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(Update 09/24/2014: McClain has reversed course and admitted Allen to the Pre-Trial Intervention Program she’d been denied access to. Whatever else it may be, that’s wonderful new for Allen and worth celebrating).
It’s not necessarily damning that Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown’s deaths became rallying cries within Leftist and Civil Rights circles: as initially presented, both cases appeared to confirm the Democratic narrative that American society is beleaguered by divisions of race, gender, and class.
It does, however, say a lot about those groups that they stuck with those stories long after the original facts were shown to be factually incorrect, heavily edited, or outright fabricated in an effort to cast Martin and Brown as hapless victims of prejudice.
It says even more about Leftism and the Modern Civil Rights movements that their support has — simultaneously — been almost entirely absent from the Shaneen Allen case. Last year, Ms. Allen was arrested on weapons charges and she now faces a minimum of three years in prison. Her crime? After being pulled over for a minor traffic infraction, Allen disclosed to the police officer that she had a handgun in her purse and presented him with her Pennsylvania firearms license on the (erroneous) assumption that it was valid in New Jersey.
Despite having no previous criminal record and causing no harm to anyone, Atlantic County Prosecutor James McClain decided to throw the book at her, even declining to use a sort of probationary program designed for first-time offenders who pose no threat to society (he is, belatedly, reconsidering that stance). Amazingly, McClain did see fit to offer that same program to then-Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice after the footballer knocked his girlfriend unconscious.
Given the obvious, multiple layers of injustice — and adding the facts that Ms. Allen is a single, African-American woman and that Mr. McClain is a powerful, white man — one might think this would be political catnip for those who look for such cases. Reality tells a different story: search for “Shaneen Allen” on Google either as a regular search or as a news search, and you’ll have to scroll a long way down before you find something that’s not from either National Review’s Charles C. W. Cooke, the Washington Post’s Radley Balko (formerly of Reason), local news sites, or pro-2nd Amendment sites. If the NAACP has ever said a word about Allen, I cannot find it. The only piece I’ve found on an explicitly progressive website is here (kudos to author Josh Israel).
The point here is not to ask why Democrats aren’t race-mongering the Allen case; there’s little reason to suppose that there actually is a race angle to her case, and the fewer causes Al Sharpton takes up, the better. But unless the Leftist outrage machine requires a dead body to activate, it’s hard to escape the conclusion that they don’t actually believe their own talking points.
Image Credit: National Review.