Still holding your breath, Michael Weston? It has a been a long week. Because everything you skeptically were wondering is answered below.
But I’m going to tell you the irony. I’m white, sure. But I work closely with a large cross-section of people — many black — and I know that experiences AND opinions aren’t monolithic. Some agree with me. Some don’t. We all talk to one another as people, not figures. I also recognize that we as humans see things from our own point-of-view. Statistics, studies and analysis offer an window to see beyond that.
I don’t create stats. I don’t write studies. I contextualize them. If I’m wrong, I’ve yet to be told exactly what data I missed — it’s only the assumption by those with a social justice filter. These particular glasses will always see systemic or overt racism as a reason for differential outcomes. It could be part. But reality clearly shows: The differences are overwhelmingly a result of citizen behavior.
For example, this is an undisputed fact:
As I’ve said, with at least 3000 more people killed in 2016 compared to 2014 with little changing in the U.S. but the attitudes between citizens and police (see “Ferguson Effect” research here, here and here), I think it’s very important for the collective health of our nation to be fact-based. And these murder spikes are a real problem for “black and brown lives” because 70% of those murdered were persons of color and 75% of offenders were persons of color.
I’m open to specific critiques.
“We deal with this all the time. Black people in America gotta deal with this all the time.” This is what you wrote, Michael Weston.
Question: Is that true? Do we know for certain blacks and whites are harassed as customers — such as Applebees this past week — at different rates based on behavior? No, we look at anecdotes and say “that’s the norm” and that it “happens all the time.” Most liberals nod their heads and some conservatives shake their heads.
I look at data.
Look at the graphic I designed above and tell me:
- Are blacks and whites treated in vastly different ways?
Look at the data below, and tell me:
- Is “stop-and-frisk” (now officially ended) a civil rights issue because of perceived innocence of those stopped OR racial disparities? (See this addressed in detail in my post you’re supposedly responding to this section: “Far Less Stops, No Change in Demographics — How Is Stop-and-Frisk Racial Profiling Again, ACLU?”)
It’s a fact: At arguably the “worst” moments of NYPD’s stop-and-frisk under Mayor Michael Bloomberg, police stopped citizens nearly at the same rate as victims said their perpetrators looked like. Thus, where is the racism?
- In 2011 in NYC, 9% of stops by NYPD were white. 685,724 stops total. 88% of stops were “innocent” or led to no known crimes. (SOURCE: ACLU stop-and-frisk data)
- In 2016, 10% of stops by NYPD were white. 12,404 stops total. 76% of stops were “innocent” or led to no known crimes. (SOURCE: ACLU stop-and-frisk data)
- 2011 in NYC, 16.2% of crime suspects were white according to all victims who could identify a race/ethnicity. 30.3% of overall victims were white. (SOURCE: NYPD’s annual report: Crime and Enforcement Activity in New York City, 2011)
- 2016 in NYC, 16.3% of crime suspects were white according to all victims who could identify a race/ethnicity. 23% of overall victims were white. (SOURCE: NYPD’s annual report: Crime and Enforcement Activity in New York City, 2016)
In Chicago, both before AND after ACLU reforms, these are the numbers
- 9% of stops are white, 9% of suspects are white (by 3rd parties), and 9% of arrests are white
If it’s a blur of numbers, pay attention to one thing: The demographics of suspects (victim-identified) and the demographic of stops (interactions with police) are nearly equal. They pretty much match the percentages of those who get shot by police.
The assumption by Black Lives Matter of vastly disproportionate treatment by police has always been wrong. Even when their media enablers like Vox say, “Black people are much more likely to be shot by police than their white peers.” No, they cherry-pick a narrative.
The stats don’t bear out that police were systemically racist and profiling African Americans as threats. Blacks are 25% of people killed by police according to The Guardian and The Washington Post, but they’re at least 27% of the interactions. Michael Weston, you question my grasp of stats? I question your grasp of basic logic. It’s likely that police are interacting MORE than 27% of the time as national statistics put conventional use-of-force towards those who are black at 31% of total incidents, which I analyzed as also predictable and equitable among races when analyzing left-leaning Center for Policing Equity’s data.
Think of this for a second: Arrests are 27% black according to the FBI, overall stops slightly higher (regular use-of-force being upwards of 30%), but police killed at LESS than their interaction rate. If it were racism, blacks would be killed at a HIGHER percentage.
See the red circle on the Center for Policing Equity’s chart below to see that outlier variable.
Thus we have corroboration to believe, with an open mind, Fryer’s self-proclaimed “most surprising result of my career” of no racial bias in police shootings. There are a couple other studies out there, too. Frankly, there should be more. I understand now why there isn’t. People are intimidated at the prospect of denying the overwhelming consensus that racism is a major factor in outcomes.
Again your low-ball insult of mentioning the Dunning-Kruger effect doesn’t faze me. Getting this right so thousands of more black lives don’t die is my unwavering goal.
I’ve argued clearly the data of Roland Fryer makes sense in my exhaustive 10,000+ word analysis on the data rendered by Roland Fryer (and Center for Policing Equity). Go to the section, “Can We Trust The Numbers? Answer: Yes.”
How Roland Fryer’s Controversial Harvard Study on Racial Bias by Police Actually Shows Negligible…
I’ll crunch the numbers. You can comment and debunk.
I’m glad you agree that police are killing far less today, even though you fuss about the CDC graph published by a left-leaning criminal justice group.
According to the New York Times, New York City had 91 fatal police killings in 1971, but only 8 in 2013. I imagine many of them were black. Indeed, police-involved shootings in Chicago today are four to six times less than they were in the 1970s. In 1975 in Chicago, 148 civilians were shot by police, according to data published in 1982 by Northwestern University’s Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology. In 2015 and 2016, 25 citizens were shot by police in both years. A simple comparison:
- 1974: 970 Chicago citizens murders (including 6 police shot and killed)
- 1974: 137 citizens shot by police (page 20 of PDF)
- 2016: 800+ Chicago citizens murdered
- 2016: 25 citizens shot by police
Why isn’t that story in the Chicago Tribune?
So when you write Michael Weston that I don’t know statistics and that FBI stats “are sorely lacking context, to the point that they demonstrate absolutely nothing about the issue.” What are you talking about? No, really, what are you talking about? Socio-economic factors that lead to crime? That’s an entirely different story, where we may have overlap and agreements. Jim Crow and slavery has a hangover. How much of one and how long it lasts is also a question.
But the issue of “police violence” is far too often placed squarely on the police shoulders, as I wrote here early in 2018 in my most widely read piece: “Can we talk about these source factors rather than blaming the police on the back end? It’s just like when we’re angry at our dentist for giving us a root canal. It was our sugar-eating and floss-denying ways that got us under the drill first.” The reality is use-of-force happens less than 5% of the time for BOTH blacks and whites. Deadly use-of-force occurs equally among all races in under .001% of encounters — from arrests, chases, and stops — with outcomes almost entirely driven by one factor: Citizen behavior.
The Washington Post Totals on Police Killings Again Eliminate the Laws of Probability in a Land of…
The Mainstream Media Refuses to Post Context. Why?
Now we have to ask, as you have: Are blacks stopped too much? Well, I did write before:
But let me get to specifics that I know like the back of my hand.
In Chicago in 2016, the ACLU applauded the police when they stopped 6 times less people than 2015. But 7 out of 10 were still black, just like the year before. It was the very fact that stops were disproportionately black, about 9 times higher for blacks than whites, that led to mayoral task forces, the DOJ and the ACLU to condemn the CPD. What the Chicago Tribune and the media failed to inform the public is that 7 out of 10 suspects were black as listed in crime reports by victims. (Why? Because it’s taboo to show crime statitisics. Try Googling media articles for them.) 80% of people shot and killed by citizens in Chicago are black, matching the perpetrator percentage, according to the University of Chicago Crime Lab. Oh, and 98% of those deaths aren’t by cops. This massive pull-back by police in high-crime areas, which was endorsed and created by the political elite, led to a near 60% increase in homicides in a single year. 300 more dead people. In a single year. And like I said, 7 out of 10 stops and arrests remained black.
See? Real change!
Again, I wrote about this already:
The Crime Is Real: Contact Cards Match Crime Reports
If you think the difference in arrests is because police are out harassing citizens and finding crimes, ask yourself: How do they “find” 12x more sexual assaults? These are called in by victims (case reports). But from The Tribune to The Atlantic, the “almost 10 times more” moments of use of force is lobbed as some law enforcement injustice, but it merely is a result of the 8–10 times more arrests that Chicago police are making because of actual crime. If case reports of descriptions of black perpetrators were in the 50–60% range, you would have evidence of racial bias and harassment of citizens when cops are arresting and shooting black citizens in the 70–80% range (whites are in the 5–10% range). Alas, that’s the not the case because they align almost perfectly at around 71–73%.
Final Word: Intersectionality
Media, Activists and Academia: Why are you letting us down by denying basic facts?
For example, the person behind #SayHerName and intersectionality Kim Crenshaw gave a TED Talk stating about how we know black men’s names, but not black women’s names. Again, here is one of the most renowned academics in social justice completely ignoring statistical probability. According to The Guardian data, three times as many white women are killed than black women. That’s significantly more imbalanced than the fact that two times as many white men are killed as black men.
Crenshaw embodies what is becoming known as the Oppression Olympics, which would be OK if one could make an argument without spicing it up with emotion and rhetoric. Does singling out single-case examples, as Crenshaw does at the end of her TED Talk asking the audience to say names aloud (with a singer to boot), make for a reasonable argument for oppression? Or is it an emotional one? The reasonable and honest argument would be pointing out that African Americans commit more crimes, and are often the victims, and thus will inevitably have more interactions with police?
Yes, there’s five times as many white men and women as black men and women, BUT they don’t interact with police five times as often, and that’s because they don’t commit crime at the same rates. That’s a fact.
It’s also true that in quantifiable crime rates, black people in the USA commit crime at a rate 3 to 8 times higher than white people in nearly all crime categories. (Drunk driving is just about the only category where it’s demographically proportional.)
According to Wikipedia’s entry on Race and Crime (with verifiable primary sources):
- Blacks accounted for 52.5% of homicide offenders from 1980 to 2008.
- The homicide offending rate for blacks was almost 8 times higher than whites, and the victim rate 6 times higher.
- The “National Youth Gang Survey Analysis” (2011) state that of gang members, 46% are Hispanic/Latino, 35% are black, 11.5% are white, and 7% are other race/ethnicity.
- According to the National Crime Victimization Survey in 2002, the black arrest rate for robbery was 8.55 times higher than whites, and blacks were 16 times more likely to be incarcerated for robbery than non-Hispanic whites. Robberies with white victims and black offenders were more than 12 times more common than the reverse.
A non-expert viewing the data of both arrest in the FBI Uniform Crime Data and victims in the National Crime Victimization Survey (violence reported by victims), show that violent assault and rape/sexual assault are committed 2–3 times higher for blacks than the general population, with a much wider disparity when compared to whites. Black Americans are just about 13% of the population, but for 2015 were 27% of drug abuse violations, 28% of rapes/sexual assaults, 40% of weapons violations (5 times more than whites), 36% of violent crime (4 times more than whites), and so forth.
So is it a surprise when use-of-force happens 3.0- 3.6 times more for blacks than whites? No.
If the “social justice”-minded people in the world care to counter with clear numbers and not rhetorical or mealy-mouthed sentences that only appeal to those in ivory towers, please do so.
Again, #SayTheirName: The Asians, Latinos and non-Hispanic whites killed by police that make up 75% of the total. If you know of them. Americans and the rest of the world don’t. There’s a reason. There’s no internet clicks. The media can’t make money off it. Without controversy, without a story, without division, there is no profit.
Traditional Tradesman also makes the same argument, in a cogent and clear way. It’s a good read.
This is How the Media Invents Racism
… and Why You Think There’s an Epidemic of Cops Killing Blacks
Even this piece ignores reality left & right. Because Sam Harris is smart and brave enough to counter the narrative.
What Sam Harris Gets Wrong About Racism And Violence In America
Noted atheist author and public intellectual Sam Harris has once again appointed himself a relevant arbiter on matters…
I’m about facing the media and the people beholden to narratives. I knew that 13 months ago when I wrote the following, focusing on the dramatic national spike in homicides happening because of “The Ferguson Effect.” Few were doing this, and fewer were writing about the 3000+ total increase that occurred in just 2 years. I’m not patting myself on the back. I’m actually a little bitter no one ripped me off. I’m angry the media is scared. I’m upset Trump won the election partially as a backlash to identity politics. Because this isn’t about recognition. It’s about saving lives.
FiveThirtyEight & Libertarian Reason.com
With 31.5% homicide jump, thousands more people died in the last two years of Obama’s presidency. But let’s not call it…
There’s also a double-digit growth in the homicide rate nationally for two consecutive years nationally — a 31.5% increase from 2014 to 2016 for the 30 largest cities, says the Brennan Center for Justice. With nearly 16,000 homicides per year in 2014, this averages out to 1500–2000 more people killed each year than the year before. Half of those are black lives. Why the hell isn’t this being discussed as a national emergency? How are those numbers wrong or this isn’t “carnage”?