Why Milwaukee Burns

Heather Mac Donald, City Journal, August 15, 2016

The war on cops, ideological and sometimes lethal, may be expanding into a broader race war, in which only one side fights. The thugs who torched businesses and police cars, assaulted cops, and shot at firemen in northwestern Milwaukee on Saturday night went after “white bitches,” among other targets. (The riots were inspired by the fatal police shooting of Sylville K. Smith, a black man. Smith, who had an extensive arrest record, including for a shooting, fled from officers after a traffic stop while carrying a stolen handgun; he refused commands to drop the gun. Wisconsin governor Scott Walker has activated the state’s National Guard and declared a state of emergency, but violence continued into Sunday night, with four officers injured, three squad cars damaged, and multiple businesses burned down.) The Black Lives Matter-inspired assassin who murdered five police officers in Dallas in July 2016 said that he wanted to kill white people, as well as white cops. The vitriol that officers working in urban areas now encounter on a daily basis is inflected with racism.

And if the war on cops escalates into more frequent attacks on whites and their perceived interests, the elite establishment will bear much of the blame. For the last two years, President Barack Obama has seized every opportunity to advise blacks that they are the victims of a racist criminal justice system. We should not be surprised when that belief, so constantly inflamed, erupts into violence.  Even in his remarks at the memorial service for the five murdered Dallas cops, Obama had the gall to trot out his usual racial vendetta against the police, even though he was fully on notice that cops were being killed because of it:

When African-Americans from all walks of life, from different communities across the country, voice a growing despair over what they perceive to be unequal treatment; when study after study shows that whites and people of color experience the criminal justice system differently, so that if you’re black, you’re more likely to be pulled over or searched or arrested, more likely to get longer sentences, more likely to get the death penalty for the same crime; when mothers and fathers raise their kids right and have “the talk” about how to respond if stopped by a police officer–“yes, sir,” “no, sir”–but still fear that something terrible may happen when their child walks out the door, still fear that kids being stupid and not quite doing things right might end in tragedy–when all this takes place more than 50 years after the passage of the Civil Rights Act, we cannot simply turn away and dismiss those in peaceful protest as troublemakers or paranoid.

Obama’s indictment ignored, as usual, the astronomically higher rates of black crime that fully explain racial disparities in the criminal justice system. Meanwhile, Obama hasn’t uttered a word in condemnation of the lawless behavior in Milwaukee, two days into the events.

Hillary Clinton has been just as quick to enflame black hatred of cops and, by inevitable extension, of “white” society. She said during a January 2016 Democratic presidential debate that it was “reality” that police officers see black lives as “cheap,” adding that “there needs to be a concerted effort to address the systemic racism in our criminal justice system.” (In fact, there is no government agency more dedicated to the proposition that black lives matter than the police; tens of thousands of black lives have been saved thanks to data-driven, proactive policing.) The July 2016 cop assassinations had no more deterrent effect on Clinton’s determination to keep anti-cop tensions at a boil than they did on President Obama. Speaking at the NAACP after the Baton Rouge assassinations, which followed the Dallas massacre, Clinton said that “we cannot rest until we root out implicit bias and stop the killings of African-Americans.” Showing herself to be as statistically challenged as Obama, she continued: “Let’s admit it, there is clear evidence that African-Americans are disproportionately killed in police incidents compared to any other group.” (Blacks are actually killed at a lower rate than their crime rates would predict. And at least four studies this year have shown that police officers are less likely to shoot blacks than whites, whether armed or unarmed.)

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Perhaps the narrative’s biggest lie is that white people are the most powerful source of racism today–a lie embraced by elite white society itself. When that society is not twisting itself into knots trying to hire or promote as many blacks as possible, it is in a constant state of anguish trying to track down those deep, if invisible, pockets of white racism that supposedly explain ongoing racial disparities. Black racism, however, is far more pervasive than any vestigial white racism, as anyone who has spent time in inner-city black neighborhoods knows. I have been warned by residents of one Harlem housing project not to venture into a neighboring project because the hatred of whites is even more acute there. A resident of the Taft Houses in East Harlem told me of the abuse she took as a child because her mother was Irish. Black flash mobs and participants in the “knock-out game” are motivated by anti-white animus, though the media strive frantically to ignore both the violence and the emotion generating it. Blacks are the primary source of interracial violence. In 2012, blacks committed 560,600 acts of violence against whites, and whites committed 99,403 acts of violence against blacks, according to data from the National Crime Victimization Survey provided to the author by a Bureau of Justice Statistics statistician. Blacks, in other words, committed 85 percent of the interracial crimes between blacks and whites, even though they are less than 13 percent of the population. It would be naïve to think that some of that black-on-white violence does not have a racial tinge to it.

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