This year, Democrats are demonstrating a talent for political fiction exceeding even the writers of "The West Wing." Casting Al Gore as a campaign-finance reformer is one example. Posing as champions of fiscal discipline is another. Of course, Democratic spin artists benefit from the support of a shamelessly partisan journalistic fraternity that helps make their fictions credible. (For an example, look no further than the media silence surrounding Gore's friend, Maria Hsia.)
But to really appreciate the Democrats' literary license one has to go to the Big Apple, where Hillary Clinton and her race-baiting collaborators the Revs. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson have contrived a political melodrama to provide the emotional backdrop for the lynching of a socially liberal mayor. For seven years, Rudy Giuliani has crusaded to increase the safety and well-being of New Yorkers, and especially of inner-city minorities. But in the past few months the Sharptonite Democrats have managed to cast Giuliani as a latter-day Bull Connor -- a Yankee redneck deploying a thin blue line of racist thugs against defenseless communities of color.
The most recent episode in this ugly charade was kicked off by the left's predictable reaction to the accidental (and statistically rare) shooting of Patrick Dorismond, an unarmed man of Haitian descent. A week earlier, the physically imposing Dorismond had beaten his ex-girlfriend so badly she had called the police.
According to witnesses, Dorismond -- who had been previously arrested for drug purchases -- attacked an undercover squad of New York police officers as they were attempting to conduct a sting operation against drug dealers in a high crime Manhattan neighborhood. Dorismond was shot by a Hispanic officer named Anthony Vasquez, who reacted out of fear for the life of a fellow officer under attack. Tragically, Dorismond died from his wounds.
Dramatically speaking, on the other hand, a dead man was even more useful to the lynch mob. The image of a young life lost enabled agitators to work the Haitian community into a frenzy of grief, paranoia and revenge.
At a protest meeting, Harlem religious leader and all-seasons incendiary, the Rev. Calvin Butts, ranted, "White man go to hell," even though all the cops involved in the killing were Hispanic. Sharpton incited people to shut down the city to gain "Justice for Patrick" and helped to turn his funeral into an anti-police riot. And Jackson descended on New York to call the shooting a murder and to compare it to the racist killings of nonviolent civil rights workers in the 1960s. (Recently, Jackson seems to be on a perverse mission to discredit every last memory of the civil rights movement.)
The press, of course, did not point out that Jackson was condemning the accused officer in advance of seeing the evidence in the case. Jackson was with his new friend, lifelong thug, twice-convicted (and never acquitted), triple-murderer Rubin Carter. Carter of course is the subject of a recent Hollywood film falsely exonerating him and maliciously defaming a white police officer who, it alleges, pursued Carter from childhood on just because he was black.
Moving the scenery behind the Big Apple stage, of course, were Hillary and Bill, America's dysfunctional progressive couple. While lending her support to the lynchers, Hillary was careful to defer to Jackson in prosecuting the accused. She did not repeat her mistake in the recent case of Amadou Diallo, whose shooting death she had labeled murder before a jury was able to deliver its verdict exonerating the officers of any criminal intention or act. Not that the verdict caused Mrs. Clinton the slightest qualm of conscience or the least second thought. Not a word of disapproval has escaped her lips about Sharpton's outrageous crusade for a federal trial of the acquitted officers over the same incident.
If anyone is a racist Javert in these cases, it has to be Mrs. Clinton's political ally Sharpton, who for 10 years harassed innocent Steven Pagones with the malicious falsehoods of Tawana Brawley. Now Sharpton Democrats have upped the ante in public outrages by calling for the Justice Department to investigate the New York Police Department. If the attorney general agrees, this will dramatize and validate their insane view that Republican mayors and Hispanic policemen are homicidal racists engaged in a conspiracy to kill innocent blacks during an election year, driving African-Americans even deeper into the Mrs. Clinton-Gore camp.
What about the facts? Is there a "liberal" left in America who even cares about the facts? I'm not referring, of course, to the facts in the Dorismond case, because nobody except those who were present or who have read the sealed eyewitness accounts really knows about those. Honesty would require everyone else to admit that they are proceeding from an ideological predisposition or from instinct based on prior experience. So, let's look at those facts.
In 1993, the last year that David Dinkins was mayor of New York, there were 212 intentional police shootings of civilians (many of them African-Americans). This compares to only 73 shootings by the Giuliani police force in the past year. In 1991, during Dinkins' reign, there were 41 fatalities resulting from police shootings. In 1999, under Giuliani there were only 11. Yet at no time during Dinkins' reign, did the socially conscious demand that the Justice Department step in to end the epidemic of "police brutality" and/or incompetence of the Dinkins administration. There has been no mention of this hypocrisy in the press. Might this be because Dinkins is a Democrat, a leftist and black?
We have all been exposed to the fiction the liberal lynch mob and its media allies have concocted about the callousness of the Giuliani police toward minorities in New York. Here's the reality. Last year there were only 417 shots fired by the Giuliani police in a city of 8 million, which before his election had one of the highest crime rates in the world. In Dinkins' last year, police fired 965 shots at the public -- or more than twice as many.
Here's a statistic even more striking. Under the Dinkins' administration, during which Sharpton led no funeral riots against police (although he did incite one against Hasidic Jews), there were 2,350 murders in New York. Under Giuliani the figure has dropped to 635. That means 1,700 people in New York, likely more than half of them Hispanic and black, are alive today because of the compassion, concern and competence of the Giuliani police department.
And the lives of hundreds of thousands of people of all races in New York are safer, better and richer because of the vigilance and concern of the Giuliani administration. Then again, when was the last time Hillary Clinton and her friends showed compassion over the Irish, Jewish, Polish, Armenian, Greek, Vietnamese, Indian, Pakistani, German, Italian, English, Hungarian, Russian, Ukranian, Canadian or Serbian victims of violence in New York?
This is ultimately the most striking evidence of the hypocritical racism of the so-called "civil rights" establishment, and its blood lust for the men and women who risk their lives defending the people's safety.
If the Jesse Jacksons and the Hillary Clintons cared as much about the lives of inner-city blacks as they do about political power and the privileges it brings them, they would long ago have been singing the praises of Giuliani. Homicide is the number one killer of young black males in urban America, and Giuliani has reduced the homicides of African-American males in New York by 75 percent.
But Jackson, Hillary Clinton and their pals are not Giuliani fans. They are his sworn enemies and detractors. The bottom line is that they don't care. For the sake of their political futures, they are far readier to defend murderers like Carter than to support those who risk their lives to apprehend his ilk.
In one of those odd synchronicities of events, Jackson's friend and one-time comrade Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin, better known by his 1960s radical trademark name, H. Rap Brown, assaulted and killed a black police officer and wounded another in Atlanta on the very day that Patrick Dorismond was shot in New York.
Unlike the Dorismond case, there can be little doubt that Brown killed Officer Ricky Kinchen in cold blood. Brown was identified as the killer by the black officer he wounded. Neither officer knew his political identity. The murder weapon itself was found at the site of his capture. The officers were victims of an unprovoked and vicious attack with a high powered assault weapon against which their protective vests proved useless. They didn't have a chance.
Yet, the other night Geraldo Rivera was on television entertaining former Black Panther lawyer Gerald Lefcourt and former Panther "chairman" Bobby Seale, soliciting their opinions of the event. Since both men have been lying about the Panthers' criminal activities for 30 years, it was no surprise to hear them once again rehearse their stale tales of "Cointelpro" conspiracies against black leaders in order to insinuate that there just might have been a police vendetta to hunt down Rap Brown.
It occurred to me, watching this sordid and sickeningly familiar performance, that in recent decades many lives have been lost (both white and black) and many more will continue to be lost as a result of the anti-police paranoia whose flames are fanned by demagogues like Jackson, Seale, Sharpton and Hillary Clinton. It occurred to me further that it would be a good moment for this country if, just once, the press would step out of its partisan lockstep to call them to account.