Professor Jacobson may be taking a much needed sanity break from the Saturday Night Card game, but the social justice warriors continue to draw from the bottom of the deck.

The most shocking aspect of one of the race-based demonstrations that occurred Saturday: It was in the heart of one of the most elite, “culturally sensitive” centers of the country — Hollywood.

Hundreds of people taking part in a nationwide protest against police brutality staged a die-in Saturday in the same busy Hollywood intersection where a man allegedly armed with a knife was shot and killed by Los Angeles police officers the previous night.

As they marched through the streets of Hollywood during the afternoon hours, demonstrators chanted “Hands up, don’t shoot” and “I can’t breathe,” refrains heard around the nation in protest following the fatal shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and the choke hold death of Eric Garner in New York. Both men died at the hands of police.

Protesters also staged a “die-in” at the intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and North Highland Avenue, where less than 24 hours earlier, police fatally shot a man after law enforcement officials said he did not comply with officer orders.

The demonstrators blocked traffic in the area and essentially shut the busy intersection down for a time.

A photo spread via Twitter will give you a sense of the scene.

LI #34b

Some of the other Tweets of note:

As a citizen activist who has organized a few demonstrations with SoCal Tax Revolt Coalition, I would like to note that this demonstration looks as if a significant amount of pre-planning went into it. I noticed the professionally done signs, for example. And much effort went in to ensuring the attendees were all in black. If we Tea Party types had done as much, we would have been smeared as “astroturfed”.

(Nevermind, we were deemed astroturf anyway).

And while I am gratified that the organizers stressed the peaceful aspect of the march, I have to wonder if we have two more years of these events in store, as the administration and black leadership try to keep Americans focused on anything other than the weak economy and their roles in perpetuating it.

The signs memorializing Eric Garner in the mix also caught my eye. Here is common ground that we Tea Party types may find with the #BlackoutHollywood protesters, if they focus on the prime reason Garner drew police attention in the first place.

In National Review, Jonah Goldberg makes the case that New York’s cigarette taxes are partly to blame for Garner’s death.

But you know what reasonable people can’t dispute? New York’s cigarette taxes are partly to blame for Eric Garner’s death.

Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky made this point Wednesday night on MSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews, and liberals have been freaking out about it ever since.

“I think it’s hard not to watch that video of him saying, ‘I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe,’ and not be horrified by it,” Paul said. “But I think there’s something bigger than the individual circumstances. . . . I think it’s also important to know that some politician put a tax of $5.85 on a pack of cigarettes, so that’s driven cigarettes underground by making them so expensive. But then some politician also had to direct the police to say, ‘Hey we want you arresting people for selling a loose cigarette.’ . . . For someone to die over breaking that law, there really is no excuse for it. But I do blame the politicians. We put our police in a difficult situation with bad laws.”

…New York City declared war on tobacco a long time ago, and in the process City Hall has become addicted to Brobdingnagian cigarette taxes. That’s why law enforcement is enforcing the laws against bootleg smokes.

Of course, reasonable people can debate the wisdom of such laws. But only unreasonable people can deny that those laws are partly to blame. Without laws making cigarettes more expensive, Eric Garner would be alive today, period.

Here’s to hoping that today’s protests remain peaceful, and that we may one day retire the Saturday Night Race Card game permanently.  Regular Americans have much more in common with each other than the elites would have us believe.