In yet another comment that probably won’t endear him to conservative and independent Texas voters, Democrat Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke called police the “new Jim Crow” in an appearance at a Texas school this week.
According to The Federalist, O’Rourke made the remarks at a Wednesday appearance at Prairie View A&M, a historically black college northwest of Houston.
In the Q&A session, O’Rourke said that racism in law enforcement began long ago when local businesses and authorities began colluding to put minorities on chain gangs.
“That injustice, to many more people here than I know firsthand, continues to persist today,” the candidate continued.
“That system of suspending somebody, solely based on the color of their skin, searching that person solely based on the color of their skin, stopping that person solely based on the color of their skin, shooting that person solely based on the color of their skin, throwing the book at that person and letting them rot behind bars solely based on the color of their skin, is why some have called this — I think it is an apt description — the new Jim Crow,” he told the audience.
This shouldn’t be surprising; O’Rourke is big on the idea of the disproportionality hypothesis. This idea suggests that people of color are not only subject to starkly different outcomes in the criminal justice system but are also shot and killed at a far greater rate than Caucasians are.
This, in fact, was the reasoning behind an even more controversial claim by the candidate that there was “nothing more American” than NFL players protesting the national anthem.
“Peaceful, nonviolent protests, including taking a knee at a football game to point out that black men, unarmed, black teenagers, unarmed and black children, unarmed, are being killed at a frightening level right now, including by members of law enforcement, without accountability, and without justice,” O’Rourke said at an August event.
“And so nonviolently, peacefully, while the eyes of this country are watching these games, they take a knee to bring our attention and our focus to this problem to ensure that we fix it. That is why they are doing it,” he continued.
“And I can think of nothing more American than to peacefully stand up, or take a knee, for your rights, anytime, anywhere, in any place.”
This disproportionality theory doesn’t necessarily pan out, mind you, but O’Rourke keeps riding it and getting very little pushback.
At the time of the anthem remarks, his opponent, Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, chastised O’Rourke.
“That is a view that is markedly out of step with the vast majority of Texans,” Cruz said.
“We need to be respectful of our active-duty military. We need to be respectful of our veterans. We need to be respectful of law enforcement as well.”
Cruz has thus far used some fairly bland language involving O’Rourke’s cop-baiting. Comparing them to Orville Faubus-like segregationists is another thing entirely.
This is something that Cruz — as well as all Republicans — ought to demand an apology for. Even Democrats should be calling for an apology for this bilious parallel — although I wouldn’t be holding my breath.
At the very least, the people of Texas should reject this kind of demagogy, as well as everything else in Beto O’Rourke’s platform.
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