The one-time basketball star has become a thoughtful analyst of many elements of contemporary America and weighs in on the recent shootings of unarmed men by the police and the shooting death of two policemen in New York.
Those who are trying to connect the murders of the officers with the thousands of articulate and peaceful protestors across America are being deliberately misleading in a cynical and selfish effort to turn public sentiment against the protestors. This is the same strategy used when trying to lump in the violence and looting with the legitimate protestors, who have disavowed that behavior. They hope to misdirect public attention and emotion in order to stop the protests and the progressive changes that have already resulted. Shaming and blaming is a lot easier than addressing legitimate claims.
In a Dec. 21, 2014 article about the shooting, the Los Angeles Times referred to the New York City protests as “anti-police marches,” which is grossly inaccurate and illustrates the problem of perception the protestors are battling. The marches are meant to raise awareness of double standards, lack of adequate police candidate screening, and insufficient training that have resulted in unnecessary killings. Police are not under attack, institutionalized racism is. Trying to remove sexually abusive priests is not an attack on Catholicism, nor is removing ineffective teachers an attack on education. Bad apples, bad training, and bad officials who blindly protect them, are the enemy. And any institution worth saving should want to eliminate them, too.
I have been appalled by the way that police unions around the country have been attacking elected officials and any other people who have had the temerity to criticize them. The attacks on the mayor of New York City have been particularly shameful and they have been encouraged by some politicians eager to pander to them. The police seem to think that they are above the law and untouchable.