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Black lives ought to matter; and, in my opinion, they once did. They once mattered a great deal. Not long after he became mayor in New York City, Rudy Giuliani introduced a new method of policing that concentrated resources where there was a plethora of crime. It resulted in a dramatic decline in the murder rate, and Newt Gingrich and Bill Clinton took notice and poured federal money into similar policing reforms. African-Americans living in rough neighborhoods were the intended beneficiaries, and they benefited a great deal.
But those days are long gone, and I do not believe that black lives much matter now. They did not matter to Barack Obama, Eric Holder, the members of the Congressional Black Caucus, the white radical who passed as black and founded Black Lives Matter, and to George Soros who funded the outfit. These folks were perfectly prepared to do a number on America’s African-American community and to put their lives at greater risk for the purpose of mobilizing them as a political force.
To grasp what is going on, one need only look at the data — which Heather Mac Donald did a week ago today in a brief squib posted on the website of City Journal. Here is what she wrote:
The FBI released its official crime tally for 2016 today, and the data flies in the face of the rhetoric that professional athletes rehearsed in revived Black Lives Matter protests over the weekend. Nearly 900 additional blacks were killed in 2016 compared with 2015, bringing the black homicide-victim total to 7,881. Those 7,881 “black bodies,” in the parlance of Ta-Nehisi Coates, are 1,305 more than the number of white victims (which in this case includes most Hispanics) for the same period, though blacks are only 13 percent of the nation’s population. The increase in black homicide deaths last year comes on top of a previous 900-victim increase between 2014 and 2015.
Who is killing these black victims? Not whites, and not the police, but other blacks. In 2016, the police fatally shot 233 blacks, the vast majority armed and dangerous, according to the Washington Post. The Post categorized only 16 black male victims of police shootings as “unarmed.” That classification masks assaults against officers and violent resistance to arrest. Contrary to the Black Lives Matter narrative, the police have much more to fear from black males than black males have to fear from the police. In 2015, a police officer was 18.5 times more likely to be killed by a black male than an unarmed black male was to be killed by a police officer. Black males have made up 42 percent of all cop-killers over the last decade, though they are only 6 percent of the population. That 18.5 ratio undoubtedly worsened in 2016, in light of the 53 percent increase in gun murders of officers—committed vastly and disproportionately by black males. Among all homicide suspects whose race was known, white killers of blacks numbered only 243.
Violent crime has now risen by a significant amount for two consecutive years. The total number of violent crimes rose 4.1 percent in 2016, and estimated homicides rose 8.6 percent. In 2015, violent crime rose by nearly 4 percent and estimated homicides by nearly 11 percent. The last time violence rose two years in a row was 2005–06. The reason for the current increase is what I have called the Ferguson Effect. Cops are backing off of proactive policing in high-crime minority neighborhoods, and criminals are becoming emboldened. Having been told incessantly by politicians, the media, and Black Lives Matter activists that they are bigoted for getting out of their cars and questioning someone loitering on a known drug corner at 2 AM, many officers are instead just driving by. Such stops are discretionary; cops don’t have to make them. And when political elites demonize the police for just such proactive policing, we shouldn’t be surprised when cops get the message and do less of it. Seventy-two percent of the nation’s officers say that they and their colleagues are now less willing to stop and question suspicious persons, according to a Pew Research poll released in January. The reason is the persistent anti-cop climate.
Four studies came out in 2016 alone rebutting the charge that police shootings are racially biased. If there is a bias in police shootings, it works in favor of blacks and against whites. That truth has not stopped the ongoing demonization of the police—including, now, by many of the country’s ignorant professional athletes. The toll will be felt, as always, in the inner city, by the thousands of law-abiding people there who desperately want more police protection.
The facts are clear enough. They always were. Giuliani understood them, and so did Gingrich and Clinton. But the sort of policing initiated by Giuliani and promoted by Gingrich and Clinton did have one drawback. It meant that black neighborhoods were loaded with cops, that they were apt to stop and frisk anyone who seemed as if he might be a bad actor, and that a lot of young thugs ended up in prison. The young men in the gangs hated this. It crimped their style. And many of their elders found the intrusiveness of the police an annoyance.
Obama, Holder, the members of the Black Caucus, Soros, and their minions are not stupid. They and those in the press who promoted the meme knew that the line they were peddling concerning racist policemen murdering innocent African-Americans was a baldfaced lie. But they were also aware that the new method of policing provoked resentment, and they knew that there were many in the black community who had forgotten all the damage that the bad actors had done in the past and who were unhappy with the black incarceration rate. Cynically, they played on this resentment, knowing full well what it would cost the people they were manipulating. They thought and still think as New York Times reporter Walter Duranty did when he was confronted with criticism of Josef Stalin and remarked, “If you want to make an omelet you are going to have to break a few eggs.”
It is perfectly legitimate to criticize Colin Kaepernick and those who have in recent weeks imitated his example. But let’s face it. Professional athletes are not ordinarily the brightest bulbs, and there are a fair number of thugs playing for the National Football League who resent rigorous policing for the same reason that the gang members do.
The real scoundrels are the politicians and the left-liberal moneymen who regard this country’s African-American population as cannon fodder — women and men worth sacrificing for what the former take to be the larger cause. That the black leaders are so beholden to the Democratic Party that they are willing to go along with this ploy — that really is a scandal. To get to the bottom of it, one would have to investigate the following questions: What role do the gangs play today in places like Chicago, Philadelphia, and Baltimore in turning out the vote for the Democratic Party? And why are the Democrats so eager in Virginia and elsewhere to enfranchise convicted felons?