These days, the big money is in the history of olden days, as shown by amateur crank historian Nikole “1619” Hannah-Jones getting paid $101,700 for a two-day visit to Indiana University. History since redlining and Emmett Till just isn’t that interesting anymore, so many of the curious events of the current century go unexplored. But I find recent history pretty fascinating, so I try to make sense of recent events.
Therefore, let me toss out a theory, one that, admittedly, I haven’t done any research upon. At this point it’s just a guess. But I suspect that a contributing factor in how nuts many white people went over the anti-police Black Lives Matter manias in 2014 and 2020 was 2008.
My impression is that after the big crash of 2008, a lot of straitened municipalities started looking to tickets to generate more revenue. Is city hall about to go broke? Well, raise the cost of tickets and tell the cops to issue more of them. Fortunately, I haven’t had a moving violation since 2004, but I noticed that parking tickets in Santa Monica (a town relatively unstressed by 2008) seemed to be suddenly much higher. If plush Santa Monica was looking to its police department to boost revenue, what must down-at-the-heels towns like Ferguson, Missouri be doing?
As you may recall, when Michael Brown was shot by a local cop in Ferguson in 2014, the Obama Administration announced that they were doing a huge investigation to uncover all the racism in the Ferguson police department. They looked and they looked and finally admitted they couldn’t find any evidence of racism. But, the Obama Justice Department announced, they had discovered that Ferguson was… a speed trap!
At this point, I rolled my eyes and laughed. I figured many people would have the same reaction and this huge embarrassment for the Black Lives Matter movement would be the end of the BLM mania. But, instead, lots of white people seemed to react: “A speed trap? I hate hate hate speed traps! Black Lives Matter! Fight the Power!”
And so the BLM craze rolled on until its supporters started shooting all those cops in Dallas and Baton Rouge and, in part because of that, Trump got elected and the Great and the Good decided to stop talking about BLM so much… which they mostly did until they lost their minds in 2020.
So a lot of white people felt like they’d been victimized by the police too for getting a huge ticket for driving 47 mph in a 35 mph zone. They knew what Michael Brown and George Floyd suffered because it (kind of) happened to them.
What do you think?