Dallas as a Symptom of a Slide Towards Anarchy

What really happened over the weekend in Dallas? By that I don’t mean the facts, we know what the facts were. A single crazed black racist sniper committed to killing whites, and specifically white policemen, unloaded all of his frustrations in a series of shots that killed five police officers and wounded many others at the scene. Those are the facts but what actually happened? What happened was yet another step in America’s descent into anarchy.

Anarchy: A state of disorder due to absence or non-recognition of authority

In a series of incidents that many say began with the shooting of Michael Brown, a black citizen of Ferguson, Missouri by a white policeman on August 9, 2014, we have seen event after event follow the same disturbing pattern.

A member of a racial minority is apprehended and then killed by an officer of the law, usually but not always white, in circumstances that are often unclear. In Ferguson the claim was that Brown pulled a gun on the officer and the officer felt this life was in danger.  Immediately thereafter the familiar pattern plays out: Demonstrations, riots, looting, prayer vigils and sometimes people brought to court to be judged.  More often than not the accused individuals are either acquitted or given the proverbial slap on the wrist.

Former Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis once said: “Our government… teaches the whole people by its example. If the government becomes the lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy.”

And this is what is happening.  The Black Lives Matter movement, for example, which was born in 2012 after the alleged murderer of Trayvon Martin was acquitted, is, by its own, admission a black liberation movement.  In its own words:  “BlackLivesMatter is working for a world where Black lives are no longer systematically and intentionally targeted for demise.  We affirm our contributions to this society, our humanity, and our resilience in the face of deadly oppression.  We have put our sweat equity and love for Black people into creating a political project–taking the hashtag off of social media and into the streets. The call for Black lives to matter is a rallying cry for ALL Black lives striving for liberation.”

But what does liberation mean in an America who 8 years ago elected a black president, whose attorney general is black, whose former attorney general is black, who has had a black Secretary of State, a black Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the list goes on.  America’s black community has developed socially the same way every non-WASP community has developed yet each still has its pockets of poverty and under achievement, including the WASP community.

So the real problem is a slide towards anarchy fueled by rhetoric.  Theodore Roosevelt once said:  “Rhetoric is a poor substitute for action, and we have trusted only to rhetoric. If we are really to be a great nation, we must not merely talk; we must act big.”  Sound familiar?

In truth, how much faith can the average citizen have in government when the two leading contenders for president are who they are?  On the one hand a presumptive Democratic Party candidate who was guilty of security breaches while Secretary of State, lied to both the FBI and Congress under oath and has spent most of her political life manipulating the system to her own benefit, the law be damned. On the other hand there is the presumptive Republican Party candidate who insults every ethnic minority, has little respect for the institution of marriage, is of questionable moral character and openly states that when he is president he will flout the law as he sees fit. Is this all not the classic definition of anarchy?

The scary thing is that anarchy often leads to tyranny.  People get so frustrated with the state of things as they are and see no hope for the future. Then the path is open for someone like Donald Trump to come along and promise that he will save the Republic when, in truth, he will act to destroy it.

Jeremy Bentham, a British Jurist who lived from 1748-1832 said “Tyranny and anarchy are never far apart.”  Indeed!

More than ever, American needs a unifier, someone who enjoys the trust of the population and understands how government works for the good and welfare of the citizenry. At the moment it does not look as if either part has a candidate for president that matches those requirements.  Sadly, until someone of that ilk comes forward America will continue its slide towards anarchy.

About the Author
Sherwin Pomerantz is a native New Yorker, who lived and worked in Chicago for 20 years before coming to Israel in 1984. An industrial engineer with advanced degrees in mechanical engineering and business, he is President of Atid EDI Ltd., a 33 year old Jerusalem-based economic development consulting firm which, among other things, represents the regional trade and investment interests of a number of US states, Ontario and Hong Kong. A past national president of the Association of Americans & Canadians in Israel, he is also Chairperson of the Israel Board of the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies. His articles have appeared in various publications in Israel and the US.