Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Ferguson's Unasked Questions

Is there a record of white power structures suppressing the black vote in Ferguson?  What evidence is there that blacks are disproportionately, unjustly discriminated against in traffic stops in Ferguson?  Other questions here.

Generalizing from Ferguson, here is a fact that is not in dispute: far more blacks are killed by police officers than whites in the U.S.  According to ProPublica 21 black males are killed by police to every 1 white male killed.  It cannot be doubted that there are a troubling number of young blacks killed by police officers.  Of course, we also know that blacks commit crimes at a disproportionately greater percentage than other racial groups, so some or all of the data could be explained by that troubling fact.

Is police officer racism the main explanation as the mass media has determined well in advance of the evidence?  Probably not if that same ProPublica article is correct and able to be generalized.  Black police officers kill a higher percentage of blacks than they kill whites.  And white officers kill a greater percentage of whites than they kill blacks.
Who is killing all those black men and boys?Mostly white officers. [Of course, since 63% of the U.S. is white compared to 14% black.  There are more white officers.]  But in hundreds of instances, black officers, too. Black officers account for a little more than 10 percent of all fatal police shootings. Of those they kill, though, 78 percent were black.
White officers, given their great numbers in so many of the country’s police departments, are well represented in all categories of police killings. White officers killed 91 percent of the whites who died at the hands of police. And they were responsible for 68 percent of the people of color killed. Those people of color represented 46 percent of all those killed by white officers.

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