Sheriff David Clarke: Police Chief's Washington Post apology was meaningless

Not everyone can stomach the fight against the increasingly bold and disturbingly un-fact- checked progressive narrative about police racism. Truth doesn’t matter, but if your job does, and you’re in law-enforcement, you better tow the line and jump on board the apology train.

When Terrence Cunningham on behalf of the International Association of Chiefs of Police apologized for historic mistreatment of minorities by police, his comments first appearing in the Washington Post, he was just another victim who couldn’t stomach fighting the tide of lies that have consumed the media for the past year.

In fact, race began to play a factor in American policing when, I presume about two years ago when it was clear Occupy hadn’t achieved the long-lasting change they desired, the left decided it needed a narrative to distract from its dismal record in serving the African-American (and every other) community.

Sam Cabral, President of the International Union of Police Associations called Cunningham’s apology, “from the self-serving standpoint of ignorance and inexperience that compels him to lay blame at the feet of hundreds of thousands of police officer’s risking their lives dealing with problems he has never had to face.”


In its Tuesday editorial, the Washington Times provides some context for the current state of policing: “Putting on a blue uniform has seldom been this hard. Thugs and killers have always despised the men and women who keep the peace, but now their bosses often no longer have their backs. When the badge is bent out of shape to suit the times, civility slides toward the ragged edge of barbarism,” the Washington Times Editorial Board wrote. 

All this at a time when cops fatally shot by assailants is increasing.

Historic mistreatment of minorities has been a human problem, and we Americans have done a much better job of righting our wrongs, when we’ve had them, than most societies.

Here is the problem I have with this act of self-flagellation from a police chief born, raised and now police chief in one of the wealthiest communities in America. First, Cunningham has no idea of what life is like for street level officers in America’s urban ghetto. Second, no officer today was a part of the ugly chapter in American history that was slavery or that of police practices a half-century ago, in fact most were not even born yet. Third, he fell for the oldest trick in the race hustler’s playbook.

American jurisprudence has always been predicated on identifying those directly involved in wrongdoing and punishing them directly, not their descendants 240 years later. These apologies made for the sins of the past are meaningless.

In 1998, then President Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonDavis: Supreme Court decision is bad news for Trump, good news for Vance McCain's reset: US-Vietnam relations going strong after 25 years Facebook ad boycott is unlikely to solve the problem — a social media standards board would MORE apologized for the slave trade. In 2009 Congress passed resolutions apologizing for slavery. These were hailed as great first-steps. What didn’t follow however is the requirement by black America to forgive America so we can put this behind us and start the healing process. I said forgive, not forget.

There is a reason why no forgiveness is forthcoming. Civil rights leader Booker T. Washington told us why. He said, “There is a class of coloured people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs and the hardship of the Negro race before the public. Having learned that they are able to make a living out of their troubles, they have grown into the settled habit of advertising their wrongs-partly because they want sympathy and partly because it pays. Some of these people do not want the Negro to lose his grievances, because they do not want to lose their jobs.”

This is what Chief Cunningham fails to understand. That neither he, white America nor the American police officer will ever be forgiven. Booker T. Washington  knew it, I know it and so does the racial grievance crowd.

An apology is never enough. In fact, the discredited NAACP, attaché to the Democrat Party, quickly stepped in to note that this is a “first step.” The ACLU legal director used the same first-step phrase. What comes next will be determined by the rulers of the left. Cunningham will find out he has much more subservience to the left expected of him. A statement of forgiveness from the NAACP is never coming.

This “apology” is more for having been so slow to bow to the progressive elites’ latest fairy tale than intended for an audience of black Americans, who are currently most terrorized by the progressive policies that demand servitude and dependency rather than promote self-regulation, independence, and advancement.

The apology-as-a-sign-of-obedience is part of a pantomime the left demands from its adherents. When you stray from their team, it’s your penance to get back in their good graces.

Enough first–steps. The next step is on African-Americans to forgive. Until then, no more apologies.

Rather than apologize, we in law-enforcement need to return to our jobs and stop enabling this hoax to continue to be perpetrated on the American people.

Clarke is the Milwaukee County sheriff and the author of “Cop Under Fire: Moving Beyond Hashtags of Race, Crime and Politics for a Better America.” Follow him @SheriffClarke

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