Lies, Damn Lies And Black Lives Matter. How Colin Kaepernick's Issues Get A Free Pass From Media
Another Sunday. Another set of sit-down, fist-raised protests against the American national anthem by NFL players inspired by San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
Kaepernick, influenced by the radical black activist/ radio host he’s been dating, has decided the police in the U.S. disproportionately target blacks. So he will kneel in protest until this abomination (in his mind) ends. As we saw Sunday, this has inspired copy cats who also want to be seen as cutting-edge. (Luckily, South Park resists the urge for overkill: http://www.sportsgrid.com/real-sports/nfl/south-parks-take-on-the-kaepernick-protest-was-actually-kind-of-genius/)
Not surprising, Kaepernick has been lionized as a bold, brave figure by useful media idiots. The brave thing he’s done, according to these Walter Cronkites, is to use a football field to remind the world that life is nasty and brutish if you’re not a multi-millionaire football star.
Hands up if this message is news to anyone. He’s also being praised for what’s described as a non-violent protest, like that done at the 1968 Olympics by U.S. sprinters Tommy Smith and John Carlos. It’s Throwback Thursday at the Grievance Hotel.
But Kaepernick’s protest is an assault on the facts. No media titan has yet challenged him to go beyond his Black Lives Matter talking points to debate the merits of his inflammatory claims. It’s been all about his Second Amendment rights, not the accuracy of his argument.
If the media would do some homework and show some fortitude, they’d find Kaepernick’s crusade (and their bias) unsupported by facts. The statistics as described by criminologist U.S. Heather MacDonald paint a very different picture of a community whose crime output is wildly disproportionate to its population. (http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/black-lies-matter/article/2600164)
Nationally, blacks represent 13 percent of the American population but commit homicide at eight times the rate of whites and Hispanics combined. Black males between the ages of 14-17 commit gun homicide at nearly 10 times the rate of white and Hispanic male teens combined.
Says MacDonald, “Blacks constituted 62 percent of all robbery defendants in America's 75 largest counties in 2009, 57 percent of all murder defendants and 45 percent of all assault defendants, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, even though blacks comprise only 15 percent of the population in those counties.” As we see from Chicago in 2016, those numbers aren’t improving.
If blacks are involved in a disparate number of encounters with police, says MacDonald, it is because they are more likely to be involved in criminal activity or live in high-risk areas. “When officers are called to the scene of a drive-by shooting or an armed robbery, they will overwhelmingly be summoned to minority neighborhoods, looking for minority suspects in the aid of minority victims.”
MaDonald also punctures the much-repeated notion that the blacks are treated differently in police encounters. “Twelve percent of all whites and Hispanics who die of homicide are killed by police officers, compared to 4 percent of black homicide victims”
In other words, outside the highly public examples of police shootings lately, it’s less likely that a black will fall victim to a malicious cop shooting. A “lab study of police shoot-don't-shoot decisions to date, published this year in Criminology and Public Policy, found that officers were three times less likely to shoot unarmed black suspects than unarmed white suspects and took significantly longer to decide to shoot armed black suspects than armed white suspects.
“Among the nearly 500 white victims of fatal police shootings last year was a 50-year-old suspect in a domestic assault call in Tuscaloosa, Ala., who ran at the shooting officer with a spoon; a 28-year-old driver in Des Moines, Iowa, who led police on a chase, then got out of his car and walked quickly toward the shooting officer; and a 21-year-old suspect in a grocery store robbery in Akron, Ohio, who had escaped on a bike and did not remove his hand from his waistband when ordered to do so.
“Had any of these victims been black, police critics would have conferred on them instant notoriety; instead, they are unknown.”
This illustrates a serious problem with policing. But social warriors like Kaepernick don’t want to hear this is colour-free. They need to perpetuate their narrative of rampaging police killing blacks with impunity. The media, sympathetic to liberal causes, prefers to argue that black crime should track its proportion of the population. Any discrepancy is racist targeting.
The hot new book for BLM sympathizers is The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander. She argues that the incarceration of blacks is part of a new effort by whites to restore Jim Crow. It’s full of pithy non-sequiturs like “‘More African Americans are under correctional control today. . . than were enslaved in 1850”. They “have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it.”
She criticizes the outcomes of black criminals in the justice system and blames the disproportionate incidence of black crime on racist drug policies and welfare traps. The drug argument is a revival of the urban black legend that said the government introduced crack cocaine into U.S. cities in the 1970s to subjugate blacks. Everyone in The New Jim Crow is to blame for black violence but blacks themselves.
Naturally it’s received raves from BLM and Obama, who want to argue anything but the underlying facts of the breakdown of the black family under the Democrats. (Such as how the incarceration of blacks under Bill Clinton that Alexander decries actually reduced most categories of violent crime.)
The great football coach Bill Parcells used to say, “Sometimes you are what your record says you are.” When Colin Kaepernick and BLM finally accept that responsibility rather than shout grievance on bended knee we might be closer to a resolution of the issue.
Bruce Dowbiggin @dowbboy
Bruce's career is unmatched in Canada for its diversity and breadth of experience with successful stints in television, radio and print. A two-time winner of the Gemini Award as Canada's top television sports broadcaster, he is also the best-selling author of seven books. He was a featured columnist for the Calgary Herald (1998-2009) and the Globe & Mail (2009-2013).