Race Relations and Law Enforcement

Jason L. Riley, Imprimis, January 2015

{snip}

New York City has the largest school system in America. Eighty percent of black kids in New York public schools are performing below grade level. And a big part of the problem is a black subculture that rejects attitudes and behaviors that are conducive to academic success. Black kids read half as many books and watch twice as much television as their white counterparts, for example. In other words, a big part of the problem is a culture that produces little black girls and boys who are already worried about acting and sounding white by the time they are in second grade.

Another big part of the problem is a reluctance to speak honestly about these cultural shortcomings. Many whites fear being called racists. And many black leaders have a vested interest in blaming black problems primarily on white racism, so that is the narrative they push regardless of the reality. Racism has become an all-purpose explanation for bad black outcomes, be they social or economic. If you disagree and are white, you’re a bigot. If you disagree and are black, you’re a sell-out.

The shooting death of a young black man by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, last year touched off a national discussion about everything except the aberrant behavior of so many young black men that results in such frequent encounters with police. We talked about racial prejudice, poverty, unemployment, profiling, the tensions between law enforcement and poor black communities, and so forth. Rarely did we hear any discussion of black crime rates.

Homicide is the leading cause of death for young black men in the U.S., and around 90 percent of the perpetrators are also black. Yet for months we’ve had protesters nationwide pretending that our morgues are full of young black men because cops are shooting them. Around 98 percent of black shooting deaths do not involve police. In fact, a cop is six times more likely to be shot by someone black than the opposite. The protestors are pushing a false anti-cop narrative, and everyone from the president on down has played along.

Any candid debate on race and criminal justice in this country would have to start with the fact that blacks commit an astoundingly disproportionate number of crimes. Blacks constitute about 13 percent of the population, yet between 1976 and 2005 they committed more than half of all murders in the U.S. The black arrest rate for most offenses–including robbery, aggravated assault, and property crimes–is typically two to three times their representation in the population. So long as blacks are committing such an outsized amount of crime, young black men will be viewed suspiciously and tensions between police and crime-ridden communities will persist. The U.S. criminal justice system, currently headed by a black attorney general who reports to a black president, is a reflection of this reality, not its cause. If we want to change negative perceptions of young black men, we must change the behavior that is driving those perceptions. But pointing this out has become almost taboo. How can we even begin to address problems if we won’t discuss them honestly?

{snip}

The Left wants to blame these outcomes on racial animus and poverty, but back in the 1940s and ’50s, when racial discrimination was legal and black poverty was much higher than today, the black crime rate was lower. The Left wants to blame these outcomes on “the system,” but blacks have long been part of running that system. Black crime and incarceration rates spiked in the 1970s and ’80s in cities such as Cleveland, Detroit, Chicago, and Philadelphia under black mayors and black police chiefs. Some of the most violent cities in the U.S. today are run by blacks.

Some insist that our jails and prisons are teeming with young black men due primarily to racist drug laws, but the reality is that the drug laws are neither racist nor driving the black incarceration rate. It’s worth remembering that the harsher penalties for crack cocaine offenses that were passed in the 1980s were supported by most of the Congressional Black Caucus, including Rep. Charles Rangel of Harlem, who at the time headed the House Select Committee on Narcotics Abuse and Control. Crack was destroying black communities and many black political leaders wanted dealers to face longer sentences. In other words, black legislators in Washington led the effort to impose tougher drug laws, a fact often forgotten by critics today.

When these laws passed, even their opponents didn’t claim that they were racist. Those charges came later, as the racially disparate impact of the laws became apparent. What’s been lost in the discussion is whether these laws leave law-abiding blacks better off. Do you make life in the ghetto harder or easier by sending thugs home sooner rather than later? Liberal elites would have us deny what black ghetto residents know to be the truth. These communities aren’t dangerous because of racist cops or judges or sentencing guidelines. They’re dangerous mainly due to black criminals preying on black victims.

Nor is the racial disparity in prison inmates explained by the enforcement of drug laws. Blacks are about 37.5 percent of the population in state prisons, which house nearly 90 percent of the nation’s inmates. Remove drug offenders from that population and the percentage of black prisoners only drops to 37 percent. What drives black incarceration rates are violent offenses, not drug offenses. Blacks commit violent crimes at seven to ten times the rate that whites do. The fact that their victims tend to be of the same race suggests that young black men in the ghetto live in danger of being shot by each other, not cops. Nor is this a function of blacks being picked on by cops who are “over-policing” certain neighborhoods. Research has long shown that the rate at which blacks are arrested is nearly identical to the rate at which crime victims identify blacks as their assailants. The police are in these communities because that’s where the 911 calls originate.

{snip}

Last year, President Obama announced yet another federal initiative aimed at helping blacks–an increase in preschool education, even though studies (including those released by his own administration) have shown no significant impacts in education from such programs. He said that he wants to increase reading proficiency and graduation rates for minority students, yet he opposes school voucher programs that are doing both. He continues to call for job-training programs of the sort that study after study has shown to be ineffective.

{snip}

After George Zimmerman was acquitted in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, President Obama explained the black response to the verdict this way. Blacks understand, he said, that some of the violence that takes place in poor black neighborhoods is born out of a very violent past in this country, and that the poverty and dysfunction that we see in those communities can be traced to that history. In other words, Obama was doing exactly what the Left has been conditioning blacks to do since the 1960s, which is to blame black pathology on the legacy of slavery and Jim Crow.

This is a dodge. That legacy is not holding down blacks half as much as the legacy of efforts to help. Underprivileged blacks have become playthings for intellectuals and politicians who care more about reveling in their good intentions or winning votes than advocating behaviors and attitudes that have allowed other groups to get ahead. Meanwhile, the civil rights movement has become an industry that does little more than monetize white guilt. Martin Luther King and his contemporaries demanded black self-improvement despite the abundant and overt racism of their day. King’s self-styled successors, living in an era when public policy bends over backwards to accommodate blacks, insist that blacks cannot be held responsible for their plight so long as someone, somewhere in white America, is still prejudiced.

The more fundamental problem with these well-meaning liberal efforts is that they have succeeded, tragically, in convincing blacks to see themselves first and foremost as victims. Today there is no greater impediment to black advancement than the self-pitying mindset that permeates black culture. White liberals think they are helping blacks by romanticizing bad behavior. And black liberals are all too happy to hustle guilty whites.

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  • Some insist that our jails and prisons are teeming with young black men due primarily to racist drug laws, but the reality is that the drug laws are neither racist nor driving the black incarceration rate. It’s worth remembering that the harsher penalties for crack cocaine offenses that were passed in the 1980s were supported by most of the Congressional Black Caucus, including Rep. Charles Rangel of Harlem, who at the time headed the House Select Committee on Narcotics Abuse and Control. Crack was destroying black communities and many black political leaders wanted dealers to face longer sentences. In other words, black legislators in Washington led the effort to impose tougher drug laws, a fact often forgotten by critics today. When these laws passed, even their opponents didn’t claim that they were racist. Those charges came later, as the racially disparate impact of the laws became apparent.

    The same thing will eventually come of cop body cameras. The blacks all want them now because they think they’re going to show all these white cops up to no good. Ten years from now, these same blacks will be demanding that the cops get rid of body cameras because “racism,” i.e. the videos they create will be more evidence of HBD and more WSHH material.

    Blacks are about 37.5 percent of the population in state prisons, which house nearly 90 percent of the nation’s inmates. Remove drug offenders from that population and the percentage of black prisoners only drops to 37 percent. What drives black incarceration rates are violent offenses, not drug offenses.

    Pop goes Rand Paul’s narrative.

    King’s self-styled successors, living in an era when public policy bends over backwards to accommodate blacks, insist that blacks cannot be held responsible for their plight so long as someone, somewhere in white America, is still prejudiced.

    As Steve Sailer says constantly, the left doesn’t want to admit or doesn’t understand that the left has been running things for so long.

    New York City has the largest school system in America. Eighty percent of black kids in New York public schools are performing below grade level.

    The solution to that problem that seems to be taking place is shoveling blacks out of New York as quickly as possible, making them somebody else’s problem.

    • TruthBeTold

      Yes, I very much like that .5% drop by eliminating blacks incarcerated for drug offenses.

      It’s not ‘racist’ drug laws that are driving the prison population. It’s black criminal and violent behavior.

      • John Smith

        That also means that it’s very likely that whites are the ones disproportionately harmed by drug laws.

    • Oil Can Harry

      Good piece. The only false note was when Riley claimed “Martin Luther King and his contemporaries demanded black self-improvement…”

      In reality, Dr. King-ky and his homies Stokely Carmichael and Jesse Jerkson demanded welfare, slave reparations, reverse discrimination, quotas and a ton of other handouts.

    • Sick of it

      I think back to Communist in Chief FDR and wonder why anyone would think that conservatives have run this country in the past century.

    • Nancy

      “…shoveling blacks out of New York as quickly as possible, making them somebody else’s problem.”

      And here we have everyone’s favorite bedtime story, “Atlanta Olympics 1996”. See Andy Young knock down the inner-city projects so ‘the world’ won’t see them. See Andy Young hand all the former project dwellers brand-new Section 8 Vouchers. See Clayton and DeKalb County turn black virtually overnight.

      See whites like us pull up stakes after 30 years and relocate to Utah.

      The End.

  • JohnEngelman

    It is unfortunate that only a black man can write something like this and keep his job.

  • Luca

    Blacks have not assimilated into any Western civilizations, under any circumstances for the last 400+ years. Where ever they go, they cannot perform academically, hold jobs, respect the law, follow the rules. meet standards or become productive members of a society. They descend into crime, drugs, lawlessness, illegitimacy and poverty.

    Only Liberals could look at that type of a record and ignore the root of the problem.

    • Ellis Kurtz

      Only Liberals could look at that type of a record and ignore the root of the problem.

      But if your analysis is correct, and US blacks are not just Americans who happen to be black, but are instead a third-world people trapped in a first-world civilization, then Jason Riley, hardly a liberal, is also ignoring the root of the problem.
      FWIW, I think you are correct, and it is sad that JR should expend his talents chasing an illusion.

      • Georgia Boy

        You can’t choose to be smart enough to code, but even if you’re not, you can choose not to buy into thug culture, family dysfunction, etc. I don’t know how black culture would go about regaining the ground it has lost under the Left, a lot of things are different now. But if crime was lower before that, it seems like just blaming the non-social-construct racial differences is too fatalistic.

        • Ellis Kurtz

          In the pre-1960’s blacks were openly disparaged by the white majority, regarded as inferior; respectable blacks constantly had to prove that they were the equal of whites, and pressured not-so-respectable blacks to behave themselves so as not to create the wrong impression. Whites lost their cultural confidence in the 60s, and the hold they had over blacks went with it. Dysfunction followed. To make matters worse, as a result of Civil Rights legislation, affluent blacks were able to move out of the inner cities to the (usually white) suburbs, thus reducing the civilizing influence they were able to exert over their not-so-affluent neighbors; things got worse still. And here we are.

    • HE2

      Luca, the most functional black I have met was from Nigeria, here to further his medical studies. He accent was Oxonian English, he was well mannered, intelligent, culturally and clinically knowledgeable and capable.
      I recall he arrived for each shift in a sparkling clean, freshly starched and ironed lab coat so impeccably laundered, he put us all to shame.
      The man was aristocratic in bearing with not a shred of arrogance. Surrounded by U.S. born black arrogant, chip on shoulder affirmative action, ego inflated louts, Steve stuck out like a sore thumb. Everyone liked him. He returned to Nigeria at the end of his residency.

      • Tony Murphy

        I’ll bet you though that he was a crook at heart. I know hundreds of Nigerians and the number of truly honest ones is minuscule.

        • HE2

          Tony, I doubt that about this man.
          He was a straight shooter, devoted to the study of medicine, married with 3 daughters, a devout Catholic.
          I am darned good at assessing people’s character, and I viewed S. as a decent human being.
          You know by now that I am a dyed in the wool race realist and one not easily fooled by scam artist blacks. Remember this was NOT an American black; he arose from an educated, medical professional African family.
          As I said, he returned to Nigeria after his specialty studies were completed.

  • Easyrhino

    This mans words will have zero impact on the black community because it places the responsibility for their success or failure on themselves.

    Unless black failure/crime can be blamed on:

    Racism
    Institutional racism
    Micro-racism
    White Privilege
    The legacy of slavery
    (how much time do you have?)
    etc.. etc.

    they wont listen.

    • John Smith

      What’s worse, is that the white liberals won’t listen. Blacks would be no force at all, based on their numbers, if “guilty” whites didn’t enable them beyond their statistical strength.

  • TruthBeTold

    I first saw this guy on cspan (go to see cspan, search his name and watch ‘Social Programs and African Americans). His exasperated honesty was refreshing; ‘The programs that blacks keep asking for to help blacks are the programs perpetuating black problems’.

    He can say such things because he’s black but the black community is deaf to him.

    This is the dialog we should be having but it’s unlikely to happen. Blacks will never admit they’re the source of their own problems.

    • listenupbub

      .

  • TruthBeTold

    To AMREN:

    Maybe Mr. Taylor can do a Skye interview with Mr. Riley.

    It would generate a conversation on youtube.

  • MekongDelta69

    IQIQIQ; intact families; crime was lower b/c they were kept in check; no White guilt

  • dd121

    I’m really not concerned that black males are killing each other. If that keeps them busy, they’re not bothering me.

    • MBlanc46

      At some point we have to allow blacks to live their own lives and make their own rules. If they want to shoot each other, that shouldn’t be our concern as long as it doesn’t impinge on our living our lives according to our rules.

      • I think we’ve all had our fill of being blamed for interfering with black lives and holding them back. I know I have no desire to waste time or energy trying to convince them to not kill and harm each other. As long as they give me, my immediate family, and my extended White family time to step out of the crossfire, I promise to not get in their way.

      • MooTieFighter

        I wish that was true. Unfortunately, they keep pulling us deeper and deeper into their pits of failure. We are constantly having to lower our standards in schools/jobs to accompany their presence. Our own children are being pulled into their classes to tutor and serve as role models despite the fact that it just slows our own kids down. We can no longer expect illegal activity to be enforced to a necessary degree because they expect free passes or cry “racism”. We have to deal with behavior that we would never accept out of our own because they can get away with it and will cry foul. It continues to impinge on our lives on a daily basis and makes us less of a society, as a whole.

        • MBlanc46

          The things that you mention are just the reasons for giving them considerable autonomy.

    • Nancy

      “If that keeps them busy, they’re not bothering me.”

      Exactly the point I made to my husband the other day when I suggested he toss the snake’s uneaten mouse to the cats.

    • listenupbub

      They will bother you when they are in your kids’ schools. The promotion of black attitudes and behaviors by mass culture as “cool” can potentially affect your children’s development in a very negative way. The tax codes can f you. If you live in a city not in the Pacific NW, you have to worry every time you go to malls, thatres, etc. White culture has been devolving for a while under influence of blacks, making our social life less fulfilling.

      Not bothering me, my foot.

      • dd121

        I know what you’re saying is a national problem. I’ve been able to avoid the worst of it. My kids went to a suburban school of 2000 students, one of which was black. The black kid got expelled for assaulting a human.

        • listenupbub

          I have heard of such schools. The ones I can think of in my state are ironically full of liberals, with active social justice clubs. I laugh to myself a little, thinking about how their parents are thinking: “have your fun, honey, but don’t get *too* involved.”

          The few black kids in these schools obsess over style- they are very goofy and flashy, like the black kids you see on Disney channel. You can tell they know they don’t fit in too well, and probably are not academically inclined enough to occupy themselves and make an identity out of their schoolwork.

          I went to a private Christian school which was 95% non-black. Nevertheless, black culture seeped into our lives, and the white students had massive inferiority complexes over whether they were “uncool” or “spoiled”, and tried to listen to rap, do drugs, be degenerates, to live the exciting life of the “cool” black people.

          This is why I really do not believe that “live and let live” works. As long as the mainstream culture teaches that blacks are the epitomy of cool, whites will devolve to their level. Some whites will escape unscathed, but many will not.

          We really need to teach our children ethnic pride.

          • dd121

            Liberals create our culture on TV. They don’t blatantly say that you white girls should cavort with negroes. They do it by showing blacks and white girls in normal social situations over and over and over and over… Eventually this repetitive exposure seeps into the culture as “normal”. It’s very insidious.

          • MooTieFighter

            In tribal times invaders raped the opposing tribes women to reveal their domination of that certain tribe. Now many of our women (I’ll call them women to make my point) do it electively, and we seem to support it in the media.

          • listenupbub

            “you white girls”—- is this a typo? I’m a male…

            Good point, there. It reminds me of British shows where waify white males are swept away by the sexy black women who tend to talk and dress like white british people.

            Puhhhleeeaase.

            But the media is more than shows. It is the way white sports announcers worship the arrogance of black athletes, even turning a blind eye to domestic violence, or any violence, in the NFL, or bad etiquette and the chucking of clubs into the crowd by Tiger Woods. Sports is the number one culprit. Sportsmanship is dead, and we have the opposite, and sports figures are the most important role models to young people.

            The media is also the Oscars and the music awards. It is the ridiculous idea that rap, or “hip-hop,” is worth more than a turd, and the idea that black musicians are sexier than whites, which is promoted by the celebrity media.

          • dd121

            It’s pervasive. I was just giving one hypothetical example.

          • dd121

            P.S. I live in Colorado. The whitest and most liberal area in the state is Boulder. Go figure.

          • listenupbub

            I am considering the hypothesis that liberalism is a kind of adaptation, meant to keep certain whites from being miserable. Or perhaps it is a change made out of fear that the blacks will rise up against us if we do not bow down and whimper before them.

            It is obviously better in the business/corporate world, where you need to keep a clear head when you talk to different people of different races. You do not want to deal with raging white supremacist thoughts when you are trying to butter up a client/partner.

            Liberalism has some survival advantages. But when it comes time to send your kids to school or find a neighborhood, the delusions are lifted, and you must act in the exact same way as the crazy commenters on Amren would tell you explicitly.

            Liberals cannot preach what they practice, but they know what they must practice.

        • John Smith

          A few are generally good to have around, as I notice some of the biggest promoters of black “equality” are from nearly lily white parts of the country like rural NE, the Upper Midwest, the PNW, etc. where they cannot observe their native behavior in the wild.

        • MooTieFighter

          So the school expelled him. I’m impressed. I thought only Whites/Asians were held to a human standard.

  • LHathaway

    Can you give an article an up-vote?

    • You can click the disqus recommend icon:
      (♥) .

  • BernieGoetzFan

    I will say that I saw this guy Riley debate an Afroracist on TV after the Ferguson riots. The look on the other black’s face was one of confusion and despair. He was almost stammering. How dare someone point out that black problems are entirely the fault of blacks!

  • Vito Powers

    Like the blind squirrel that occasionally find an acorn, Jason Riley makes some great points.

    But let’s not forget this is the same Jason Riley that is an Open Borders supporter. In fact, he wrote a book years ago titled “LET THEM IN: THE CASE FOR OPEN BORDERS. It’s loaded with free market, libertarian babble and mush.

    • John Smith

      Libertarianism works, if you don’t take it too seriously. No “pure” ideology is capable of working as idealized.

      • Vito Powers

        When it comes to immigration and open borders, libertarians are completely void of any rational, intelligent thought, including Ron Paul (from Texas, no less).

  • badbox27

    ‘Many Whites fear being called racist’. Do ya think buddy? White people would rather die than be called racist. White people would rather have their children die than be called racist. The fear that word puts into our race is the best thing our enemies have going for them.

    • Nancy

      HEEYYY! I know you! Weren’t you the one digging through my trash can last night around 2a.m.? 😉

      • listenupbub

        hahaha

  • The Left wants to blame these outcomes on racial animus and poverty

    ..and The Right wants to blame Liberalism and The Left for the proclivities of the black population.

    While it is probably true that a more liberal/Leftist society exacerbates certain propensities in blacks and other non-Whites that lead to their higher levels of violence and mayhem, the simple truth is that history and current statistics prove that White people are perfectly capable of productively and peacefully living in a more liberally-modeled type of society, just as they are able to be peaceful and remain viable in a more conservative one.

    Madison, WI is very liberal and pretty safe for a larger city. I guess there aren’t enough black people there to skew the crime numbers.

    Chicago is liberal and, believe it or not, very safe for a large city, except when you have to factor in blacks and other minorities.

    Seattle is very liberal and fairly safe, except when you have to factor in blacks and other minorities.

    Portland, OR is liberal and fairly safe, except when you have to factor in blacks and other minorities.

    I even saw an article somewhere(I don’t remember where) that showed that cities like Seattle and Portland were getting Whiter. Guess what? I also saw another report that showed crime rates for those two cities were going down. Is “reduction in crime” mentioned in the same breath anywhere in America when you talk about an area getting blacker? Anywhere in the world?

    There are many other examples, and when you look at the crime statistics, the more violent areas aren’t really tracking along conservative/liberal lines, they are tracking along racial lines. It’s just that there are many, many, many more black liberals than conservative ones. If it was really just a matter of “liberals,” then where are the examples of liberal, majority White areas on the list of most violent cities in America?

    Most of these black Messiahs who get praise for saying things that White people are threatened, attacked and fired for don’t believe in racial realities like many of us do. The whole Nature vs Nurture argument… they believe it’s Nurture. They(many sycophant white conservatives included) are convinced that blacks and Whites will say and act the same provided you put them in the same society that is modeled on conservative values. If this was really true, then blacks should be able to function as a cohesive unit in any type of society where Whites are able to flourish. White people are able to make liberal communities work(sans race), but they fall apart once blacks are introduced into the mix. Do black communities get more violent when their area gets less black and when more White people are introduced into the community? Nope.

    Basically, White people have to end up curtailing their own freedoms and choice just to make what I would call a “negro-proof” society. Give people more freedom, and the more primitive, lower IQ people do dumber and dumber things. That’s why blacks have never had what we would call an Enlightenment period.

    **rant over**

    • listenupbub

      That is the comment wanted to make, but a thousand times better.

      It is sad, these conservatives desperately want to create some higher ideology (actually classical liberalism) that all people of all races can band together under, in the hopes that then, finally, we can have healing and brotherhood.

      The blacks will finally love whites, for our ideology of classical liberalism was what ended slavery once and for all! We are *really* on their side after all, right?

      It is a dream, a bad one. The fact that blacks are genetically more aggressive, dumb, and ugly will ensure massive inequality, which will drive a wedge between these people groups. Indians and Asians have a shot at assimilating, but not blacks.

      All successful blacks I knew in college went for white girls. They know what they have to do to help their children live as well as possible.

  • MBlanc46

    Culture, blah, environment, blah blah, socioeconomic conditions blah blah blah. Those things probably play a role. But unless you’re going to address IQ and brain size and structure differences, you’re never going to understand or solve the problem.

  • BloodofAlbion75

    “Many Whites fear being called. Racists.”

    Being called a “racist” is NOTHING TO FEAR.Because the moment someone calls you that particular name,they are implicitly conceding that they are losing an argument with you .

  • Screamin_Ruffed_Grouse

    Underprivileged blacks have become playthings for intellectuals and politicians who care more about reveling in their good intentions or winning votes than advocating behaviors and attitudes that have allowed other groups to get ahead. 

    True. But it should be mentioned that this is possible only because of the intellectual and psychological shortcomings of blacks.

    • listenupbub

      Also, it should be mentioned that one of the main reasons that the intellectuals obsess over underprivileged blacks is white guilt, which blacks promote and benefit from enormously.

  • John Smith

    Blacks are responsible for much of the prejudice against them and the way they behave keeps getting worse, thus increasing the prejudice. They wasted their chance by not behaving civilized when institutional stumbling blocks to their integration were removed.

  • John Smith

    “Gibsmedat” is the new E.F. Hutton….