Tuesday, February 02, 2021

Who?


Sherilynn Ifill is President and Director of the the Legal and Defense Fund of the National Association of Colored People. As an accomplished lawyer and black woman, Ms. Ifill is a leading candidate to become the nominee for a spot on the United States Supreme Court because candidate Biden promised his first appointment to the Court would be a black woman.

 

That should (although it won't) raise the question: why is such a woman tweeting this?

 

 

First: violent people who threaten an individual's life don't feel shame. One must have a conscience to be ashamed, and it's not how they roll.

Admittedly, we on the left have a soft spot for demanding shame. We're not always right- no one is- and our actions may backfire, but at least we can feel morally superior.

More seriously: "this country." "This country" is a nation of well over 300 million people. Surely Ms. Ifill can be more specific than to blame everyone. She could attribute responsibility to President Trump, Trump voters, white privilege, the mass of protesters that day, the rioters themselves, or any combination thereof.  But "this country" can be anyone or anything.

In decades past, roughly the 1960s and 1970s, arguments among friends or colleagues might devolve into one side blaming "them" or "they." Often, those conservative arguments were directed against city dwellers, poor people, or blacks (Latinos being far less numerous). In all cases, "they" was so much more convenient because the individual was spared the accountability he would not escape if he had specified a group or person.

Ifill has now done the same. Moreover, it is an approach ironically similar in kind to that of House Minority Leader McCarthy, who claimed "everybody across this country has some responsibility" for the January 6 riot.  Ifill's motivation is radically different because she realizes that if nominated for the Supreme Court or another federal court, she would be able to explain "this nation" in whatever manner she wishes.

If Ms. Ifill attributed responsibility to the protesters generally, to Trump or to his voters, or to a far right political party coddling extremists, she would be placing herself into a box from which it would be difficult to escape if she receives a nomination.

If instead she legitimately blamed the rioters, she would be targeting those responsible. However, that might suggest the need for eventual incarceration, hence raising the possibility that imprisonment might be necessary. That is something the left simply does not do.

Admittedly, her tweet may turn out to be wise. As it stands, though, Sherilyn Ifill is blaming you, me, and our neighbors (presumably not herself). It is a cowardly tactic which, if mimicked, could alienate much of the country and is no part of a persuasive argument.

 



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