What do we call those who encourage others to commit criminal acts? That’s right. We call them “criminals.” Two New York City police officers are brutally murdered while sitting in their police cruiser. By now the world knows that the perpetrator was a young black man with an extensive criminal record who viewed police officers as the enemy—an enemy to be eliminated. But was Ismaalyl Brinsley alone in committing this heinous act? Hardly. Several other parties must share in the blame because they indirectly encouraged what happened on that tragic Saturday afternoon in New York. Who are those other parties? They are numerous, but prominent among them are Al Sharpton, Mayor DeBlasio, President Obama, and the mainstream media.

In the weeks leading up to the brutal slayings of Officers Liu and Ramos, Al Sharpton, Mayor DeBlasio, President Obama, and the mainstream media behaved in ways that make them culpable—morally if not legally—in this heinous crime committed by an angry young black man who had a criminal record as long as your arm. Brinsley’s assassination of two police officers was not an isolated incident. Based on what we now know about this long-time criminal, he was a hate-filled, angry young man who harbored an us-against-them attitude toward the police. All he needed to push him over the edge was a little encouragement, and that he got plenty of that from Sharpton, DeBlasio, the mainstream media, and other irresponsible race hustlers who in the weeks leading up to the murders continually portrayed police officers in the worst possible light. President Obama—ever the politician rather than a leader—was careful not to overdo it with negative statements about the police, but it was clear from he said and did not say where he stood concerning incidents in which young black men have run afoul of the law.

It started with the Trayvon Martin case when the mainstream media continually portrayed Martin as an innocent young boy who had been brutally murdered by an overzealous neighborhood watcher. Recall that the photos most often shown of Martin were from when he was a cute little twelve-year old kid. The media studiously avoided showing the grown-up, pot smoking thug who confronted George Zimmerman on that tragic night. The clear message from the mainstream media was that racism was the cause of Trayvon Martin’s death. The media never even considered that Martin’s own irresponsible actions might have contributed to his death.

What was President Obama’s contribution to the simmering racial discord during the Trayvon Martin tragedy? Did he show some leadership and try to calm the anger and frustration that had been stirred up by the mainstream media’s blatantly biased reporting on the incident? No, instead of acting like a leader President Obama indulged in his own brand of racial pandering by claiming that Trayvon Martin might could been his son. Of course once the facts came out, the world saw a much different Trayvon Martin than the one Obama claimed as his erstwhile son, but by then the president had made his contribution to stirring up anger and resentment in the black community.

Then there was the Ferguson, Missouri debacle where we saw Al Sharpton and the mainstream media at their race-hustling worst. Once again the mainstream media portrayed the deceased young black man as a poor innocent soul murdered by a racist police officer who worked for a racist police department. Once again, President Obama failed in his role as a leader, refusing to use his stature as president to calm a powder- keg situation. As a result of encouragement from irresponsible media outlets, the race hustling of Al Sharpton, and the leadership failings of the president, Ferguson, Missouri was looted, pillaged, and burned on national television. Yet the media portrayed the police, not the looters and arsonists, as the bad guys. The media, Sharpton, and the president steadfastly refused to admit that the person who caused Michael Brown’s death was none other than Michael Brown.

Then came the take-down of Eric Garner in New York City. Garner died following the incident, although it now appears that his death was caused by his obesity and other related health problems rather than the take down. In spite of this, the mainstream media ignored the facts of Garner’s health problems and criminal record and portrayed the police as brutal, racist killers who had it in for young black men. It was at this point that Mayor DeBlasio joined the debate over supposed police brutality and racism. His contribution can best be described as pathetic pandering, but it had the effect of stirring the pot and making matters worse. Like President Obama, DeBlasio failed to use the stature of his position to reveal the facts in the case and calm an explosive situation. Instead he pandered to the black community, portraying Eric Garner—a man who was breaking the law and had a long criminal record—as an innocent victim of police brutality. Not a word from the mayor in support of the NYPD and the life-and-death struggle they face every day on the streets of his city while trying to protect law-abiding citizens. And, of course, there was Al Sharpton doing his usual race-hustling routine.

What in the world did Al Sharpton, Mayor DeBlasio, President Obama, and the mainstream media think was going to happen? You can stir up racial discord only so long before the top blows off and bad things happen. I will leave Al Sharpton out of the discussion for the moment because what happened in New York is probably exactly what he wanted to happen. But we should be able to expect better from the Mayor of America’s largest city, the President of the United States, and the mainstream media. Every police officer in the United States who patrols in a black community now has a target painted squarely on his or her back, regardless of the officer’s race. It is police officers—not just white police officers—that have been painted with the broad brush of media bias, a situation made worse by the poor leadership of elected officials.

The protestors in Ferguson, Missouri, New York City, and numerous other cities across the United States have uniformly and not a little self-righteously demanded justice. I agree there should be justice in these situations. Here is what justice would look like: 1) If Al Sharpton were sent to prison for encouraging murder (not to mention owing $4.5 million in unpaid taxes), 2) If President Obama and Mayor DeBlasio were forced to resign for failing to take appropriate, responsible action to prevent murder, and 3) If the mainstream media were censored and fined for knowingly instigating actions that led to looting, burning, and now murder.