The Best Of The Dish Today

Winter Solstice Celebrated At Stonehenge

Today, a beleaguered Mayor De Blasio called for an end to the recent protests at the racial bias of the criminal justice system in America:

“It’s time for everyone to put aside political debates, put aside protests, put aside all of the things that we will talk about in due time,” Mr. de Blasio said in a speech. “That can be for another day.” The mayor’s call came a few hours after the police commissioner, William J. Bratton, said that the killing of the officers on Saturday was a “direct spinoff of this issue” of the protests that have roiled the nation in recent weeks.

There’s more Dish on the brutal murder of two cops here, and, from a cop’s point of view, here. A few simple things. It is appalling that some demonstrators used vile anti-police language as shown in this video. But it is also appalling that police officers would turn their backs on their own mayor and that their own union leader can place the blame for the murder of two cops on Mayor De Blasio. The reason? That De Blasio had to tell his own bi-racial son to be very careful when dealing with the police, and that he used the word “alleged” to describe a bunch of demonstrators attacking the police. Please. The NYPD needs an attitude adjustment. They’re not the CIA. They remain under democratic control.

A reader adds:

I haven’t to spoken about this to anyone of my family and friends because of a simple reason. I have several close family members who are (white) police officers, and I also have several family members (my adopted daughter and others) who are black.

I understand that police officers often work in very dangerous situations, and I totally abhor what those protesters said and what that murderer did. And nothing excuses either, but this statement by your previous reader about racist cops doesn’t ring true to me: “Good cops despise those cops.”

I’ve heard the stories from black family members and friends about how endemic harassment and profiling are. But I don’t need to take their word for it; I’ve watched my (very young) daughter being profiled by white officers and managers (white, Asian and others) all the time and the data supports those stories.

And yet I’ve heard very little from the police acknowledging that. Instead, I have watched both my relatives and police spokesmen double down on the defense of racist cops and racism. They all immediately come to the defense of the very racist cops your reader says they despise. Rarely have I seen a police chief or spokesman say “We despise what this officer has done.” But worse still is watching my family members defend these obviously racist cops and poston social media racist stuff as some kind of defense. I’ve had to block them from my feeds. I am not sure I am able to explain to my daughter that some of the people she loves are racist … and cops.

I respect and love what the police do for our society, but even I am starting to worry they are becoming militarized group feeling they are in a war.

What I worry about even more is the polarization that makes all this worse. You already know what Fox will be doing with this – as well as MSNBC, to much less effect. And when the police start to form a monolithic bloc within only one camp – and when that has a racial component, we’re in very troubled waters. They key here is de-escalation – from the extreme rhetoric of some protestors to the incendiary blame-assigning of Pat Lynch. And reform – to ensure that what passes for justice is not so racially skewed. What we have instead of either is tribal warfare, in which moments where we should all be in complete agreement – the cold-blooded execution of two NYPD cops – become moments for further polarization. Another reason this year was such an almighty bummer.

Today, I defended airing the Bell Curve debate. Because liberalism. I also lamented the end of some illusions I once held about America’s commitment to freedom as a core principle of its identity. We celebrated an ISIS defeat and watched some cows get into festive cheer.

My question: why are there no trigger warnings for Christmas?

The most popular post of the day was Excuse Me, Mr Coates; followed by We’ll Meet Again – on Stephen Colbert’s genius. You can always leave your unfiltered comments at our Facebook page and @dishfeed. 35 more readers became subscribers today. You can join them here – and get access to all the readons and Deep Dish – for a little as $1.99 month. Gift subscriptions are available here (you purchase one today and have it auto-delivered on Christmas Day). Dish t-shirts are for sale here and our new mugs here.

See you in the morning.

(Photo: A couple embraces as revellers take part in celebrations to mark the winter solstice at Stonehenge prehistoric monument in Amesbury, England on December 22, 2014. About 1,500 revelers, druids and pagans gathered at the monument to celebrate the solstice, a tradition believed to date back thousands of years. By Rufus Cox/Getty Images.)