WASHINGTON: From 1968 until 2005 this writer policed Chicago’s unincorporated and suburban areas. During that time huge changes occurred in America, all of which affected police. In fact, during that time, the two most dangerous periods of American history occurred.
At the top of the list was the decade of the 1970s. That period ranks as the highest for all types of crimes. It was more dangerous then, especially for police than at any time before or after. It was followed by the 1990s, where cocaine and its little brother, crack, started wars over importation, distribution, and sales. Those wars led to bodies piled on city streets by the bushel load.
While all this was happening, America’s social order was making drastic changes. African-Americans were, at long last, reaching parity with all other races; including whites. Until the late 1970s, blacks in America faced unjustifiable challenges due to bigotry and racism. Once the plight African-Americans were understood, views and opportunities changed dramatically to remedy past intolerance.
America felt ashamed of our past treatment of African-Americans. And rightly so. There is no justification for every repression, injustice, or irreparable harm committed at the hands of the Democrat party and their armed enforcers, the KKK, against blacks.
To remedy some of the past wrongdoing, anti-discrimination, racial hatred, and affirmative action laws were passed.
Some people disputed the need for such legislation, but none the less, Republicans pushed these Bill’s through Congress in the form of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965. However, you cannot legislate away bigotry and racism.
That took many years to fade, until, by the start of the 21st century, the long-held systemic racism in this country had finally faded into the past. We were reborn with one name, Americans all.
During this period, every policeman I knew or saw in action, went out of their way to show respect to the blacks they came in contact with. Most African-Americans are not criminals and were not treated as such. There is that one or two percent who act like fools found trouble. But that is not just African Americans acting the fool.
By this time, African-Americans received treatment like any other criminal or fool, of any race. Some cited racism as the cause of their problems, yet, just like Rodney King, had they not acted the fool, they would not have received rough treatment.
While everything was not a bed of roses, race relations in this country were improving.
Not perfect, yet really good. After all, being of Italian descent, even I still hear racist comments. Something that mostly faded against us by the middle 1970s.
There is no stopping ignorance, and no law can do so.
Had race-baiters, like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton not exacerbated the situation for their own profit, a true coming together would have happened naturally.
Sadly, that did not occur. Aided by their propaganda machine, the mainstream media, a false narrative of black oppression and white privilege evolved in the 21st century.
It wasn’t bad until we elected our first black President. A man who was just as much a race-baiter as Jackson and Sharpton.
Obama’s real legacy
The eight years of Obama were the worst thing that could have happened to race relations in this nation. From his earliest days in office, Obama spread the gospel of evil white police and injured black people. Each and every black man’s cause he championed proved to be false.
But that didn’t matter to him or his adoring followers.
Starting with the case of Harvard Professor, Lewis Gates, who refused to identify himself to Cambridge police. Obama said, police “acted stupidly,” only to have to eat his words when it became public knowledge that Gates acted stupidly. To Travon Martin, where Obama said “If I had a son, he would look just like him [Martin],” only to learn through the FBI that Martin instigated the encounter.
To Michael Brown, where the first black President said, Brown’s death “Stains the heart of black children,” only to learn that Brown had just committed a robbery and then attempted to wrestle a policeman’s pistol from him. The false narrative of systemic police racism was born and perpetuated by a lying press.
The lying Main Stream Media (MSM)
The MSM continues, to this day, to falsify events and exaggerate them to inflame tensions between whites and blacks. Think of NBC altering recordings to turn George Zimmerman, the innocent victim of Martin, into a racist.
Their reasons may vary, but the end result is that a perception of unfairness, especially by the police, has erupted into violent riots across America. Due to this false narrative in the press and from Democrat politicians, young black people fear police and gullible white people believe that police target blacks.
It is time to shine the light of truth on police racism
The short version is that it doesn’t exist.
The myth of systemic police racism
Heather MacDonald wrote an op-ed in “The Wall Street Journal,” about the myth of systemic police racism. (The Myth of Systemic Police Racism – Hold officers accountable who use excessive force. But there’s no evidence of widespread racial bias.)
Her story uses multiple studies to develop her logic. She says that
“As the country burns, there’s also this heinous resurrection of a narrative in which all cops are racist, and all police departments must be defunded and abolished. This is nonsense, and it’s where this whole Black Lives Matter movement goes off the hinges…”
“This charge of systemic police bias was wrong during the Obama years and remains so today. However sickening the video of Floyd’s arrest, it isn’t representative of the 375 million annual contacts that police officers have with civilians. A solid body of evidence finds no structural bias in the criminal justice system with regard to arrests, prosecution, or sentencing. Crime and suspect behavior, not race, determine most police actions.”
The article backs up her statements with statics showing that police kill twice as many whites as blacks during contacts, and hammers the false narrative shut by stating, “The police fatally shot nine unarmed blacks and 19 unarmed whites in 2019.”
MacDonald concludes with,
“In 2018, the latest year for which such data have been published, African-Americans made up 53% of known homicide offenders in the U.S. and commit about 60% of robberies, though they are only 13% of the population…By contrast, a police officer is 18½ times more likely to be killed by a black male than an unarmed black male is to be killed by a police officer.”
To bolster her report, a finding in August 2019, by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found, after a lengthy explanation, that there is “no significant evidence of anti-black disparity in the likelihood of being fatally shot by police.”
It is this false narrative that has led to police being assaulted, shot at, and even killed. We see it with the George Floyd riots right now. Cops are being shot and run over by cars. They suffer from assaults when trying to bring order to a situation. For death they played no part in. And most harmful is the fake narrative of police targeting blacks.
To all the peaceful protesters out there, exercise your right and demonstrate your frustration over a violent death of a black man while in police custody: just don’t use a wide brush to paint all police as rabid racists, stalking black people. It is no more true than that all protesters are anti-American communists trying to devolve this nation by violence, arson and murder.
We are a better nation than that. While our compassion stirs us to act to remedy a problem, our logic informs us that the real problem lies at the feet of the fake news and pandering left-wing politicians.
All of our racial problems today are planted in the minds of the gullible through half-truths, obfuscation, and outright lies.
Systemic police racism does not exist.
About the author:
Joseph Ragonese is a veteran of the United States Air Force, a retired police officer, has a degree in Criminal Justice, a businessman, journalist, editor, publisher, and fiction author.