Democrats were caught in a tight spot this week after the tragedy in Dallas. What were they to say? Obviously, they couldn’t pretend that this wasn’t a direct result of their anti-police messaging, could they? They couldn’t try to make this about gun control, surely?
Oh, they could. And they did.
Okay, so that wasn’t too surprising, but what was surprising was how quickly the media managed to get back to a more palatable story: the police shootings in Baton Rouge and Minnesota. Those stories came with a familiar narrative. Police are still racist. Still killing black men for no reason whatsoever. Still in desperate need of reform.
And so we must return to the “conversation.” A conversation which only includes one or two acceptable viewpoints. To participate, you don’t have to agree on a list of solutions, but you do have to agree on the problem. Earlier in the week, President Obama lectured us by saying: “Black people aren’t just making this stuff up.” He didn’t need to say that; no one in mainstream America (networks, politics, etc.) is allowed to even hint at such a possibility.
And no, it’s not entirely fictitious. Concrete data proves that some of our country’s police departments are ripe for a makeover. Americans generally agree that body cams are a good idea. And no one is willing to stand by and watch police officers kill people when there is no apparent justification. We’re all on the same page.
But this issue isn’t as cut-and-dried as the media, the Democrats, and the Black Lives Matter folks make it out to be. There are factors at play that don’t have a thing to do with racism, bad policing, or evil cops.
Statistically speaking, cops are much more likely to be killed by black suspects than by white suspects. In 2013, blacks were responsible for over 40% of police fatalities. This, despite making up only 13% of the American population. So is it racist for cops to be aware of that? Is it racist for them to go into a confrontation with a black suspect with a bit more caution? A bit more tension? If it is, we’re talking about the kind of racism that cannot and will not be eradicated.
We can talk about the way things “should” be all day long. It won’t get us anywhere. It’s like the feminists and their anti-rape crusade. Sure, it sounds nice to slap a poster on the wall that says: Only Men Can Stop Rape. But guess what? It’s not going to stop a single rapist.
And so it is here. Is it fair that innocent black Americans have to suffer for the sins of their criminal brothers? Absolutely not. It’s horrible. If there are measures we can take to reduce police brutality and shootings, we should explore them as soon as possible.
But if we expect police officers to pretend that white confrontations and black confrontations pose the same risks, we’re still going to be talking about this problem in ten years. Very few cops are going to put themselves in greater danger just to satisfy the demands of political correctness. We’re talking, essentially, about deep, primal human instinct. You can’t legislate it away. You can’t wish it away. It has nothing to do with America’s history of slavery and segregation. It’s a byproduct of an inconvenient little thing called reality.
And until that reality changes, the march towards racial justice will be a slow one.