There's A Reason Why 'Don't Bring A Knife To A Gun Fight' Is A Saying

Cops Behaving Badly

The 'knife to a gunfight' scene from 'The Untouchables'

Republicans are good at talking points in a way we are not and never will be. The talking point of the day, it seems, is that the shooting of Jacob Blake by a Kenosha police officer was justified and totally not at all racist because he supposedly had a knife in his car. A knife which they assume he was going to get so that he could stab the defenseless, gun-wielding police officers, one of whom was holding him by his tank top at the time. Right before shooting him in the back. Seven times.

Megyn Kelly, a woman who had to leave her cushy job at NBC for not seeing how blackface is racist, had a lot to say about this.



And just to make things extra meta, here is Megyn Kelly quoting Ben Shapiro on how this shooting has nothing to do with racism.

The other narrative is that he was actually holding a knife, which the officers did not even claim he was doing.


Talk about "And if the facts don't match the accusations, the facts will be put aside," eh?

It's hard to trust cops in these cases, so it's probably best to wait until it's definitively proven that Jacob Blake had a knife in his vehicle. We don't see a knife in any of the videos, but according to police, he told them he had a knife and when they searched his car later, they found one on the floor of the driver's seat, which is of course where everyone keeps their knives that they are going to use on armed police officers right after telling them they have a knife.

Unlike a gun, a knife can and often is used for things other than killing people and other living things. It's not that weird [ed: it's not weird at all!] that someone would have a knife in their car. I mean, just think about this. You've got a guy who is supposedly crazy enough to try and murder some cops in front of his own kids — would that kind of guy not have a gun? Like, in what world does that guy just have a knife?

But, whether he had a knife in his car or not, they still shot him in the back.

There are videos and pictures of Kyle Rittenhouse, who killed two people at the protests in Kenosha, with a gun, and we also see videos of cops in Kenosha just letting him walk off as other people yelled to them that he was the shooter. He wasn't even arrested until he got back to his home in Illinois.

Via CBS Chicago:

"Hey, he just shot them! Hey, dude right here shot them! Dude right here shot all them down there!" someone is heard saying.

With blue gloved hands in the air and the gun around his chest, the brigade member who was thanked at the start of the night was given safe passage past police. He was not stopped and cuffed, but was allowed to exit with only this warning: "You with the long gun – don't come down here. This is closed."

Megyn Kelly wants this to not be about race. Ben Shapiro wants this to not be about race. In his rant defending Rittenhouse last night, Tucker Carlson said this wasn't about race. It's not that they have some rosy view of the world where they just cannot fathom that anyone is racist or that police ever do the wrong thing. It's that they don't want to have to deal with the inconvenience of people being mad about those things.

Rittenhouse was able to walk free, with an AR-15 strapped to his chest, because police officers saw him as inherently safe. Jacob Blake is now paralyzed and may never walk again because police officers saw him as inherently unsafe.

It is very possible, even likely, that those same officers felt they had no particular or specific animus towards Black people. They may even, as they say, "have Black friends." But somewhere along the line they absorbed the message that people who look like Blake are dangerous, just as the officers who let Rittenhouse walk had absorbed the message that people who look like him are safe. A Black man with a possible knife who has not killed anyone, to them, is scarier than a white man with an assault rifle who has just killed two people and injured another.

That's racism. But what the Right wants is for racism to refer exclusively to people who explicitly come out and say "I hate ____ people." Things are far simpler that way. Everything seems just that way. No one is responsible that way, including television presenters who pitch fits over Jesus and Santa being white, or who regularly praise white nationalist talking points. That way, even David Duke — who has long been known to say that he doesn't "hate" anyone, but that he just really loves white people and wants to be able to celebrate his white heritage — is not a racist.

It's not because they actually believe this, but that they want to perpetuate the narrative that Black people are imagining racism, either because they are delusional or because they are very stupid people who have been manipulated, somehow, into believing it exists by power-hungry white Democrats. This makes their viewers feel good about themselves, because no one likes to think of themselves as the bad guy.

Even if they're the ones taking a gun to a knife fight. Or a protest.

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Robyn Pennacchia

Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. In addition to her work at Wonkette, she also has a biweekly column at Dame. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse

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