No one could reasonably argue against the statement that black lives matter (although, oddly enough, some people argue against the statement that all lives matter). However, beyond that simple statement, there is much that comes out of the rhetoric of the BLM movement that has little to do with the truth.
The main claim of the Black Lives Matter movement is that blacks are killed by police disproportionately to the black share of the population, and this proves the police are racist.
Criminology is a field that is largely dominated by liberals, thus suffers from liberal bias. However, fortunately, it is still possible to get some glimpses of truth, thanks in large part to the work of criminologist Heather MacDonald.
Here are a few facts that Ms. MacDonald has put together:
“Harvard economics professer Roland Fryer analyzed more than 1,000 officer-involved shootings across the country. He concluded that there is zero evidence of racial bias in police shootings.”
Is this really possible when BLM is so convinced that there is racial bias?
“An analysis of federal police crime statstics and the Washington Post police shooting database shows that fully 12% of all whites and hispanics who die of homicide are killed by cops.
“In contrast, only 4% of black homicide victims are killed by cops.”
Whoa there! That isn’t fair. So about 1 in 8 white and Hispanic homicide deaths are at the hands of the police, and only about 1 in 25 black homicide deaths are at the hands of the police. Should we have a “white and Hispanic lives matter” movement?
What it all comes down to is this: Police officers are more likely to have tense interactions and feel threatened when they are investigating violent crimes, or interacting with violent criminals. So the numbers we need to look at are: what share of violent crimes do blacks commit? Back to Ms. MacDonald:
“According to the most recent study by the Dept. of Justice, although blacks were only about 15% of the population in the 75 largest counties in the U.S., they were charged with 62% of all robberies, 57% of murders, and 45% of assaults.”
So, one would expect about 50% of police shooting victims would be black, then, right? Actually, it’s about 36%.
“In fact, a police officer is more than 18.5 times more likely to be killed by a black male, than an unarmed black male is to be killed by a police officer.”
Maybe we need a “police lives matter” movement then?
I can agree with a sentiment that too many blacks are killed. However, blaming black police shooting deaths on police racism is simply not supported by the facts. It would be a plus if activists did some homework on these facts before alleging racism. In fact, accusing people of racism when there isn’t clear evidence to support it is, in itself, quite hateful.
In response to the BLM movement, police departments all over the country are wasting their scarce resources on “Implicit Bias Training”, which is a hoax. The police actually “need more hands-on tactical training to avoid ending up in a position that requires the use of force. Officers need tools for keeping their cool in highly charged, hostile encounters. They should practice de-escalating confrontations and gaining voluntary compliance. Some officers pay out of their own pocket for tactical training, since their departments offer too little of it. But now there will be less time and departmental money available for the necessary skills upgrades because precious training resources are being diverted to the implicit-bias industry.”
The black community does have a homicide problem in the inner cities, and the source of this problem is black criminals. The police are there primarily to help protect the black community from their own criminal element.
Are there problems with individual officers, or with certain police departments? No doubt. It would be unrealistic to expect that out of a million or so law enforcement officers (adding up local, state, and federal), there would be no racists.
And when there is clear evidence that a department or individual may be acting on racial bias, all fair-minded individuals can support an investigation. However, considering that the BLM movement has had a rather distant relationship with the facts, it is logical to take their claims with a large grain of salt. (Have they ever named any police departments that they think are not racist?)
Ironically, there is evidence which suggests that the Black Lives Matters movement is having a detrimental effect on… black lives. The BLM movement began in 2014, after a police shooting of a black criminal in Ferguson, MO. Since that time, police have become less pro-active in their police work, with 72% saying “their colleagues are less willing now to stop and question people who seem suspicious or to use force when it is appropriate to do so”. There is a danger that this could result in more crime, including more homicides. This has been dubbed the “Ferguson Effect” by criminologist Heather MacDonald.
From 2014 to 2015, the number of black homicide victims increased by 900, “the largest one-year increase in nearly fifty years.” This was followed by another increase of 900 from 2015 to 2016. So, altogether, 2,700 more blacks have died from homicide in 2015 and 2016, compared to what the number would have been if the 2014 rate had held constant rather than dramatically rising.
In 2015, a total of 258 or 306 blacks were killed by police, depending on what source you believe. In 2016, 233 blacks were shot by police. So the increase in black homicide deaths, which may be a result of the Ferguson Effect, was many times the total number of blacks killed by police in 2015 and 2016.
While criminologists disagree on whether the Ferguson Effect is real (remember: most criminologists are hampered by a leftist bias), a person who believes that black lives actually matter could reasonably conclude that the Black Lives Matter movement is costing black lives.
I do think there is evidence that in some places, blacks are unfairly targeted for traffic stops. However, here again, it is important to look at the evidence and not just gullibly swallow any claim against the police that is made.
Remember the basic principle of justice: The truth, as best we can know it, is determined through evidence, not feelings. Keep your eye on the evidence.
For example, according to the National Institute of Justice, often differences in traffic stop patterns result from differences in behavior (in some places, blacks speed more or wear seatbelts less than whites), or differences in exposure to the police (because there is a greater police presence in high-crime neighborhoods). “In Savannah, Ga., trained observers accompanied police officers on 132 tours…. The authors concluded that the results did not support the perception that a high level of discrimination occurs prior to a traffic stop.”
In New Jersey, a study showed that blacks sped at a far higher rate than whites did. The gap was especially large with the fastest speeders. The Justice Department has suppressed the results of this study, giving some illogical excuses. The troopers’ union believes the Justice Department is motivated by a desire to withhold information which would damage the Justice Department’s claim that the troopers were racially profiling. (Some of the conclusions of the study have been leaked, but we don’t have the whole study.)
Of course, it is still possible that the troopers were racially profiling. I don’t have all the facts in the case. However, it is concerning that the Justice Department did not want to release evidence that was in the troopers’ favor. This makes me suspect an anti-cop bias on the part of the Justice Department.
In a fair debate, the BLM crowd would lose every single time. In a matter of minutes, everyone would understand how the BLM movement is actually costing more black lives. However, SJWs have used their power and privilege to totally stack the deck in their favor. One of their main tools is called “micro-aggressions”, which are intended to protect minorities but end up doing them even more harm! Read on, right now, by clicking the link down on the right….