When the 2016 election is over and we all look back upon what transpired over this long process of electing our next president, one of the biggest stories is going to be the rise and fall of Jeb Bush as a Republican candidate. Jeb was someone who was essentially handpicked by the RNC to be “the candidate,” only to prove himself to be one of the worst candidates who ran in 2016. Even as someone who initially thought he’d easily walk away with the nomination, I’ve been shocked at just how terrible he’s been as a candidate. From botching a question about Iraq about as badly as a person could early last year, to criticizing President Obama for being too intelligent when dealing with matters of national security, often his statements have gone beyond gaffes into outright incompetence.
Then again, he is related to George W. Bush.
Well, he once again proved that he can’t take his foot out of his mouth during a meeting where he discussed police shootings and black on black violence, going on an incoherent word salad claiming that he wasn’t sure if these police shootings constituted a real “civil rights” issue:
“Yeah, if there is discrimination, overt discrimination, put aside a police officer shooting a black man, because most of the crimes are black on black in the communities, most, by far, in the predominantly African-American communities it’s black-on-black crime. The police shootings of unarmed black males, which is what the conversation is about, as I understand it, is very small. So, I’m not sure that that’s necessarily a civil rights issue, but if it is, yeah, of course the federal government has a, the Justice Department has the right and a responsibility to enforce the law. But I think it’s gone beyond that, that’s my point.”
His ignorance is displayed in questioning whether or not these police shootings of black males is a civil rights issue. It absolutely is. While I’m not someone who jumps to the “murdering cop” conclusion anytime I hear that a police officer has shot a black male (if you follow me on Facebook I frequently implore people to wait for the facts before forming any sort of conclusion), I don’t deny that there’s clearly a pattern of unlawful shootings usually involving an African-American victim. The fallacy here is to just look at the questionable or unlawful police shootings compared to overall police activity. Bush is right when he says the vast majority of police officers aren’t corrupt thugs out looking to murder. It’s just the nature of our media that the bad ones are mostly all we hear about.
But what we should be looking at is when these shootings are deemed questionable or not justified, what’s the race of the victim? That is what makes this a civil rights issue. Because in the vast majority of these questionable or unlawful shootings, or even incidents of non-lethal police brutality, the victims seem to usually be African-American males. From South Carolina to Los Angeles, the pattern is largely the same. And that’s not a coincidence.
That undoubtedly makes this a very serious civil rights issue – one that Jeb Bush clearly has no real solution for.
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