We Don’t Need to Re-Imagine the Police - Part 1

By Patrick Hall

I’m a recovering Progressive Liberal Democrat, now in my fifth decade of sobriety. However, I can recall a time in my socio-political evolution when I, and many of the individuals I associated with, were impressed with the catchy phrases, the cultural-political nomenclature, and other shining-political objects lavishly dispensed by my insufferable 1960’s and 70s cohorts. By any means necessary, "you're blaming-the-victim," "blacks can't be racists," "the man wants to keep you down," "no justice-no peace," the conspicuous use of the term “pigs”, when referring to the police, treating everyone the same is racist, burn-baby-burn, these along with hosts of other favorite political antiphons firmly controlled our body politics. They skillfully “massaged” or manipulated how we viewed America. I and many others of my culturally left, pseudo-black militant, and white Marxists colleagues perceived ourselves as the “Alpha and Omega” of all, hopefully good and socially uplifting within a systemically racist country like the United States. We were out to correct many of America’s grievous faults and sins. Boy, what a bunch of self-righteous, narcissistic idiots we were!

The current animosity and outright hostility toward our men and women in blue (something that was secretly promoted by former President Obama and his Justice Department) are a calamitous, if not dangerous fabrication. It is a distortion or perilous lie, built on the historical memory of police misconduct during the height of the Civil Rights Movement in the deep South. It simply doesn't exist to the extent the political class, leftist academia, and groups, like Black Lives Matter, say it does. The George Floyd killing by Officer Derek Chauvin and other "rare" incidents of police misconduct, universally condemned by all law enforcement, have been exploited to defame the thousands of men and women in blue.  The truth is, the police aren’t out to hurt anyone, much less black Americans. From a purely statistical outlook, it is just the opposite. If you are a police officer, you are 370 times more likely to be killed by a black person than the other way around.
It is the police who are tasked with the very difficult job of protecting all lives.  The police are the ones who show up in the early morning hours to intervene in domestic disturbances, outright criminal maleficence or other tremendously dangerous situations perpetrated by the criminal elements in many black communities.  And yes, the criminals in these neighborhoods are other blacks preying on their fellow citizens.

Black criminals bring the most incivility and violence to the very neighborhoods, where the police are the only protection against these violent thugs. Thugs who would shoot you and then go eat their lunch all in the same half-hour. But too many "caring" and socially conscious liberals, that is ok. This violence within many black communities is often airbrushed over by the excuse that blacks are suffering from the effects of 400 years of slavery or some other non-sense taken from the ossified pantheon of systemic or institutional racism.

It is propagated by many Democrats, including the "Squad," Congressional Black Caucus, CRT race alchemists, as well as “the some” Black Lives Matter crowd. Even our current President seems taken in by this insidious narrative. Biden’s consistent message to the world that America is a systematically racist nation, beset by the scourge of “white supremacy”, is a punch-in-the-gut to many Americans who don’t view America that way. But Joe's Biden white supremacy talking points provide continuing cover for the criminal element within the black community.

But thank God we have these men and women in blue, who will run in the direction of the gunfire, while others recoil or live conveniently away from dysfunctional urban areas. Daily, the police engage in millions of interactions with the citizenry. Out of the millions of contacts, only a minute portion may go sideways, mostly because of non-complying criminal thug or, as BLM devotees would phrase it (a historically oppressed person of color). Let me repeat myself for clarification. Out of the millions of contacts the police experience in performing their everyday duties, only a minute portion may go sideways, where there is a loss of life.  But that is all it takes for Jacobins of the Victim-Industrial-Complex, and with support from the Democratic Party and the MSM (one in the same entity) to drive the fear-porn of racist law enforcement and police brutality.  

The police are the least of the social pathologies infecting the black communities in many urban areas. Since 2010 alone, black criminals have killed more black people than the total number of soldiers killed in Afghanistan and the Middle East.

Here are some other chilling statistics that BLM and other social justice advocates deliberately ignore. Despite being only 13% of the United States population, Blacks are responsible for 52% of all homicides. According to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention and the Justice Department, blacks between the age of 10 to 34 die from homicides at 13 times the rate of white Americans. In many inner cities, the penchant for murdering their fellow brethren is well over 75%.  

 Once more, with a straight face, the media in conjunction with BLM and members of the Squad, like Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), Cori Bush (D-MO), and Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), tell us that the police are the most apparent danger to black people. BLM, the Congressional Black Caucus, and other groups, who quickly employ the canard of police indiscriminately killing blacks, have it all backward or purposely ignore some harsh facts. Policing, especially in many urban areas, is driven by crime data and community demand for help. The black community tends to be policed more because people are disproportionally hurt by violent street crime. New York City is a perfect, if not tragic, an example of this disproportionality.   In 2018, 73% of shooting victims were black, though the black population of New York is less than 24%. To be blunt, the evidence does not support the charge that racist police are purposelessly killing black Americans. Black criminals are already doing an extraordinarily efficient and utterly heartbreaking job of killing one another.

[Patrick Hall is a retired university library director. He is a graduate of Canisius College and the University of Washington, where he received three advance degrees. He has published in Freedom's Journal Magazine, America, Commonweal, Headway, Journal of Academic Librarianship, American Libraries and others. He currently volunteers at a local VA hospital in the town of Erie, Pa.]

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