Jenkins: Police are not the source of all of our problems

Jenkins: Police are not the source of all of our problems

We are suffering from an epidemic of liberal hysteria. The narrative of a racist police force brutalizing minority communities is untethered to reality. Mr. Floyd’s brutal murder by Officer Chauvin was horrific. However, cherry picking a handful of tragic deaths is not representative of policing as a whole. According to The Washington Post, 250 African Americans were killed by police in 2019, 14 of who were unarmed. Even if we make the absurd assumption that all 250 were unjustified, this accounts for 3 percent of 7,403 black people who were murdered. The 2017 in-depth analysis, “An Empirical Analysis of Racial Differences in Police Use of Force” by Harvard professor Fryer Jr., found that “On the most extreme use of force – officer-involved shootings – we find no racial differences in either the raw data or when contextual factors are taken into account.” In 2018, interracial murder statistics, which mercifully is relatively low, reported by the FBI showed that 514 black people murdered white people vs. 234 white people murdered black people. Why does the value of black life hinge entirely on the identity of their perpetrator?

The answer is simple, because it advances the liberal narrative. To acknowledge that the vast majority of African Americans, 93 percent from 1980-2008, according to the Department of Justice, are murdered by other African Americans is to eviscerate their own argument. The consequences of this categorically false narrative reach far beyond the short term results of dead cops, desecrated memorials, rioting, arson, and looting. Long term it will increase crime by reducing police presence and effectiveness. As police withdraw from communities due to reduced funding and/or a lack of public support the void will be filled by those who are capable and willing to project force, i.e. the criminal element. As Federalist Paper 51 eloquently noted, “If men were angels there would be no need for government.” Worse still, it prevents us from focusing on actual systemic problems that drive poverty, crime, etc.

It is far easier for society to scapegoat the police than to look inward and acknowledge something is truly rotten in the state of Denmark. Why substantively address broken family structures, correct a dismal educational system that traps students in failing schools, develop a new policy approach to drug addiction to replace the failed war on drugs, or fix the dearth of economic opportunities in many communities when the cause de jour claims the police are source of all of our ills?

The true price of “free trade” with China and NAFTA is laid bare in the devastation of our working and shrinking middle classes. There is no urgency to solve our actual underlying issues if we lie and pin our problems on those who have volunteered to uphold our laws.

It is not the police that need to listen; Black Lives Matter needs to listen. The majority of the American people are outraged to see democratic means being tossed aside for violent mobs hell bent on disparaging and destroying our country.

Phil Jenkins

Glocester