Black Lives Don’t Matter to Black Fathers

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The news today revolved around the death of George Floyd, the man who once robbed a pregnant woman by shoving a gun into her stomach but tragically succumbed to a police control maneuver that had been used a thousand times on other suspects of his size and strength. The societal pressure to recognize Floyd’s death as a pivotal point in American history—the day when the evil white man was forced to own up to his own violent and self-serving system—is enormous. To even speak ill of St. George and the cause for which he became a figurehead is blasphemy punishable by whatever the nearest ‘person of color’ decides, even violence. Because you see, speech can now be considered violence if it’s uttered from the mouth of a ‘privileged’ white person. Don’t believe me? Consult your local university professor. Or any of the students they’ve brainwashed. They’re the ones burning down cities in the name of social justice and the destruction of capitalism—provided it can be recorded with their $800 iPhones.

There is one element often omitted from the raging racial debate in America these days, though: the truth. The reality is that the entire narrative on which Black Lives Matter is built is a complete lie. No one can say that without losing their jobs (trust me, I’m an example) but even a cursory view of the facts reveals that the white supremacist hellhole that young minorities are taught is in the DNA of America simply doesn’t exist. There is no epidemic of police brutality against blacks, or any other race for that matter. There are no institutional prejudices against blacks or any other minority, although whites and Asians do often suffer from systemic racism.

Do bad cops exist? Absolutely. So do bad fireman, bad plumbers, bad Tilt-a-Whirl operators and bad preachers. But like most every profession, they are the exception rather than the rule. And inappropriate police encounters with blacks? Those are also extreme exceptions.

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An Inconvenient Study

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Following the death of Michael Brown, Harvard professor Roland G. Fryer Jr,. who happens to be black, was outraged by the plight of young blacks in America facing police. So like any good scholar, he set out to study the issue so that he may understand its root causes and perhaps affect positive change. Professor Fryer studied over a thousand police-involved shootings and reached a conclusion that he called “the most surprising result of my career.” To Fryer’s credit, he did not allow his own bias to shape the findings of his study, displaying a level of professionalism one is hard-pressed to find on a mainstream media station.

In short, Fryer found there to be no racial bias in police-involved shootings. But that’s not all. He found that not only are blacks not more likely to be fired upon by police than whites, if anything, they are less likely to be shot.

In all, Fryer examined 1,332 shootings that occurred between 2000 and 2015 in 10 major police departments, making his study one of the most comprehensive to date. Before he and his team of researchers were done, Fryer spent an estimated 3,000 hours poring over the data from Los Angeles, Ca., three cities in Texas (Houston, Austin, and Dallas), and four counties and two cities in Florida (Orlando and Jacksonville). Fryer admitted he was surprised to find that the the racial bias narrative is demonstrably false when it comes to police-involved shootings.

Here are the key takeaways from Fryer’s study. Hat tip to the Daily Wire as an informational source:

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1. Not only are police NOT more likely to fire on blacks than whites, blacks are 20% LESS likely to be fired on.

Yes, you read that correctly. When Fryer and his team actually dug into the details of the 1,332 officer-involved shootings, they found that officers were actually less likely to fire on black suspects without having been attacked.

Fryer found the same to be true when he examined cases that did not result in shootings. Using data from the Houston Police Department, Fryer looked at arrests where lethal force might have been justified — where suspects were arrested for serious offenses, like resisting arrest, fleeing, or attack an officer — and found that if a suspect was black, officers were about 20% less likely to shoot. His findings included that blacks were about 24-22% less likely to be shot at when police “might plausibly have fired.”

Some folks call that “the Ferguson effect,” meaning cops are more afraid to use lethal force against blacks due to the inevitable riots that will ensue. I only pray that this hesitation doesn’t get a good officer killed.

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2. Blacks and whites involved in police shootings were equally likely to be carrying a weapon.

As was noted by the New York Times, Fryer found that black and white civilians involved in police shootings “were equally likely to have been carrying a weapon.” This conclusion likewise directly undermines the assumption that racial bias is a major factor in officers’ use of lethal force, as some have posited that a disproportionate number of blacks were unarmed in police shootings as compared to whites.

3. Police officers’ accounts of events are typically not biased

Fryer’s research revealed that concerns about the reliability of police reports were also largely unfounded, his results being about the same whether or not he referred to the recounting of events provided by officers.

4. Cameras don’t often change officers’ handling of situations

Another conclusion of the study was that the use of cell phones and social media to document alleged police brutality does not appear to have changed policing practices, a question that many have posed in recent years following high-profile videos of police encounters. It has had the effect, however, of ginning up reactionary morons who base their view of policing on random YouTube videos as opposed to data.

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5. Professor Fryer’s research aligns with numerous other studies on this topic

Just in case you thought I was cherry-picking a study by a black Harvard professor to make my argument, I’d remind you that numerous other studies have reached the same conclusion. In 2015, Heather Mac Donald attempted to explain to rabid partisan race-baiters how proportion works in terms of statistics. For example, in the year she conducted her study, 50% of the victims of police shootings were white, while 26% were black. Some have tried to argue that this is evidence of racial bias against blacks because they represent only 15% of the population; however, as Mac Donald points out, blacks account for a disproportionate percentage of major crimes, including 62% of robberies, 57% of murders and 45% of assaults. Of course, that’s a stat no one is allowed to say in polite company lest they acquire the dreaded ‘racist’ label. Another example of de-contextualized data is that showing a higher percent of unarmed blacks who are shot than unarmed whites, but as both Mac Donald and Fryer found, when the details of the cases are included, such statistics turn out to be misleading. Come to think of it, pretty much all these stories crumble when actual details get revealed. Not every time, of course. There are credentialed journalists at major networks who still believe the Mike Brown “Hands Up Don’t Shoot” narrative really happened.

In the end, Professor Fryer reached the same conclusion as many others who came before him: police are regular people doing their best in very tough situations. The bad apples are a very tiny minority and black folks in America aren’t treated any more poorly by police than any other race. I suppose that goes a long way towards explaining why a recent Gallup poll found that 80% of the black community either wanted the same number of more police in their neighborhood. Maybe reality sets in a little harder in a poor black neighborhood than, say, a gated white liberal community.

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The Actual Problem

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Seeing as how I’ve spent all this time explaining what the problem isn’t, it’s only fair that I identify what it is. As it turns out, it’s very simple, and not only confined to the black race. It’s the breakdown of the nuclear family, specifically the absence of fathers or other positive male role models in kids’ lives.

I could have written about this topic regarding any race. There isn’t a child on Earth—regardless of race—who doesn’t need a strong family unit to increase their chances of living a happy and healthy life. It just so happens that this problem disproportionately affects the black community, and anyone with any semblance of common sense understands that it’s the root of many of the black community’s problems. Police are not abandoning young black males to be raised by the streets — black men are. If that fact offends you, frankly, I don’t care. I’m offended every time I see a black man complaining about the way cops handled his kid on the streets to which he abandoned him. Now THAT takes more nerve than anything written in this piece.

For a visual representation of this problem, look at the graph below:

  • Source: Popenoe, David. Life Without Father (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1996), 23.
Children Living with Mother Only-bwh graph

That is one of the most important graphs you will ever see, because it means virtually everything to the future of a child.

Fatherlessness adversely affects every metric for quality of life for kids. Their chances of incarceration, dropping out of school, living in poverty, drug addiction all skyrocket when raised in single parent homes. Note that this DOES not mean that every child in a single parent home is doomed to a horrible life. There are some outstanding parents doing an amazing job in tough circumstances. But the FACT is living in a single parent home—especially without a father—is the worst hand a kid can be dealt in life. It’s something to be overcome, not celebrated.

Let’s examine the data.

1. Poverty

– Children in father-absent homes are almost four times more likely to be poor. In 2011, 12 percent of children in married-couple families were living in poverty, compared to 44 percent of children in mother-only families.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Children’s Living Arrangements and Characteristics: March 2011, Table C8. Washington D.C.: 2011.

– Children living in female-headed families with no spouse present had a poverty rate of 47.6 percent, over 4 times the rate in married-couple families.

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; ASEP Issue Brief: Information on Poverty and Income Statistics. September 12, 2012 http://aspe.hhs.gov/hsp/12/PovertyAndIncomeEst/ib.shtml

poverty%20by%20fam%20structure

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; ASEP Issue Brief: Information on Poverty and Income Statistics. September 12, 2012 http://aspe.hhs.gov/hsp/12/PovertyAndIncomeEst/ib.shtml

2. Drug and Alcohol Abuse

– The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services states, “Fatherless children are at a dramatically greater risk of drug and alcohol abuse.”

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. National Center for Health Statistics. Survey on Child Health. Washington, DC, 1993.

– There is significantly more drug use among children who do not live with their mother and father.

Source: Hoffmann, John P. “The Community Context of Family Structure and Adolescent Drug Use.” Journal of Marriage and Family 64 (May 2002): 314-330.

3. Physical and Emotional Health

– A study of 1,977 children age 3 and older living with a residential father or father figure found that children living with married biological parents had significantly fewer externalizing and internalizing behavioral problems than children living with at least one non-biological parent.

Source: Hofferth, S. L. (2006). Residential father family type and child well-being: investment versus selection. Demography, 43, 53-78.

– Children of single-parent homes are more than twice as likely to commit suicide.

Sources: The Lancet, Jan. 25, 2003 • Gunilla Ringbäck Weitoft, MD, Centre for Epidemiology, the National Board of Health and Welfare, Stockholm, Sweden • Irwin Sandler, PhD, professor of psychology and director of the Prevention Research Center, Arizona State University, Tempe • Douglas G. Jacobs, MD, associate clinical professor of psychiatry, Harvard Medical School; and founder and director, The National Depression Screening Program • Madelyn Gould, PhD, MPH, professor of child psychiatry and public health, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University; and research scientist, New York State Psychiatric Institute.
http://www.webmd.com/baby/news/20030123/absent-parent-doubles-child-suicide-risk

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Let’s Get Uncomfortable

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Black Americans do encounter police more than any other race. Now, is that because police are a bunch of racist headhunters just looking to ruin a black guy’s day? If you believe that, you’ve probably donated to a Shaun King GoFundMe.

The actual answer, and it’s a simple one, is that blacks commit more crime. Yes, I said it, because it’s true.

Despite blacks comprising only about 13% of the total population, they accounted for up 52.5% of known murder offenders from 1980-2008. And with newly released crimes stats from the FBI, we know that percentage has actually inched upward to 55.9% in 2019:

2019 Murder OffendersTotalKnownBlack
or African
American
NonBlackUnknown
Total16,24511,4936,4255,0684,752
% of Known Offenders100.0%55.9%44.1%
% of Population13.4%86.6%
Black / Nonblack Ratio8.2

That means blacks were 8.2 times per capita as likely as a nonblack to be a known murder offender in 2019. Given how much more likely blacks are to commit a violent offense than nonblack Americans, it’s actually somewhat miraculous that police aren’t more biased. Statistically speaking, they would be well within their rights to take a more cautious approach when approaching black suspects. But they don’t, because they’re professionals, as has been demonstrated.

Of course, as with every race, blacks are primarily killed by other blacks, which is why the “defund the police” movement has been an abject disaster for black neighborhoods. It’s also why the vast majority of blacks polled want police to stay in their neighborhoods.

But the point that must be made—that everyone is too cowardly to make—is that the black community has serious problems and they have nothing to do with the police or “white privilege.” The fact is, Asian-Americans outperform every other race (yes, including whites) on virtually every metric related to quality of life. They have more money on average, are better educated, rarely go to jail, stay off drugs, the list goes on. Simply put, Asians are kicking ass in America. Mind you, these are the same Asians who could choose to teach their children to obsess over their building of the railroads way back when. But they’ve moved on from that, and I have a feeling it has a great deal to do with their current success.

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In Conclusion

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It’s very easy to say “Black Lives Matter.” You can even order a t-shirt or include it in your profile pic on facebook. It’s much harder—and a lot more socially dangerous—to talk about the root problems affecting black lives. Truth be told, they’re the same problems who affect everyone regardless of race, they just happen to be affecting the black community more in America.

Poverty, drug abuse, mental health, education, incarceration — every single one of these metrics is affected by family life. And the family life of the average black child has gone downhill over the last 60 years, even as we’ve made great strides in civil rights. If you’re looking for a white man to blame for problems in the black community, perhaps point your finger at Lyndon B. Johnson, who thought it a good idea to incentivize fatherless home rather than tight-knit families.

Knowing what we know about these problems and how they disproportionately affect the black community, can you, with a straight face, say that police should be their primary concern? The fact is the breakdown of the family is what is leading to so many police encounters in the first place. And sooner or later, one of those encounters is likely to go bad. And when it does, someone is sure to be there to capture it on camera, where heartstrings can be pulled all over America and our inane belief that we are living in a white supremacist hellhole can be reinforced, no matter the absurdity.

No else may be willing to say it, and God knows what will happen to this blog once I hit the ‘publish’ button, but black lives won’t matter in this country until they matter to those tasked with raising them. The police did not abandon your son to be raised in the streets — you did. They’re cleaning up your mess, and your critiques from the sideline may grant you the victim status that relieves you of any responsibility for the situation, but at the end of the day, deep down in places that no one talks about at BLM rallies, we all know where the true problem lies.

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treysoldier

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1 thought on “Black Lives Don’t Matter to Black Fathers

  1. One of the best written pieces on the black problem in America.

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