Way back in last year (who can remember so far back?), Larry Elder wrote a piece about cops shooting people. The thrust of his post was that the frequency of cops killing citizens has dropped steadily, particularly amongst blacks.
By 2011, law enforcement shootings caused 2.74 deaths for every million blacks, and 1.28 deaths for every million whites. While the death-by-cop rate for whites has held pretty steady over these last 45 years, hovering just above or below the one-in-a-million level, the rate for blacks has fallen. In 1981, black deaths by cop stood at four in a million, but since 2000 has remained just above or below two in a million.
The bit he does not address is the ratio. Blacks make up 13% of the population, but make up 65% of the death by cop population. On the other hand, whites make up 73% of the population and just 35% of the death by cop community. It’s important to realize that those numbers he quotes are unreliable because the CDC does not collect the data. This is self-reported data, with the cops have discretion over what is reported.
Still, the broad outlines are good enough to wonder why blacks are so much more likely to have a violent encounter with the cops. Just using population numbers, blacks are getting offed at a rate five times higher than whites. The most obvious explanation is that blacks commit much more crime. Blacks are 13% of the population, but are responsible for 50% of the murders. When you adjust for crime rates, the violent confrontation rates make a lot more sense.
The fact is the drug game is run through the black inner city. Everyone knows this, including the cops. Baltimore, for example, is a main cross dock for the heroine trade. The drugs are smuggled in through the port, broken up and sent north and south. It’s why the cops look for young blacks driving rental cars on I-95. They are most likely moving drugs.
The cops get paid to police crime and that means they go where the crime is and that means the black inner city. The drug business is a violent business so you get a lot of violent young men attracted to it. Put the two together and you have a lot of cops chasing violent black in the drug business. The inevitable will happen, which is what drives a lot of the death by cop numbers.
There’s another thing though. Blacks hate the cops. This is true everywhere, not just the ghetto. There’s respect to be had if you give the cops a hard time. White people, even thugs, avoid hassling the cops. There’s no gain in it. Cops checking out bikers at a bar will find the bikers to be friendly and cooperative. Cops encountering a group of black males in the ghetto can count on at least one getting in his face, trying to start trouble.
It’s not just the cops. In the ghetto, one of the things you get used to seeing is young black males walking in the streets. They are just daring you to blow the horn. They will also stroll across a street against the light real slow so traffic has to stop. I’ve seen black females wait until the light is about to turn green and then walk into the crosswalk, laughing as the cars have to wait for the buffaloes to pass. It is a chaotic sense of entitlement that manifests as a random bucking of basic rules. In confrontations with the cops, this leads to violent conclusions.
I’m not sure how you fix this or if it can be fixed. Putting cameras on cops is just a way to avoid facing the facts. It lets race hustlers like Obama sort of blame the cops while pretending to look out for them. It also allows the more slippery members of the Randian cult to pretend they care about the black man. The libertarian angle here is drugs. It’s always drugs with them. But, it also lets them avoid confrontation with the Left, which is what they fear more than death.
Many conservatives believe race or racism was never a factor at all in the Brown and Garner cases, or in most of these types of cases. Many insist that the protesters were just making all this stuff up.
Who disagrees with this? Black people.
In poll after poll after poll after poll after poll—strong majorities of black Americans have consistently said that race plays a role in how law enforcement is applied and how the justice system is conducted in
We know that black teenagers are 21 times more likely to be shot by the police than whites. We know that 1 in 3 black men can expect to go to jail in their lifetime. We know that 1 in every 15 black males in the U.S. is currently incarcerated. We know black offenders receive longer sentences than white offenders. We know that despite the same rate of use of marijuana, blacks are 4 times more likely to be arrested.
You’ll note that libertarians love asking the question, but never bother to provide an answer. In this case, the question is “why do blacks believe they are at war with the police?” The obvious answer is that the Left has been preaching this to them for three generations, but the Randians can never take up that fight. Instead, they turn on the Right and blame them.
But are blacks just misperceiving these circumstances as racism, as many conservatives seem to think? Or have black men and women have observed things in their communities for a very long time that many outside their communities aren’t aware of?
Is this even a possibility? Many conservatives: Nope.
Years ago, I used to say inflammatory things as a conservative radio shock jock, “The Southern Avenger,” knowing it would generate a certain animosity, even racial.
I thought it was a badge of honor, that this was my role. I believed part of being a conservative was simply to ignore minority criticism, or perhaps to point to other minorities who agreed with me. Over the years, I’ve changed my mind significantly.
But do many and perhaps most conservatives subscribe to this mindset? I must ask—particularly given recent events and the reactions to them—is part of being conservative just not caring what black people think? It should be noted that there were diverse conservative opinions about the Eric Garner decision.
You’ll note the Randian never bothers to prove that there is something racial behind the statistics. He just throws out some numbers without finishing the thought. It’s a common trick. You, the reader, are supposed to pick up the line of thought and conclude there must be something malevolent behind those numbers. Of course, the solution will inevitably be the legalization of drugs, the only reason the Randian Cult exists.
I’m open minded about drug legalization, but I’m also skeptical about the results. There’s no free lunch. The trade-offs in legalization are more drug use, more social pathology from drug abuse and more petty crime. The welfare state will also balloon as the need to care for the addicted increases. The courthouses and jails will be less busy, but the medical system and welfare system will be much more busy.
More important, anyone who thinks legalizing drugs will solve the black ghetto problem has never set foot in the ghetto. Those corner boys slinging drugs are not going to start programming disruptive mobile apps once the drug money is gone. They will still be violent criminals looking to score. They’ll just move into something else, maybe Rand Paul’s neighborhood.