It is quickly becoming the “dog ate my homework” excuse for woke adults. Identity politics buzzwords once used to promote a radical agenda are now routinely being spouted by prominent figures simply to justify inexcusable personal behavior.
A progressive activist lawyer firebombed a New York City police car during the George Floyd riots in 2021 due to “unprocessed trauma” associated with being a Muslim in post-9/11 America, her attorneys claim. Meanwhile, the leftist mayor of New Orleans says she had no choice but to rack up a whopping $30,000 in first-class air travel expenses over the summer because “the world black women live in” makes it too dangerous to fly coach.
It’s hard not to conclude that this is the inevitable result when lines are blurred between group identification and individual responsibility.
Flying First Class in the Name of Racial Justice
LaToya Cantrell is facing a recall petition in New Orleans in large part because outraged residents are fed up with soaring crime rates under her watch. Even the notoriously racially obsessed leading newspaper in the city has turned against her. New Orleans Times-Picayune opinion writer James Gill excoriated her in a September 2 piece.
“With the citizenry constantly looking over its shoulder for violent assailants, and holding her at least partially responsible, Cantrell pulled a stunt [On Aug. 18] that was, in political terms, crass in the extreme. She hopped over to Juvenile Court to offer moral support to a 14-year-old carjacker and his family, while leaving his victims to seethe,” Gill noted.
The youth in question is a serial carjacker who victimized five people over a two-day crime spree. He was sentenced to probation after being convicted of three carjackings, with the judge calling his actions a “mistake.”
Cantrell’s response to the recall campaign was predictable. She blamed it on racism. “A mayoral flak suggests the recall petition is part of a sinister plot hatched by an unnamed Republican firm in Washington to discredit a prominent black woman,” Gill observed.
Questioning the necessity of mayoral summer trips to Europe is also racially insensitive, no doubt. “In January, Cantrell flew first class to Washington, D.C., for $2,300, in March, she flew first class to Miami for $2,800, and in June, she traveled to Switzerland first class for $9,800,” Fox News details. “This was all followed by a first-class trip to France for $17,000 in July.”
Literally Incendiary Identity Politics
In New York City, lawyers for Urooj Rahman are throwing everything they can up against the wall and hoping something will stick in seeking a commutation of her sentence. The Washington Free Beacon on September 29 noted how she has already been treated with kid gloves by prosecutors:
“The request [by Rahman’s attorneys] for a special dispensation builds on a sweetheart deal already reached by Justice Department prosecutors in the case. In June, Rahman and [co-partner in crime and fellow lawyer] Colinford Mattis entered into a second plea agreement that broke their potential 10-year sentences down to a maximum of 5 years. Prosecutors want [U.S. District] Judge [Brian] Cogan to go even lower, arguing for just 18 to 24 months based on the ‘history and personal characteristics of the defendants.’
“Rahman and Mattis each confessed to counts of conspiracy to commit arson and to making and possessing an unregistered destructive device, dodging a previous domestic terrorism sentencing enhancement.”
Shamefully, Rahman’s attorneys argue that her act of extreme violence was motivated by injustice and meant to save lives.
“Tossing the Molotov cocktail was a way of expressing anger at those police officers around the country for whom Black lives did not matter. It was an act of protest intended to avoid exposing others to harm,” their filing reads.
“At our request, Urooj was evaluated by Dr. Leslie Lebowitz, a clinical psychologist whose work centers on the assessment and treatment of trauma,” Rahman’s attorneys wrote. Dr. Lebowitz’s report furthered the “she’s the real victim here” narrative. Being a Muslim in New York City after September 11, 2001, caused trauma that triggered her irresistible urge to firebomb a police car some 20 years later, the doctor explains.
From the filing:
“At 11, when the World Trade Center was attacked, Urooj experienced the harassment that was all too common for Muslims living in the city. She was called names (‘ugly Indian,’ ‘hairy monkey’) and begged her mother not to wear a hijab on the street. As Dr. Lebowitz explains, ‘[t]his compendium of adversity’ left Urooj ‘at the doorstep of adulthood without the ability to adequately manage and regulate her feelings’ and ‘subject to incapacitating depression, panic, and uncontrollable obsessional thinking.’”
Her later work with refugees and other “marginalized and displaced people” only “exposed her to more traumatic stress with which she was ill-equipped to cope,” the attorneys argue.
This official defense of Rahman’s crazed act echoes an apologia published by big-box media organ New York magazine in August 2020.
“But to work within that system is to understand just how capricious and brutal criminal justice can be,” author Lisa Miller wrote. “And when a president [Donald Trump] and his advisers seem to regard the law as an obstacle course; when an attorney general metes out favors, not justice; and when immigrant children are held in cages and men are killed on video by police, some lawyers may want to embrace a more flexible definition of ‘lawless.’”
Many astute observers have long warned these would be the bitter fruits of a poisonous mindset. Whether they be hip progressive lawyers in the Big Apple or a sitting mayor in the Big Easy, those drunk on group grievance have found they can use their anger to numb individual conscience and justify any and all kinds of entitled personal behavior. When you’re told you are a victim all your life, at some point you start to believe you deserve things everywhere you go.
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