Black Lives Don’t Matter to Black Lives Matter

Three years ago the organization called Black Lives Matter was founded, and it rose to prominence in 2014 on the back of the Michael Brown incident and grew with later, highly publicised, deaths of black Americans at police hands. Their response has been explosive – with many protests characterised by vandalism and looting – and their questionable rhetoric – at times imploring viewers to treat the police like ‘pigs in blankets, fry them like bacon’ – has been a catalyst for numerous murders of policemen, most recently in Dallas and Baton Rouge, in light of which BLM felt no need to cancel their pre-arranged ‘days of rage’. Considering the fashionable belief that police shoot and kill unarmed blacks out of implicit racial bias, this anger and callousness seems understandable, but do the facts support that belief?

Succinctly, no. A new empirical study by Harvard economics professor Roland Fryer Jr concluded that, while police were more prone to stop, push and cuff black people than to do so to people of other ethnicities, they are actually no more or even slightly less likely to shoot at black people – a conclusion that surprised Fryer. To take another source, the Washington Post has spent a few years gathering data from groups including the DOJ and CDC to try to validate BLM, and this data has revealed that as of July 2016 123 black people, 238 white people, 79 Hispanics and 69 unknown or others have been shot by the Police. While more white people are killed, black Americans compose only 6% of Americans, so these numbers would seem to indicate bias, until you look at who commits violent crime in America: according to the National Crime Victimization Survey, 43% of violent crime is committed by white Americans, 22% by black Americans, a proportion not dissimilar to that in the numbers killed by police.

There is an argument that these statistics over-represent black crime due to systemic bias in the Justice system leading to blacks being more likely to be charged and given longer sentences, also explaining their disproportionate presence in American prisons. This argument is baseless: a 1997 study by criminologists Sampson and Lauritsen, reviewing extensive literature on charging and sentencing found no evidence that systemic racism underlay incarceration rates, and study after study since have confirmed these conclusions. That is to say, the idea that there exists some institutional conspiracy among law enforcement to murder and imprison African Americans, propounded by virtue-signalling celebrities and pandering politicians, is nothing more than a fashionable myth.

Reality does not leave BLM entirely without a rationale, however. It is true that African Americans are disproportionately likely to be poor, to be unemployed, and to be high school drop-outs, with millions living lives without hope in hubs of poverty. 70% of black children will grow up lacking a parent – usually the father – which correlates with substantially decreased life chances. These factors and others largely underlie the higher crime rates among black Americans, the victims of which are usually other black Americans. All this represents a real issue, one that an influential grassroots movement like BLM could do much to resolve.

BLM could advocate economic reforms like the removal of barriers to entry for starting a business and the rationalisation of professional licensure to enable entrepreneurial African Americans to make the most of their talents and black communities to prosper. They could embrace welfare reforms to reduce dependency and increase employment. They could push for education reforms shown to greatly improve the prospects of black children, like the charter schools of Minnesota, Florida and Louisiana. They could seek to combat addition, gang culture and family breakdown by championing personal responsibility, integrity and decency in the style of civil rights heroes from Martin Luther King and Malcolm X to Booker T Washington and Frederick Douglass. They don’t.

Instead BLM harms the very people they are supposed to help in service of their foundational myth. Their ideological assault on the institutions underpinning the American system as part of a vast racist conspiracy savages the public trust and civic participation necessary for a functioning relationship between a democracy and its citizens. Their hateful rhetoric, ethnic essentialism and cultural segregationism poison race relations.  The dozens of businesses burned and looted in assorted protests they’ve organized are overwhelmingly black-owned, meaning BLM has managed to ruin hundreds who had been making a living in some of the most deprived areas in America.

Far worse, evidence is emerging that the so-called ‘Ferguson Effect’, or police holding back for fear of being criticized for doing their job, is real. University of Missouri professor Rosenfeld, in a study commissioned by the DOJ, showed that the 56 largest cities in America have seen a 17% increase in murders over the course of 2015, and attributed this to the Ferguson Effect [4]. The populations of these cities are disproportionately black, as are the victims of these murders.

It isn’t like they care about any of this. The true nature of the BLM leadership can be seen in their dismissal of the Wichita chapter of BLM, which organized a cookout with the intention of opening a dialogue and bridging divides in the community, for not being ‘in line with their principles’. Such an aversion to anything constructive is the route to hatred, resentment and race war, where black Americans – and Americans at large – need unity, good will and reconciliation. Black Lives Matter is a fraud, and should repulse anyone who truly believes that black lives matter.

 

2 COMMENTS

  1. This article is shockingly one dimensional.
    This article conveniently omits the socio-economic issues that BLM is heavily involved in. BLM and its wider supporters frequently promote black businesses with a view to increasing blacks’ economic power and by extension quality of life and social environment. Key figures within BLM also spend time educating black communities on the importance of community, family and support for one another with a view to promoting unity and law abidance.
    BLM has never take a blanket approach in condemning all police officers who have shot a black American. Their key goal has been to raise awareness and support the families of unarmed, innocent individuals who are shot, killed or beaten excessively without cause. The issue isn’t that police shoot more black people than white, its that they shoot more innocent black people than they shoot innocent white people. These are the only statistics that are relevant in a conversation about BLM.
    When you look into the stories of many the individuals behind the statistics you have shared, and ones that BLM promote, you will find a confusing series of events ending in the loss of an innocent life. How many of those white people shot by police were a 4 year during a raid on a mistaken drug den? Or a man who was caring for a patient when he was told that an officer ‘didn’t know’ why he shot him? Or a man choking to death after police didn’t believed he suffered with asthma? Or a 12 year old child with a toy gun?
    What the statistics do not show, but what is evidence by video footage, is that there is a systemic issue in the United States police force. One that unnecessarily projects a negative stereotype on to all black people. One that frequently leads to innocent lives being lost.
    BLM isn’t perfect, and I would add that the looting, shooting of police officers etc. isn’t arranged by BLM organisers but splinter groups who have commandeered the BLM identity, but without them many, worldwide, would be completely unaware of the injustices facing Black America in 2016.
    A spotlight has been shone and I cannot wait to see how the America deals with what has been uncovered.

    • A few BLM members do some good work: that does not negate the damage some among them (occasionally the same people) are doing in inciting racial hatred and promoting a vision of African Americans as helpless in American society.
      As for the shootings, you’ve provided no evidence that more unarmed blacks than whites are shot, and even then unarmed does not mean harmless: forensics showed that Michael Brown, for instance, had attempted to assault the police officer who shot him.
      And as for that list of anecdotes: anecdotal evidence does not make a case: everyone shot by the police is a ‘story behind the statistic’, and just because some have been given more publicity because they conform to the right narrative, it doesn’t mean they are special.
      There is no spotlight, just the light cast by the smouldering remains of American race relations.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here