Everybody’s talking about Texas Senator and former Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz‘s Wednesday night speech at the Republican National Convention, but they’re talking more about what he didn’t say than what he said. Cruz was booed off the stage for failing to endorse nominee Donald Trump, but not before he managed to out-Trump Trump when it comes to outright racism, and to remind liberals that there really are worse things than a Trump presidency.
Cruz kicked off his speech with the questionable-enough decision to pervert the death of a Dallas police officer into a pep talk for Republican base voters, telling the story of 9 year-old Caroline Smith‘s heartbreaking last words to her father, Sergeant Michael J. Smith. But then Cruz took the extra step of slandering black people, and turning them into the villains of his story in the process:
I have no idea who he voted for in the last election, or what he thought about this once, but his life was a testament to devotion. He protected the very protesters who mocked him because he loved his country, and his fellow man.
The Republican National Convention hasn’t exactly been a love letter to Black Lives Matter, but what Cruz did was to slander and demonize people who peacefully advocate for accountability for the unjust use of force against black people, and who, by all accounts, were doing so with mutual respect for the police officers who were on duty the night of the Dallas police killings. Surely Cruz knows this, as one of the key points in the reporting on the shootings was the fact that the Dallas Police Department had been posting photos of cops posing with protesters that night. Cruz just made it up, and he did so in order to make black people who don’t want to be murdered by bad cops the villains in his pep talk.
Cruz is right that he has no idea who the late Sgt. Smith voted for, but it’s a safe bet that no Black Lives Matter protester would have had a quarrel with him, since when he was confronted with a suspect with an object in his hand, he put himself on the line instead of shooting to kill:
Several years ago, while working CBD, Sgt. Smith and his partner made contact with a pair of gang members which they did not know. While Sgt. Smith was searching one of the members, he noticed that the other gang member lunged at his partner with an unknown object in his hand. Sgt. Smith intervened to protect his partner and was cut with an unknown object on the head. Sgt. Smith was taken to the hospital with a large laceration. It took 31 stitches to close the wound.
As if all of that wasn’t bad enough, Cruz went on to explain why he had brought the whole thing up to begin with, and instead of coming up with some kind of thin but defensible rationale about remembering the important things in life, Cruz just came out and said that Sgt. Smith’s death was a reminder to get out the vote:
Maybe it’s because of the simple question itself. What if this right now is our last time? Our last moment to do something for our families, and our country? Did we live up to the values we say we believe? Did we do all we really could?
I realize that there are far too many lies being told at the RNC for the media to possibly keep up, but when one of those lies is used to slander an entire race of people just for not wanting to be killed with impunity, maybe make a little bit of space on the schedule.
This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.