MATTHEWS: The tragic death of Tyre Nichols gets compounded by ‘woke’ lunacy 

Protesters march Friday, Jan. 27, 2023, in Memphis, Tenn., as authorities release police video depicting five Memphis officers beating Tyre Nichols, whose death resulted in murder charges and provoked outrage at the country's latest instance of police brutality. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Tyre Nichols, a 29-year-old Memphis resident and father of a 4-year-old son, was pulled over in a traffic stop on Jan. 7, 2023, by Memphis police on grounds that he was allegedly driving recklessly. After he was pulled out of his car and officers attempted to subdue him on the pavement with a stun gun, Nichols fled but was severely beaten by the police officers after they caught up with him. 

The beating resulted in Nichols being hospitalized, where he died three days later. 

Last Friday night, the city of Memphis released bodycam videos from the incident. While I couldn’t watch them, the consensus from those who did is that the beating was “horrific,” “senseless,” and “unprovoked.” Nichols could be heard at one point in the video calling out for his mother. 

Oftentimes in these situations, the first thing you hear are cries of “racism” from the left in the event it turns out that the officers involved were white and the victim was Black. 

We heard that in this case as well, but it was a rather odd accusation to make considering that not only was Nichols black but so were all five officers directly involved in the incident. 

The officers were fired last week and a few days later were charged with second-degree murder and aggravated kidnapping. And the Memphis PD “SCORPION” (Street Crimes Operation to Restore Peace in Our Neighborhoods) unit they were a part of has now been “permanently deactivated.” 

As noted above, the races of both the victim and the officers being the same haven’t stopped The Usual Suspects on the left from trying to inject “woke” dogma into the conversation, with several suggesting that even though the officers were black that they still could be guilty of racism. 

For instance, CNN political commentator Van Jones, who was an environmental advisor to former President Barack Obama, proclaimed during a Friday night segment that “unfortunately, African-Americans can also be guilty of hatred and bias and bigotry against other African-Americans. Sometimes you go into a store owned by an African-American, they’re nice to the white folks and suspicious of you.” 

In a piece he wrote shortly before the videos were released, Jones introduced a new standard for determining potential racism components in officer-involved beatings and deaths. 

“…at the end of the day, it is the race of the victim who is brutalized — not the race of the violent cop — that is most relevant in determining whether racial bias is a factor in police violence,” Jones wrote. 

The reason for this, Jones suggested, is that black police officers allegedly can sometimes be influenced and conditioned by the behavior their white colleagues sometimes show towards black suspects and certain communities and then react in a similar fashion when they’re face to face with black citizens. 

Freshman Congressman Maxwell Frost (D-Fla.) was on the same wavelength. 

“Doesn’t matter what color those police officers are. The murder of Tyre Nichols is anti-black and the result of a system built on white supremacy,” Frost tweeted. 

“The Atlantic” contributing writer Jemele Hill echoed the same talking point. 

“Several of the police officers who murdered Freddie Gray were black. The entire system of policing is based on white supremacist violence,” Hill wrote. “We see people under the boot of oppression carry its water all the time.” 

It can’t simply be that there are bad officers in a majority-black police force who beat people because they can. There always has to be a racial angle to it, according to the left, even in a city like Memphis where most of the people in power including the police chief and mayor are black. 

If racism is to blame for what happened to Tyre Nichols, then the whole meaning of the word has officially been completely diluted. 

North Carolina native Stacey Matthews has also written under the pseudonym Sister Toldjah and is a media analyst and regular contributor to RedState and Legal Insurrection.