F.B.I. Director Speaks Out on Race and Police Bias

Michael S. Schmidt, New York Times, February 12, 2015

The F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, delivered an unusually candid speech on Thursday about the difficult relationship between the police and African-Americans, saying that officers who work in neighborhoods where blacks commit crimes at a high rate develop a cynicism that shades their attitudes about race.

Citing the song “Everyone’s a Little Bit Racist” from the Broadway show “Avenue Q,” he said police officers of all races viewed black and white men differently. In an address to students at Georgetown University, Mr. Comey said that some officers scrutinize African-Americans more closely using a mental shortcut that “becomes almost irresistible and maybe even rational by some lights” because black men are arrested at much higher rates than white men.

In speaking about racial issues at such length, Mr. Comey used his office in a way that none of his predecessors had. His remarks also went beyond what President Obama and Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. have said since an unarmed black teenager, Michael Brown, was killed by a white police officer in Ferguson, Mo., in August.

Mr. Comey said that his speech, which was well received by law enforcement officials, was motivated by his belief that the country had not “had a healthy dialogue” since the protests began in Ferguson and that he did not “want to see those important issues drift away.”


Mr. Comey said there was significant research showing that all people have unconscious racial biases. Law enforcement officers, he said, need “to design systems and processes to overcome that very human part of us all.”


Unlike Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York and Mr. Holder, who were roundly faulted by police groups for their critical remarks about law enforcement, Mr. Comey, a former prosecutor whose grandfather was a police chief in Yonkers, was praised for his remarks.

Ron Hosko, the president of the Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund and a former senior F.B.I. official, said that while Mr. Holder’s statements about policing and race after the Ferguson shooting had placed the blame directly on the police, Mr. Comey’s remarks were far more nuanced and thoughtful.


Mr. Comey said the police had received most of the blame in episodes like the Ferguson shooting and the death of an unarmed black man in Staten Island who was placed in a chokehold by an officer, but law enforcement was “not the root cause of problems in our hardest-hit neighborhoods.”

In many of those areas, blacks grow up “in environments lacking role models, adequate education and decent employment,” he said.


Mr. Comey concluded by quoting Dr. King, who said, “We must all learn to live together as brothers, or we will all perish together as fools.”

“We all have work to do–hard work to do, challenging work–and it will take time,” Mr. Comey said. “We all need to talk, and we all need to listen, not just about easy things, but about hard things, too. Relationships are hard. Relationships require work. So let’s begin. It is time to start seeing one another for who and what we really are.”

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  • JohnEngelman

    Males from the ages of about 15 to 29 are more likely to engage in violent crime than others of their race. Blacks have a crime rate that is eight times the white rate.

    Therefore it is reasonable to be wary about young black males. It says bad things about the political climate in the United States that this is controversial.

    • LHathaway

      Blacks have a violent crime rate that is 8 times the national rate, but over 10 times the White rate? Examining victims surveys, it appears whites who commit crimes are more likely than blacks to be caught and apprehended. That could be why there are over 1 million white men in prison right now in the USA. As to why the-powers-that-be would look at this and decide the justice system is unfair to blacks is anyone’s guess. That’s what we do a lot here.

      • No, Whites aren’t more likely to get caught. In areas where we Whites live, police have the time to investigate public drunkenness, dis orderly conduct, loitering, etc. In the black areas, you have to shoot someone for police to get involved.

    • slobotnavich

      I’m working on a Sci-Fi screen-play right now with the title “When Negroes Attack!”

      • They already did that. It was called “Birth of a Nation.” Same thing.

  • Citing the song “Everyone’s a Little Bit Racist” from the Broadway show “Avenue Q,” he said police officers of all races viewed black and white men differently.

    Yeah, I’m sure ole J. Edgar Hoover, when he was getting the FBI off the ground in the 1920s, sought out the scores from Al Jolson productions on Broadway for ideas on bureau policy and protocols. Remember that Jolson often performed in blackface in his early days.

    • LHathaway

      I read J. Edgar Hoover’s ‘Master of Deceit’. In it, he comes off as a reasonable man.

  • Chip Carver

    I’ll say it again: Another bureaucrat toeing the PC line in the hopes of gaining some sort of promotion or whatever else has been promised to Western leaders who sell out whites.

    • TomIron361

      Another bureaucrat toeing the PC line
      Very well said. When the end of the Soviet Union came and the commies needed some good men to save themselves, all they had left were toady bureaucrats. That was the end of them, just like it will be the end of these leftist bums we see in charge today.

      • Harry

        Apparatchik: “Members of the “apparat” were frequently transferred between different areas of responsibility, usually with little or no actual training for their new areas of responsibility.” (Wikipedia)
        The Chernobyl disaster was caused by an Apparatchik. Although we do not use the word in western society, more and more Obamas, Holders, Comeys (who did I miss) are being placed into positions that they have no business being in.

  • MekongDelta69

    What the leftist New York Slimes said:
    “Citing the song ‘Everyone’s a Little Bit Racist’ from the Broadway show ‘Avenue Q’…”

    What the leftist New York Slimes really wanted to say:
    “Citing the song ‘All White people are a Whole Lot Racist’ from the Broadway show ‘Avenue Q’…”

  • TruthBeTold

    C-span Washington Journal opened with this story. The first caller, a white man noted that racism against whites is a big problem in the black community. The second caller, a black woman, went on about how blacks learned to hate because of whites and dismissed Comey’s remarks as ‘a [email protected] talking to [email protected]’ (proving the first caller right).

  • dd121

    White cops have been put on notice by our elected colored overlords, that if they use conventional standards to protect themselves from negro beasts, they’re going to be targeted by the FBI and Justice Department whenever they use force to fend off minority attacks.
    Fellas if you like to work outdoors, get a farm.

    • connorhus

      Avoid them at all costs. Until the tide changes and it becomes time to chip in and do your part.

  • libertarian1234

    “….because black men are arrested at much higher rates than white men.”

    Arrested more?

    Try: Black men between 15 and 30, who are just 3% of the population, commit 58% of all violent crimes and all others many times greater than their share of the population.
    They’re certainly arrested more, but not nearly enough, because it has been conservatively estimated that about 25% of violent crimes they commit don’t result in an arrest so they therefore do not appear in the crime stats.

    This screwy FBI director should really keep his mouth shut, because he doesn’t correctly identify the problem and instead clumsily searches for reasons for black criminality in other areas because he’s a clueless fool, which is understandable since he is obviously trying to please the community organizer.

    Black crime and violence is out-of-control throughout the world, not just here. And the baseless excuses of racism, slavery, and oppression have never existed in other countries they live in, but they still behave no better than they do here.

    And, incidentally, blaming their lack of ability to learn isn’t any better in other countries either. That’s why they’re careful to avoid talking about black failure and inability in other parts of the world.

    • Cid Campeador

      I reject that 3% of the population and the statistic that Blacks are 13% of the total population.

      • John Smith

        Do you believe there are more?

        • libertarian1234

          I was wondering the same thing myself. That all blacks are 13% of the population is an accepted percentage on every FBI report I’ve ever seen, which means that a little less than half of that percentage are men and 15-30’s make up about half of that figure.

      • libertarian1234


  • libertarian1234

    “His speech was nothing more than “blame Whites for everything” filth.”

    Yes, it was.

    And I’m wondering if this fool realizes that by excusing their evil, criminal behavior he’s endorsing it in their feeble minds?

    Between twits like this junior G-man and the media, they’re causing the entire race to become dysfunctional at an even more rapid rate.

    But I guess for that we ought to thank them.

  • RacialRay

    When I passed the test at age 17 and received a driver’s license, the insurance premium I paid on my junker of a car was double that of my sister, a year older, who drove a newer model. Insurance companies have never had any issue “profiling” based on age, gender, zip code and history of infractions. Why on earth is it a heinous crime to do precisely the same thing when it comes to policing the streets?

    Men do commit more violent crimes than women. Youths do commit more felonies than the elderly. And blacks do commit more of just about every conceivable type of horrible, anti-social act, save for white collar crime, than any other demographic group on the planet. Not all of them, certainly, but enough of them to constantly reinforce a defensible stereotype. If I were an insurance agent, or merely a gambler, I would double down on far greater liability coming from that segment of the population.

    Wishing it were not so changes nothing.

    • IstvanIN

      I actually had a fight, one-sided on her part, I walked away, with a woman at work when I mentioned that men generally commit more violent crimes than women. She is very liberal and flipped out on me. Men and women are pretty much the same according to some of these nut cases. And by the way this woman is married with three sons.

      • John Smith

        Punch her in the mouth and tell her to defend herself and she’ll find out gender equality is a myth.

      • Mary

        As another married woman with three sons, I don’t understand how someone could possibly retain those “men and women are the same” views. It simply beggars belief.

        • IstvanIN

          She is a feminist, a Democrat, a hater of the “rich” and an Obama lover.

  • jayvbellis

    Let’s post this pathetic, sorry excuse for a White law enforcement leader – let’s post this guy’s home address and put the word out to Black street gangs that he is fair game and will not defend his home and family from home invasions.

    An effective underground Chicago Cop web blog did just that to New York Times reporters who published officer Wilson’s home street with the attention of enabling black criminals to attack officer Wilson’s family.

    • The threats to Wilson and his family were also completely credible, as the New Black Panther Party had offered a reward for their deaths. Since part of the FBI’s official mission is investigating interstate crimes, one must wonder about their silence regarding these interstate terrorist threats (“solicitation to murder”) to the Wilsons. It has been six months; have they pursued any leads at all?

  • Harry

    “In a November 2014 New York Times Magazine article, historian Beverly Gage reported that Comey keeps on his desk a copy of the FBI request to wiretap Martin Luther King, Jr., “as a reminder of the bureau’s capacity to do wrong.” [43]” (Wikipedia)
    I’ll tell you what’s wrong, Mr. FBI Director: keeping that phony SOB’s record sealed is what is wrong. In fact, that’s a big red flag in my book.

  • MartelsGhost

    When trapped in the ape exhibit at the zoo, Mr. Comey started fling poo at the walls in an effort to blend in eventually becoming one with the apes he had been expected to keep an eye on……………………………………

    Don’t worry Mr. Comey, we’ll remember what you’ve said…………….

  • Really? So this is what they call milder? Yeah, right: “Every(white person) is a little racist.”

  • I must disagree. A White man robs you because he has a drug habit to feed, or he is desperate and down on his luck. A black man robs you really out of racial revenge. That is why there is so much unnecessary violence in black on White crimes.

  • slobotnavich

    From all the comments here on AmRen it almost appears that many are surprised by black criminality, lack of achievement, violent behavior, and incarceration rates. Our prisons are filled with blacks and low-IQ whites. Stupidity = lack of impulse-control, violent behavior, chronic failure to be “re-habilitated,” and lack of achievement. The greatest error of the early colonists was importing black Africans as slaves, though at that time they clearly never contemplated the possibility that they’d be granted full citizenship.