By Jim Glennon
The New York Times, the storied newspaper that prides itself as the Gold Standard of news reporting, a crusader for moral integrity, and the decrier of racism, is currently employing a Hitler-worshiping antisemitic racist as a news contributor.
And they not only know it, they also acknowledge his bigotry and justify and support their decision to employ the man.
In 2012, on his Facebook page, Soliman Hijjy, the freelance journalist in question, posted, “How great you are, Hitler” (in Arabic) accompanied by an image of the despicable Nazi leader.
But that was in 2012. Maybe his racist anti-Semitic perspective has done a 180-degree turn in the intervening years. Maybe he has become enlightened.
In 2018, again on Facebook, Hijjy posted a photo of himself with a caption that said he was “in a state of harmony as Hitler was during the Holocaust.”
Yes twice, publicly, he praised Adolph Hitler, which in saner days would be the kiss of death professionally. But not today, and not for the NY times. And what has the paper tasked Soliman Hijjy to write about objectively, free from prejudiced and bigotry today?
The Israel Hamas/Palestinian war. Specifically, the merciless massacre of helpless and peaceful Jews and how the Jewish state is responding.
How This Impacts the Law Enforcement Profession
So why is this relevant in a column dedicated to policing issues?
I’ll be blunt.
There is a massive double standard culturally and politically in this country and law enforcement is stuck squarely in the middle.
Law enforcement reacts to media outlets, activists and politicians who blame, indict and allege that the entire police system is rife with evils and ills. Racism being the most egregious of those systemic sins.
Being painted with the broad brush of racial prejudice, either as an individual or the profession as a whole, is a monstrous charge. It is a contaminant for which there is no remedy. It is the loudest of bells that cannot be unrung.
In today’s fast paced, short attention span, give-me-the-salacious-and-move-on media world, an accuser requires no tangible proof to levy a charge of racism. They need only an innuendo, an allusion, an agenda, a target.
Sadly, and unfairly, once the accusation of racism is declared, the recipient is burdened with disproving the repulsive negative. But of course, they can’t as it is virtually impossible to prove something does not exist. And even if they were eventually able to bring forth irrefutable proof, well, the media has moved on. No one cares, no one is listening. The damage, therefore, is irreparable.
Systemically over the past several years, especially after the George Floyd incident in Minneapolis, any argument defending law enforcement, any demand for due process, any request for critical thinking, is immediately met with louder screams of racism accompanied by threats of termination of employment and even physical harm.
Numerous officers, supervisors and Chiefs lost their jobs without a trace of fairness or due process after an incident went viral.
Appease the supposed virtuous throngs was the goal, no matter the facts.
And cops and police bosses around the country quickly got the message, so they reacted.
By doing two things.
Shutting up and shutting down.
Too many police bosses refused to fight the fight and defend their officers and agencies as it would present a danger to their own employment. Swimming against the proverbial social justice current was next to impossible, so they simply allowed themselves to be swept along with it.
For the cops, many gave thee public what they believed the public wanted from them; nothing.
There is truth of which all cops are well aware, and it is this: Police officers almost never get fired for doing nothing. They only get fired for doing something. In some agencies, being lazy is preferred over being aggressive.
Police departments don’t fire lazy cops. If officers show up on time, in uniform, drive to their respective patrol beats and answer 911 calls, their jobs are safe and secure. The risk is when they become proactive. The more active they are the more opportunities for citizen complaints.
The math is simple, do and risk, do nothing and be safe.
Recently an officer told me the rallying cry in his agency is, “Save your pension!”
And what has been the result of cops shutting down?
Crime exploded. Violent crime especially. Murder rates are near record highs. Citizens are afraid. Lifestyles are changing.
How the Terrorist Attack on Israel has Pulled Back the Curtain
What is astounding right now, this minute, yesterday, today and I’m sure even more tomorrow, is how many people—the very same people who have denounced the entire law enforcement profession as systemically racist—are openly broadcasting their own egregious racist views. And remarkably, defending themselves while proclaiming that they are the ones holding the high ground of morality with free speech as their constitutional right.
An assistant professor in American studies at the University of California, Davis, Jemma Decristo, three days after Hamas terrorists murdered, raped, and beheaded innocents and infants in Israel, posted this message on X (formerly Twitter):
“[One] group of ppl we have easy access to in the US is all these Zionist journalists who spread propaganda & misinformation. They have houses w addresses, kids in school. They can fear their bosses, but they should fear us more.”
She included a knife, an axe and a blood-drop emoji.
Veiled threat? I don’t think so but, Decristo still has her job.
Grant Napear, 60, lost his longtime Sacramento Kings broadcast gig and was fired by KTHK Sports 1140 after he tweeted “ALL LIVES MATTER” when asked for his opinion on the Black Lives Matter movement.
“All lives matter” became a de facto racist phrase. Using it was dangerous for your professional life. Proof you held racist views.
If a police officer said it, they risked their career.
But a week ago Rep. Summer Lee, D-Pa., at a rally calling for a ceasefire in Israel and Gaza declared for the crowd and other politicians nodding behind her in agreement that “all lives do matter.”
“I hope and pray that when we exit this crisis, we will be able to say resoundingly, yes, we did enough because we spoke through the noise, and we stood firmly in our belief that all lives do matter — as they said when it was our turn — and that each and every one of them is precious.”
No outcry of racism followed.
Free Speech for Me, Not for Thee
Cornell Professor Russell Rickford publicly described the Hamas attacks as “exhilarating” and “energizing” at a rally…
…and he is still employed.
Basking in the glow of vile atrocities is not racist rhetoric. I’s simply, free speech.
College campuses are rife with antisemitic protest rallies. Hamas flags, not just Palestinian flags, have been carried by protesters in NYC.
“It’s free speech” those defending the protesters cry. The foundation of this country.
But the Blue Line Flag?? A symbol that is revered by law enforcement?
“No, that has to be shelved, put away, taken from sight! It’s been co-opted by right wing activists. The very viewing of it offends and causes some to feel unsafe and uncomfortable. Take it away, take it away.”
So, the Blue Line Flag that represents those risking their lives daily, has to be eliminated because less than 1/10th of one percent of the population may have their feelings hurt, but the display of a genocidal terrorist group needs be protected no matter how much anxiety and fear it instills in people because, well, free speech.
Multiple professors, politicians, artists, actors and activists have blamed Israel and excused the Hamas massacre, which is again, the rape, torture and murder of everyone from octogenarians to infant children. But little to nothing of consequence has happened to them. In fact, many in the Hollywood sect are afraid to come out in support of Israel. Afraid for their careers, their influencing, and their lives.
Again, why talk about this insanity in my column about the police?
It’s the double standard.
Many who condemn Israel and support Hamas are splitting hairs when they say their rhetoric is directed at the Israeli government and not Jewish people in general. Yet they support Hamas who has a stated goal of wiping out the existence of Israel!
How many people defended the police, in general, after witnessing Derek Chauvin pinning George Floyd to the ground with his knee? Who pointed out that even the police were disgusted at what they saw, and the majority of police are great people risking their lives in an effort to save the lives of strangers?
Anyone within that same community, actors, artists, activists, politicians?
Few, if any. And zero at first.
For any defense of the one million honorable police officers was loudly and angrily condemned!
“It’s not one bad cop, the whole barrel is bad! Defund! Abolish the police!”
In June of 2020, The New York Times ran a headline that read, “Yes We Mean Literally, Abolish the Police!”
Conclusion: Self Examination
Law enforcement should get a lot of credit, not only for their collective patience over the past several years, but for their ability to look inside and examine what they are doing right and what they are doing wrong.
I catch grief every now and then for being a police apologist. I’ve even gotten some nasty comments from relatives, distant relatives, so I don’t really care, about my bias towards the police. And while I do admit openly and proudly that I defend this noble profession, I also very often in my articles, and certainly in all of our seminars, establish, through analysis, the problems that are actually prevalent in law enforcement. Problems that need be addressed.
One of our most popular Seminars is titled, Legally Justified, But Was it Avoidable? In it we analyze police shootings and ask honestly if the officers contributed to the need to use justifiable force or missed opportunities to mitigate the need to use force. We literally view over 30 video clips and discuss each of them and the officer’s pre-shooting tactics and communication skills.
We address our systemic shortcomings in our Leadership Seminars. We have multiple courses on how to communicate realistically and effectively on the street establishing that law enforcement is a people profession and understanding human behavior is the most important of skills (Reading People, as well as Deescalation & Intervention, and How to Predict Violence and Influence Outcomes to name a few).
The point is the work is being done on the part of law enforcement.
But the upheaval in American society is as dangerous as I’ve ever seen in my lifetime.
Rules seem to be out the window.
Crimes are excused and criminals are coddled as though they are the victims.
True victims are too often ignored or treated as though they deserve their victimization.
Hypocrisy is rampant and searingly evident in the highest offices of our government.
Pointing fingers and refusing to take responsibility is on full display in our Nation’s Capital on both sides of the aisle.
This has caused a fracturing of the legal structure.
Herein lies a major problem. If there are no consistencies in parameters, structure, laws, free speech, etc., the division in this country will only further widen and the weakest will be the ones at risk. They will be the ones in danger, becoming prey for the powerful and sociopathic criminals.
Chaos will ensue.
And the burden will fall on the police. The very profession demonized by those with platformed voices. And it’s already happening. Some of the same politicians who demanded “defunding” have become victims of crimes and what do they ask?
“Where are the police?!”
But, in many ways, certainly in some cities, the police have been weakened. Confused about what they can and should be doing.
I guarantee that is a fact!
It’s going to get worse.
After 9/11 the police were looked at for safety and security. “This can never happen again!” was the hue and cry from all in government.
But today, the proverbial wolves are at the door. In fact, we opened it for them and invited them in.
While we are a welcoming nation, many who have allegiance to the same groups that cheer the slaughter of innocents in Israel are being caught daily coming across our southern and northern borders.
Now what? Is it too late?
We have to find a commonsense balance in this country on many levels and come together at least for the purpose of safety and security.
Leadership is the key. The question is; do we have any leaders?
A lady asked Benjamin Franklin after the Constitutional Convention in 1787, “Well, Doctor, what have we got? A republic or a monarchy?” Franklin purportedly replied, “A republic, if you can keep it.”
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS? Editor@calibrepress.com