The first and most unfortunate casualty in the Social Justice Wars of 2020 (and long before George Floyd’s death, quite frankly) is competent, rational discussion. Facts no longer matter to the deranged left and their enablers in the mainstream media. There is no such thing as a coherent, logical argument. There is no public debate – at least none to write home about. Journalists, reporters, pundits, and politicians are taking their marching orders from the radical left and extremist groups like Black Lives Matter…and that’s where the discussion begins and ends. If the imbeciles on the street say “Defund the Police,” welp, we’d better wrap our necks in kente cloths and take a knee. Black people are never wrong. Unless, of course, they have been brainwashed by The Oppressor.
Thankfully (if only for our own sanity), there are those who are trying their best to inject some facts into this one-sided discussion. We’re not sure that those facts will be listened to, digested, or make any difference whatsoever in this land of mob justice, but it provides us some measure of comfort that not everyone is willing to lay down and be silenced. When your job may very well depend on your ability to uphold and defend The Narrative, it’s no small act of courage to swim against the current.
So our hats go off to Harvard economist Roland Fryer, who told The College Fix this week that research indicates that defunding the police would be one of the worst possible things we could do if we really care about black lives.
“Defunding the police is not a solution and could cost thousands of black lives,” Professor Roland Fryer said. “I think the streets are talking and we should listen. People are frustrated.”
As you can see, Fryer is not in denial about racial issues in this country. He is, however, smart enough and well-researched enough to know that getting rid of the police is a non-starter that would only compound the troubles faced by today’s African-Americans.
His research shows that while there are racial disparities when it comes to how the police treat black suspects, those disparities do not affect police shootings. In other words, when you account for differences in criminal activity, police are every bit as likely to shoot a white suspect as they are a black one. Indeed, Fryer’s 2016 study concluded that the police are actually more likely to shoot a white suspect.
Unfortunately, said Fryer, there is an “absolute refusal to grapple with the data” within the media and those who purport to want social justice.
While the complete cowardice to even have a conversation about the facts is certainly harming our country’s ability to solve these problems, Fryer says that we already know how things turn out when we condemn the police as a whole for one isolated incident. In a study of some of the most consequential cases of the last five years – Michael Brown, Freddy Gray, Eric Garner, etc. – Fryer and his colleagues found that police-civilian interaction dropped precipitously in the ensuing weeks and months. And that, he says, took a devastating toll on the black community in those areas.
“Our estimates suggest that investigating police departments after viral incidents of police violence is responsible for approximately 450 excess homicides per year. This is 2x the loss of life in the line of duty for the US Military in a year, 12.6x the annual loss of life due to school shootings, and 3x the loss of life due to lynchings between 1882 and 1901 – the most gruesome years,” he wrote in the new study.
If this is the result merely from police self-restricting their involvement in the black community, what would it look like if we got rid of the police altogether? How much worse would those numbers be?
In a year where we’ve heard the phrase “the cure is worse than the disease” more than we care to remember, defunding the police may be the most apt example anyone could possibly imagine.