The Washington Post does its part to continue the collapse in race relations in the United States… and in the process diverts attention from the real issues facing Americans of all stripes such as an anemic economy, a disastrous Iran deal and a feckless administration that can’t seem to do anything right.
On Sunday the paper ran a piece with the following title: A year after Michael Brown’s fatal shooting, unarmed black men are seven times more likely than whites to die by police gunfire. It then proceeds to discuss the deaths of a number of unarmed black men who were killed by police since the Michael Brown case one year ago. The paper helpfully notes:
“Black men accounted for 40 percent of the 60 unarmed deaths, even though they make up just 6 percent of the U.S. population.”
While those figures might be startling, out of context they mean nothing. Certainly the fact that black men accounted for 40% of the 60 unarmed deaths is astonishing given their 6% of the population. But it doesn’t seem quite so startling when one notes that, according to the FBI, in 2012 black men were charged with 38.5% of violent crime; “even though they make up just 6% of the U.S. population.” In addition, of those under the age of 18 charged with violent crimes, 51.5% of them are black males. (Note, in both these cases the FBI stats don’t break down by sex, but according to their statistics men are 10X more likely than women to commit violent crimes such as murder.)
And the word unarmed does not mean someone is not dangerous. Of the six main men profiled in the piece, one of was high on Cocaine and attacking an officer, another led police on a high speed chase and was shot when police thought he was reaching for a weapon after his vehicle was immobilized, while another, according to police, was shot while trying to run arresting officers over.
None of this is to suggest that there are not bad police out there or that black men are never wrongly killed by police. We know it happens, as the killing of Walter Scott show. But thankfully, that is the exception rather than the rule. But that’s not the message the Washington Post is seeking to communicate. As troubling as even one wrongful death is, in a nation of 320 million people, with almost a million police and over a million violent crimes each year, context is everything.
The Washington Post could have used the same data to make the following headline: “Black men, who were charged with almost 40% of violent crime in America, accounted for 40 percent of the 60 unarmed deaths at the hands of police.” But that wouldn’t have moved forward their narrative that the police are racists. They also could have used the total number of people killed by police, 585, to begin a discussion about excessive force, but that too would have missed the mark of their police are racists mark as well, particularly as the number of citizens killed by police is extraordinarily low by historic standards. (In 1971 NYC police killed 91 people vs. 8 in 2013) Finally, they could have used that same 585 number of people killed by police to begin a discussion on the number of lives saved by the actions of the police. But that too would have been completely incongruent with their narrative.
The point here isn’t that shootings by police are not an important issue. On the contrary, they are and it’s a very important issue as the government, usually in the form of police, is the only entity legally empowered to take your liberty. The point is the value of picking up a copy of the Washington Post or clicking on one of its links. Is the supposed leading national paper on politics a source of news or is it a shill for the Democrat party with the objective of helping to get Democrats elected?
While there is no mention of politics in the story one way or another, it’s obviously biased with the goal of inflaming racial tensions across the country… at a time where they are already at the lowest point in decades. That of course helps Democrats who built their modern party on identity politics.
Sadly, if the Washington Post were to do some real reporting on violence and murder in black America and the policies that propagate it, the impact would likely send black Americans running from the Democrat party like the plague. But as 2016 will be a make or break election between the continuation of the march of progressivism or a sharp turn to a conservative reversal, don’t expect the Washington Post to do any actual reporting. Just look for the Democrat label. You won’t see it on the masthead, but you can be sure it’s there nonetheless.