Despite the revelation that half of the officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray – the incident that led to the Baltimore riots – are black, the narrative that black people are being disproportionately and unfairly targeted by predominantly white police officers and a racist criminal justice system in the United States continues to dominate.
This has led to the growth of a divisive movement – ‘Black Lives Matter’ – which has only served to further polarize America down racial lines, obsessing on skin color and invoking white guilt, while ignoring the true causes of and solutions to police brutality.
Until the following facts become part of the conversation, we’re never going to see a real reduction in the number of violent confrontations involving black people and police officers. But the mainstream media, political leaders and white people in general are afraid to even mention these facts for fear of being labeled racist.
I’m not here to win any popularity contests. I genuinely care about less black people and less police officers dying in the streets. So I’m going to give it to you straight.
Black people in the United States are more likely to be victims of violent confrontations with police officers than whites because they commit more violent crimes than whites per capita.
– FACT: Despite making up just 13% of the population, blacks commit around half of homicides in the United States. DOJ statistics show that between 1980 and 2008, blacks committed 52% of homicides, compared to 45% of homicides committed by whites.
More up to date FBI statistics tell a similar story. In 2013, black criminals carried out 38% of murders, compared to 31.1% for whites, again despite the fact that there are five times more white people in the U.S.
– FACT: From 2011 to 2013, 38.5 per cent of people arrested for murder, manslaughter, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault were black. This figure is three times higher than the 13% black population figure. When you account for the fact that black males aged 15-34, who account for around 3% of the population, are responsible for the vast majority of these crimes, the figures are even more staggering.
– FACT: Despite the fact that black people commit an equal or greater number of violent crimes than whites, whites are almost TWICE as likely to be killed by police officers.
According to data from the Centers for Disease Control, between 1999 and 2011, 2,151 whites died as a result of being shot by police compared to 1,130 blacks.
Critics argue that black people are overrepresented in these figures because they only represent 13% of the population, but they are underrepresented if you factor in violent crime offenders. In other words, you would expect the number of blacks and whites killed by police to be roughly equal given that they commit a roughly equal number of violent crimes, but that’s not the case. Whites are nearly 100% more likely to be victims.
And what about black on white violence in general?
– FACT: Despite being outnumbered by whites five to one, blacks commit eight times more crimes against whites than vice-versa, according to FBI statistics from 2007. A black male is 40 times as likely to assault a white person as the reverse. These figures also show that interracial rape is almost exclusively black on white.
“Even allowing for the existence of discrimination in the criminal justice system, the higher rates of crime among black Americans cannot be denied,” wrote James Q. Wilson and Richard Herrnstein in their widely cited 1985 study, “Crime and Human Nature.” “Every study of crime using official data shows blacks to be overrepresented among persons arrested, convicted, and imprisoned for street crimes.”
It’s clear that the greater propensity for black people to commit violent crimes is a driving factor as to why blacks are becoming involved in more violent confrontations with police than their 13% population figure suggests they should be. If the 911 calls are coming from black areas and are related to black people committing violent crimes, then of course black people are more likely to be involved in violent confrontations with cops.
Does that justify police brutality in cases such as Freddie Gray, Walter Scott or Eric Garner? No. But it does demolish the ‘Black Lives Matter’ narrative that the general trend of black people being victims of violent encounters with police is solely down to the fact that cops are racist towards black people. Racism is a factor, but the statistics clearly show that it’s by no means the only factor, and some would argue not even the dominant factor.
But aren’t all these statistics undermined by the fact that black people are unfairly targeted and framed for crimes by police officers in the first place? Don’t higher arrest and conviction rates of blacks merely prove that police are racist? This argument is debunked by looking at the proportion of offenders identified – not by police – but by victims – as black. The National Crime Victimization Survey shows that the number of blacks arrested generally correlates with the number of offenders identified as black by victims.
Studies suggest that the reasons behind blacks being more likely to commit violent crimes are the dual issues of poverty (which exacerbates family breakdown) and a sub-culture amongst the black community that is tolerant of and glamorizes crime and violence. In the aftermath of the Ferguson and Baltimore riots, we saw the white metropolitan liberal media further legitimize this violence by openly justifying and even endorsing violent unrest that targeted mainly black-owned businesses.
This is true racism – by encouraging blacks to loot and riot, the white liberal media is helping to keep black communities in a cycle of destructive behavior that will lead to more police brutality targeted against black people.
Police brutality is a huge problem within the United States, and anyone that denies that fact is a part of the problem. But until we acknowledge and address the equally important issue of violent criminality within the black community, and until that becomes part of the national conversation, the issue is never going to be resolved.
And by failing to make these facts part of the conversation, black political leaders, protest organizers, and the white liberal media is complicit in perpetuating the chain reaction of violence that makes more police brutality against black people an inevitable outcome.