Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Black Lives Matter

Do all lives matter? Evidently not to liberal progressives, they don't. When former Maryland governor Martin O'Malley suggested such a heretical notion at a recent Netroots convention he was roundly booed by the attendees, forcing him to embarrass himself with an abject, ignominious apology for inadvertently uttering the outrageous notion that all people, not just blacks, have value.

Notwithstanding the remarkable stupidity of the reaction to O'Malley's "gaffe" and his grovelling clarification, black lives do, of course, matter, but those who insist on the slogan and shout down those who would like to be rather more inclusive, are generally focusing their energies in the wrong direction. The implication of "Black Lives Matter" is that whites don't place a sufficiently high value on black lives, that whites, especially white policemen, hold black people in low esteem. But those who truly believe that black lives matter need to take a harder look at the black community itself. Of course, to people who spout slogans facts are often irrelevant, but we need to consider them nevertheless.

Consider a few: In 2011 there were 6,309 black homicide victims in the United States. As a share of the population the murder rate of blacks is four times that for other racial groups, and over 90% of those victims were murdered by other blacks. Many of the remainder were murdered by Hispanics in gang-related activity.

Furthermore, despite the fact that blacks are only 13% of the population and whites comprise over 63%, blacks murdered whites twice as frequently as whites (including Hispanics) murdered blacks in 2013.

What about black deaths at the hands of white cops? Of all the people killed by cops in the decade ending in 2011, most of which were justified, 49% were white and 30% were black.

The 30% figure may seem disproportionately high since blacks constitute only 13% of the population, but given that blacks also constitute the largest cohort of perpetrators of violence against police it's not surprising that a disproportionate number would wind up being shot.

And blacks are indeed the worst perpetrators of violence against police, murdering cops at rates out of all proportion to their percentage of the population. They comprise 13% of the population but in 2013 they were responsible for 42% of the murders of police officers.

In other words, blacks suffer far more grievously at the hands of other blacks than they do from either whites in general or white cops in particular. Moreover, in cases of interracial murder, not counting other assaults from which injury results, blacks murder whites much more frequently than whites murder blacks. If it doesn't seem that way it's only because the media generally downplays or ignores black on white violence and goes wall-to-wall with stories of white on black violence on the rare occasions when it occurs.

In fact, to paint the picture more vividly, although the United States ranks third in the world for murder, according to this source, if Chicago, Detroit, Washington, D.C., and New Orleans were deleted from the United States' homicide statistics, the U.S. would drop to fourth from the bottom for murders.

If black lives matter, and they do, then those who are concerned about the carnage, especially among young black males, should focus their attention not on white racism or white police who have probably saved far more black lives than they've taken, certainly more than they've taken without justification, but on the real source of the problem, the awful dysfunctionalities which exist in the black community - dysfunctionalities that only blacks themselves can cure.