Reimagining Donna Brazile

Loose lips sank ships and caused carnage at sea during the Second World War. But loose lips today—mouthing the Democrat Party and Black Lives Matter police brutality canard—cause carnage in America’s inner cities.

Donna Brazile, a Democrat operative, wrote this recently in the Wall Street Journal:

As a black woman, I’ve experienced plenty of discrimination… [I]n the past year I’ve watched the same videos and read the same accounts that millions of people around the world have seen—images of police killing unarmed black people in American cities. I cried over these horrific killings.


Except it’s really not right, it’s mostly wrong. People in the public policy space should know better.

Last year this writer took after Catherine McGehee, the headmistress (you can still say “headmistress,” but not “headmaster” and certainly not “house master,” at least not at Yale) of Foxcroft, a girls’ finishing school in Middleburg, Virginia. McGehee had said, “We struggle with the loss of yet more unarmed Black men and women, which regrettably continues as a cruel legacy of our nation’s racist history.” We remarked that if Ms. McGehee had bothered to determine how many “unarmed Black men and women” had been “lost,” she might not have had to struggle so much.

If McGehee had bothered to look up the statistics, she would have discovered that, in the year in which she struggled so much, just one unarmed black woman was killed by police, and nine unarmed black men were. Of the 10 killings, only two resulted in criminal prosecution because the rest were considered justified.

Ms. McGehee runs a secondary education organization, while Ms. Brazile, au contraire [see below], is a public policy maven—she’s the person who helped Hillary Clinton cheat in one of her debates with Donald Trump, and she is a former chair of the Democratic National Committee.

“Au contraire,” incidentally, means “to the contrary” in French, a language many schools have probably given up teaching, much like Princeton has given up requiring Latin and Greek in the Classics Department(!) because the “history of our own department bears witness to the place of Classics in the long arc of systemic racism.”

Of course, a viewer can’t tell, as she watches killings by police on television, how many of them will not result in criminal prosecution. Even so, there wouldn’t seem to be enough to justify Brazile’s phrasing (“images of police killing unarmed black people in American cities,”) which implies, obviously, multiple images. Yet that was her phrase, and written in a column, not ad-libbed in an interview.

Maybe Ms. Brazile thinks two unjustified killings is a scandal requiring wholesale uprooting of policing and the broader criminal justice system. But adults, at least those who don’t help people cheat on exams, might ponder that number (it was two) in relation to the population of the United States, which is about 340 million.

Meanwhile, back in the real world, the “defund the police” movement has been causing havoc and death, especially in black communities, and you might think that would receive special attention from people like Donna Brazile.

Murder is up everywhere. According to the Council on Criminal Justice, “Homicides, aggravated assaults, and gun assaults rose significantly beginning in late May and June of 2020. They jumped by 42 percent during the summer and 34 percent in the fall when compared to the summer and fall of 2019.” This trend has continued. Murders are up 800 percent in Portland, 56 percent in Minneapolis, 40 percent in Philadelphia, and 27 percent in Los Angeles.

Some people have blamed the Chinese Flu, but murder rates in other countries have not gone up. In this country, however, crime rates have soared where Democrats have “re-imagined policing,” which is woke-speak for defunding, or cancelling, the police—even as Princeton has re-imagined the Classics by giving up Latin and Greek.

Brazile’s piece may have been primarily about anti-Semitism, but someone in her position obviously can’t resist playing the race card. Too bad she couldn’t spare a few tears for the dozens of black Americans killed in the inner cities by other black Americans in the last few months, though not—alas?—on national television. Now there’s a scandal, and one that far outpaces police misconduct.

But unfortunately for the people who live in the inner cities, that carnage is not a scandal easy to blame Republicans for, and so it will be forgotten or ignored—as World War II is soon likely to be. After all, President Roosevelt described it as “a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization,” which does not align with the woke ideology.


June 8, 2021
The American Conservative