It might have been Leo Terrell’s finest moment.
As a career civil rights attorney, Terrell has spent three decades making arguments in courtrooms. As a Fox News contributor since late January, he’s been making arguments regularly on national television through most of the nascent Biden administration.
But the argument Terrell made Tuesday night against regular Fox sparring partner Geraldo Rivera was one every American needed to hear — even, or especially, liberals.
The clash came during a segment on “The Faulkner Focus” about the latest leftist boogeyman of “systemic racism” in law enforcement, the ludicrous idea that police officers in the United States are effectively a militarized force deliberately targeting black men for death.
The phrase — or its equivalents — is a standard trope of “civil rights leaders” and condescending liberals ranging from MSNBC host Al Sharpton and avariciously histrionic attorney Benjamin Crump to President Joe Biden, and parroted by millions of delusional Democrats on a near-daily basis.
But it’s baseless, as Terrell argued on Tuesday — and Rivera couldn’t muster a coherent word to contradict him.
“I make my comments based on 30 years of being a civil rights attorney and suing law enforcement,” Terrell said after an introduction by host Harris Faulkner. “I want to put this to bed right now. There is no systemic racism within law enforcement in this country. Especially in Democratic cities where people of color are running the cities.
“I would challenge the White House and my colleague to name me the town — let’s not just say the words — to name me the town, Harris, name me the head of the department that is implementing a pattern and practice of racial discrimination against people of color.
“I want to be very clear, White House, Al Sharpton, Ben Crump. No systemic racism exists, and I challenge my colleague to give me the name of the town, the name of the police department, and the head of the department right now on national TV.”
Check it out here. The segment is seven minutes long, but it’s well worth the time.
Rivera’s limp-wristed response was a combination of liberal hand-wringing and shameless heart-tugging that avoided the very factual basis of Terrell’s question.
“A black person is more than twice as likely as a white person to be killed by a cop,” Rivera said. “Some of that happens because black people live in more crime-laden areas, more dangerous areas where cops are more on edge, I get that. But I spoke with two black moms, both professional women, yesterday. They told me — they tell me — in impassioned terms, how fearful they are for their law-abiding teenage sons when they drive around at night. That terror felt by black parents is real. Now how do you solve that?”
Emotional stuff to be sure — and the kind of statement that elicits the empathy of any person of goodwill. But it had nothing at all to do with Terrell’s question.
When Terrell pressed for specific jurisdictions guilty of rampant racism, Rivera’s answers got even worse.
“St. Louis, here in Cleveland, New Orleans,” he managed to dig up. “I could name you every one of these top 10 cities…”
OK. Well, as Rivera probably knows – or certainly should – Cleveland, St. Louis and New Orleans each has a Democratic mayor — a black, female Democratic mayor in the cases of St. Louis and New Orleans. (For that matter, a Democrat is also the mayor of Minneapolis, where the death of accused counterfeiter George Floyd kicked off a national spasm of looting and rioting destroyed lives and fortunes while smearing the country’s honor on the world stage.)
In a classic dodge of ducking an argument with irrelevancies, he went on to name some police “reform” measures — banning “no-knock” warrants and certain chokeholds, for instance — that did nothing to address the central point Terrell was making.
But Terrell was challenging more than Rivera — and more than the “civil rights” hucksters who have built careers on a scaffold of white guilt. He was challenging the Biden White House, too, with its shameful wallowing in the illusory sin of “systemic racism” to convince the country it has a mandate to proceed with a radically progressive agenda.
And in the challenge, he crushed the narrative.
In the Year of Our Lord 2021, more than a half-century after the civil rights movement, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, after decades of affirmative action in higher education and employment — including law enforcement — there are literally no grounds for the liberal accusation that the United States is a “systemically racist” nation.
That won’t stop Al Sharpton from sputtering the idea on the TV screen, it won’t stop Biden from mindlessly blurting the words like some kind of talisman to prove his liberal bona fides, it won’t stop Hollywood airheads, ambulance-chasing attorneys or political grifters of every stripe from trying to use a fictional argument to advance their agenda.
Is there racism in the United States? Of course there is. Just as there is gluttony, lust, envy, sloth and a host of other misbehaviors that mark the human being as a fallen species. But is there “systemic racism” in the sense that racial discrimination is recognized and enforced by law?
As Terrell proved in his put-up-or-shut-up challenge, there isn’t. Rivera couldn’t name one jurisdiction where it exists, and it’s a better-than-even bet that neither can the likes of Sharpton and Crump and especially the blathering Biden.
It was an argument every American needed to hear. Even, or especially, liberals.
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