Is Racism a Two-Way Street?

 Protesters march against police shootings and racism during a rally in Washington, DC. Let’s look at some of the facts regarding the cry of “police racism”. Do the facts back up this cry? Photo credit: Rena Schild / Shutterstock.com, licensed.

DELRAY BEACH, FL – Since the unfortunate killing of George Floyd, in Minneapolis, we’ve heard a cacophony of rhetoric claiming that black people are systematically being killed by the police. Is that a fair, honest statement? During hysterical times, unsubstantiated charges are made to heighten the emotions of certain people looking for a cause to advance their agenda.

Police officers and local businesses seem to be the target of organized, violent, anarchistic groups (like ANTIFA and BLM), by using the unfortunate killing of an unarmed black man by the police. Most people seeing that video of George Floyd being held down, which caused his death, unanimously condemn that police action. But, is that “systematic racism” on the part of the police or is that a rare instance of police misconduct?

Let’s look at some of the facts regarding the cry of “police racism”. Do the facts back up this cry? Here are the facts (as reported by the FBI and Heather MacDonald of the Manhattan Institute).

  1. According to the FBI, the police kill somewhat more than 400 people a year, 1/3 of them black.
  2. In New York City, blacks are 23% of the New York population, but they commit 75% of all shootings, 70% of all robberies, and 66% of all violent crimes.
  3. Whites are 33% of the city’s population, but they commit less than 2% of all shootings, 4% of all robberies, and 5% of all violent crimes.

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Those disparities mean that every time the police in New York are called out after a shooting, they are summoned to a minority neighborhood looking for minority suspects (in Chicago there are approximately 500 killings per year, mostly all black on black shootings). The black death rate is a function of the black crime rate. The national rate of homicide committed by blacks is 8 times of those of whites and Hispanics combined. Black males between the ages of 14-20 commit homicides at the rate of 10 times the rate of white and Hispanic teens.

The local and state leaders have denounced widespread “white racism” as if every white American killed George Floyd. Apparently, individual liberty and responsibility have been replaced by group guilt. Peaceful protest is a right according to our Constitution, and is a method to be utilized by all to allow their voices to be heard. But, no one has a right to destroy the community because of a perceived wrong by an individual. We have elected officials and law enforcement who seem to be missing in action. They have abdicated their authority to maintain law and order in their communities, and then have the audacity of blaming President Trump for their failures.

The reports about the “alleged epidemic” of “widespread” and “race based” police brutality against blacks and the lack of confidence in justice, in that justice will not be done in the Floyd case. The trouble with those assertions are that they are false, and not supported by the data.

In 2019, there were 9 unarmed black victims of police shootings which represented 0.1% of all African-Americans killed during 2019. By contrast, a police officer is 18 ½ times more likely to be killed by a black male than an unarmed black male is to killed by a police officer. Is that black racism?

So, rather than being a blanket indictment of all white people being racist, the facts don’t back up that incendiary charge. In fact, if you paint all white people with the brush of racism, you could also paint the brush of racism against all black people. Neither charge would be correct, no matter what the “racial arsonists” proclaim to the contrary.

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