One of the more interesting recent cases of illiberals at work has been the reaction to the Laquan McDonald police shooting in Chicago. I happen to live in Chicago, and nothing like watching the fury of misguided progressives up close to drive home how illiberal the liberal cause has become in America.
If you are not familiar, Laquan McDonald was a 17-year-old black male shot 16 times by a white Chicago police officer. Laquan had been walking down Pulaski (a major street in Chicago) and ignoring police orders for about a hour before the shooting. He also had on his person a 3-inch knife. Later evidence from autopsies showed he had PCP in his system. Cops claimed that he had “threatened” the police officers in some way, approaching at them or lunging at them. Released dash-cam video showed that this was not the case.
Let’s be clear first, the shooting of Laquan McDonald, given the circumstances, was outrageous. The cop in question completely overreacted to the situation. Moreover, it is clear in the aftermath that the officer attempted to lie about what had happened. The cop absolutely is at fault in this situation.
However, we should also be clear about something else: Why the hell is a 17-year-old black kid walking down middle of a major street in Chicago, high on PCP, wielding a 3-inch knife? Laquan McDonald is not some innocent victim here. He put himself in a shitty situation. And something shitty happened to him. That is what happens, my friends.
The reality is that both the cop and Laquan made some shitty choices. BOTH OF THEM are at fault. But somehow, the latter is omitted by the progressive narrative. No, there has to be a victim. No, Laquan is not responsible for his poor life choices, or at least we won’t hold him accountable.
Moreover, the cop in question has been charged with first-degree murder. He was charged before even the first protest. So what changes exactly do the protestors want? Or is this perhaps just another way for the progressive pundits (aka Jesse Jackson and the “activists” of the world) to rile people up and line their own wallets? All without doing any real work …
Of course, all of this also avoids the reality that most blacks in the United States are killed via black-on-black violence (93% to be exact). Which no one really care about, because it doesn’t fit the narrative. There was an article in the Chicago Tribune today, essentially saying “Nuh uh, we totally care about black-on-black violence, sometimes we moms get together at shooting scenes, and get real angry for the news people …” … but of course, no one does anything about it. No one gets fired. No one is out harassing gang members to stop. Much easier to harass shoppers on Black Friday and/or others who have nothing to do with any of it. Because if it makes you “feel better”, then you made a difference, right? Right? Right? Uh, no.
In short, all of this is just another example of an illiberal reaction to a real world problem. An example of progressives pretending to be liberals. The reality is that we have two individuals who made their own choices, and suffered the consequences. At its core, liberalism is about such individualism, and the self-determination of individuals to pursue both greatness, and risk. People who do so in our society, whether they rise or they fall, are NOT victims … they are merely the product of a liberal society. This is the case for both Laquan and the cop in this case. This is the case for both of their poor choices. No one forced the cop to shoot Laquan. No one forced Laquan to walk around high on PCP, ignoring police orders. It is those that would seek to remove such consequences of individualism, to divorce consequences from risk, who are the greatest threats to liberalism. No true liberal would make such an argument.