Thursday, August 13, 2015

Whither Black Angst?

Much has been written/televised by the media and pundits in recent years about the alleged disproportionate number of blacks killed by white policemen, usually asserting the reason to be racism. The sensationalism connected to this matter has made for instigating emotions of all kinds, usually condemnation across-the-board of white police officers by both whites and blacks, especially blacks. In a way, this is yellow journalism since many factors other than racism-as-cause impact the situation.

According to the Wall Street Journal of 14 May 2015 quoting a survey by the Bureau Of Justice Statistics, black officers make up 12% of local police rosters. According to the U.S. Census Bureau estimates, U.S. black population stands at 13.2% of the total population. The differentiation between the sizes of the groups is only 1.2% when compared to the total picture, and it's obvious that anyone killed by a police officer is likely to be dispatched by a white policeman since whites make up 88% of all police forces in the country. A miscreant is seven times more likely to be apprehended by a white than a black policeman just on this basis.

It's fair to wonder why more blacks are not policemen even though they are not far behind numerically regarding percentage. To qualify for a law enforcement job, an applicant must be at least a high school graduate. According to the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, less than half of black males who enter ninth grade graduate in four years. Actually, only 54% of all black students graduated from high school in 2011, according to Tavis Smiley Reports in an article of September 2011. This compared with more than 75% for whites and Asians. Little, if any, has changed.

The Smiley article also stated that black high school seniors read on the same level as white 8th-graders. There surely were thousands of exceptions concerning that statistic, but, overall, that bespeaks a tragic blow to chances of blacks getting good jobs since just completing applications requires an appropriate level of understanding. The knee-jerk reaction on the part of many to this circumstance is that schools are failing in the education of blacks; however, national school-integration was accomplished 40 years ago, so blacks are exposed to the same systems as whites and Asians.

If a disproportionate number of apprehensions/arrests exist—it must be admitted that disproportionate occurrences of lawlessness are a consideration—what is the reason? Some might mention racial profiling and there's no argument with that at least in light of what black males describe as undue surveillance and even frivolous detainment for one reason or another. It's obvious that some prejudice exists...no white officer is perfect and, admittedly, there are some rotten ones. There also are some rotten blacks, whether policemen or not.

As the education gap has widened, with no hope of it narrowing any time soon, and the consequent job-frustration continues, there is a growing tension in the black community that's ameliorated by violence, personal and in the destruction of property, usually misleadingly termed as “protests.” Ferguson is an example, Baltimore another. Egged on by professional reverse-racists like Al Sharpton (convicted himself of fraudulent charges against a detective), these riots—not protests—will continue.

It hasn't helped that President Obama started his first term in 2009 by accusing a white policeman—without knowing any facts—of acting stupidly, though the cop was just doing his job. Later (again without knowing any facts), he apparently presumed that a white policeman had accosted and killed Trayvon Martin and had his attorney general mess into that affair, in which no policeman of any color was involved. When Ferguson happened a year ago and again without knowing any facts, he had the attorney general and a bevy of federal attorneys successfully ruin an innocent policeman's career. No criminal or civil charges were upheld.

It's no wonder, then, that blacks feel they have a right to tear up, shoot up, burn up, and loot in the interest of “protesting” when the president has all but placed his imprimatur (joined by the Baltimore mayor) on these actions. Nearly all of the alleged police strong-arming has taken place only after a suspect has refused to simply do as he's told until a problem is resolved. This includes menacing, with or without a weapon, as well as running.

The answers to this problem, which will worsen, are obvious but it's politically incorrect to suggest them.

And so it goes.
Jim Clark

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