Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) never saw what hit him. Making the unassailable statement that “all lives matter,” O’Malley discovered that for his hard left constituency at the blogger NetRoots Nations conference, this was a heresy.
To the left, all lives don’t matter.
We know that #blacklivesmatter, but do they? Missed in the racial news cycle was the Mississippi man who has dressed up in a Confederate uniform at the state capitol and elsewhere for more than a decade, who was harassed by a car full of African-Americans driving home from an event until he lost control of his car and died in the ensuing crash. Forty-nine-year-old Anthony Hervey was black: Will the New Black Panther Party protest his death, or will this death be viewed as a necessary purge?
Does the left believe that #allwomenslivesmatter? Do #allAsianlivesmatter? How about #allwhiteliberalprofessorlives, do they matter?
The unseemly incident of O’Malley stepping into the debate over what would seem a basic statement of equality resulted in the former governor retracting his statement and apologizing, saying:
That was a mistake on my part and I meant no disrespect. I did not mean to be insensitive in any way or communicate that I did not understand the tremendous passion, commitment and feeling and depth of feeling that all of us should be attaching to this issue.
So you have the new rules of the road for the politically correct left. Not all lives matter. Police lives don’t matter. Women’s lives may or may not matter depending upon the color of their skin. Asian lives — nope.
The activist far left has redefined Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s call for equality for all to a new sinister inequality. An inequality that welcomes a new sense of grievance.
The irony of the whole affair is that the activists should have booed O’Malley for his tenure at mayor of racial strife-torn Baltimore, where his policing policies are cited as one of the main reasons why the city was a tinderbox after Freddie Gray’s death.
Former Maryland State Del. Michael Smiegel (R) makes the case in The Baltimore Sun, writing:
O’Malley’s policies as mayor contributed to the current riots, but he is not alone in responsibility. Those who knew about the unconstitutional actions of then Mayor O’Malley and did nothing when they possessed the power and obligation to do so, are also responsible.
Will those who have an obligation to report the truth about the history of Mr. O’Malley’s failed policies, and the continuation of those policies, now do so?
What we do know is that Presidential Candidate O’Malley, will do what Governor O’Malley and Mayor O’Malley did before, which is to try to ignore responsibility for the effects of years of zero tolerance law enforcement practices that led to over 250,000 Baltimore residents being arrested but not charged.
If O’Malley had been booed for his record of setting criminal justice policy in the City of Baltimore that resulted in a quarter of a million arrests without any charges being filed, then it would have been justified. But instead, he was booed for declaring that “all lives matter.”
Here is a note to the lefty blog world: All lives do matter in America; it is what makes our country unique. Do we sometimes fall short of that ideal? Of course, but that doesn’t change the fundamental principle.
For those who haven’t completely disconnected from American history, but are unfamiliar with the Declaration of Independence, perhaps they will listen to Dr. King in his “I Have a Dream” speech, in which he said:
When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the “unalienable Rights” of “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
For any lives to matter, all lives must matter, and if those who deny this basic truth prevail, that country is doomed to collapse into tyranny.
O’Malley got this fundamental principle correct, but unfortunately he cowered in the face of a chanting crowd and recanted the fundamental premise that Dr. King boldly stood for when the consequences were far more dire.
This failure reflects the nature of the intimidation of the left and its rejection of equality or freedom, and the cowardice of the political elites to challenge it. After all, it is much easier to put Donald Trump in the headline than a speech-controlling group seeking to disrupt the basic premises that have made our nation great.
Manning is president of Americans for Limited Government.