St. Louis police this week released closed-circuit footage of a Dellwood market ransacked by looters on the evening Darren Wilson escaped grand jury indictment. The video shows at least 180 examples of “outside instigators” as they break into the shop, steal everything they can get their hands on, and run out the door in support of Michael Brown.
The police are releasing the video in the hopes of nabbing some of the people responsible for the crime, but critics say it’s just another example of America trying to spin the narrative in a racist direction. According to Nick Chiles of Atlanta Black Star, the video was released in an attempt to “subvert the emerging narrative of Black youth energized and engaged, flooding the streets of this country in demonstrative displays of anger.” He insisted that the peaceful marches of the last few months had “largely erased” the images of Ferguson on the 24th of November.
That he is dead wrong about such an assumption is only one of the problems with his argument. Americans watched the news that night in horrified fascination, expecting the worst and getting exactly what they expected. Ten years of peaceful marches will not erase the indelible images of rioting, burning, and police attacks that came in the wake of the grand jury’s verdict.
But even if they did, the argument that releasing a video like this subverts the “narrative” shows how flimsy that narrative is to begin with. Eric Holder’s Justice Department has already hinted that Wilson is unlikely to be charged with a federal crime. After all of Holder’s bluster, his agents couldn’t find anything to charge Wilson with. Isn’t that something?
Liberals believe they have a monopoly on the truth. If something pops up that doesn’t fit their story – and another Ferguson video, released in the wake of the shooting, fell under similar condemnation – they must attack it with everything they have. Never mind that Michael Brown’s strong-arm robbery shattered the claims that he was a “gentle giant”; because it didn’t fit the narrative, it should have been suppressed. The same is apparently true of the Dellwood market video; because the majority of protests have been peaceful, we must ignore the ones that weren’t.
But notice that this double-standard doesn’t apply in reverse. It doesn’t matter if the vast majority of cops are good public servants; every example of wrongdoing should be publicized, sensationalized, and shown again and again. And if there is only the appearance of wrongdoing, well, that’s good enough. After all, the name of the game is to incite anger, not to inform the public. That’s also why stories of responsible gun ownership and heroic self-defense are almost entirely absent from the mainstream media.
Hopefully, the Dellwood video will lead to many arrests. It may not provide a lot of fuel for the Black Lives Matter movement, but that’s not the responsibility of law enforcement. Nor is it the mission of the media. Let the facts stand for themselves.