The Corner

Law & the Courts

Black Lives Matter’s Supporters Have to Grapple With This Chart

One of the most frustrating aspects of our so-called “national dialog” on race is the presumption that disparate impact equals racism. In other words, if any negative action falls disproportionately on people of color, then that difference itself is evidence of racial bias. Take the police shooting debate. Though police kill far more whites, they do use deadly force on a higher proportion of African-Americans. All other things being equal, wouldn’t that be evidence of racism? But all other things aren’t equal — violent crime rates simply aren’t proportionate. Look at this Guardian chart of murder rates, taken from the most current FBI crime statistics:

In other words, black men were roughly “nine times more likely” to be murdered than white men, and the overwhelming majority of those murders were committed by other black men. Black men were far more likely to murder white victims than vice versa. That’s a horrifying racial disparity — one that indicates that a segment (a thankfully small segment) of the black community has a terrible problem with violent crime. Given the undeniable reality that people don’t commit crime on a proportionate basis, why would any rational person believe that law enforcement shootings would follow population percentages more than crime statistics? Heather Mac Donald makes this point better than anyone, but it’s worth repeating just as often as the Left repeats its disparate impact mantra.

One final note, this year’s 10.8 percent increase in the national murder rate — the largest increase since 1971 — meant that “at least 900 more black men were killed in 2015 than in 2014.” Dear Black Lives Matter, black lives matter — so please stop your relentless efforts to “reform” American law enforcement into impotence.

David French is a senior writer for National Review, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute, and a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

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