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Reflections


Lie-based Victimology Produces Violence

by Ralph R. Reiland,
Professor of Free Enterprise at Robert Morris University
 

"A lie has overtaken significant parts of the country, resulting in growing mass hysteria," recently wrote Heather Mac Donald, contributing editor of City Journal, an influential and scholarly quarterly on urban affairs published by the Manhattan Institute.

"That lie holds that the police pose a mortal threat to black Americans — indeed that the police are the greatest threat facing black Americans today," wrote Mac Donald in her December 2014 article, "The Big Lie of the Anti-Cop Left Turns Lethal: The real story behind the murder of two NYPD officers."

Mac Donald asserted that "several subsidiary untruths buttress that central myth: that the criminal justice system is biased against blacks; that the black underclass doesn't exist; and that the crime rates are comparable between blacks and whites — leaving disproportionate police action in minority neighborhoods unexplained without reference to racism."

The lethal fallout from this unrelenting drumbeat of black victimhood and anti-cop tirades, the half-truths and falsehoods repeatedly disseminated from the highest and lowest levels of America society? "The poisonous effect of those lies," cautioned Mac Donald, "has now manifested itself in the cold-blooded assassination of two NYPD officers."
More broadly, the lethal fallout has manifested itself in the rising number of poor people, disproportionately black, that are now being murdered in America's inner cities.


In Chicago, 56 people were shot over the Memorial Day weekend, 12 fatally. As of May 17, Chicago had 133 murders this year, a jump of 17 percent over the same period last year."

In Baltimore, May 2015 was the deadliest month in the city in 15 years -- while arrests were down by over 50 percent compared to last year.

An editorial about Ferguson in the New York Times, stated Mac Donald, "ratcheted up its already stratospheric level of anti-cop polemics, with the Times claiming that "the killing of young black men by police is a common feature of African-American life and a source of dread for black parents."
In fact, a more "common feature of African-American life," a more widespread "source of dread for black parents," is the killing of young black men by other young black men.
"Police killings of blacks are an extremely rare feature of black life and are a minute fraction of black homicide deaths," reported Mac Donald.

"The police could end all killings of civilians tomorrow and it would have no effect on the black homicide risk, which comes overwhelmingly from other blacks," asserted Mac Donald. "In 2013, there were 6,261 black homicide victims in the United States -- almost all killed by black civilians -- resulting in a death risk in inner cities that is 10 times higher for blacks than for whites. None of those killings triggered mass protests; they are deemed normal and beneath notice."

Continued Mac Donald: "The police, by contrast, according to published reports, kill roughly 200 blacks a year, most of them armed and dangerous, out of about 40 million police-civilian contacts a year. Blacks are in fact killed by police at a lower rate than their threat to officers would predict. In 2013, blacks made up 42 percent of all cop killers whose race was known, even though blacks are only 13 percent of the nation's population."
Cop-killer Ismaaiyl Brinsley, who assassinated NYPD officers Wenjian Liu, 32, and Rafael Ramos, 40, posted this Instagram message prior to the execution-style murders of the two officers: " I'm Putting Wings on Pigs Today. They Take 1 of Ours, Let's Take 2 of Theirs."

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Ralph R. Reiland is associate professor of economics and the B. Kenneth Simon professor of free enterprise at Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh.

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Ralph R. Reiland
Phone: 412-779-7583
E-mail: rrreiland@aol.com


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