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If Black Lives Really Mattered

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
AP Photo/Richard Vogel

Editor's Note: Jim McCoy coauthored this column.

If black lives really mattered for something other than attracting attention to the rare incidences of police officers killing black criminal suspects, more attention would be paid to failing schools run by Democrat supported teachers unions and other deeper problems in black communities. Defunding police departments, the de rigueur action step advocated by many on the left and BLM activists, makes no sense. This is because, at the local level, police spending is dwarfed by education spending, which amounts to 40 percent of local government spending nationwide, versus just six percent for police. Their return on education spending is indeed criminal. Attention should be also given to the epidemic of fatherless black households in America where boys turn into violent gangsters by the time they reach puberty.


There is an increasingly ignorant, hyperbolic push by progressives to capitalize on the recent police shootings of black men. CNN’s Don Lemon has stated, "It depends on the nutrients in the soil. So if you grew up in America, you came out of American soil. Considering the history of this country ... how can you not be racist? How can you not have racial blindspots, how can you not see that the factory reset in America is whiteness?" It is interesting that Don Lemon espouses this jaded perception. In an early interview with actor Morgan Freeman, Freeman dismissed Lemon's emphasis on racism limiting opportunity, saying, "look at you and me." Freeman went on to say if you talk about it (racism), then it exists. On the Senate floor, Tim Kaine, the Democrat Senator from Virginia boldly stated: “The United States didn’t inherit slavery from anybody. We created it.” Kaine is a perfect example of Freeman’s statement, if you talk about it (racism), it exists. Kaine will create and perpetuate racism and slavery as long as it serves his political ambitions.

Those in the black community advocating for peaceful protest and change should toss the Democratic politicians out on their heads since the most violent cities in America are consistently run by Democratic politicians, from city councils, to mayors to legislators to governors, to the U.S. Congress. If these mindless hacks produced an automobile, no one would buy it. As Barton Swaim has pointed out, “The transformation of American society into a civil-rights regime…was carried out by decent and well-intentioned people. Were they right? Was it true that only massive federal spending and coercion could bring about racial parity between blacks and whites? The evidence around us leaves reason to doubt.”


Hard Data

Actual facts are irrelevant to the BLM movement, and attacking the police is an elite progressive luxury. Underlying facts don’t attract media attention and newspaper headlines. From 2012-2015, blacks in America committed 85.5 percent of all black-white interracial violent victimizations. That amounts to 540,360 felonious assaults on whites. Whites including police, on the other hand, committed 14.4 percent of all interracial violent victimizations. When five Dallas police officers were ambushed and murdered in 2016, the best our mixed-race president could muster was, “African-American parents are right to fear that their children may be killed by police officers whenever they go outside.” Veiled racism was a recurring theme in the rhetoric of Obama and continues to fester and erupt in American society as Democrats and liberals intentionally use it to push America towards socialism. Yes, if you continually talk about it, it exists.

In truth, much of the hyperbolized “white officers killing innocent black men” is apocryphal. In 2019, police officers fatally shot 1,004 people, most were armed or otherwise dangerous. Two hundred thirty-five African-Americans amounted to approximately 25 percent of those killed by cops. This ratio has remained stable for the past decade and is less than what the black crime rate would predict because police shootings are a direct function of how often police encounter armed and violent suspects. In 2018, black males made up 53 percent of known homicide offenders in the U.S. and committed about 60 percent of robberies. This stands in the face of the fact that they are only 13 percent of the population. As Heather Mac Donald concludes, “a police officer is 18½ times more likely to be killed by a black male than an unarmed black male is to be killed by a police officer.”


Perhaps the most comprehensive study of police shootings comes from Michigan State researchers, Caroline Brooks & Joseph Cesario who conclude: “We found that the race of the officer doesn’t matter when it comes to predicting whether black or white citizens are shot. If anything, black citizens are more likely to have been shot by black officers, but this is because black officers are drawn from the same population that they police. So, the more black citizens there are in a community, the more black police officers there are.” Sadly, the left-leaning Democratic politicians and community organizers which include BLM, Black Visions Collective, Campaign Zero, Justice Collaborative, Justice Coalition and Reclaim the Block, all ignore these inconveniently true statistics and embrace the false narrative about “feelings and pain.” Again, if you continue talking about it, it exists, so forget the facts!

During the George Floyd and Rayshard Books riots, much the same constituent burned, looted and killed. Here is the essence of black lives really mattering, something that has been neglected by Democrats since the Civil Rights Act passed in 1965, 55 years ago. The way the BLM cohort can prove that black lives really matter is to quit blaming others—the police, conservatives, President Trump and his administration.


Senator Tim Scott, a star in the Republican Party, says that “In our society we spend so much time on the ‘root causes’ and disadvantages that we forget to talk about the solutions…” Scott believes that family formation requires having two parents in the household...If you have two parents in the household you reduce poverty by 85 percent. That’s a stunning truth that needs more oxygen. Use the money you get from organizations and federal and state government to achieve four things. First, instill programs in the black communities and churches that place value and insist on two-parent homes so that black children grow up with fathers. Second, if you feel like demonstrating for something really meaningful to help black lives, do so nationally against marginal or failing school districts that have a symbiotic relationship with liberal teacher unions and demand placing a premium on excellent education like that in most charter schools. Third, follow the likes of Senator Scott, Thomas Sowell, Dr. Ben Carson, Walter Williams, Shelby Steele, John McWhorter and countless other black men who were born poor, yet had the parental support and studied hard to become successful role models for black children instead of gangstra criminals. This means lobbying your local politicians to provide nonunionized charter schools. Fourth, elect local and state government candidates who are committed to inner-city law and order enforcement and who are passionately committed to do whatever it takes to get drug dealers and drugs off the streets.


Coopt BLM and other likeminded organizations to support these efforts. If they don’t, black lives obviously don’t really matter to them.

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