Tuesday’s school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, is inspiring a debate on what can be done to prevent future tragedies ― as are reports from witnesses that local police were slow to respond to the incident.
Law enforcement authorities are facing questions and criticism over how much time elapsed before police put a stop to the rampage by a gunman who killed 19 children and two adults.
But one media pundit assessed the reports and offered a really bizarre excuse: for police officers, the risk wasn’t worth the “reward.”
Jason Whitlock, a former ESPN journalist who now works for conservative outlet The Blaze, shared a take in response to a tweet by right-wing disinformation peddler Jack Posobiec, who wondered why “armed Texans” didn’t go after the gunman.
I'm not defending the actions of the officers. But we've demonized law enforcement to the point that there are far fewer rewards for being a hero, for taking risks. When your culture makes George Floyd the hero, real heroes stand down. Cultural rot has consequences. https://t.co/1YvYt121qt
— Jason Whitlock (@WhitlockJason) May 26, 2022
Whitlock said he wasn’t defending the police, but claimed that America has “demonized law enforcement to the point that there are far fewer rewards for being a hero, for taking risks.”
“When your culture makes George Floyd the hero, real heroes stand down. Cultural rot has consequences,” he added. Floyd, a Black Minneapolis resident who was murdered by Officer Derek Chauvin during an arrest in 2020, became a symbol in nationwide protests against police brutality toward people of color.
Whitlock’s theory fired up a lot of Twitter users, many of whom were happy to point out the flaws in the argument.
It's not that the police were afraid themselves of being shot to death, it's that we the people didn't hero worship them enough to make them WANT to go do the job they are paid to do.
That's one weird take, mister. https://t.co/ArFuJzDDiM
— ⚓️Imani Two-Kitchens Gandy⚓️ (@AngryBlackLady) May 26, 2022
Nah, "wahhh, the public doesn't support us" is no excuse for literally standing by while a child is gunned down and murdered.
If they feel that way, f*cking resign and let someone else take the role. But you do not stand by -- officer or not -- and let children be slain. https://t.co/c2hK0Xg6Sd
— A.J. Delgado (@AJDelgado13) May 26, 2022
Oh, I'm sorry, were we not sensitive enough to their feelings? Is that why they let our kids die, because their feelings were hurt? And you defend that because conservatives don't care about anyone else's lives. You guys are sociopaths because you have no empathy for others. https://t.co/CDBVRCKlAa
— Cenk Uygur (@cenkuygur) May 26, 2022
You know how it is, when you only do your job if people constantly give you headpats for not killing more POC. https://t.co/7pdQ7jGw3F
— Quinn Cummings (@quinncy) May 26, 2022
the fact that cops are a sensitive enough institution to not feel like they should protect children being actively murdered (even though they have the weapons and training to do so) is an argument for us to abolish them, not to re-valorize them https://t.co/vUBdNpJktV
— Edward Ongweso Jr (@bigblackjacobin) May 26, 2022
People dislike a cop who committed murder on video and was convicted at a trial for committing that murder, therefore other cops didn't try to stop a school shooting.
This is basic logic, without any flaws. Just post hoc, ergo propter hoc. https://t.co/VjXGrXgsWQ
— Mason Pelt (@masonpelt) May 26, 2022
So let's see: It's totally wrong to say that poverty or other deprivation, or experiences of racism, are any kind of excuse for committing crimes. But ... some bad PR is an excuse for police negligence.
Am I getting this right? https://t.co/x30asjOtLF
— Cathy Young 🇺🇦 (@CathyYoung63) May 26, 2022
never thought i'd see conservatives demanding participation trophies but here we are https://t.co/0bZofbtZgH
— Casey Johnston (@caseyjohnston) May 26, 2022
Brain rot also has consequences, too, it seems.
"Real heroes" don't taze & tackle parents for wanting to go help their own children when the cops stood by and watched them get slaughtered.
If police can't do their jobs, they shouldn't have them. It's that simple. https://t.co/GXBhAzQZpy
— Britni Danielle (@BritniDWrites) May 26, 2022
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.