Tags: Ferguson in Crisis | American police | liberal commentators

WSJ's Jason Riley: Anti-Police Narrative Harms Poor Blacks

By    |   Wednesday, 26 November 2014 12:45 PM

The real tragedy in Ferguson is that the continued focus by liberal commentators and black leaders, such as Al Sharpton, on the number of blacks killed by police officers actually does more harm to the black poor they claim they want to help, says Wall Street Journal columnist Jason Riley.

"We now know that Michael Brown was much more of a menace than a martyr, but that won’t stop liberals from pushing an anti-police narrative that harms the black poor in the name of helping them," he writes.

Riley cites Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) statistics which show homicide is the leading cause of death among young black men.

A 2010 Bureau of Justice Statistics report found that blacks were disproportionately represented as both homicide victims and offenders. Between 1980 and 2008, the victimization rate for blacks (27.8 per 100,000) was 6 times higher than the rate for whites (4.5 per 100,000) and the offending rate for blacks (34.4 per 100,000) was almost 8 times higher than the rate for whites (4.5 per 100,000).

Despite the statistical evidence, the narrative pushed by liberals that the police are responsible for the high number of deaths of young black men survives, says Riley.

"And while you’d never know it watching MSNBC, the police are not to blame. Blacks are just 13 percent of the population but responsible for a majority of all murders in the U.S., and more than 90 percent of black murder victims are killed by other blacks," he continues.

Those statistics contribute to the tensions between black men and law enforcement and "so long as young black men are responsible for an outsize portion of violent crime, they will be viewed suspiciously by law enforcement and fellow citizens of all races," says Riley, who is the author of the recently-released book, "Please Stop Helping Us: How Liberals Make It Harder for Blacks to Succeed".

But many black liberals would prefer to focus on the behavior of whites, rather than on the crimes committed by blacks.

"[Liberals] don't want to talk about black behavior, they want to talk about white behavior," said Riley Monday during an interview on Fox Business Network's "Varney & Company."

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"You are talking about a small percentage of the population responsible for an outside amount of crime and that is what is driving these tensions in Ferguson and tensions between the police and black communities across the nation," asserted Riley.

According to the Washington, D.C.-based research group, The Violence Policy Center (VPC), in 2011, Nebraska had the highest black homicide rate (34.4 per 100,000 people) followed by Missouri (33.4 per 100,000 people), and Michigan (31.5 per 100,000 people).

The group reports that black women face a far greater threat from relatives or acquaintances than from law enforcement.

According to a September VPC report, when a relationship could be determined, 92 percent of black females killed by males in single offender incidents knew their killers and eleven times as many black females were murdered by a male they knew than were killed by male strangers.

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani made similar comments during an appearance on NBC News' "Meet the Press" last Sunday.

"[T]he fact is, I find it very disappointing that you are not discussing the fact that 93 percent of blacks in America are killed by other blacks," the former Republican mayor said. "We’re talking about the exception here [in Ferguson]."

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The real tragedy in Ferguson is that the continued focus by liberal commentators and black leaders on the number of blacks killed by police officers actually does more harm to the black poor they claim they want to help, says Wall Street Journal columnist Jason Riley.
American police, liberal commentators
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2014-45-26
Wednesday, 26 November 2014 12:45 PM
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