Milwaukee sheriff speaks the truth
Shooting | David Clarke offers a voice of reason amid the senseless violence and rioting
by Cal Thomas
Posted on Thursday, August 18, 2016, at 1:08 pm
Growing up, I watched a lot of TV and movie Westerns. In addition to the cowboy hero, the sheriff portrayed in these programs and films was almost always a model of integrity who stood for law and order against bank robbers and kidnappers trying to disrupt both.
A contemporary and real-life version of those fictional characters is Sheriff David Clarke of Milwaukee County, Wis.
Clarke has been trying to restore law and order after several nights of riots following the shooting death of an armed black man by a black police officer. The suspect, 23-year-old Sylville Smith, had a felony rap sheet longer than some people’s résumés. Smith should have been in prison, but was on parole after many charges against him were dropped or modified for unknown reasons.
Sheriff Clarke has appeared numerous times on the Fox News Channel, but not so much in other media. On Monday, The Washington Post carried a story about the riots and ignored Clarke, choosing instead to quote Milwaukee’s chief of police, Edward Flynn. I suspect that’s because Sheriff Clarke speaks some hard truths, which many liberals do not want to hear.
In an appearance Monday on Fox, Sheriff Clarke, who is African-American, offered his explanation for the major cause of riots in Milwaukee and other cities: “You know what encourages this? The growth of the welfare state. These are underclass behaviors. Seventy percent of the kids born in Milwaukee … are born without an engaged father in their life. So I look at the progressive policies that have marginalized black dads. They push them to the side and say ‘you’re not needed.’ Uncle Sam is going to be the dad, he’s going to provide for the kids, he’s going to feed the kids. … Uncle Sam has been a horrible father. Uncle Sam does not love these kids. He might keep a little food in their mouths and that is about it. But we all know the importance of an intact family, what it can do to shape the behavior of kids.”
Clarke might have also indicted the failing government schools in poor areas, from which liberal Democrats refuse to let children escape.
He called progressive policies “a total disaster,” not only in Milwaukee, but in Chicago, Baltimore, New York, and elsewhere: “These progressive policies have hit the black community like a nuclear blast, and until we reverse this government dependency, that’s what creates all of this and it encourages it by the way, along with some questionable lifestyle choices.”
Clarke’s answer? “Until the black community does a self-evaluation and until they begin to self-criticize about some of the lifestyle choices they are making, this stuff is going to continue to fester,” he said.
A young African-American man found by a TV camera during the weekend riot said: “The rich people, they got all this money, and they not … trying to give us none.”
Really? All of that tax money spent on anti-poverty programs for the last 50 years never trickled-down to him? This poisonous attitude has been promoted by progressives and has not helped the poor rise above their circumstances.
This young man should talk to Sheriff Clarke about changing his attitude, some self-evaluation, and an internal re-adjustment that is more spiritual than political and economic.
Why do more than 90 percent of African-Americans continuously vote for liberal politicians who have done little to help them and caused much harm?
Again, Sheriff Clarke gets it right: “Until we push back against this progressive ideology, this dangerous ideology that has been very destructive to the black community … and that’s what I’m trying to do … it’s job one right now in terms of messaging—this thing is only going to get worse.”
© 2016 Tribune Content Agency LLC.
Cal contributes weekly commentary to WORLD Radio. Over the last five decades, he worked for NBC News, FOX News, and USA Today and began his syndicated news column in 1984. Cal is the author of 10 books, including What Works: Commonsense Solutions to the Nation's Problems. Follow him on Twitter @CalThomas.