I’m not arguing that we don’t need criminal justice reform. We do.
This week I read the New York Times report by the renown African American professor, Roland G. Fryer Jr., that there black people “are more likely to be touched, handcuffed, pushed to the ground or pepper-sprayed by a police officer,” but they are NOT more likely to be shot.
Since this study’s publication there have been numerous articles clarifying the data and attempts to draw meaning from it. Personally, one of my favorites was the New Yorker piece titled POLICE SHOOTINGS, RACE, AND THE FEAR DEFENSE, by Benjamin Wallace-Wells. Mr. Wallace-Wells pointed out that often the most effective defense in high profile cases where someone in an authoritative position shoots a black person, is the defense that they were afraid for their lives. He states that “The moral logic of Blue Lives Matter is that we send police into places where we are too scared to go- who are we, safe in our distance, to second-guess their judgement that a situation has grown too frightening to control? The argument has some power because the dangers, for cops, are real.”
The author goes on to question how much weight our courts should be giving this line of defense, but as I read it I couldn’t help but think about the words from Dallas Chief of Police David Brown. In case you missed it, here are the quotes from his transcript,
“We’re asking cops to do too much in this country. We are. We’re just asking us to do too much. Every societal failure, we put it off on the cops to solve. Not enough mental health funding? Let the cops handle it. Not enough drug addiction funding? Let’s give it to the cops. Here in Dallas we got a loose-dog problem. Let’s have the cops chase loose dogs. Schools fail? Give it to the cops. Seventy percent of the African-American community is being raised by single women. Let’s give it to the cops to solve that, as well. That’s too much to ask.
You won’t see me walking past an officer without grabbing them and hugging them and shaking their hand and telling them how grateful I am for their commitment and sacrifice. Become a part of the solution. Serve your communities. Don’t be a part of the problem. We’re hiring. (laughter) We’re hiring. Get off that protest line and put an application in, and we’ll put you in your neighborhood and we will help you resolve some of the problems you’re protesting about.”
Anyone one can protest for a few hours or even days. It’s not that hard to stand in front of some cops with your likeminded friends and get acalades on social media for standing up for social justice. It’s kind of like those people who go to Haiti for a week and throw some toys at children so they can post pictures of themselves with a black child on Instagram with some kind of bullshit caption like “Giving back”
You’re not making any sacrifices for sustainable chance.
I’m slightly disgusted with these protestor-type people who are only focused on demonizing a single group instead of looking at what causes high death rates of minority young men around our country. There’s no sense of responsibility there. Rudy Gulliani is far from eloquent, but is there a level of truth in his words? I also wonder how many people will actually get up and take Chief Brown’s challenge of getting of the protest line and becoming a part of the solution. How many “likes” would that get?
Not enough, probably.