Are Police a Leading Cause of Death Among Black Males?
Photo: Nechemyah Levi
In the weeks following the horrific death of George Floyd as seen on video in vivid detail, We've seen the worst few weeks of the 21st century in regards to racial tension and police brutality.
The movement known as Black Lives Matter has become a sentence pulled from mediocrity to center stage - statues desecrated, countries formed...well sort-of - and all has happened as the nation attempts to recover from the Coronavirus pandemic.
Police brutality is finally being talked about, the fraction of bad figures within our Police forces are finally getting rooted out and we are finally seeing change come from the federal government. With this flood of positive attention, we have also seen some of the most ridiculous, irrational and emotionally driven hit pieces produced by somewhat-respected journalists of the mainstream press.
In an effort to foster an attitude of general "wokeness," LA times writer Amina Khan published a piece called "Getting killed by police is a leading cause of death among young black men."
In this ridiculously misleading article, Amina stated that "about 1 in 1000 Black men and boys in America can expect to die at the hands of police."
Frank Edwards, the study's lead researcher who is a sociologist at Rutgers University, compared these odds to winning the lottery. "That's better odds of being killed by police than you have of winning a scratch-off lottery ticket." Yes, he compared death rates to winning a lottery ticket.
So with that argument let's list a couple of things that are also more-likely to happen to black males in the United States than winning the lottery:
1. Get Crushed by a Meteorite
2. Contract Ebola in the U.S.
3. Die in a Plane Crash
4. Get Audited
5. Become a U.S. President
6. Die From Being a Left-Handed Person Who Misuses Right-Handed Products
I Know, crazy right? well once again, you are more likely to have one of those things happen to you than win the lottery, so a comparison between winning the lottery and getting killed by the police is not a good one.
This is not astounding information, however, 1 out of 1000 people is not something we should cast a blind eye to - we can always do better. As Americans of all colors we need to recognize the existence of another key factor that comes into play, African American Males make up 13% of the nation's population yet they commit around 53% of violent crime in America. The crimes constitute both black-on-white, and a black-on-black crime. With that in mind, now we ask how we can actually start solving the problem. So far, nothing has completely worked.
Just recently another man who happened to be black was shot by deputy Garret Rolfe. This officer was responding to a call of an unresponsive male sitting in the drive-thru lane at Wendy's in Atlanta, Georgia. The interaction between Rayshard Brooks and Rolfe was civil for the entirety of the detainment. He was given a field sobriety test, which he failed, and was put under arrest for DUI. As the two police officers were cuffing Brooks, he began to fight both arresting officers, which he was surprisingly successful at because of the officers' hands-off approach of controlling him. Brooks ended up punching Rolfe and the other officer twice, removing the taser from one officer and running away while attempting to fire the weapon at Rolfe. Rolfe (who did not appear to get hit by the taser) took out his firearm and fired two or three shots in brooks direction which resulted in him dropping dead on the scene in the Wendy's parking lot.
This, as all common-sense protests do, turned into a riot that burned Wendy's to the ground. Fighters for change..I mean, twitter users and social justice warriors across America.. called for "justice for Rayshard," you know - the normal shebang. After a partial investigation, District Attorney Paul Howard announced 11 charges against officer Rolfe on Wednesday.
This is a movement - this is not about truth, facts or reason. This is a battle over the minds of our country; more specifically, it is a battle over our nation's African American young men. The left has mastered the art of manipulation, they've conquered the Media and are using it to turn these tragedies into political statements against the right. The privilege once held by Americans to have unparalleled, un-biased, un-filtered and credible news is gone.
Here are the facts.
Thomas Abt’s book Bleeding Out (2019) has garnered a fair amount of attention for its proposals to deal with gun violence in mainly black urban neighborhoods. The entire focus of the book is on interventions in high-crime locations to stem the violence, including: hot-spots policing, working with young males at high risk of engaging in violence by offering carrots (“we’re here to help you”) and sticks (“we’ll stop you if you don’t let us help”), and locking up known violent offenders.
Abt points out that homicide-victimization rates for black men were 3.9 times the national average and that 52 percent of all known homicide victims were black (2017 data), but he should have described the fact that most of the perpetrators of those killings were African Americans as well. In 2018, where the homicide victim was black, the suspected killer also black 88% of the time. And this is not an exceptional situation. From 1976 to 2005, 94 percent of black victims were killed by other African Americans. In fact, high rates of black-on-black killing have been the norm for well over a century.
Homicide victimization rates fell among blacks and Hispanics during the past three decades, they have remained persistently higher than the rate for whites. At the 1991 peak, black Americans were murdered at a rate of 39.3 per 100,000; the Hispanic toll stood at 6 per 100,000; the white rate was 5.5 per 100,000. As the CDC data show, the murder rates for both black and white residents have essentially been cut in half, whereas the Hispanic rate is only about 20 percent lower. As a result of the differential in dropping murder rates, the gap between black and white homicide victimization rates fell more than 50 percent.
Why are homicide victimization rates so much higher in the African-American community? The University of Missouri-St. Louis criminologist Richard Rosenfeld addressed the question in a 2016 study of murder rates in several big cities. He considered three possible explanations, which are not mutually exclusive: an expansion of urban drug markets fueled by the heroin trade; a greater number of prisoners being released into the nation's cities; and a "Ferguson effect" in which the police respond to protests by de-policing.
In 2018 the police killed 209 African Americans, while there were 7,407 black homicides, and an estimated 6,000 of them were committed by other African Americans. So NO Amina, NO LA Times and NO America - the police aren't our biggest problem and by the looks of it, they barely show up on the radar.
American Politicians on both sides of the isle have overlooked this huge disparity for years. We get all riled up every now and then over the "inhumane" practices of our police forces, but we as a nation are far from honest with ourselves. Police are not a "black man's problem," authority is. The "he ain't done nothin" culture perpetuated by our unplugged, political pawns (known as "celebrities") has destroyed us.
We need black fathers at home. We need role models for our black sons. We need people to teach them responsibility and authority.
Black Lives Matter has vehemently advocated for the dissolution of the nuclear family, but that is the very cause of our issues.
We need our young men to not only be led by emotion but logic and common sense.
Democrats started welfare and republicans never ended it. If we want to solve violence in our communities, if we want to see lasting change in the generations to come we must end welfare, end the removal of authority from our black sons, end the mental genocide of the African American's intelligence and bring the bible back into our schools. That will do far more than kneeling with a Kente on the floor of congress ever could.
Strong men create Good times, Good times create weak men, weak men create bad times and bad times create Strong men. End this cycle through the perpetuation of moral authority and simple knowledge of the rights and laws that we as Americans of every color, hold dear. Stand up for what's right, not what feels right.