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Beckman: Statistics show there is no war on Blacks



Screen Shot 2020-06-29 at 9.03.17 AM
Al Jazeera photo

By Hank Beckman –

“Each day I wake up wondering if this is the day I’m going to die because of the color of my skin,” the young Black girl said  at the first La Grange protest over the murder of Minneapolis resident George Floyd.

She looked to be a middle school student; maybe a high school freshman.

With the large crowds and a mediocre sound system, it was hard to make out everything she was saying. But most of it seemed to fit right into the general tenor of the protest, which was your basic White Guilt meeting. The crowd of what appeared to be a thousand mostly young people spent a couple of hours marching, chanting the usual slogans, (no justice, no peace…no racist police) and carrying the usual signs, (Black Lives Matter, silence is consent, White silence=violence).

Not knowing her personally, it’s hard to tell whether her fear is based on real-life experience, or if she’s been led to believe that she is in mortal danger from White cops by the Democratic/media/Hollywood noise machine from which most of us can’t escape.

We could give her the benefit of the doubt; the world is indeed a bad place where people routinely do horrible things to one another. White people are obviously not immune to that impulse, as George Floyd’s murder proves.

But even a cursory glance at crime statistics shows that her fear is unwarranted. She has a better chance of growing up to be a doctor or lawyer than she does of being killed because of the color of her skin. And a better chance of losing her life to another Black person, in which case the color of her skin is irrelevant.

A recent study conducted by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences compiled a comprehensive data base of police-involved shootings in 2015 and found “no evidence of anti-Black or anti-Hispanic disparities across shootings, and White officers are not more likely to shoot minority civilians than non-White officers.”

There are also various studies that show that Blacks are overrepresented in arrests for the type of crime that typically results in an encounters with police. While some would insist that racial bias is behind some of those arrests—and many of the studies only show arrests, not convictions—it’s worth noting that those numbers closely track with the number of offenders typically identified as Black in National Crime Victimization Surveys.

But we have to assume that the fear this young girl expressed is genuine. Kids that age tend not to be as cynical and dishonest as the race-hustlers, politicians, and other adults that use this issue for their own personal reasons. She’s afraid because many in our ruling class have been working overtime to convince the nation that a race war has been unleashed on Blacks in recent years.

The modern narrative that blacks are being persecuted and hunted down by police and other whites got started with Barack Obama’s reaction to an incident with Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and the Cambridge, Mass. police.

Gates couldn’t get his front door opened one night because it had been jammed shut, possibly by someone trying to gain illegal entry. He entered the residence through the back door but continued to attempt to get in the front. A neighbor reported a possible burglary in process and when the police responded there was a heated exchange resulting in a Gates’s arrest.

The charges were shortly dropped and would quickly have been forgotten, but Obama decided to inject race into the situation. Admitting that he didn’t have all the facts, he nonetheless maintained that the police had “acted stupidly,” and launched into the standard narrative about Blacks and other minorities being persecuted by police. Who needs the facts when there’s an issue to demagogue?

The hashtag Black Lives Matter started appearing on social media after the 2013 acquittal of George Zimmerman in the killing of Trayvon Martin. Again Obama felt compelled to speak out, noting that if he had a son, he would look like Trayvon.

But the group Black Lives Matter was officially formed after the police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.

What was portrayed in many media accounts as a cold-blooded lynching of a “gentle giant” who was begging for life (“hands-up, don’t shoot”) was actually a justified shooting of a giant thug who was attacking the officer and trying to get his weapon away from him.

Surveillance cameras show Brown attacking a diminutive convenience store owner while committing a robbery shortly before attacking the officer. Witnesses, all black, testified that, far from begging the officer not to shoot, Brown was assaulting him with malicious intent.

A grand jury refused to return an indictment against the officer  and, try as it might, Eric Holder’s Justice Department could find no evidence of police misconduct or racial bias in the case.

To get a flavor of how the dishonest narrative works, a database maintained by the Washington Post shows that 1,025 people have been shot and killed by police in 2019, with Blacks being killed since 2015 at a rate of 31 per million, Hispanics at 23 per million, and Whites at 13 per million.

The news organization that seems to exist these days for no other purpose than to destroy the Trump administration gives away its bias when it maintains that “Black Americans are killed at a much higher rate than white Americans.”

Conveniently left out is any mention of the Black crime rate, or any hint of how often the police respond to calls resulting in interaction with black citizens. While 371 Whites being killed as opposed to 236 Blacks in one year might look like Blacks being killed at “a much higher rate,” given the racial makeup of the nation. But that only make sense if one ignores Black’s overrepresentation in crime statistics. Which, of course, was precisely what the WP did.

And as Tucker Carlson recently pointed out, the WP failed to note that of the 10 unarmed blacks killed by police in 2019, only two were the result of police malfeasance resulting in an officer being charged with a crime.

In the remaining eight cases, all were either in the process of committing a crime or attacking police officers; two with cars. I’ll leave it to the reader to decide whether a car is a weapon.

So unless the young girl I mentioned at the beginning of this column is planning on engaging in criminal activity or attacking a police officer, she has an excellent chance of avoiding being killed because of the color of her skin.

George Floyd’s murder was horrible and clearly not justified by any reasonable person’s idea of a threat. But it represents a tiny fraction of interactions between police and citizens of any color.

There is no war on Blacks, not by the police, not by White people, and not by any other group. In fact, available statistics on interracial crime suggest that if there is any ongoing conflict between the two races, Blacks are winning; but that’s a topic for another column.

But many on the left would have you believe otherwise. Oprah Winfrey opined that Floyd’s killing was “much like the days of Jim Crow, where Black men would be lynched and dragged through the town as an example for others to see.”  Attorney Benjamin Crump regularly describes Black people in modern-day America as being the victims of genocide. And failed presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke claims that “police shoot Blacks solely based on the color of their skin.”

Those are just three examples of prominent citizens spinning fairy tales of modern-day atrocities being committed against Black Americans. Countless other examples can be found in media and governments

 across the nation, especially if your local mayor happens to be a Democrat.

It is a complete lie spread by the left and contradicted by all available evidence. All it succeeds in doing is fomenting racial resentment and hatred in an era that needs no added tension.

They should be ashamed of themselves.


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