Black Lives Matter, Or Black Lies Matter?

in Culture/Politics by
   

Just as FBI Director James Comey confirmed for the world that Hillary Clinton chronically lied about having compromised national security, the “Black Lives Matter” (BLM) crowd stole the media spotlight from the disgraced Democratic presidential nominee.

The shooting deaths of Alton Sterling in Louisiana and Philando Castile in Minnesota by police have resurrected with a vengeance the narrative of Racist Police vs. Innocent Black Victims: In cities around the country, so goes this tale, police officers are busy “huntingand killing” black men.

On July 7, the logic of this rhetoric culminated in the shooting of a dozen Dallas police officers, of whom five died, and two civilians.

Speaking candidly, I believe that the black Sheriff of Milwaukee County, David Clarke, had it right when he renamed Black Lives Matter “Black Lies Matter.”  Clarke also called on Americans of all races, but particularly white Americans who have been intimidated by threats of “racism” for far too long, to stand up to these racial arsonists.

I accept the challenge.

Black Criminality

For starters, there can be no honest discussion of police brutality vis-à-vis blacks unless there is an honest discussion of the astonishingly high rate of black criminality.

Barack Obama’s DOJ—recently released numbers on race and crime that may come as a quite unpleasant surprise to those invested in promoting the notion that blacks are perpetual victims of  “white racism.”

In 2013, blacks were six times more likely to commit murder than non-blacks (whites, Hispanics, Asians) and twelve times more likely to murder someone of another race.  For nearly every category of crime, blacks were found to be perpetrators at a higher rate than that of any other racial group.

Larry Elder is a black writer and syndicated talk radio host who was born and bred in South Central Los Angeles. He castigates racial agitators for not conceding that “blacks commit half of all street crime in America.” Elder implores his audience to concede the “fact…that nearly 40 percent of violent crimes—murder, attempted murder, non-negligent manslaughter, and aggravated assault”—are not just committed by blacks, but by “young black men, who account for no more than 3 percent of the nation’s population.”

As far as interracial crime is concerned, three years ago, there were 660,000 such crimes involving whites and blacks. In 85% of these cases, blacks were the perpetrators.  Ed Rubenstein places this in perspective: “This meant [that] a black person was 27 times more likely to attack a white person than vice versa.”

Blacks and Police

Heather MacDonald is a resident scholar at the Manhattan Institute. Her most recently published book,

The War on Cops: How the New Attack on Law and Order Makes Everyone less safe,  is a searing indictment of what she refers to as “the myth” of the BLM movement.

In point of fact, relative to the white and Hispanic homicide rate, death-by-police comprises a significantly larger proportion than it comprises for the black homicide rate: 12 percent of white and Hispanic killings occur at the hands of police, versus only 4 percent for blacks.  “So,” MacDonald concludes, “if we’re going to have an Anti-Cop Lives movement, it would make more sense to call it White and Hispanic Lives Matter.”

In spite of constituting a smaller percentage of the country’s population than whites and even Hispanics, more blacks—over 6,000—are killed each year than are all white and Hispanic homicide victims combined.  This, though, is because blacks, who are eight times more likely than non-blacks to commit homicide, kill at a much higher rate than do the members of any other racial group, and most blacks—93 percent—die at the hands of other blacks.

Thus, police, who exist in order to save lives, have a strong presence in just those areas—black areas—where lives are most at risk.

But there’s more.

Black males, in spite of comprising no more than six percent of the population, were responsible for 40 percent of all police shootings (When it is considered that young black males, who compose the bulk of criminal suspects, make up only about one to three percent of the national population, this figure becomes even more staggering). This means that a police officer is more than 18 times more likely to be shot by a black male than an unarmed black male is to be shot by an officer.

Another interesting tidbit that threatens the BLM narrative is that recent studies have shown that while there is racial bias in police shootings of suspects, it is actually whites who get the short end of the stick of it.  As the Washington Post reports, “even with white officers who do have racial biases, officers are three times less likely to shoot unarmed black suspects than unarmed white suspects.”

Officers also take more time before shooting at black suspects than they take before shooting at white suspects.

The Post quotes researcher Lois James, of Washington State, who adds that officers are “significantly less likely to mistakenly shoot unarmed black suspects than unarmed white suspects.”

Roland Fryer, a black economist at Harvard and the youngest black person to have ever received tenure at this institution, conducted his own study which coincides with the findings of the Washington State University researchers that black suspects are not shot by police more so than are white suspects.  “On the most extreme use of force—officer-involved shootings—we find no racial differences in either raw data or when contextual factors are taken into account.”

Fryer referred to this as “the most surprising result of my career.”  Doubtless, Fryer suffered profound cognitive dissonance when facts conflicted head-on with the heady racial rhetoric of the day.

In March of 2015, the Justice Department released a report in which it found that in the city of Philadelphia, black and Hispanic officers were substantially more likely than white officers to shoot black suspects under the mistaken belief that they were armed.  Greg Ridgeway, a criminologist at the University of Pennsylvania who was the former director of the National Institute of Justice, found that in New York City, black officers were 3.3. times more likely than non-black officers to shoot at crime scenes involving guns.

Sheriff David Clarke’s verdict that BLM should stand for “Black Lies Matter” now appears that much more justified.

Jack Kerwick received his doctoral degree in philosophy from Temple University. His area of specialization is ethics and political philosophy. He is a professor of philosophy at several colleges and universities in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

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