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How the War Against the Police Harms Black Americans
Capitalism Magazine ^ | Thomas Sowell

Posted on 07/31/2003 8:34:37 AM PDT by presidio9

In much of the liberal media, large-scale confrontations between police and people who are breaking the law are usually reported in one of two ways. Either the police used "excessive force" or they "let the situation get out of hand."

Any force sufficient to prevent the situation from getting out of hand will be called "excessive." And if the police arrive in large enough numbers to squelch disorder without the need for force, then sending in so many cops will be called "over-reacting." After all, with so little resistance to the police, why were so many cops necessary? Such is the mindset of the media.

Add the volatile factor of race and the media will have a field day. If an incident involves a white cop and a black criminal, you don't need to know the facts to know how liberals in the media will react. You can predict the words and the music.

Heather Mac Donald of the Manhattan Institute does have the facts, however, in her new book, "Are Cops Racist?" Unfortunately, those who most need to read this book are the least likely to do so. They have made up their minds and don't want to be confused by facts.

For the rest of us, this is a very enlightening and very readable little book. Ms. Mac Donald first tackles the issue of "racial profiling" by the police and shows what shoddy and even silly statistical methods were used to gin up hysteria. Then she moves on to police shootings and other law-enforcement issues.

Suppose I were to tell you that, despite the fact that blacks are just 11 percent of the American population, more than half the men fined for misconduct while playing professional basketball are black -- and concluded that this shows the NBA to be racist. What would your reaction be?

"Wait a minute!" you might say. "More than half the players in the NBA are black. So that 11 percent statistic is irrelevant."

That is exactly what is wrong with "racial profiling" statistics. It is based on blacks as a percentage of the population, rather than blacks as a percentage of the people who do the kinds of things that cause police to stop people and question them.

A professor of statistics who pointed this out was -- all too predictably -- denounced as a "racist." Other statisticians kept quiet for fear of being smeared the same way. We have now reached the dangerous point where ignorance can silence knowledge and where facts get squelched by beliefs.

Heather Mac Donald also goes into facts involving police shootings, especially when the cops are white and the suspect is black. Here again, an education awaits those who are willing to be educated.

People in the media are forever expressing surprise at how many bullets were fired in some of these police shootings. As someone who once taught pistol shooting in the Marine Corps, I am not the least bit surprised.

What surprises me is how many people whose ignorance of shooting is obvious do not let their ignorance stand in the way of reaching sweeping conclusions about situations that they have never faced. To some, it is just a question of taking sides. If it is a white cop and a black suspect, then that is all they feel a need to know.

The greatest contribution of this book is in making painfully clear the actual consequences of cop-bashing in the media and in politics. The police respond to incentives, like everyone else.

If carrying out their duties in the way that gets the job done best is going to bring down on their heads a chorus of media outrage that can threaten their whole careers, many cops tend to back off. And who pays the price of their backing off? Mainly those blacks who are victims of the criminals in their midst.

Drug dealers and other violent criminals have been the beneficiaries of reduced police activity and of liberal judges throwing out their convictions because of "racial profiling." These criminals go back to the black community -- not the affluent, suburban and often gated communities where journalists, judges, and politicians live.

The subtitle of "Are Cops Racist?" is: "How the War Against the Police Harms Black Americans."


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Government; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: blacks; leo; thomassowell; thomassowelllist

1 posted on 07/31/2003 8:34:37 AM PDT by presidio9
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To: rdb3; Khepera; elwoodp; MAKnight; condolinda; mafree; Trueblackman; FRlurker; Teacher317; ...
It is based on blacks as a percentage of the population, rather than blacks as a percentage of the people who do the kinds of things that cause police to stop people and question them.

DING!

I love Thomas Sowell -- he makes so damn much perfect sense!

Black conservative ping

If you want on (or off) of my black conservative ping list, please let me know via FREEPmail. (And no, you don't have to be black to be on the list!)

Extra warning: this is a high-volume ping list.

2 posted on 07/31/2003 8:36:33 AM PDT by mhking
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To: presidio9
Shhh . . . don't tell all the FReepers who were weeping and tearing their garments over the death of the criminal Amadou Diallo.
3 posted on 07/31/2003 8:38:25 AM PDT by wideawake (God bless our brave soldiers and their Commander in Chief)
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To: presidio9
"How the War Against the Police Harms Black Americans."

But Liberals know this already (deep down). I live in Massachusetts. Just about everyone I've ever known has been a true blue Liberal. And I would say that 100% of them have been racist and fully intent on "helping" blacks -- to stay in their proper place (below elitist Liberals).

The War Against Police is simply one of the tools.

4 posted on 07/31/2003 8:45:00 AM PDT by ClearCase_guy (France delenda est)
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To: presidio9
Thomas Sowell is ignored/hated by liberals and deceived Americans because he is so brilliant and sane and makes so much sense. But it galls me that they say he doesn't care about blacks. If you read everything he writes you know nothing could be farther from the truth than that lie.
5 posted on 07/31/2003 9:07:21 AM PDT by WaterDragon (America the beautiful, I love this nation of immigrants.)
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To: presidio9
what is happening is the police are increasingly frustrated and hindered from arresting blacks

considering the numbers of them involved in crime..particularly against other blacks...the inability/refusal of the police to ... police the black communties ..only means one thing

Black criminals will have free reign in black communities...and it will not be due to the failure of the police...to police

Now if good black people armed themselves and refused to allow criminals to rule in their communites...and the liberals just got the hell out of the way of the decent citzenry..things would shape up quickly..

Liberals of course prefer that blacks be oppressed...its their stock in trade...and poverty pimps like Jesse 'the jet' Jackson will never ever give up his 'cash cows' or allow them to be free...and unshackled or empower them with firearms or self defense..

The dynamics of crime and police and liberals makes Jesse and his ilk far too much money and their is too much power to grab to allow blacks to be truly free
6 posted on 07/31/2003 9:14:48 AM PDT by joesnuffy (Moderate Islam Is For Dilettantes)
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To: joesnuffy
Wow, sounds like we need a Civil Rights Movement Part II.

'We shall overcome, we shall overcome, we shall overcome the likes of Jesse one day-y-y-y-y-y'
7 posted on 07/31/2003 9:23:02 AM PDT by tru_degenerate ('I have not always been right, but I have always been sincere.' - WEB Du Bois)
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To: Akira
Thomas Sowell bump!
8 posted on 07/31/2003 12:02:56 PM PDT by LibertyThug
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To: *Thomas_Sowell_list
Bump
9 posted on 07/31/2003 2:33:25 PM PDT by conservatism_IS_compassion (The everyday blessings of God are great--they just don't make "good copy.")
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To: presidio9
Apt comments from a man who still has intellectual integrity.

Those who pay the price for "Liberalism"--and its many faceted flight from reality--usually are those whom "liberal" politicians and media types pretend to be helping. Throw in the history of the NAACP--an organization set up by frothy White Fabian Socialists to make race relations confrontational--and the madness described in the book review, begins to make more sense; sense from the standpoint of promoting confrontation, not solving any problems.

William Flax Return Of The Gods Web Site

10 posted on 07/31/2003 2:43:45 PM PDT by Ohioan
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To: WaterDragon
I am a big Thomas Sowell fan also.
11 posted on 07/31/2003 3:08:17 PM PDT by Pukka Puck
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To: presidio9
More Sowell, less Morford.
12 posted on 07/31/2003 3:16:42 PM PDT by headsonpikes
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To: Pukka Puck
I am a big Thomas Sowell fan also

When I read his book 'Basic Economics' it blew me away. His writing style is elegantly simple, every sentence is crystal clear. But he packs so much wisdom into every paragraph that it took me forever to finish the book. I kept stopping to just think about what he'd said. I don't know of another writer whose respect for his readers comes through so clearly.

13 posted on 07/31/2003 3:32:55 PM PDT by WaterDragon (America the beautiful, I love this nation of immigrants.)
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To: presidio9
Yesterday, a police officer friend of mine was killed outside of a project in Richmond. He left 3 kids behind.

He was shot, assassination style, in the back of the neck/head behind while he met with 3 suspected drug dealers at a street corner known for high criminal activity.

No one even bothered to call the police, and everyone fled the scene after it happened. He laid there in his own blood and died in the ten minutes it took the police to figure out something had gone wrong.

Maybe this is not the best time for me to address this issue, but I am sick of people I have known for years being killed for senseless crap in crime zones that make the Vietnam war look like a glamour parlor. To think of the callous person who saw this happening, and refused to call the police infuriates me. To think of the media making these little criminal darlings out to be victims pisses me off more than words can describe.

Its time to call these people to account and confront them with the people, like my friend, who have died while they encourage this crap. I, personally wont stand for it anymore. I've been to enough police funerals in my life.


For anyone interested, this is the thread I posted about my friends death:
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/955927/posts

14 posted on 07/31/2003 4:29:13 PM PDT by judicial meanz
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To: judicial meanz
How would we be percieved in Liberia? Just a thought.
15 posted on 07/31/2003 4:53:48 PM PDT by chasio649
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To: chasio649
I think going into Liberia, to save people who decided anarchy was favorable to rule of law, is a big mistake.

The media would probably lap it up.
16 posted on 07/31/2003 5:00:52 PM PDT by judicial meanz
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To: judicial meanz
I think that going into Liberia is a mistake because of the cultural difference in attitude that is not being dealt with...The real truth is that in many African Nations, you have far too many corrupt governments....I am not saying that all is well here but there is a general feeling that we are more a nation of laws than men...In Africa, there very seldom exists a peaceful transfer of power because when one is in power, the opportunity to enrich oneself and serve special interests comes first...This creates a fear among those in power that payback will be received the moment they leave power so they are highly motivated to keep power at all costs...

Until a long term plan for economic development and a constitution that allows for reasonably peaceful transfers of power exists, that place will be a death trap where we will send our young men and women to die needlessly...

I have previously stated that the blood of our young men and women is just as precious as that of the young men and women of any other nation....

17 posted on 07/31/2003 6:28:54 PM PDT by dwd1 (M. h. D. (Master of Hate and Discontent))
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To: presidio9
Someone said there are lies, damned lies, and statistics...

The simple truth is that there are problems with the way police deal with the minorities but one needs to be fair that both sides can at times act to make the situation worse...

As a black person, the traffic stops do get old but I try to remember that the cop is just doing his job...The thing that I have seen that makes most persons not treat the police with respect is the emotional violence where a police officer takes an accusatory or hostile questioning technique without probable cause (i.e. provocation) trying to get a rise out of someone. I think treating someone that way in front of their wife and kids is not right....On the other hand, someone who is dealing drugs and taking away the future of so many communities...I am not opposed to investigatory techniques that are within the law...It is a question of balancing security with a certain loss of civil liberties....Sometimes, the price is a little high...

As someone who tries to never let a confrontation with the police get out of hand, I try to show him respect and expect the same....I wonder sometimes if those in law enforcement who mistreat the communities they patrol and protect make it harder for the majority of police that do their jobs properly and professionally just as those within a community who live outside the law make it harder for the majority within a community who obey the law. I think the acts of a few in law enforcement and in all communities cause the hostile tone that exists....The rest of us are just trying to make a living and get home alive...
18 posted on 07/31/2003 6:42:35 PM PDT by dwd1 (M. h. D. (Master of Hate and Discontent))
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To: presidio9
Watch the cops here!
19 posted on 07/31/2003 6:47:09 PM PDT by rockfish59
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To: judicial meanz
I am very sorry for your loss...

I was told about my Grandmother and the way she demonstrated kindness to German soldiers when they were POW's near Mexia, TX during WWII...

She said "That is someone's son or father and there is someone out there who is missing them. They deserve to be treated with humanity."

Never let anyone forget that this police officer, this man who carried a gun, who arrested people, who locked people up, who did what his duty required...is still a human being with family, friends, and loved ones...

True evil is the lack of empathy....Who would want their loved ones or their friends left in the street? .....

As a black person, I can not tell you how much it embarasses me when Jesse Jackson and the like are there when the black community is wronged but nowhere to be found when our community has done the wrong...

Once again, sorry for your loss...
20 posted on 07/31/2003 6:55:32 PM PDT by dwd1 (M. h. D. (Master of Hate and Discontent))
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To: dwd1
Thanks DWD. You hit the nail on the head.

Thats the most abrasive part of this battle, on both sides. The lack of empathy, care, or love for fellow man. I've seen both sides of it for many years.


21 posted on 08/01/2003 3:44:45 AM PDT by judicial meanz
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To: headsonpikes
Gotta give the masses what they want:


http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/956394/posts


50+ responses in 10 minutes.
22 posted on 08/01/2003 7:05:02 AM PDT by presidio9 (RUN AL, RUN!!!)
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To: presidio9
I think Ms. Morphodite must be an acquired, or regional taste, like certain repellant goat cheeses.
23 posted on 08/01/2003 7:49:42 AM PDT by headsonpikes
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To: headsonpikes
The thing we all love about Morford is what a horrible light she casts on other, more rational liberals. Sort of like what Mike Savage was doing to us.
24 posted on 08/01/2003 7:57:58 AM PDT by presidio9 (RUN AL, RUN!!!)
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To: presidio9
"The thing we all love..."

Hold it right there.

His prose glistens like freshly-spilled viscera, but carries a similar stench.

I've seen it before; I don't need to see it again.

I don't stare at highway accidents either.

;^)
25 posted on 08/01/2003 8:28:12 AM PDT by headsonpikes
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To: judicial meanz
Be well!!!
26 posted on 08/01/2003 6:07:19 PM PDT by dwd1 (M. h. D. (Master of Hate and Discontent))
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To: rockfish59
Watch the cops here!

That is priceless! BTW: lots of cops call the innner-city "self-cleaning ovens." Why take a chance on getting fired/arrested/sued when in the course of doing your normal duties?

27 posted on 08/01/2003 6:19:15 PM PDT by freedumb2003 (Peace through Strength)
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To: freedumb2003
Self cleaning ovens!

lol! Perfect description!
She opened a can of 'WHOOP ASS' on him, ey?
I don't blame the cops one bit for passing that one by.
Hell, they don't want the cops interfering anyway, so to hell with them!
I lived on Princeton by A St. in Hayward, CA and it was like living in the wild west.

Got out of there 3 1/2 years ago and never looked back.

28 posted on 08/01/2003 6:44:36 PM PDT by rockfish59
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To: presidio9
I live in an apartment building and neighborhood that is majority black. I don't have a problem with this or I would never have moved here.

Over the last spring, idiot children with BB guns were plinking at the windows in my building. They shot out a few windows, and I did not know about it until they shot my window. (Yeah, I'm not real social).

A quick inquiry informed me that this was the second attack that night and no one had ever called the police.

I called the police immediately.

Now, I really regret wasting their time. I knew that they could never catch "the BB Gun bandit" (as one of them put it).

I also knew this. They were seen coming up to and into my apartment. The whole neighborhood saw it.

The word got out that there was someone in that building who was not afraid to call the police.

No windows have been shot with BB guns in the last 4 months.

29 posted on 08/01/2003 6:54:18 PM PDT by LibKill (Hot Needle of Inquiry.)
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To: wideawake
Shhh . . . don't tell all the FReepers who were weeping and tearing their garments over the death of the criminal Amadou Diallo.

Diallo had no criminal record and was not armed, nor did he have any drugs in his possession or his system. Diallo's only crime was possibly resembling a rape suspect those cops were looking for when they shot him. That, to most folks, was what outraged so many over this particular incident.

Don't be so quick to label those shot by police as criminals.

30 posted on 08/03/2003 11:36:53 AM PDT by mafree
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To: mafree
Diallo had no criminal record

So violating US immigration law is no longer a crime? Congratulations on your defection to the left. I'm also glad to know that selling counterfeit goods is also perfectly legal. Would you like to buy a Rolex? It's made in Taiwan.

Let me know what other crimes have now been legalized.

31 posted on 08/04/2003 5:03:42 AM PDT by wideawake (God bless our brave soldiers and their Commander in Chief)
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To: wideawake
So violating US immigration law is no longer a crime?

If you can produce records of Diallo being charged with being illegal (and I'm not sure if he was an illegal) then let's have it.

Congratulations on your defection to the left.

I haven't defected anywhere but knee-jerk attitudes like yours would make somebody want to.

I'm also glad to know that selling counterfeit goods is also perfectly legal.

Diallo wasn't charged with this and those cops weren't looking for him for that reason.

Would you like to buy a Rolex? It's made in Taiwan.

Not interested in a Rolex. Are you interested in the truth?

32 posted on 08/06/2003 9:39:16 PM PDT by mafree
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