The Corner

Race, Lies, and Videotape

Does anyone for a moment believe that the current rash of  shootings of law enforcement personnel would be occurring if large segments of the black population didn’t incorrectly believe that cops are shooting blacks at a disproportionate rate? There is (and has been for some time) substantial evidence that blacks are not shot at disproportionate rates, at least not disproportionate to the rates blacks are involved in crime or conduct that otherwise triggers interaction with police. In Ferguson, Missouri, for example, blacks are nearly 17 times more likely to commit murder than whites. In New York City blacks are 34 times more likely than whites to engage in shootings.

The president knows this. So does his attorney general and the presumptive Democratic nominee for president. The members of the media should know it, otherwise they should be in a different profession. Yet each continues to traffic in falsehoods — falsehoods that are the political equivalent of shouting “Fire!” in a crowded theater; falsehoods that provide convenient rationales for bad actors.

Yes, yes, the responsibility for the shootings of police officers lies with the shooters. But that doesn’t excuse the despicably irresponsible behavior of those who know the truth but prefer to perpetuate a narrative, for they know full well — having repeatedly seen the death and destruction wrought since the false Ferguson narrative emerged — the consequences of their false narrative.

What if immediately after the Michael Brown narrative had been debunked, the president, instead of  resorting to his usual refrain of  “racial disparities in the criminal justice system,” had used the bully pulpit to tell the truth, to correct misconceptions, to recite some of the facts related to race and law enforcement? What if the president had listened to Heather Mac Donald and Thomas Sowell rather than Reverend Wright and Al Sharpton?

What if there were adults in positions of power?

Peter Kirsanow — Peter N. Kirsanow is an attorney and a member of the United States Commission on Civil Rights.

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