President Joe Biden does occasionally give some token praise to the nation’s police, but every now and then the mask slips.
In a gesture the White House called purely coincidental, Biden reversed a decision to lower flags at half-staff in honor of slain police officers, the Washington Examiner reported.
Biden reverses decision to lower flags
The Biden administration had planned last Monday to lower the flags for Peace Officers Memorial Day on Saturday, May 15, but on Friday it abruptly changed course.
The White House’s official explanation for the change was that Saturday also fell on Armed Forces Day. According to the U.S. code, “The flag shall be flown at half-staff on Peace Officers Memorial Day, unless that day is also Armed Forces Day.”
The administration blamed the mishap on a “once-in-a-decade scenario,” adding, “The president stands by the message of his proclamation and his longtime commitment to working with law enforcement to build safer communities.”
But New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu (R) ripped the “eleventh hour” decision as thoughtless, noting Biden’s updated announcement made no mention of Armed Forces Day, according to The Associated Press.
“The fact remains that it was a disrespectful act by the president to reverse his directive to lower flags at 6 p.m. the night before, without even an explanation to law enforcement or their families who were expecting for their losses to be honored today,” he said.
Just a coincidence?
Even if it was purely coincidental, many are likely to see a pattern at work. Since his presidential campaign, Biden has humored anti-police sentiment on the left while playing himself off as a regular blue collar guy who still respects the neighborhood cops.
Biden’s efforts to reconcile these two positions have led him to untenable contradictions: on one hand he’ll say that most police are honorable, then decry a plague of “systemic racism” in policing in the next breath.
Biden did exactly that in his statement for Police Week, which lobbed more smears at police for sowing “distrust” in the Black community, as reported by the New York Post.
“This year, we also recognize that in many of our communities, especially Black and brown communities, there is a deep sense of distrust towards law enforcement; a distrust that has been exacerbated by the recent deaths of several Black and brown people at the hands of law enforcement,” he said.
At the very least, the White House handled this with a carelessness that suggests disrespect.