Monday, July 11, 2016

The Aftermath of the Dallas Police Shootings - Violence Based on a Lie

As I sat in my hotel room up in Chicago, watching FBI Director James Comey’s testimony before congress Thursday morning, I could not imagine how my Monday morning blog could not be about Hillary Clinton. Sadly, the shooting of the police officers in Dallas, including five who died, during a Black Lives Matter protest later that evening would cause me to re-evaluate that idea.

I will save my response to Director Comey’s finding for a more appropriate time.  For now I want to focus on the social issues that are tearing apart the very fabric of this country. I am asking you to please consider everything that I am about to tell in light of the false narrative that you are being spoon fed by the politicians, pundits and so called community activists.

First and foremost is the chilling fact that: #BlackLivesMatter (aka: BLM), like its predecessor: #HandsUpDontShoot, is a lie.

Why do I say that?

Because, just like the real reasons behind gun violence, the people pushing this agenda are completely disingenuous and have no answers as to how to take action to save any lives, let alone black ones.

You know who does? The police.

Yes, those very same blood-thirsty, racist cops are the only ones who are proactively doing something to save lives, especially black ones.

You must be thinking to yourself that I have completely lost it and I can honestly understand why. It’s hard not to believe this stuff when you are being bombarded with it at every turn. Every day the media is reporting about the latest ‘murder’ of a black man by ‘racist’ cops. Hell, even Congress and the NFL got in on the act. But just because you are repeatedly being told something doesn’t make it factual. Consider this quote before you go any further:


A lie doesn’t become truth, wrong doesn’t become right and evil doesn’t become good, just because it is accepted by the majority.” – Rick Warren

We have to move beyond the narrative and look at the facts. Now some people in politics and the media don’t want to do this because it is going to cast a spotlight on the fallacy of their claims. By creating this fictitious boogieman it serves four purposes:
  • Makes someone else responsible for the problems
  • Creates a sensational storyline that sucks in under-informed viewers / readers
  • Provides a financial cottage industry to those willing to exploit it
  • Unjustly demonizes a group of people they already do not like
  • Sadly, this is a classic case of a ‘Lather, Rinse & Repeat’ problem.

So what is the truth, you ask?

Well, much different than what they want you to believe.

The recent attack and assassination of the police officers in Dallas underscores the reality. Those officers were there to protect the BLM protestors. None of the officers in Dallas had been involved in any way with the recent shootings, yet they were being vilified as if they had pulled the triggers themselves. The fact is that the only one that went there with a hate-filled agenda was the shooter and when that shooter opened fired what happened? The police officers, the same ones being demonized by the crowd, rushed in to put themselves between the shooter and protesters.

Yep, sounds just like the blood-thirsty, racist cops we are being warned about.

So how did social media, that bell-weather for the state of decay that has become America, respond?  Not surprisingly, in typical BLM fashion:
  • “Y’all pigs got what was coming for y’all.”
  • “Yeah it's lit in Dallas fuck the pigs !!”
  • “Next time a group wants to organize a police shoot, do like Dallas tonight, but have extra men/women to flank the Pigs!”
  • “These fucking pigs deserve Dallas, and every incident after Dallas until reform. Fucking disgusting animals.”
  • “Dude hell yeah someone is shooting pigs in dallas. Solidarity.”
  • “DALLAS keep smoking dem pigs keep up the work.”

Unfortunately, this vile, hate-filled rhetoric is nothing new. It wasn’t too long ago that we heard chants of: “What do we want? Dead cops. When do we want it? Now!” and “Pigs in a blanket, fry ’em like bacon!”

But surely if the problem is truly as bad as we are being told, then surely there is some emotional justification for all this, right?

The simple answer is no.

To be sure there was a time when racism was a very real problem in this country, but the same can be said with just about every other country in the world. The truth is that there will always be some form of racism and or discrimination. Do you think those comments above are any less racist just because they are directed at the nameless / faceless police?

If those in the BLM community have that much of a problem with the police, then why do they still pick-up the phone and call 911 when they need help? Not sure how to reconcile exactly how you can be so vehemently anti-police one moment, and then hide behind them the next.

Now I know there are those who will contend that the police killings of innocent black are of such epidemic proportions that it justifies some of this anger.

Once again, the truth is no.

To be fair, there are bad cops, just as there are bad politicians, reporters, community activists, doctors, lawyers, firemen, etc. and we should do our best to root them out, because they do a grave disservice to the vast majority who do their jobs with professionalism. But the lie of the epidemic of racist cops killing unarmed / innocent blacks is just that, a lie and just because a lie is told enough times doesn’t make it the truth. I don’t care who is telling you this, whether it is a politician, celebrity, pundit, or the person on the street corner, it will never be the truth and here is why:

The population of the United States is roughly 318 million people. Of that number, approximately 40 million are black. There are less than eight hundred thousand sworn members of law enforcement.

Let that sink in for a minute.

Law enforcement makes up just a quarter of a percent, 0.25%, of the population of the United States!
In terms of the black population it is a ratio of 50:1

So how many blacks have been killed by police so far in 2016? 123.

If you like math that is equal to 0.000307499% of the black population.

Just for comparison, there have been almost 250 blacks killed in the city of Chicago during the same time period.

Do you need me to do the numbers?

The reality is that, if you are black, you are twice as likely to be killed on the streets of Chicago then you are in the entire United States. Yet, I can’t recall ever seeing a single BLM march through the Chicago neighborhoods of Austin or Englewood. Guess they don’t like protesting in war-zones.

The truth is that while more whites are killed by the police (238 vs 123 YTD), blacks are killed by cops more often than whites, proportional to population, but the contrast in numbers is still ridiculously low: 0.0003% vs 0.0001%

This is what we are all up in arms about? 0.0002%

All lives matter, but we must consider what is really going on here.

I’m sorry, but I would really like to know how this adds up to systemic racism of epidemic proportions?

Where is the moral outrage at the murders occurring in Chicago? 

Where are the President, Attorney General, and all the other indignant politicians demanding a full Justice Department investigation into the atrocities being committed daily on the streets of that city?

Because the reality is that politicians have no response for the rise of inner-city crime, like Chicago. Murders there are truly at epidemic proportions. They know the problem, but it is the 800 lb political gorilla in the room that no one wants to talk about. They would rather talk about incarceration rates, yet make no mention of recidivism rates, or point out how blacks are stopped at disproportionately higher numbers than whites.  Call me crazy, but how many white people do you see walking down the streets of places like: Brownsville (New York City), Englewood (Chicago), Compton (Los Angeles), Sandtown (Baltimore), or Highland Park (Detroit). 

So who exactly should the police be stopping? Think about that for a moment. Should we have quotas based on ethnicity? A cop in Brownsville can only stop a racially diverse number of people per day? If you get robbed should the cops be prevented from stopping someone, who fits the description, because they have already stopped a person of that color earlier in the day?

We truly need to #WakeUpAmerica

The police are not the enemy. They are the ones you call when you need help, the ones who run toward the danger while the rest of society runs toward safety. Ask those innocent people trapped within those dangerous inner-city neighborhoods who they want to make things safer. It certainly isn’t the drug dealers or the gang members.

The thin blue line is just that, thin.

We are nothing more than a veil which separates the sheep from the wolves, but more and more it seems that there are many who want to tear that veil away. Through incendiary rhetoric and baseless accusations they castigate the very small fraternity sworn to protect them. They goad the masses into violent action and then feign surprise when act. Each act dismissed as ‘lashing out in frustration’ only serves to further embolden the criminal element.

As a society, we are quickly approaching the edge of our own demise.

The calls for violence, the tacit approval of urban destruction, all in the name of a proven lie, is quickly undermining our very foundation. It is a self-fulfilling prophecy turning our society into an US vs THEM state, all because our elected representatives are more inclined to blame others instead of taking responsibility for the decades long practice of turning a blind eye toward the real problem.

The problem is that one day they will get their wish, and anarchy will become the rule. Then who will they blame for the continual carnage in the black community?

Baseless cries of racism mask the true problem. The true racism is the political one that contends that the system, not a lack of personal responsibility, is the problem; that the police, not the criminals, pose the greatest threat. Ask yourself why those who represent these inner-cities are always looking to blame someone else, instead of re-evaluating their decade’s long failures in government.

Where are the inner-city success stories? Where are the places that four to five decades of democratic control have: reduced poverty, lowered crime, raised education levels, and reduced the need for public assistance?

Anyone?

In 2014, Eric Garner died in New York City. Everyone seemed to jump on the ‘I Can’t Breathe’ bandwagon, yet everyone seems to miss the very point that Garner’s ability to utter the words ‘I Can’t Breathe’ negated that statement. If you can’t breathe, you can’t talk. Some have broken out their medical textbooks and tried to spin this, saying that even if you can’t breathe you can still utter some words, but Garner said ‘I Can’t Breathe’ at least eleven times while still continuing to resist arrest which occurred under the direct supervision of a female, black sergeant.

Eric Garner was not an innocent. He had a record of more than 30 arrests, dating back to 1980, on charges including assault and grand larceny. At the time of his death, he was out on bail after being charged with illegally selling cigarettes, driving without a license, marijuana possession and false impersonation.   Garner also did not die at the scene of the confrontation. He suffered cardiac arrest in the ambulance taking him to the hospital and was pronounced dead about an hour later. The 6-foot-3, 350 pound, man suffered from a number of health problems, including heart disease, severe asthma, diabetes, obesity, and sleep apnea.

Maybe, just maybe, he contributed to his own demise by engaging in criminal behavior and then resisting arrest? When the officer went to take him into custody Garner physical swatted the officer’s hands away from him, escalating the situation. He made that choice. If he had not resisted I imagine the outcome would have been completely different.

The question is what would you like the police to do? The cops are being blamed for enforcing laws that they didn’t create. How would citizens feel if they called 911 to report a crime only to be told ‘that’s been determined to be a minor crime and we no longer enforce them’?

In 2015, Freddie Gray died in Baltimore.

Baltimore is a city comprised of a 63% black population.  It has a black mayor, black police chief (at the time of Gray’s death), black state’s attorney, and a predominantly black city council presided over by a black council president.  The last four out of five mayors have been black and the last four out of six police chiefs have been black. The police department is a majority-minority department. It is a city that has been controlled by democrats for eighty-four of the last one hundred years and yet Gray’s death was somehow made out to be racist, even though three of the six officers involved were black.

Really?

To be sure, all lives matter. The officers involved didn’t set out that day to kill someone. If you believe that then I truly feel very sorry for you. Of the six officers involved, only one officer had a disciplinary record, stemming from a domestic incident.

Not exactly the picture of the racist cops everyone tried to portray.

Understand that Freddie Gray was also not an innocent person. He had a criminal record that included drug charges, parole violation and other crimes. At the time of his death he had five active criminal court cases pending. He had also served four years in prison. At the time of his arrest he was in possession of an illegal knife. The state’s attorney, Marilyn Mosby, tried to muddy the waters by saying the knife was legal in Maryland, but ignored the fact that it was actually illegal in Baltimore.

What the state’s attorney also didn’t want you to know was that three weeks prior to the incident, she had requested enhanced drug enforcement efforts at the corner of North and Mount, the area where Gray was arrested.

The truth is a much different picture than is routinely portrayed.

In the case of the recent shooting of Alton Sterling, the police were called after someone said Sterling had threatened them with a gun. Upon arrival of the police a struggled ensued and Sterling was subsequently shot. He was in fact armed with a gun.

An examination of his criminal history shows thirteen arrests including: Assault, Juvenile Sexual Offender, Burglary, Weapons Possession, Narcotics, Resisting Arrest, Domestic Abuse….. Not exactly the poster child for: ‘I was minding my own business and the cops attacked me for no reason.’

Once again we have a criminal, engaging in criminal behavior and armed with a weapon, yet it is the fault of the racist police.

As I previously wrote about, the New York Times did a story that documented seventy-three fatal police shootings over the course of a 1 year period, from August 2014 to August 2015, throughout the United States. In all but three cases, the shootings where the end result of what started off as some type of criminal activity. Perhaps it isn’t about racist cops, but about the criminals and their behavior?

So why do these false narratives continue to persist? For the reasons I outlined at the beginning:
  • Politicians, who bear a substantial responsibility for the decay of our inner-cities, blame someone else. They elevate themselves as the people’s champion, in order to get re-elected, to continue fighting to correct some fictitious problem.
  • Pundits sensationalize erroneous storylines because, truth be told, bad news sells. They look at the same impartial data, but then cherry pick it to support their pre-determined conclusion. Add to the fact that violent protestors and property destruction draw viewers who stay glued to their TV sets and increase ratings.
  • The activists realize that there is fame to attain and money to be made.
  • And finally, there is a certain segment of society that is anarchistic in nature and is exploiting the situation to justify their desire to simply destroy things. They want to speed up the confrontation.

This country will never be able to move forward until we begin to embrace the truth and not the stories we are being told. The problem is that this will require us to educate ourselves and not believe the lies. It will require us to expect more from the politicians we elect to represent us.

Until then, the police will continue to do their job; putting their lives on the line to keep the citizens of this great nation safe, even when those same citizens are protesting and shouting ‘Fuck the Police.’

Violence multiplies violence. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” - Dr. Martin Luther King

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