I hope Al Sharpton and his fellow race hustlers—including the mainstream media—are proud of themselves. They have certainly accomplished what I suspect has been one of their goals all along: to spawn a culture of hatred toward police officers in America. Since Al Sharpton, aided and abetted by the mainstream media, began portraying police as out-of-control vigilantes with an ax to grind against innocent black men, sworn officers have had a target painted on their backs. I doubt it’s just coincidence that the number of cop killings increased by 24 percent this year to a total of 126 (this number includes federal, local, state, tribal, and territorial officers killed in the line of duty). This number is just 30 below the all-time high number of 1973.

In the aftermath of the media circus in Ferguson, Missouri and the protest marches in New York, there have been several cop killings and attempted cop killings across America. Further, police officers report an upsurge in disrespectful comments from people on the street. The growing culture of hatred and disrespect for police officers specifically and authority in general are a sad testament to the effectiveness of the nefarious work of Al Sharpton, his supporters in the media, and a longlist of others who must take their share of the blame for this destructive culture.

In Ferguson a police officer shot and killed Michael Brown. Sharpton was quick to insert himself into the situation and portray Brown as an innocent young teen just minding his own business when he was brutally assaulted by an out-of-control police officer. The media went along with Sharpton constantly referring to Brown as an “unarmed teen” and displaying the most positive photos they could find of him, ala Trayvon Martin. Of course, the world soon learned that Brown was anything but an innocent young teen.

In fact, we now know that on the day of his death Michael Brown was an out-of-control, 300 pound bully who tried to rip a police officer’s pistol out of its holster and use it to kill him. In spite of all that was learned about Michael Brown from sworn testimony before a grand jury, neither Sharpton nor his cronies in the mainstream media had the moral courage or good grace to recant or revise their inaccurate and purposefully misleading characterizations of him or the situation in Ferguson. Although their misleading portrayals of Michael Brown and what actually happened in Ferguson contributed to the burning and looting of that town’s business district by criminals who do not deserve the air they breathe, Sharpton and the mainstream media continue to this day their inaccurate and biased reports.

Then came the death of Eric Garner following a takedown by New York City police officers—one of whom was black. Of course Sharpton could not wait to portray this situation as a case of police brutality aimed specifically at black men. Equally predictable was that mainstream media mavens were only too happy to go along with this purposefully inaccurate portrayal. With Sharpton stirring up the embers of racial resentment and Mayor DeBlasio irresponsibly condemning his own police force, it wasn’t long before New York’s streets were filled with protestors who naively believed what they had heard on television and from Sharpton. In short order a herd mentality set in and the protests spread to other cities across the United States. The whole sordid affair was reminiscent of those bad old days in the 1960s when the Hippy generation referred to police officers as “pigs.” The term was borrowed, of course, from George Orwell’s book, Animal Farm, although the whacked-out potheads who used it had no idea where it came from since few of them had read the book, or any other book for that matter.

Clearly the self-promoting, self-serving Sharpton has played a role in establishing a culture of distrust and even hatred toward police officers throughout the U.S. In fact, his role in this nefarious scheme has been so blatant that one might reasonable ask if establishing such a culture has been his goal all along. How, readers might ask, does such a culture serve Sharpton’s purposes? It’s simple. Al Sharpton makes his living off of stirring up racial discord. Any time he can increase the fear and distrust that exists between black Americans and the police, and vice-versa, the more often he will be seen front and center in the middle of another controversy with racial overtones. He thrives on this kind of media attention, needs it to raise funds for his organization, and becomes irrelevant without it. By his actions it is clear that Sharpton has it in for police officers in general and is willing to say and do anything that is likely to cast them in the worst possible light.

Responsible journalists—a term that more often than not is an oxymoron these days—would ask the so-called reverend a few tough questions rather than just parroting his words in their reports. One question they might ask is this: Mr. Sharpton where are the marches and demonstrations protesting against those who murder police officers, and why aren’t you organizing such demonstrations? Another question that might be asked is: Mr. Sharpton, can you explain why these so-called innocent black men you are so quick to defend typically turn out to be violent thugs with criminal records? One final question Sharpton should be required to answer is this: Are you going to help raise the funds necessary to rebuild Ferguson’s business district that was looted and burned in the aftermath of the racial discord you stirred up there?

The growing culture of hatred toward police officers was demonstrated recently by a junior at Brandeis University, Khadijah Lynch. Following the revenge murders of NYPD Police Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu, this dimwitted college student tweeted the following messages: 1) “I have no sympathy for the nypd officers who were murdered today,” and 2) “…I just really don’t have sympathy for the cops who were shot. I hate this racist f…ing country.” Lynch who, at the time of these tweets, was the undergraduate representative in the Afro-American Studies Department of Brandeis does not limit her hatred to police officers. She has also made her hatred of Jews known and called for an intifada against the United States. If Ms. Lynch finds America so revolting a country, I can suggest a few other bright spots around the world she might want to consider for her new home. Maybe she would enjoy taking up residence in one of those garden spots in the Middle East where she would be stoned to death for speaking out and using the type of language evidenced in her tweets. If Lynch is representative of the Brandeis University student body, that storied institution has seen better days.

Let me be clear. I understand that police officers are human and that they make mistakes. During my academic career, one of the programs that came under my administration was “Criminal Justice,” which included the law enforcement academy for budding police officers. But police officers—unlike their self-promoting accusers—spend their professional careers confronting life-and-death situations in which difficult decisions must be made in a micro-second. For police officers on the streets, hesitating for just one second can result in their death or the deaths of innocent bystanders. The truth is that police officer candidates spend more time learning how to avoid using lethal force than they do learning how to apply it.

Police officers are often masters at defusing potentially violent and dangerous situations that might otherwise blow up with deadly consequences. In fact, many officers become so good at defusing dangerous situations that they are able to make it through an entire career without having to fire their service revolvers except on the re-qualification range. Yes, there are occasionally situations in which police officers who must make split-second decisions make the wrong decision, but for people who have never been in their shoes to sit in their comfortable anchor desks or behind podiums and criticize these split-second decisions is not just irresponsible, it is unconscionable.  With this in mind, I would like to have a conversation with Khadijah Lynch and Al Sharpton after they have spent just six months walking a beat on the mean streets of some of America’s rougher neighborhoods; streets like the one on which Officers Liu and Ramos were murdered. Require these ignorant, biased, self-serving blowhards to face the circumstances police officers in America face every day, and then let’s see how they feel about police officers.

One last question for Al Sharpton and his cronies in the media is this: When it comes to a confrontation between a police officer trying to do his job and a criminal breaking the law, who deserves our support more? If we are going to err in our judgments, should we not err on the side of those who put their lives on the line to protect law-abiding citizens from the predators of the world? After all, even when police officers make mistakes, they do so while trying to do their duty to protect the public in what are often impossible circumstances. This cannot be said for the young criminals Al Sharpton is so fond of defending.