Victor Davis Hanson writes for about persistent divisions involving race.

Recently an unarmed 29-year-old African American, Tyre Nichols, was brutally beaten to death by five Black Memphis police officers. They were charged with murder. All belonged to a special crime unit known as the Scorpions.

Both the victimizers and victim were Black. The Memphis police chief is Black. The assistant police chief is Black.

Nearly 60 percent of the police force is Black. The white population of Memphis is about 25%.

The now-disbanded Scorpion unit of mostly Black officers was created as a response to grassroots appeals to stop spiraling crime in mostly Black neighborhoods.

The death of Tyre Nichols could be attributed to many things: a basic lack of humanity on the part of the officers, poor police training, lax administrative supervision, and lowered hiring standards.

Instead, no sooner was the beating death announced than accusations of “systemic racism” surfaced.

Van Jones, the former Obama Administration green czar and recent recipient of Jeff Bezos’ $100 million “courage and civility award,” pronounced on CNN that the Black police oppressors were acting out white racism.

Some claimed that charging the five Black officers with murder was itself racist. Others alleged that creating the unit in the first place to reduce Black-on-black crime was racist.

Yet, when everything becomes racist, then nothing in particular can be racist.

About the same time, the city of San Francisco, along with the state of California, was exploring paying out huge cash reparations to its African-American residents for the ancestral sin of slavery.

That evil institution was abolished some 158 years ago through the Civil War that killed some 700,000 Americans.

Yet California was always a free state with no history of slavery.

No resident of America in six generations has been either a slave or slave owner.

Such multibillion-dollar payouts apparently are to be funded by a nearly bankrupt state facing a $25 billion budget shortfall.