Friday, July 29, 2016

Do you believe?

Do you believe that blacks are more frequently killed by police than whites?
Police brutality and violence against minorities has become a topic of almost constant discussion. Most often reduced to the binary of black and white. No one seems to care much about police behavior toward Hispanics (it’s just assumed that they’re equally as barbaric in their actions), and Asians interact so infrequently with the police that there are no usable statistics. So we’re binary then, black and white.

And so the question remains: Do you believe that blacks are more frequently killed by police than whites? And the answer is: Of course you do. You believe it because it’s all over the news. You believe it for the same reason that you believe that 97% of scientists believe that human activity is the cause of “climate change” and that the result will be catastrophic. You believe it for the same reason that you believe that women make seventy seven cents for every dollar that a man makes. You believe it for the same reason that you believe that the “gun show loophole” or “on line” gun purchases allow terrorists to buy guns with no background checks. For the same reason you think the use of “black rifles” is driving the crime rate up. You believe it because there are people who have a vested interest in you believing it and the news media is on their side.

Joseph Goebbels, the noted NAZI propagandist and quotarian said this: “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.” So, the secret, passed on to us by a very experienced and successful shaper of public opinion, is to tell a “BIG LIE” and “TELL IT OFTEN”.
So what has Joseph Goebbels to do with potentially race related shootings in the 21st Century? It’s about the lie. The BIG lie. The OFT REPEATED big lie.

Recently Roland G. Fryer, Jr, a Harvard economist (economists are well known for collecting, analyzing, and explaining statistics) published a paper titled “An Empirical Analysis of Racial Differences in Police Use of Force (a pdf can be had here: http://www.nber.org/papers/w22399) in the abstract of which it was stated that:

“On the most extreme use of force – officer involved shootings we find no racial differences in either the raw data or when contextual factors are taken into account. We argue that the patterns in the data are consistent with a model in which police officers are utility maximizers, a fraction of which have a preference for discrimination, who incur relatively high expected costs of officer-involved shootings.”

In an essay titled “When Arrests Go Bad”, Willis Eschenbach, using information compiled by the Washington Post (available here: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/07/18/analysis-of-washington-post-police-shootings-data-reveals-surprising-result/ also shows that there is no racial bias in police shootings, but what we have come to be informed by are uninvestigated press reports and dramatic cell phone video.

We were told by Dorian Johnson (Brown’s companion) immediately after the shooting, that Michael Brown was a gentle person who would never hurt anyone and that he died on his knees with his hands up begging for his life, at the feet of a murderous racist police officer. The Black Lives Matter movement was born. Professional athletes politicians, and celebrities of all kinds hitched their wagons to the story and even Eric Holder's Department of Justice took a seat at the table to make sure that things turned out the way they “should”. Justice for Michael Brown would surely be done. It was almost foregone. There was an eye witness standing right there. Only after weeks of other eye witness testimony and an analysis of all of the forensic evidence, the Grand Jury determined that there wasn’t probable cause to believe that Officer Darren Wilson had committed a crime in the shooting, and the Justice Department didn’t see enough evidence of civil rights violation to bring an action against the officer.

And you will still hear athletes, celebrities, politicians, academics and their students cling to the lie. The best, people you had respected as voices of moderation in the past will say “we may never know what really happened”. The worst will tell you that the facts don’t matter, and call you a racist possessor of white privilege for believing that anything other than a brutal murder took place. That brutal murders of minorities just like it are common place all over the country. And the politicians, race hustlers, and news media feed that for their own gain.

In a recent column, Thomas Sowell, another well-known economist and social commentator wrote:

“Black votes matter to many politicians — more so than black lives. That is why such politicians must try to keep black voters fearful, angry and resentful. Racial harmony would be a political disaster for such politicians.
Racial polarization makes both the black population and the white population worse off, but it makes politicians who depend on black votes better off.
Hillary Clinton desperately needs black votes in this year’s close election. Promoting fear, anger and resentments among blacks — and, if possible, paranoia — serves her political interest. Barack Obama has mastered the art of keeping black voters aroused while keeping white voters soothed — thanks in part to the gullibility of much of the public, who mistake geniality and glib rhetoric for honesty and good will.
Obama has repeatedly put the weight and prestige of the presidency on the side of those who denounce the police before any facts are verified — and even after facts have come out, exposing the fraudulence of such claims as the claim that the “gentle giant” Michael Brown said, “Hands up, don’t shoot.”
When a career race hustler like Al Sharpton, with a history of hoaxes, is a regular visitor and adviser to the White House, that is a reality that whites and blacks alike ignore at their peril.”

We have, in this country today, cultural problems, many if not all of which were brought about or facilitated by the experimental socioeconomic policies instituted a half century ago by a mixture or well-meaning and cynical politicians. The minority community is in a shambles but lying about the men and women who have sworn to try and protect us isn’t helping.

But that’s just what an average guy thinks.

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