races need to step up, they say, and defend the officer's right to due process.

As a recovering white moderate, I get it: you should never scapegoat one cop for the collective sins of the criminal justice system. It's illiberal. But here's the problem with that mindset: you can't referee injustices one by one, either. You'll miss the big picture. That is why the shortsighted white moderates who try to be cool-headed neutrals ought to spend a little more time meditating on big picture facts.

More here.