What is it about liberals? Why is their liberal narrative so important to them that they will constantly insist that fact be treated as fiction and fiction be treated as fact? Why are they so challenged by basic arithmetic?
Recently, the New York Times, bemoaning the tragic killing of a young, African-American in Cleveland, Ohio claimed that too often police behaved as an “occupying force” in communities with large numbers of African Americans.
Let me be as clear as possible on this matter. Misconduct by police, abuse of their position or willfully imposing physical harm on citizens without cause is wrong and must not to be tolerated. This is true independent of race, gender, age or anything else of the victim.
This said; a reality check is needed.
On the one hand, liberals demand that minority neighborhoods not be “ignored,” that these neighborhoods receive protection. On the other hand, liberals demand law enforcement officials be absolutely perfect in the decisions they make in the heat of the moment. This past summer, one professor applauded that a policeman apparently used the proper amount of force by firing only one shot at a person attacking him with a weapon. We, literally, are parsing the number of bullets it is proper to fire when clearly in harm’s way.
Here is a hard truth. The level of violence that exists in our inner cities with large numbers of African Americans is astoundingly high. For starters, African Americans are roughly 13 percent of the population, yet commit nearly half of the murders in the United States. Quite obviously, it follows African Americans will be arrested “disproportionately” (relative to the population of the whole country) for such crimes.
In a front page story, The Washington Post recently told the story of 12 of the 162 D.C. homicide victims of 2015. Overwhelmingly, those killed were part of a minority community.
In nearby Baltimore, the number of murders reached more than 300 in 2015. Again, overwhelmingly, these victims were non-whites.
Not surprisingly, the mainstream media seemingly ignores this reality.
Inspired by the Tamir Rice case, Washington Post reporter Lonnae O’Neal recently called on the public “to get off the sidelines.” She concluded that the “killing of black bodies by the state, without accountability, is unsustainable.”
She is not alone. The overarching narrative is that African Americans are being hunted down in the streets by our police. The daily carnage of African Americans largely killing other African Americans is given short shrift.
Ask yourself: Do you know more about these incidental instances of police killings or the basic statistics?
To those more aware of exceptions of minority abuse than the norm of inner-city crime, I would ask they do three things.
First, shadow the police as they go into neighborhoods where violence and law breaking is rampant. Watch, as they have to make life and death decisions, ones where they could well lose their lives, in real time. Then, decide if your suspicions are well founded.
Second, hear what Paul Trantham, ANC Commissioner of the majority-African American Ward 8 of D.C. – dubbed violent by the Post – had to say recently about the 54 percent increase in the number of killings in Washington, D.C. “So many people want to blame the mayor, blame the police, but the police and mayor are not the ones out here shooting people and killing people. It is the people within our communities,” said Trantham.
Third, understand that demonizing the police has consequences. At a time when D.C. witnessed this 54 percent increase in homicides, the number of police in the District fell below 3,800 officers, the lowest in a decade. It is hardly stretching logic to conclude that a lot of men and women have decided the public does not support the police, and they now are unwilling to put themselves at risk. That is both physical risk and risk to reputation.
Are there bad cops? Yes, and we should do everything we can to eliminate them and punish them for any wrongdoing. Will cops make mistakes? Yes, however, the context is more a matter of making life and death decisions in real time than it is an indication of any racism. Even in Baltimore, the cop being tried for the death of an African American was an African American himself.
Instead of pretending that the dominant evil that besets inner city African Americans is cops running amok, let’s get honest about things. Let’s get past the bumper strip mentality. Let’s get real about things and work to eliminate the incredible amount of black on black crime. Let’s accept facts as being facts.
Liberals strongly assert that it is primarily poverty that is to be blamed for the violence levels that exist in African American communities. That may well be the case. If so, then it makes sense to emphasize those things that help put someone above the poverty line. In the United States, if a person does only three things—graduates from high school, does not get married until graduating from high school, and does not have children unless they are married—the odds of living above the poverty line is in excess of 90 percent. Rather than dismiss these sorts of things as being “white culture” or matters of “white privilege,” we ought to say they are the stuff of a culture that can sustain itself.
Violence in African American communities is horrifically high. We can either spend a lot of time demonizing our police for a minority of misdeeds and honest mistakes, or we can spend that time working to eliminate the poverty that so highly correlates to levels of violence. For the latter to happen, we will need the mainstream media to start to be honest about the facts and what stories they choose to emphasize. Just as important, we need our leaders—white and black—to work together to change the culture and realities that exist in African American communities.