Sunday, April 19, 2015

Race Relations and Law Enforcement—Jason Riley

“The shooting death of a young black man by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, last year touched off a national discussion about everything except the aberrant behavior of so many young black men that results in such frequent encounters with police. We talked about racial prejudice, poverty, unemployment, profiling, the tensions between law enforcement and poor black communities, and so forth. Rarely did we hear any discussion of black crime rates.

Homicide is the leading cause of death for young black men in the U.S., and around 90 percent of the perpetrators are also black. Yet for months we’ve had protesters nationwide pretending that our morgues are full of young black men because cops are shooting them. Around 98 percent of black shooting deaths do not involve police. In fact, a cop is six times more likely to be shot by someone black than the opposite. The protestors are pushing a false anti-cop narrative, and everyone from the president on down has played along.” . . .

“If liberals want to help reverse these crime trends, they would do better to focus less on supposed racial animus and more on ghetto attitudes towards school, work, marriage, and child-rearing. As recently as the early 1960s, two out of three black children were raised in two-parent households. Today, more than 70 percent are not, and the number can reach as high as 80 or 90 percent in our inner cities.

For decades, studies have shown that the likelihood of teen pregnancy, drug abuse, dropping out of school and other bad social outcomes increases dramatically when fathers aren’t around. One of the most comprehensive studies ever undertaken in this regard concluded that black boys without a father are 68 percent more likely to be incarcerated than those with a father—that overall, the most critical factor affecting the prospect of young males encountering the criminal justice system is the presence of a father in the home. All other factors, including family income, are much less important.”

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