Megyn Kelly took a view of the Chicago protests that only someone working for Fox News (or our current GOP presidential candidates) can take. When video from the protests showing a stare-off between a black protester and a white Chicago PD officer surfaced, she and her guest, Richard Fowler, got into an argument about it. Fowler said the protester wasn’t doing anything wrong, and that the stare was the protester’s First Amendment right. Kelly, however, questioned whether it was “appropriate:”
Kelly: You think that’s fine? You have no problem with this?
Fowler: This is his First Amendment right.
Kelly: It’s not a question of what his constitutional rights are. It’s a question of what’s appropriate.
During a protest, confrontation happens. As long as the confrontation remains peaceful and legal, propriety isn’t a question. Police officers have to be prepared for something like this to happen, and they have to be prepared for the situation to escalate, or not. Propriety doesn’t enter into it.
What would Kelly’s response to this have been if the staring protester had been white? When the white privileged see things like this, it’s easy to say that the person of color was behaving badly. It’s easy to say he was wrong. If this protester had been shot, even if he literally hadn’t done anything but stare (which is exactly what happened), Kelly and others would say the officer was provoked. If he was white, Kelly and company probably would have had a different opinion.
This protest is in response to a video that CPD just released, which showed Officer Jason Van Dyke shooting 17-year old Laquan McDonald 16 times. McDonald did have a knife but wasn’t close enough to lunge at Van Dyke, as the department repeatedly stated was the case. In fact, the video shows he was walking away.
Former police commissioner Bernard Kerik said, to Megyn Kelly, that “you’re going to have guys like this, you know they want to instigate.”
Perhaps the protester was trying to instigate, however, the officer, kept doing his job. He stood there, monitored the crowd, and didn’t even return the protester’s stare very much. In other words, he didn’t do anything that could have escalated the problem. If nothing else, he was waiting for the protester to escalate it. That didn’t happen, but to hear Kelly talk, you’d think he spit in the officer’s face, poked him, shoved him, or otherwise physically attacked the officer. Literally nothing happened except an attempted stare-down.
There is always the possibility that the protester was trying to express his anger and frustration at what CPD has done in as peaceful a way as he could muster. Contrary to what many conservative whites think, black people, even young black people, aren’t any dumber than the rest of us. Watch the video below:
Featured image via screen capture from embedded video