Hillary Clinton responded to the Dallas shooting of five police officers by essentially blaming white people – that we just simply don’t understand the suffering in black communities and the “systemic racism,” that still resides in America.
So she plans to lecture us on it.
“I’m going to be talking to white people – I think we’re the ones who have to start listening to the legitimate cries that are coming from our African-American fellow citizens,” she told CNN in an interview on Friday.
I don’t know what it’s like to grow up as an African American and I’m sure – from conversations that I’ve had with criminal justice advocates, I underestimate the level of discrimination and additional risk they face in society.
That being said, we need to be sure we tell the full story in order to produce any sort of meaningful reform – and that means the African American community will also needs to right some wrongs within its own community – for they are not entirely inculpable, like Mrs. Clinton would like you to believe – and President Barack Obama for that matter.
On Thursday night, before the deadly cop shootings, Mr. Obama took to his podium to blame the men and women in uniform for treating people of color differently than they do us white folks.
“These are not isolated incidents,” Mr. Obama said of the officer shootings of two black men in Louisiana and Minnesota earlier in the week. “They are symptomatic of a broader set of racial disparities that exist in our criminal justice system,” he explained.
Then, to prove his point, he started listing off statistics.
“According to various studies, not just one, but a wide range of studies that have been carried out over a number of years, African-Americans are 30 percent more likely than whites to be pulled over,” Mr. Obama said. “After being pulled over, African-Americans and Hispanics are three times more likely to be searched. Last year, African-Americans were shot by police at more than twice the rate of whites.”
Blacks are arrested at twice the rate of whites, and they and Hispanics represent more than half of the incarcerated population – while only making up 30 percent of the population, he added.
The problem with these statistics is they are misleading and tell only half the story. They are being manipulated to create a narrative – that the judicial system is unfair to the African-American population – prejudiced even. And anyone who isn’t part of the population, simply doesn’t get it because they’re not affected by it.
If Mr. Obama were to be truthful in his telling of the story, a much larger picture would have emerged – once that doesn’t look as good for the African American community.
According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, blacks were charged with 62 percent of all robberies, 57 percent of murders and 45 percent of assaults in the 75 largest U.S. counties in 2009, though they made up roughly 15 percent of the population there.
Translation: Black neighborhoods are getting policed, because they need to be policed. They’re crime-ridden, with blacks disproportionately – eight times – more likely to commit a violent crime than whites and Hispanics combined.
Black-on-black crime is also a topic Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Obama would like to avoid – for then they would have to admit police officers are more often than not, saving black lives. More than 6,000 blacks died of homicide last year, six times higher than Whites and Hispanics combined.
So why are African Americans more likely to commit a violent crime both against themselves and in general?
You can blame lack of education and opportunity, but probably the largest indicator is the breakdown within the African American family, especially in urban centers. More than 70 percent of African-American children were born to unwed mothers last year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which publishes a report every year that includes a wealth of data about births in America.
Late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, penned a report while he was the assistant secretary at the U.S. Department of Labor about 50 years ago, that tried to understand poverty in America, and especially within the African American community.
“The fundamental problem is that of family structure,” wrote Mr. Moynihan, a Democrat who had a doctorate in sociology. “The evidence—not final but powerfully persuasive—is that the Negro family in the urban ghettos is crumbling.”
This is a tough problem for government to solve. But not impossible.
First, we need to recognize it exists.
In 1994, when Eric Holder was a U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia under Bill Clinton’s administration, he condemned the black community for its “lack of values,” and “aversion to work.”
Although crime “is born of poverty,” Mr. Holder said in a speech at a Martin Luther King Jr. event at the time, “we must also realize that crime is generated by a lack of values that has largely gone unaddressed in our nation as a whole and in the black community in particular. Soaring unwed birthrates, absentee fathers, an aversion to work, an unwillingness to embrace societal standards and time-honored discipline — all these factors have contributed to the problems we must now confront.”
However, instead of confronting these problems, more than two decades later, the Democratic Party has run away from them. It’s now white people’s fault – and our systemic racism – that’s holding the African American community back. It’s just that.
“I also want people, especially I want white people — I want white people to recognize that there is systemic racism. It’s also in employment. It’s in housing, but it is in the criminal justice system as well,” Mrs. Clinton said at a Democratic debate this year.
Welcome to the future.