Monday, 11 July 2016

Sky News breaks ranks on the British media's preferred narrative about racist US cops killing blacks

I've been avoiding TV news coverage of the recent spate of American police shooting unarmed blacks and armed blacks attacking and/or killing American police officers. I  prefer to read about these events online, because the reporting on Sky and the BBC has been so lazy and skewed as to make an old news producer despair: for British television journalists, it's still 1962, the US Civil Rights Act hasn't been passed, Lyndon Johnson's ruinous "Great Society" programme hasn't been put into effect, billions and billions of dollars of public money haven't been power-hosed at American black communities in order to ease their suffering, all cops are white racists who only shoot black men because they hate them, the South is almost entirely populated by Ku Kux Klan members, and the idea of the American people electing a black president is still a fantasy (that'll be the day!).

So when Sky News went over live to Dallas the other day, where grizzled veteran Jeremy Thompson was out on the streets...

...I tarried for a minute, because I always enjoy the vastly-experienced 68-year old's air of grumpy, seen-it-all authority, and it was a relief not to have to listen to the standard-issue, naive, bleeding-heart, Obama-lovin' guff that has made British news coverage of American politics a byword for partisan, left-liberal goofiness. My expectations weren't disappointed as Thompson conducted an interview via satellite with Heather Mac Donald (no I haven't inserted a space by mistake - that's her name), a conservative political commentator and journalist who is a fellow of the Manhattan Institute and a contributing editor to New York's City Journal. Within five minutes, she had - using statistics rather than rhetoric - utterly destroyed the wholly false left-liberal narrative of American cops waging a violent racist war against young black men.

On Thursday, The Daily Wire highlighted five of the key findings uncovered by Ms Mac Donald's research. Yes, blacks are proportionally more likely to be shot by police - but, as blacks commit a massively disproportionate amount of America's violent crime, the police are more likely to be confronted by a black man with a gun than by a white or Hispanic man with a gun. I imagine this makes American cops (of whatever colour) more jittery when they confront young black males during the course of their duties than when they confront young males of, say, Chinese or Indian descent: the chances that a young black male will be carrying a gun and will be prepared to use it are obviously much, much higher. This is not a question of prejudice: it is simply what the statistics - and, no doubt, experience - indicate. To expect American policemen (again, whatever their colour) to discount the increased likelihood of a young black man carrying a weapon strikes me as unreasonable, if not downright wicked : in potentially dangerous situations, racial profiling - deliberate or unconscious - should be seen as a useful survival mechanism rather than proof of racial prejudice (besides, if I were a cop, I'd be more prejudiced against being killed).

The problem with this natural defence mechanism - this heightened awareness of potential threat based on someone's skin colour - is that it occasionally leads to a policeman getting himself into such a state that he entirely misinterprets the signals he's receiving from the suspect: the cop suffers from temporary "mindblindness" - i.e. he can't read the mind of the person he's confronting. Sometimes, the result is the death of an entirely innocent black man who in reality posed no threat. This theory does not excuse the policeman's terrible mistake - but it absolves him of the charge of committing a "hate" crime based on racial prejudice. Mindblindness is one of the symptoms of autism: people at the severe end of the autism spectrum have no idea what's going on inside the minds of other people - in the most severe cases, they don't even realise that other people have minds. In his 2006 book, Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinkingthe journalist Malcolm Gladwell posited the theory of "temporary autism" to explain why high-speed police pursuits too often end with the cops using excessive force to subdue suspects. (I first wrote about Gladwell's theory - in relation to the trial of an armed British policeman for the killing of a black criminal - here.)

As Gladwell's theory doesn't fit the accepted left-liberal anti-police, white racism, black victimhood narrative - let alone the ugly anti-white racism preached by Black Lives Matter race hucksters in America and here (the silly sods even held marches in London, Bristol and Birmingham in protest at events in America - huh?) - there's little chance of it being used to lessen the chances of American police mistakenly shooting young black males in future. Obviously, the problem could addressed by young black American males committing fewer violent crimes, especially their penchant for murdering other young black men - a black American male is 40 times more likely to be killed by another black American male than by a policeman. But how's a race huckster supposed to make a living out of highlighting that sort of awkward fact, let alone trying to do something about it (apart from blaming the National Rifle Association, to which a lot of white people belong, or current gun laws, which a lot of white Republicans support)?  No - it's much more fun to scream and shout and riot about the mote in your brother's eyes than to acknowledge (let alone do anything about) the enormous beam in your own.

Following her Wimbledon triumph on Saturday, Serena Williams had this to say about the recent shootings in America: 'I don’t think that the answer is to continue to shoot our young black men in the United States.' As it's almost exclusively young black men who are shooting young black men in her country, maybe she should address her remarks to them. (A Sky sports reporter actually told us that this comment showed that Serena Williams "had a conscience." What a strange thing to say.)

While the American left rushed to assign racism as the motive for the shooting by police of two black men, when it came to the killing of five Dallas police officers by a black man at a protest march last week, President Obama told us: “I think it's very hard to untangle the motives of this shooter.” According to the Dallas police chief, David O. Brown, the 25-year old black killer, Micah Johnson "... said he was upset about the recent police shootings. The suspect said he was upset at white people. The suspect stated he wanted to kill white people, especially white officers.” So not that hard to untangle, Barry. - unless, of course, you're the world's most successful race huckster.


  1. The world's second most successful race huckster once unwittingly let slip:"There is nothing more painful to me...than to walk down the street and hear footsteps and start thinking about robbery,then look around and see somebody white and feel relieved."
    -Jesse Jackson.

  2. A rare - very rare - moment of honesty from the man. I've long suspected that much of the anger expressed by successful American blacks (at least, those who don't make a handsome living out of race baiting) against racist oppression by whites is a form of displacement therapy - if they weren't shouting at whitey, they'd be shouting at black people, telling them that if they don't want to get shot by cops or sent to jail, not committing violent crimes and getting a job would probably help.