By Dr. Michael Padgett, COL, USA (Ret)
What is the truth regarding racism in America? Is it the theme espoused by Black Lives Matter (BLM)? Or is the truth something radically different?
BLM focuses on the assumption of inherent racism within police forces. BLM dialogue and actions are directed toward whether police forces should be reformed or disbanded either in part or in whole. Some BLM statements advocate a theme of whites indiscriminately murdering innocent blacks.
One key dilemma for the BLM movement is its foundation on the assumption of white racism and bias. But do the facts support this assumption?
Truth regarding the facts is the key. If the relevant facts are not considered, then the basis responsible societies use to determine truth does not exist.
And with the destruction of truth goes any hope of rational or reasonable evaluation of critical issues that arise within a society.
An intellectually honest person must review the facts to determine if those facts either support the contentions of police racism advocated by BLM or refute the assumptions of the movement. The only way to determine the truth of BLM is to examine the facts.
(1) There are about 1,200 fatal shootings of people by police in the U.S. each year. Roughly 300 of those killed are blacks. Blacks account for 25% of all the shootings, but only comprise 13% of the population. Therefore, the majority, 75%, of those people killed by police in the U.S. are not black. Studies show that 90-95% of blacks killed by police each year were engaged in unlawful acts, were armed and represented an immediate threat to either the police officer(s) or nearby civilians. (Reilly, 2020 and Force Science Institute, 2019).
(2) About 17,000 homicides in the U.S. occur each year. Nearly half of the 17,000 homicides involve blacks. The vast majority of the half are black homicides of other blacks. For every black killed by police, 25 blacks are killed by other blacks (Loury, 2021).
(3) Even though black males only represent 6% of the US population, the black serious/violent crime rate is 2.5 times greater than the white crime rate. As a result, police interact with black males at a higher rate than the male population of other races. Worse, there is a higher volume of black-on-white crime than the reverse (Reilly, 2020).
(4) 85% of white murder victims and 93% of Black murder victims are killed by a member of their same race (Ibid).
(5) In the inner cities, black crime rates are 10 times that of white crime rates (Ibid). In 2015, roughly 250 blacks were killed by police. The rate is even more dramatic when one considers unarmed black men killed by police. Only 17 of the blacks killed were unarmed. That reduces the rate black men are killed to one black killed per million black men by police (Reilly, 2020)
The claim of indiscriminate killing of blacks by police is false and is disproved by the data. The Washington Post, a traditionally liberal publication, underscores how rare it is that unarmed black men are shot by police officers. The facts also show that reducing police forces is a huge mistake, creating chaos and greater crime rates with the vast majority of the victims of increased mayhem being the black populations in the inner cities.
(1) We must condemn, as being racist, anyone that uses race as a reason for political platforms or actions.
(2) Police forces, made up of men and women, both people of color and white, need to be recognized for being wrongly accused for being blindly racist in their enforcement of the law.
(3) BLM advocates must be condemned for advocating racism and setting racial progress in reverse.
(4) The current administration, much of academia, Hollywood, big business, media, social media and any other institution that supports or endorses racism must be opposed by every means possible.
Reilly, Wilfred (Dr.) (January 2020), Taboo 10 Facts (You Can’t Talk About), p. 30.
Loury, Glenn (February 2021). Unspeakable Truths about Racial Inequality in America, Professor at Brown U.; originally printed in the Quillette.
Von Kleim, JD (August 2019), Researchers Find No Racial Disparity in Police Deadly Force, Force Science Institute.