Black Lives Matter's message that police are killing unarmed black people out of racism is wrong, dangerous, and divisive


All Americans suffer from killings at the hands of police when unarmed. Unarmed people killed by police are mostly non-black: (https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/national/police-shootings/ for 2015 and https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/national/police-shootings-2016/).

Clearly there is some non-race related driver for police killing unarmed people in the US. I'll speculate that it's related to the astronomic murder rate and violent crime rate in the US coupled with a very high rate of gun ownership. Policing in that environment is hard, involves shooting people, and inevitably must involve mistakes.

Black people ARE overrepresented among unarmed people killed by police relative to their population. Some people argue this is because black people are overrepresented among convicted criminals, but I think it's probably because of the sort of subtle racism against black people that is pervasive in the world.

However, this racism is not why the police are killing unarmed black people. Police are killing black people for the same reason they are killing unarmed white people: they think they are under threat.

The title "Black Lives Matter" in this context implies that police are especially killing black people without consideration for the value of their lives due to their race. This is a serious charge and would be infuriating if true. It could lead to a majority of black people (and many others) in the United States thinking that some police are either actively seeking to hunt and kill black people, or at best indifferent to killing black people. This belief would undermine the trust people put in the police to keep them safe from criminals etc. That is dangerous. Furthermore, it could lead people to actively pursue a war on police in the pursuit of self defense, which is also dangerous.

It is divisive because all Americans suffer from violence and police violence in particular. All Americans would benefit from a solution to this problem. By framing it as a black-only problem, when it is not in fact a black-only problem, it alienates the majority of the country that has a stake in solving the problem. Moreover, by pitting themselves against the police as an evil group that condones 21st-century racist "lynching", BLM alienates all those people whole value the protective role of police in society. All of this serves to dilute or undermine the legitimate BLM causes of 1) addressing real racism and 2) reducing violence in society and among police.

EDIT: I still think most individual police killings of unarmed people is mostly due to policing errors and not mostly due to racism. I also still think the overrepresention of black people in this group is largely an example of institutional racism plus unconscious bias in threat perception, and of course this should be addressed. A lot of people say BLM's message stops here, which I am not buying.

I still think BLM as a movement is further implying that unarmed black people are being killed for no reason other than their race, or that race is far and away the main factor. There's been much discussion of the semantics of institutional racism plus implicit bias vs. overt racism, and what it means for race to be the primary factor in a killing, none of which is very compelling to me. I think we can agree to disagree here.

Where my view is changed is primarily that BLM's (inaccurate) portrayal of cold-blooded police killings is a powerful rallying cry with ultimate political implications (more equality of opportunity, less racism, less police brutality) that I support, and whose benefit outweighs the costs of divisiveness and amplified antagonism towards police. https://www.reddit.com/r/changemyview/comments/4s07vj/cmv_black_lives_matters_message_that_police_are/d55jcto

I also awarded a tentative delta on the idea that there may well be a second variety of implicit bias beyond the threat skew, whereby police value black people less and will therefore have a lower threat threshold for shooting and killing. This is plausible and strikes me as reprehensible in a way that approaches overt racism to a far greater degree than the threat bias. However, evidence was shown that the threshold for shooting black people is actually higher, not lower: https://www.reddit.com/r/changemyview/comments/4s07vj/cmv_black_lives_matters_message_that_police_are/d55l5md

  • 🤔Changed Author's View
    3 years ago

    Clearly there is some non-race related driver for police killing unarmed people in the US. I'll speculate that it's related to the astronomic murder rate and violent crime rate in the US coupled with a very high rate of gun ownership. Policing in that environment is hard, involves shooting people, and inevitably must involve mistakes.

    The murder rate and crime rate are at almost historic lows. It has also almost never been safer to be a police officer. The idea that we live in a violent hellscape where officers' lives are constantly in danger is a fabrication meant to engender support for the police community whenever their methods are criticized.

    • 🎤Author
      3 years ago

      Granted declines in time. However, the US murder rate is far higher than any other rich country in the world. US = 4 murders/100k, Belgium (next most murderous) = 1.8, France = 1.2, Italy = 0.8, Austria = 0.5.

    • 3 years ago

      The U.S. has unique systematic problems that cannot be solved by more laws and more policing. A lot of the racial strife we are experiencing is precisely because we have laws that exclusively target the urban poor (who are mostly minorities). If you want to make comparison of violence on and from police, you have to compare with the U.S. itself. Making comparisons with other countries simply obscures the unique problems that the U.S. has in favor of sweeping generalizations that can be used to justify anything.

    • 🎤Author
      3 years ago

      I call a murder rate that's 2x - 8x higher than other rich countries "astronomic". If you want to use another word that's fine.

  • 🤔Changed Author's View
    3 years ago

    You aren't differentiating between just and unjust killings. It's not just the sheer death rate - it's that cops unfairly feel more threatened by black men then white men. As partial evidence, note the picture last week of a cop talking to a white suspect who had his hand on his gun, and the example of the cop who shot a black guy stopped for a broken taillight because he knew there was a gun in the car. That doesn't happen at white traffic stops. I'm not scared when a cop pulls me over. Black people do have to deal with that fear.

    • 🎤Author
      3 years ago

      You probably should be scared when you get pulled over. Have a gander at the unarmed white people killed by police this year and last:

      (https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/national/police-shootings/ for 2015 and https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/national/police-shootings-2016/).

      1 example from two weeks ago: "Dylan Nobles, an unarmed 19-year-old white man, was shot on June 25, 2016, in Fresno, Calif. Fresno police were searching for a man reportedly walking in the street with a rifle when they noticed a truck speeding nearby and attempted to pull it over. Nobles got out of the truck and reached behind his back, police said."

    • 3 years ago

      And that's an isolated incident. These kind of incidents don't mark the interaction between white men and police. The interaction between black men and police is marked with hostility and fear, sometimes on both sides. It's categorically different.

  • 🤔Changed Author's View
    3 years ago

    (1) Unarmed African American are killed by police at rates far exceeding their proportion in the population. So, that stand in support of BLMs message. Here is one figure demonstrating this, but there are many available if you look: https://cdn0.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/rtyDDckwhWyelt7TrY0w-_rPyGA=/cdn0.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_asset/file/5618737/police_unarmed_victims.0.png

    (2) Armed African Americans are killed, often quite swiftly by police (the Castile video is evidence of this). Whereas armed white people can be talked down, even while they have their hands on the butts of their guns - which would be brandishing in some states. This disparity is also evidence in favor of BLMs claim.

    You state: "Black people ARE overrepresented among unarmed people killed by police relative to their population. Some people argue this is because black people are overrepresented among convicted criminals, but I think it's probably because of the sort of subtle racism against black people that is pervasive in the world."

    That "subtle racism" as you call it is no longer so subtle when it results in bodies. It quite clearly results in differing police practices when black persons are involved, which is exactly the sort of thing BLM is drawing attention to.

    Where, precisely, are you getting BLMs statement of purpose? If it is diffused through social media, that probably isn't the organization's actual message.

    • 🎤Author
      3 years ago

      Your point 2 is just the thing that lacks support in the data. The only evidence I've found is that Americans generally are swiftly gunned down by police. If you pick a few cases of black people being killed quickly, and a few cases of white people not being killed quickly, you'll get a very distorted view. In fact, black and white and other people are often not killed by police, often killed after a long struggle, often killed quickly, etc. It's a very big country with lots of police encounters.

      Point 1 I conceded already, and it supports BLM's message that racism is a pervasive problem. But it's not the point of my CMV, which is that "police are killing unarmed black people out of racism". It instead supports the idea that police are killing unarmed Americans out of perceived threat, and that is skewed by racism. It's different.

      Policing practices are different for black people (eg, stop and frisk), and that's fucked up. However, I am not aware of a policing practice called "kill unarmed people" that is officially different for black people.

  • 🤔Changed Author's View
    3 years ago

    Black people ARE overrepresented among unarmed people killed by police relative to their population. Some people argue this is because black people are overrepresented among convicted criminals, but I think it's probably because of the sort of subtle racism against black people that is pervasive in the world. However, this racism is not why the police are killing unarmed black people. Police are killing black people for the same reason they are killing unarmed white people: they think they are under threat.

    That is not true. If you look at several of these murders on a case-by-case basis, the cops were completely in the wrong. Take Eric Garner, for example. He was a black man who was getting arrested for selling illegal cigarettes (not a violent crime), and he was put into an illegal chokehold by a cop for over 15 seconds. He even stated repeatedly "I can't breathe."

    Another example, Freddie Gray. He was arrested for allegedly possessing an alleged switchblade. But he did not die in the process of resisting arrest or in some type of standoff. He was negligently left unsecured in the police van, and died due to injuries to his spinal cord during the rough ride. There was another black man that was shot from running away from a cop during a daytime traffic stop. Just look at these incidents on a case-by-case basic and you'll see they are all not attributed to a perception of "threat".

    The title "Black Lives Matter" in this context implies that police are especially killing black people without consideration for the value of their lives due to their race. This is a serious charge and would be infuriating if true. It could lead to a majority of black people (and many others) in the United States thinking that some police are either actively seeking to hunt and kill black people, or at best indifferent to killing black people. This belief would undermine the trust people put in the police to keep them safe from criminals etc.

    Let's say there is an underlying racism against blacks in the police force. I think that's more dangerous than people simply acknowledging it. I do agree that a violent revolution would be counterproductive though.

    By framing it as a black-only problem, when it is not in fact a black-only problem, it alienates the majority of the country that has a stake in solving the problem. Moreover, by pitting themselves against the police as an evil group that condones 21st-century racist "lynching", BLM alienates all those people whole value the protective role of police in society. All of this serves to dilute or undermine the legitimate BLM causes of 1) addressing real racism and 2) reducing violence in society and among police.

    "Black-only problem?" Of course everyone acknowledges that police brutality and abuse of power is wrong, no matter what race it's committed against. And BLM has advocated for solutions that will benefit everyone in the long run (body cameras, police reform, etc.). The problem is, black people are most susceptible to these types of incidents. If we span out the number of killings last year to the year, there would be 2 unarmed blacks killed a week! So why would you think the movement is to alienate blacks from everyone else? It's just stating a problem that needs to be addressed! And BLM is not even anti-police. It's anti-police brutality.

    • 🎤Author
      3 years ago

      I basically agree with all that. I think we have a different perception of the message of BLM, which is tricky since BLM is a grassroots protest movement that doesn't really have an official message. If all BLM were saying is "black people are get the unfair brunt of a universally broken policing system", I'd be fine with that. I sense that the message goes well beyond that.

    • 3 years ago

      It's saying "Police need to stop unjustly killing unarmed black people." So it does go beyond that.

    • 🎤Author
      3 years ago

      Right. That's the extension that turns risky. It implies cops are randomly murdering black people out of racism. Instead, cops have to face threats all the time, and sometimes have to shoot people with the intent of self defense, and that unfairly impacts black people.

  • 🤔Changed Author's View
    3 years ago

    Your not wrong on the stats, but you are wrong on the activism.

    For change to happen there needs to be activism. For activism to happen there needs to be a message people can rally behind. For a message that people can rally behind, there needs to be a foundation for support.

    "Men's Lives Matter" would be much more accurate when describing the issue of police violence, it's overwhelmingly men that are targeted. The gendered aspect of police violence is 16 times that of the racial bias. For "Men's Lives Matter" to be a rallying cry we wouldn't only need to be having the "XYZ Lives Matter" arguments, but go against 60 years of Feminist doctrine and dogma. It's not that "Men's Lives Matter" isn't more true than "Black Lives Matter", its that "Black Lives Matter" can be supported by feminism while "Men's Lives Matter" would be fighting a two front war against both the police and feminism.

    "Poor Lives Matter" would also be more true than "Black Lives Matter", but no one wants to self identify as poor. No one wants to put themselves in a group that is disadvantaged and disenfranchised the way the poor are. The defeatism of recognizing one's status as poor would completely undermine the activism.

    Of the biases that affect police violence, "Black Lives Matter" is the messaging that is the most true for a politically viable messaging strategy.

    • 🎤Author
      3 years ago

      That's a good point. It certainly has been a successful rallying cry. But the collateral damage is 1) violence against police 2) unjustifiable amplification of the justifiable distrust of police and 3) alienation of Main St Americans and probably plenty of non-Main St Americans.

      Do poor white Americans feel included by BLM, or alienated? Wouldn't there be more political capital if they could be brought under the umbrella?

    • 3 years ago

      Do you remember the Men's Liberation Movement from the 70's? Do you learn about their marches and rallies and politics in classrooms today? Nope, you don't. The Men's Liberation Movement tried and failed at what your talking about. They had about a dozen rallies before fizzling out and going away. The Men's Liberation Movement wanted no collateral damage and to be fully inclusive, such things fail.

      There is collateral damage being done by BLM. The question is not if any collateral damage is being done at all, but if that collateral damage is greater than the damage done by doing nothing. Tens of millions of civilians where killed as collateral damage in WWII, would the world have been a better place with them not dying, but Hitler taking over all of Europe?

      Which is the greater evil? Tens of dead police officers or thousands of dead men?

      Poor white Americans feel excluded by BLM, but that goes back to my main point, messaging. Messaging that doesn't exclude poor white Americans wouldn't be nearly as successful a rallying cry as the racially charged rallying cry. "Men's Lives Matter" would be more accurate and more inclusive representing both a larger group of the disenfranchised and a group targeted more often. That messaging wouldn't be effective, it would need to fight feminism as well as the establishment.

      Political capital of grass roots activism isn't gained by representing a larger group, but by having more people show up to rallies and marches. 10's of people would show up to "Men's Lives Matter" rallies, if that. Thousands are showing up for "Black Lives Matter"

      The KKK claims to represent the 77% of Americans that are white. It's not the 77% of Americans they claim to represent that matters for political capital, it's the fact that their rallies usually only draw single digit crowds. The counter protests to their rallies are usually notably larger than the actual rallies.

    • 🎤Author
      3 years ago

      I'm going to go with ∆ on the basis that I support the political outcomes that are likely to come from what I perceive to be a subtle (but important) misrepresentation of the facts on the part of BLM and supporters. It's naive to not capitalize on political opportunities.

    • 🎤Author
      3 years ago

      Considering a delta on this one. I'll get back to you.

  • 🤔Changed Author's View
    3 years ago

    I think you are granting that 1) many cops have an inherent threat-assessment-bias that makes them more prone to jumpier behavior and ultimately fatal mistakes when dealing with black men. What you seem to be arguing against is 2) the idea that police actively target and kill black people, presumably then lying about any threat they may have felt and reacted to. There is obviously a huge difference in motivation between these two views, even though the end result, more black men shot by police, is the same. I don't know how many people hold the second view; it seems not many in this thread, so maybe this is a sort of straw man.

    I think phrasing things in terms of black lives "not mattering" to cops suggests many people hold an intermediate view 3) where the cops do perceive a higher threat from black men, and moreover because of some deeper racism than suggested in 1, decide (consciously or unconsciously) that shooting/killing these black men is a sufficiently minor tragedy, relative to that of other races, that it is preferred to risking themselves harm. I think there is a continuum of possible views interpolating from 1 to 2, with 3 somewhere in the middle, and views more or less extreme than 3. You seem to be saying that 1 completely explains the observed behavior. Can you be sure that at least some elements of 3 are not responsible?

    • 🎤Author
      3 years ago

      A ∆ for you for suggesting an unconscious bias in value placed on black lives vs white etc..

    • 🎤Author
      3 years ago

      good paraphrasing. all reasonable points and I agree on the continuum. my objection then is to people who lean heavily or entirely towards 2) (widespread cold blooded racist murder by police). I sense many BLM supporters are in that category.

  • 3 years ago

    The racism that BLM is protesting isn't the same kind of racism as the civil rights movement. They're protesting institutional racism. Institutional racism can be defined as...

    " It is reflected in disparities regarding criminal justice, employment, housing, health care, political power and education, among other things." Wiki

    Think of it like what is going through a cops mind as they are dealing with a white suspect vs a black suspect. They may see the black suspect as more of a threat because most of the people the arrest are black, which causes them to look for / arrest more black suspects more than white, which causes them to see them as more of a threat, etc.

    Others have pointed out that cops disproportionately shoot unarmed blacks citizens more than whites, but there is more to it than that. Cops stop black drivers disproportionately to their population, hence the phrase "Diving while black". Cops also make more arrests in the case of blacks vs whites for the same crimes. A good example of this is marijuana. Despite BOTH races using it about 10% of the time, blacks are by far more likely to get arrested for possession. After the arrest blacks are more likely to get convinced for the same crime and they're more likely to get longer sentencing for the same crime.

    But NOWHERE along the way is someone going to say "Blacks are worse than whites" because that is not the type of racism that is the problem here.

    • 🎤Author
      3 years ago

      I think BLM goes beyond this to imply that black people are regularly randomly murdered by racist cops for no reason at all.

    • 3 years ago

      Then you are misinterpreting their message or the few bad eggs are spoiling the groups true message for people such as yourself.

      When BLM does go and protest (peacefully) or goes on air, they often talk about institutional racism whether they know it or not.

      Edit: I would like to add that I do not agree with the methods that BLM has chosen to pursue, violent protests etc. However their message is one of racism in this country which is something that is important. Even if the group promoting it is impulsive.

  • 3 years ago

    the astronomic murder rate and violent crime rate in the US

    It's not particularly astronomic. In fact, we're almost in the exact middle of the pack, 99 out of 194, when it comes to intentional homicide (aka murder). This is from a couple of years ago, true, but things haven't changed "astronomically" since then.

    Policing in that environment is hard, involves shooting people, and inevitably must involve mistakes.

    This is true, of course. But some of the police's biggest mistakes aren't policing mistakes; they're hiring mistakes. There are good people who are there to protect us, and there are bad people who are there to fuck shit up in an official capacity. Their biggest mistake of all is tolerance of these bad people. You should get fired immediately for power tripping, and you should definitely get arrested immediately for committing a violent crime against a civilian, but that never happens. Striking a subdued civilian, one who's already compliant or in restraints, happens frequently and nobody does anything. Hiring people who do that is a mistake. Not firing them on the spot is a mistake. Not prosecuting them and putting their asses in jail is a mistake. Not working to correct those mistakes, though, is fucking us over maliciously.

    I think it's probably because of the sort of subtle racism against black people that is pervasive in the world.

    The fuck do you mean "subtle", and the fuck do you mean "pervasive in the world"? America has a racism problem with black people because of our particular history. Other places have racism problems as well, but they take a different character wherever you go. In some cultures, black people are the racist ones. In others, the racism is against people who aren't East Asian. Racism is a fact of humanity right now, and it happens whenever someone's supremacy is threatened by someone whom they see as an undeserving outsider. In the US, though, "subtle" isn't the word you're looking for.

    However, this racism is not why the police are killing unarmed black people. Police are killing black people for the same reason they are killing unarmed white people: they think they are under threat.

    That logic is somewhat tortured. They think they're under threat because of racism. They don't think, "hey, you're a black person, let me murder you and get away with it because I'm a policeman". (Actually, maybe they do, I don't know.) They react differently to black people than they do to white people. And, of course, until BLM, shits were not given by anyone. Young blond woman is a victim? Get Nancy Grace on it! Black man, any age? Eh, who gives a shit? BLM gives a shit, and they cause the rest of the country to give a shit. In fact, BLM's entire reason for being is getting us to give a shit. I don't agree with the mob mentality that can happen, but BLM's schtick is getting us to be outraged whenever a policeman thinks he's under threat from a person who's not being threatening except for being black. It's getting us to be outraged whenever a policeman thinks a person is up to no good because he's black. Sometimes black people are threatening, just like white people, Hispanic people, etc. In that case, it's a much harder call to make. But threat level "mistakes" are not realized only in hindsight; in nearly all these cases, people died as a result of shoddy and malicious policing.

    And let's not forget the dashcam and bodycam footage. How believable is it that in the Baton Rouge murder both officers' cameras were dislodged? Or that the security video was deleted because of "a glitch"?

    The title "Black Lives Matter" in this context implies that police are especially killing black people without consideration for the value of their lives due to their race.

    That's not entirely the case. The "bad apples" of the police are indeed racist, but black lives are supposed to matter to us, everyone else. They're supposed to matter to the investigators and the police chiefs and the juries and the judges. If you kill a black person, that's a crime; shame on you. If you then don't get properly investigated and arrested and punished, that's a gross miscarriage of justice; shame on all of us. I think we all understand that, from time to time, bad people will commit violent acts. If black lives truly matter to us, then we'll make sure that those perpetrators face justice. We don't currently do this.

    It could lead to a majority of black people (and many others) in the United States thinking that some police are either actively seeking to hunt and kill black people, or at best indifferent to killing black people.

    This is, of course, literally true. I don't think any police officers are actively seeking to hunt and kill black people. I hope not, anyway. I'd like to think that we do screen out people like that. But indifference to killing black people? That one's as real as the strange fruit in the first third of the 20th century. Sorry to burst your bubble. Hey. Why don't you read Ida B. Wells's Southern Horrors? It's actually a quick read. Warning: you may not want to be American after reading that. (I realized that I can only change things by voting, so I became American after reading it anyway.) I'm glad that you have a strong faith in people's intrinsic goodness, but the world, it don't work that way.

    This belief would undermine the trust people put in the police to keep them safe from criminals etc. That is dangerous.

    Yeees. Yes it is. It's very fucking dangerous. Maybe the police ought to be more trustworthy? That might help fix things.

    Furthermore, it could lead people to actively pursue a war on police in the pursuit of self defense, which is also dangerous.

    Being rich can also lead to people wanting to kidnap you for ransom. Unfortunately, that's the risk we have to take. It's more important for us to hold police accountable -- and force them to become more honest -- than to lie to everyone to prevent idiots like the terrorist in Dallas.

    It is divisive because all Americans suffer from violence and police violence in particular.

    I'm not black. I had one run-in with police once -- we were burning a clock on campus, and the campus police didn't like it (I mean, it is against the rules to burn things in the Yard). You know what happened? Nothing. I think our group's president may have had to deal with administration, but nothing happened. On the other hand, there was a kid recently (kid as in 9 years old or something like that) who made some comment about "brownies", and someone thought he was being racist (he was talking about... brownies) and he was taken by police from his school. Now, he wasn't black, but he was from a minority. White people just get the benefit of the doubt. There's a real thing in the US called "white privilege", which is the fact -- the fact -- that Americans do not suffer from police violence equally (among other things). Not even close. You're obviously not black. Neither am I. Do you know how black people's lives play out? How often they meet police? How the police deals with them? I don't think so. I've only heard from the media, because, not being black, I've never had any issue with police other than that one time when we were burning a clock on campus, and there were no arrests or any such thing. You should go learn about this.

    All Americans would benefit from a solution to this problem.

    Yes, absolutely. That's why the movement has caught on.

    By framing it as a black-only problem, when it is not in fact a black-only problem, it alienates the majority of the country that has a stake in solving the problem.

    Meh. I reluctantly half-agree here; BLM's stance against "all lives matter" is annoying. But it does not alienate the majority of the country that has a stake in solving the problem. First of all, it's implicitly understood that if the "black lives matter" problem is solved, it will be solved for everyone regardless of race. It's not going to give the police license to shoot unarmed Latinos just because we only care about black people. I think we have to recognize that BLM is fighting one particular problem, not all problems in the world, and while I don't like being excluded, I still recognize that their problem is an important one.

    That said, the people who are really alienated here are the racists, who go on about how "black on black" violence kills so many more people than police and BLM doesn't do anything about it, so they're hypocrites. Or something like that. It's extremely racist and ignorant, because they blame black people in general for general crime; they view gang violence as an internal black people problem and that BLM needs to clean house before caring about the tiny minority of black people killed by police. But this goes back to something you said earlier, that... (continued below)

    • 🎤Author
      3 years ago

      Here are the 99 that we beat on the murder rate:

      1 Honduras 84.29 2013 2 Venezuela 53.62 2012 3 Belize 45.09 2012 4 Jamaica 42.88 2013 5 El Salvador 39.79 2013 6 Lesotho 38.03 2010 7 Guatemala 34.57 2012 8 St. Kitts and Nevis 33.43 2012 9 South Africa 31.86 2013 10 Colombia 31.84 2013 11 Trinidad and Tobago 30.22 2013 12 The Bahamas 29.70 2012 13 Brazil 26.54 2013 14 Puerto Rico 26.49 2012 15 St. Vincent and the Grenadines 25.51 2012 16 Dominican Republic 22.04 2012 17 St. Lucia 21.57 2012 18 Tuvalu 20.09 2012 19 Guyana 19.46 2013 20 Mexico 18.91 2013 21 Namibia 17.46 2012 22 Swaziland 17.43 2010 23 Panama 17.15 2013 24 Botswana 15.39 2010 25 Cayman Islands 14.74 2009 26 Central African Republic 13.65 2012 27 Dem. Rep. Congo 13.48 2012 28 Grenada 13.31 2012 29 Côte d'Ivoire 12.44 2012 30 Ecuador 12.41 2012 31 Bolivia 12.09 2012 32 Mauritania 11.36 2012 33 Nicaragua 11.33 2012 34 Antigua and Barbuda 11.23 2012 35 Mali 11.21 2012 36 Angola 10.85 2012 37 Cabo Verde 10.64 2013 38 Congo 10.54 2012 39 Uganda 10.52 2013 40 Papua New Guinea 10.40 2010 41 Guinea-Bissau 10.29 2012 42 Nigeria 10.28 2012 43 Haiti 10.16 2012 44 The Gambia 9.60 2012 45 Chad 9.41 2012 46 Togo 9.41 2012 47 Gabon 9.41 2012 48 Philippines 9.31 2013 49 Suriname 9.28 2012 50 Guinea 9.03 2012 51 Russia 9.00 2013 52 Paraguay 8.89 2013 53 Barbados 8.44 2013 54 Dominica 8.40 2011 55 Costa Rica 8.39 2013 56 Tanzania 8.19 2012 57 Senegal 8.06 2012 58 Qatar 8.06 2012 59 Ethiopia 8.05 2012 60 Comoros 8.01 2012 61 Iraq 7.97 2011 62 Kiribati 7.93 2012 63 Kazakhstan 7.82 2013 64 Eritrea 7.76 2012 65 Pakistan 7.75 2012 66 Uruguay 7.71 2013 67 Zimbabwe 7.53 2012 68 Mongolia 7.45 2013 69 Lao PDR 7.23 2012 70 Argentina 7.03 2012 71 Djibouti 7.02 2012 72 Yemen 7.00 2013 73 Lithuania 6.76 2013 74 Peru 6.65 2013 75 Kenya 6.60 2013 76 Sudan 6.54 2012 77 Afghanistan 6.45 2012 78 Benin 6.33 2012 79 Saudi Arabia 6.24 2012 80 Zambia 6.16 2010 81 Somalia 5.58 2012 82 Kyrgyz Republic 5.37 2013 83 Moldova 5.02 2013 84 Thailand 4.90 2011 85 Palau 4.82 2012 86 Iran 4.77 2012 87 Niger 4.72 2012 88 Cuba 4.71 2011 89 Dem. People's Rep. Korea 4.69 2012 90 Lebanon 4.68 2013 91 Rwanda 4.61 2010 92 Turkey 4.35 2012 93 Turkmenistan 4.34 2012 94 Ukraine 4.32 2010 95 Georgia 4.26 2010 96 Burundi 4.19 2013 97 Estonia 4.08 2013 98 Albania 4.03 2013

    • 3 years ago

      Thanks for posting that, but it was already at the link.

    • 🎤Author
      3 years ago

      It looks like we agree on the circumstances of institutional racism, widespread personal racism, etc., except that you think a sort of revolutionary response to policing problems might be appropriate and beneficial.

  • 3 years ago

    You say this:

    However, this racism is not why the police are killing unarmed black people.

    And then say this:

    Police are killing black people for the same reason they are killing unarmed white people: they think they are under threat.

    The reason they think they are under threat is racist. They are more likely to feel threatened by an African American than by a white person.

    Everyone knows this. And this is the part they are protesting. Very few people believe cops just are itching to shoot people.

    Consider this interview:

    They would say things like, "Ms. Rice I'm scared of black men. Black men terrify me. I'm really scared of them. Ms. Rice, you know black men who come out of prison, they've got great hulk strength and I'm afraid they're going to kill me. Ms. Rice, can you teach me how not to be afraid of black men." I mean these [are] cops who are 6'4". You know, the cop in Ferguson was 6'4" talking about he was terrified. But when cops are scared, they kill and they do things that don't make sense to you and me.

    • 🎤Author
      3 years ago

      I disagree that police think they are under threat simply because of race. I think police think they are under threat because of some action or another: reaching for a shadow, "charging", whatever. This base judgement is skewed by racism. But the two are different. The former is totally unjustifiable murder, the latter is an understandable error that is amplified by unjustifiable racism.

    • 3 years ago

      Not sure I agree with the "understandable" part.

    • 🎤Author
      3 years ago

      Yeah that's a good point. Let's say that's a difference mainly of intent. It's the difference between self defense and cold-blooded murder.

      "The former shows the intent of a cold-blooded murder, the latter is the intent of self-defense associate with a mistaken perception of threat."

  • 3 years ago

    People can be "explicitly" prejudiced, but they can also be "implicitly" prejudiced. Even if someone thinks that all kinds of people are equal, through the associations they've been exposed to throughout their life, they can still link groups with different traits, even though they don't want to.

    Implicit bias can then influence how we interpret situations, our body-language, and all kinds of behaviours that we're not consciously controlling.

    The most relevant example of this for the situation at hand is called the "shooter bias". Many people have implicit associations that Black people are dangerous. This means that they are a little predisposed to interpret an ambiguous situation as a dangerous one - mistaking someone reaching for ID for a gun, for example.

    One way to think about this is that the idea for whether to "shoot" or "not shoot" is somewhat probabilistic, in the same way that whether we are able to hear a quiet sound, or die from a certain dose of poison is probabilistic. Someone with implicit bias against Black people has a lower threshold for deciding whether to shoot, because the other person being Black already increases their perception of danger.

    If you'd like to see whether you personally have implicit biases, there are some free tests to do so. As with any test, there will be error here, in the same way that your performance on a test in school can vary from day to day - however, it can give an idea of the implicit baggage that someone is carrying.

    Fortunately, there are some ways to reduce implicit bias, but it's not "merely" a matter of learning about it.

      • 🎤Author
        3 years ago

        This thread is about the narrow part of BLM that says/implies "police are killing unarmed black people out of racism". I believe that is wrong, divisive, and dangerous. I support many of BLM's other positions, including unfair policing targeting black neighborhoods, and I'm not waving the ALM flag.

    • 3 years ago

      You're confusing "man do I hate black people" racism for a more pernicious and subtle form of the same. When we say that police are killing black men out of racism we aren't saying that they're going out every morning to "shoot me a nigger" or anything so horrible as that.

      But they do view black people differently.

      We are talking about the sort of racism that makes a woman clutch her purse a little tighter when a black man passes her on the street than she would when a white man does. The sort that makes a CCW carrier nod at a 35 year old with a revolver on his hip but assess as a target a 29 year old with a glock in his waistband.

      You'll note that I didn't specify race in the CCW example, but the guy with the glock in his waistband was black in your mind, wasn't he?

      That racism isn't as obvious but it colors decisions. A black man with a gun is often seen as more threatening than a white man with a gun. What about the unarmed? If officers believe black men to be more threatening and likely to be armed, are they more likely to mistake an unarmed black man for an armed one?

      Are they more likely to mistake a child playing with toy gun for a young man armed with a handgun? Are police more likely to shoot that kid or shoot faster?

      That's what's meant by "black lives matter." Our police force gives the benefit of the doubt to white folks more often than not because they don't want to kill someone on accident. They're much less likely to give that benefit to black folks, not because they actively seek to deny it, but because in the moment they lack that doubt.

      • 3 years ago

        The title "Black Lives Matter" in this context implies that police are especially killing black people without consideration for the value of their lives due to their race. This is a serious charge and would be infuriating if true. It could lead to a majority of black people (and many others) in the United States thinking that some police are either actively seeking to hunt and kill black people, or at best indifferent to killing black people.

        I don't think that this is what people mean. I think that you are right that cops shoot people when they feel threatened. I think that what BLM is trying to say is that (1) cops feel more threatened when interacting with black people, (2) this is caused by racism, which is maybe unconscious, and (3) this is a problem because a black person stopped for the same reason/crime as a white person is not more of a threat. (Just as a caveat, I have no idea how "true" any of these statements are, they are just how I understand the BLM movement).

        Another way to say this is that a cop in the same situation with a white or a black person would feel a higher threat level interacting with the black person just because they are black and therefore is more likely to have a bigger defense reaction.

        • 3 years ago

          I'm going to bring a different perspective: the people who condone violence do not accurately portray what BLM is about. Like any group, there are the sane ones and the crazies. Unfortunately, with BLM there are not enough sane voices to drown out the crazies. There are not enough of the BLM movement silencing the crazies and condemning the violence. I get the desire to have a group of people who represent you and it makes perfect sense to have those people be your neighbors. However, "Black Lives Matter" is not an inclusive group inherently. It's called "Black Lives Matter" and that's okay too. It's meant for those who support the involvement of bringing forth Afro-American involvement back into the system that regularly forgets them.

          However, "Black Lives Matter" is inherently exclusive through their name alone. Someone who is black cannot outwardly represent someone who isn't. I'm not saying at all, but someone who is black doesn't understand the struggles of someone who is Latino and that's okay.

          The biggest divide, in my opinion, is that it becomes more about "me, me, me my struggles and you are the problem " and not "these are our struggles and we are the problem as a whole" it points fingers and doesn't have rational solutions: segregated housing, Mizzou, San Jose violence are just a few examples. Those are not the only solutions but they are the loudest ones.

          There is "real racism" but what has to stop is the idea that "only white people cannot experience racism" which is not true. There's this strange idea that racism cannot be against people who systematically hold power but that's not true. You can be racist and prejudice.

          This is just a short reply and I'll happily discuss it more at length with you OP, if you would like.

          Edit: Additionally, BLM, by nature excludes people of mixed heritage. The struggle with being mixed is real and as an example I will use myself: I am Hispanic meaning I am both white and Mexican. I am not "Mexican" enough (I don't speak Spanish, never had a quince, and was never close to the Mexican side of my family) to be considered Mexican. I have green eyes, red (brunette) hair and I'm pale. I don't look Mexican and therefore I'm not Mexican. I'm also "not white enough". I don't experience the same "struggles" as more affluent white folks do where I live: I did not go to a top school, I did not own a car young, I am travelled but not "worldly" and I cannot do the same things as them due to my lack of affluence. Therefore, I am not white enough. Mixed folks are the lost children caught in the middle ground between fighting for their heritage and fighting against it if it is diametrically opposed to a worthy cause.

          • 3 years ago

            I think the message that blacks are killed at disproportionate rates is right but the execution is wrong and pretty dangerous. There does appear to be systemic racism towards blacks even in the general population, which you can test yourself for at this test.

            However, just because there is does not mean that BLM's message is not divisive and dangerous. Take this video for instance. That's not petitioning for change, that's bloodlust for revenge. The problem with BLM and most grassroots organizations in general is that it splinters into several competing groups without a clear leader, each with their own practices and local variances in the ideology.

            As a result, the most vocal and controversial groups gain airtime because that's simply better news, and over time the center of the whole group is pulled towards radicalism because that's what people see on the news and accept. For the protesters, they feed into this cycle too, because when they see that peaceful protests do not get as much air time as those going that little bit further, they will choose to use more visible methods to gain attention. Like the girls who interrupted Bernie a while back, because they think the alternative would not get the reaction they want. It's a perfectly rational choice for individuals in the movement, but on the macro level, it will inevitably move the movement away from the center, which then makes it dangerous and divisive.

            • 🎤Author
              3 years ago

              Holy shit that chant. "What do we want?" "Dead cops!" "When do we want it?" "NOW!". Chilling.

            • 3 years ago

              Yea it's pretty bad. I'll admit I'm not sure how much of the movement that actually reflects, but to even have a group marching down NYC saying that is a symptom of a problem, one which you don't usually see because targeted journalism makes more money than a balanced one.

          • 3 years ago

            if anyone can find a more thorough analysis of the disproportionate rate at which police murder black people, let me know.

            Tragically, across a large proportion of counties, individuals who were shot by police had a higher median probability of being unarmed black individuals than being armed white individuals. While this pattern could be explained by reduced levels of crime being committed by armed white individuals, it still raises a question as to why there exists such a high rate of police shooting of unarmed black individuals.

            • 🎤Author
              3 years ago

              That's interesting. But it doesn't seem to jibe with the raw numbers I see in WaPo: hundreds of armed white people killed, a few dozen unarmed black people. 13% black population in the US vs. 64% white.

          • 3 years ago

            So, personally, I don't think MOST police go into a confrontation with a black man thinking, "This is a great opportunity to gun down another ******." BUT, there is latent racism in the US that has created and maintained the perception that black people, especially men, are inherently MORE DANGEROUS than other people.

            Now, when you add that latent racism in to a society that promotes carrying guns, often in a concealed manner, then EVERY social interaction becomes potentially lethal. Piss the wrong person off in the grocery line and you could not be going home that night. For police, this is even more the case. So add "blacks are more dangerous" to "this person may have a gun and try to use it" and you've already increased the chance for someone getting shot. The STRESS of the situation alone causes this to happen because adrenaline makes you fast and stupid.

            So yes, the police are racist in that most Americans possess racial bias and that racial bias is often negative toward blacks. Police are more often in situations where they need to aggressively confront people of all types and these confrontations are made more dangerous when any and everyone might have a gun.

            It's just a toxic combination that needs to be tackled on multiple fronts:

            Discourage a heavily armed civilian populace.

            Train police better in diffusing confrontation and increase stress awareness training.

            Reduce latent racism.

            This last one takes a lot of work on EVERYONE'S part, but police need to be especially on the ball about this and keep people out of the force who test poorly on personality assessments that measure racist tendencies.

            • 3 years ago

              I mostly have a problem with your third (or would it be second?) paragraph, specifically this bit:

              I think it's probably because of the sort of subtle racism against black people that is pervasive in the world.

              Men make up more than 90% of the prison population. Does this mean that there is a "sort of subtle sexism against men which is pervasive in the world"? Of course not, because there are reasons for everything, and just shouting "SEXISM" or "RACISM" ignores the reasons and sweeps them under the rug while you talk down to the prejudiced people who are causing this.

              Someone looking into this wouldn't immediately jump to sexism, they would look at genetic differences, societal differences, etc. between men and women. Perhaps there is a genetic reason which makes men take more risks? Maybe society expects men to? Yet, when something happens to black people, you leap to some 'all pervasive' racism, rather than looking for any other cause.

              So, look at statistics. Why might black people make up a disproportionate number of convicted criminals? Might it be that, potentially due to some racism in the past, black people earn less, work less, are more unemployed, are less wealthy, have less access to good education, or any of a million other factors? Of course not, people are just racist, as they have always been and always will be. What else could it be?

               

              It could be some deep-seated racism among police, but don't state that as if it might be an obvious point, without appearing to consider alternatives. This is CMV, I expect people to explain their reasoning.

              • 3 years ago

                So I could point to black male incarceration rates, or the media's depiction of the black man, or how black people are more likely to be attacked in white neighborhoods than whites in black neighborhoods, (sorry I'd don't have sources, I'm on vacation, and my book are at home), but let's not talk about that. Let's talk about hard numbers using your Washington Post Article

                We see that 494 white people have been killed by police, (of which I'd like to mention 406 were wielding a deadly weapon), but only 258 black people (of which, for fairness sake, 188 were wielding a deadly weapon). That's less than 50%, God damn.

                Let's look at a more telling factor population of USA. So the white, non-hispanic population of the Untied States is 196,817,552, meaning those 494 people were 2.5% of the total white, non-hispanic, population. Let's compare that to black population which is 42,020,743 of which those 258 were 6.1%. So if we compare those two numbers suddenly we see an over 200% increase.

                Oh shit.

                If there was 200% more of a chance of your dick not working if you used olive oil, you'd stop using olive oil.

                • 3 years ago

                  All Americans suffer from killings at the hands of police when unarmed. Unarmed people killed by police are mostly non-black:

                  You know that in 2015, the plurality of unarmed people killed by police were black, right? And that, despite making up only ~12% of the US population, they represent ~39% of unarmed people killed by police in 2015/2015? You know that that means, literally, that black people in the US have a threefold higher chance of being killed by police than the national average, and more than a fivefold increased risk compared to white people?

                  To point out how your interpretation of the numbers is misguided, let's sub in some more extreme numbers - let's say that, in the small country of Freedonia, there were 999,900 white people, and 100 black people. In 2015, Freedonian police killed 250 unarmed Freedonian citizens, 150 of whom were white, 100 of whom were black. Yes, it is a true thing to say that "Unarmed people killed by police are mostly non-black", but it fails to mention the other true statement, "police killed literally every single black person in Freedonia." Since a random white person has a 0.15% chance of being killed, while a random black person has a 100% chance of being killed, yeah, I'd say there's a problem with race relations among the Freedonian police.

                  • 3 years ago

                    I'm on mobile so I will find and link articles when I can.

                    Whites make up approximately 60% of the population. Blacks are about 13%. Yet blacks are incarcerated at almost the same rate whites are, and are twice as likely to suffer longer and more severe prison sentences.

                    This raises the obvious question: do blacks commit more crime?

                    According to most major studies, yes, they do. At alarming rates. In 85% of interracial violence cases, the perpetrator is black. Almost 90% of all cases of "shooting" cases, where someone fired a bullet at another person, the perpetrator was black. And the same rate holds true for interracial rape: the significant majority of perpetrators are black.

                    Blacks are 2.45 times as likely to be shot and killed by police than whites. They are also twice as likely to be handed linger and harsher prison sentences and are stopped and arrested almost 6 times more often than whites.

                    However, blacks perpetrate almost 8 times more violent crime than whites, and almost 6 times more than Hispanics in America.

                    The likely reasons for these numbers are the extremely high rates of poverty in the black community and persistent systemic racism of both whites against blacks AND blacks against whites. It's a national problem to be sure that needs to be addressed.

                    • 2 years ago

                      The president of the United States is black, many mayors, governors, and other political leaders are black. Judges are black, black people have a much higher acceptance rate into colleges due to preferential treatment, they have HUGE hiring advantages in federal government. They have college scholarships specifically for them. They have access to the same levels of education from K-12 that any other person does. They can use any other social program just as effective as anyone else. They in every sense have exactly the same rights, privileges, and advantages that anybody else has.

                      Here's the problem as I see it and I'm willing to change my mind if shown evidence. black people have spent their entire lives being told that they are being held down by the 'white man'. IF they don't get that job it's because the hiring official was racist, if they don't pass that test in high-school, it's not because you didn't study hard enough, it's because the teacher is racist. If they get pulled over, it's not because they were speeding, it's because the cop is racist. It's a trap that many fall into to feel better bout their shortcomings. I can't say I entirely blame them because if someone had told me my whole life that most of my problems came from someone else's hatred I would probably fall into the same trap.

                      But here's the stone-cold truth. Life is hard. It straight-up sucks sometimes. You usually don't get that job. If you don't study, you probably won't pass. If you speed you might get pulled over. If you are doing something illegal than start fighting the police, you might get shot.

                      • 3 years ago

                        If what you said were true, more than 1 out of every thousand police would be sentenced for killing when 25.7% of blacks are unarmed. When 13% of the African American populous make up 52% of the police killings. (We have no metric for the beatings.) When 13% make up 90% of the incarceration rates... The statistics are disproportionately skewed to show you are very wrong.

                        • 3 years ago

                          However, this racism is not why the police are killing unarmed black people. Police are killing black people for the same reason they are killing unarmed white people: they think they are under threat.

                          So take this one step farther:

                          Why do police feel that they are under more threat from unarmed black people than they do, proportionally, from unarmed white people?

                          Racism, pure and simple.

                          I agree... police are mostly killing because they think they are under threat (even though by historic standards and any reasonable standard, they are not even in the top 10 most dangerous common jobs... taxi drivers die more often on the job)... but evidently, based on killing a higher proportion of unarmed black people relative to the black population, they think black people are "scarier" simply because they are black, and that's racism.

                          • 3 years ago

                            The title "Black Lives Matter" in this context implies that police are especially killing black people without consideration for the value of their lives due to their race. This is a serious charge and would be infuriating if true. It could lead to a majority of black people (and many others) in the United States thinking that some police are either actively seeking to hunt and kill black people, or at best indifferent to killing black people. This belief would undermine the trust people put in the police to keep them safe from criminals etc. That is dangerous. Furthermore, it could lead people to actively pursue a war on police in the pursuit of self defense, which is also dangerous.

                            I believe there are several lines of evidence that show that SOME police are especially killing black people without sufficient consideration of the value of their lives. That will not be the main point in my consideration of your paragraph above, but those lines of evidence include the statistical prevalence of police violence against African-Americans and the expressions of African-Americans of their lived experience and how it differs from the experience of white Americans (in families with both white and black members, or black people visiting America, people can control for how much the variable of being black affects interaction with police.) It includes multiple videos showing excessive police violence or contraindicated behavior (chokeholds). It is hardly debatable that there is some subset of the population that is racially biased against African-Americans. It seems plausible that this subset could overlap with the subset of Americans who are in the police force. We have seen a video of a police officer attempting to plant a gun on a black man he just shot. It is also hardly debatable that even those without conscious bias may have implicit bias that, without proper training, could negatively affect African-Americans. There are communities like Ferguson in which the police force obtain a great deal of funding from fines, in a way that might give undue incentive to police stopping citizens for the chance of finding a minor infraction. It doesn't help that in many districts the police force has a vastly different ethnic makeup than the population they serve. Even trends that might appear to make policing more "objective" often have the opposite effect. "Big data" models of where crimes occur are based on past crime reports, and may lead to greater police presence in certain areas, which lead to more arrests, which in a circular pattern, lead to greater presence again, even if at present no more crimes occur in that region.

                            That there certainly are also some cases in which police show excessive force against nonminority populations, but it's natural to lump similar problems together, and address them with a common solution.

                            My main problem with the paragraph I have quoted as that you are not advocating that the truth of the situation be disseminated no matter what that truth is, because you don't think that (especially) black people are responsible enough to handle that truth, and that only those unaffected can have the proper distance to address this "infuriating" situation. I am concerned that implicit in your argument is the idea that African-Americans are especially prone to violent retribution and unable to control their emotions, a view of them as child-like. It would be natural for some to be very angry about this situation, and it would be natural if you were not affected, for you not to be as angry. But to keep the truth from people because you are afraid of their anger creates a distance between you and them, and may distort your own reasoning towards reaching a conclusion (there is no problem) that you would rather people accept, true or not.

                            • 3 years ago

                              It really depends on what you mean by "racist." Often, when we think of racism, we conjure images of the Klu Klux Klan or similar groups. However, racism is merely the belief that one's own race is "superior" (also a tricky word) than another's. Thus, racism can come in different extremities, with the KKK toward one end of that continuum and something like choosing a white person's job application over a black one toward the other end. However, if you consider racism along this spectrum, then cops are in fact "racist" in their killings.

                              Like you say in one of your comments, the cops feel threatened and that's what's motivating their tendency to shoot, but if the cops feel more threatened by a black person than a white person (i.e., a white person is superior in controlling his aggression; or a white person is superior in coming to a peaceful resolution), then the cops are nonetheless acting off of their racist beliefs. Even if the cops don't put on white hoods at night and plot the extermination of black people, they can still have racist beliefs and tendencies, like believing that black people are more dangerous than white people.

                              Now, you may contend that black people are more likely to be dangerous based off of incarceration rates and such, but 1) we have to keep in mind the natural slant of these data (i.e., white people are going to be charged less frequently and lose in court less often), and 2) we must understand the psychology of self-fulfilling prophecy. For example, imagine you're taking a women and gender studies class, and you're one of the only three males in there. From the start of the class, the teacher regards you as more "threatening" to her class, for your sex is statistically more likely to be intolerant of women's rights and more aggressive toward women in general. And as such, she, along with the rest of the female students treat you a little more coldly, a little more suspiciously. So how do you respond? Well you become a little more intolerant to their opinions, maybe even a little aggressive. Would we call the teacher and students sexist for operating off of truly, empirically-backed assumptions? You were never intolerant or hostile in the first place, but after their treatment to you, what should you expect?

                              The word "racist" is really a tough one, because it carries with it this connotation of hateful, violent thoughts toward another group--saying cruel slurs or even seeking out injury to the other. But we are all racist to some extent; that is, we are all aware of stereotypes about races, and whether you want them to or not, those stereotypes are bound to influence our behavior, even minutely. The problem with this form of racism, however, is that it is resulting in a lot of innocent sons and husbands and brothers and uncles being killed unjustifiably.

                              • 3 years ago

                                [BLM] could lead to a majority of black people (and many others) in the United States thinking that some police are either actively seeking to hunt and kill black people, or at best indifferent to killing black people.

                                See that's what white people simply can't understand: black people ALREADY believe this and have for the entire history of our country! And rightly so! For the first couple hundred years of our existence, this country has celebrated white supremacy. Many of our police officers and judges were KKK members. We still thought "separate but equal" made sense up until only about 50 years ago. That history is not a relic of the past, there are people alive today who lived through that and to this day many black people still are taught from a young age to watch their back for both gang bangers and police alike.

                                I want you to take a second and imagine the worst possible outcome of this BLM movement you can think of. What if there was a black panthers resurgence? What if a well-armed, black, underground militia formed and decided to finally "pay back" white people of the country. They go door to door pulling women and children out of their beds, and set fire to their property. What a hell our country would become, right? Suddenly, being white in the US would be like living in a battleground. Forget all about striving for that nice white-picket suburban house or going to an expensive uni to get a degree and make a better life for your grandchildren's children, you can't focus on that when you're just trying to survive! Yeah, welcome to the first 200 years of being black in the US.

                                Only in the past 1 or 2 generations have black people actually been recognized as equal citizens. Only for the past 30 years have white people dismissed a cry for help over systemic oppression as "gangster rap". And only in the past 10 years have people started carrying cameras around with them everywhere they go so that they are able to record actual tangible evidence of this oppression.

                                You know how there were always a bunch of claims about ghosts, or the lochness monster, or bigfoot, and then suddenly everyone carries cameras around with them and no one can find any evidence? This is the inverse of that. All this time black people have been oppressed by society, cried out for help, and no one gave a shit because we never saw it. Now with today's technology we're finally able to bring it out in the light for everyone to see. And that revelation is called the BLM movement.

                                • 3 years ago

                                  Just because there are "more" white people than black people being killed doesn't mean it's not a racial problem. Why? Because there are more white people than black people in America.

                                  Look at this link, for example. I'll quote some relevant passages below. https://thesocietypages.org/toolbox/police-killing-of-blacks/

                                  "Which racial or ethnic group in the US is the most frequent victim of deadly force from law enforcement officers? On the surface, the answer is clear, whites. You can see in the chart below that in 2015, in the US, 578 whites were killed by police. This is nearly double the number of blacks at 301. However, we need to compare these rates to the rates of each group in the general population. Of course (non-Hispanic) whites are the most frequent victims, they are the largest portion of the population – 62.2% in 2014 according to US Census estimates. If we lived in a society where one’s race had no impact, then we would expect to see the portion of each racial/ethnic group killed by police equal to that of the portion in the general population. That is not what is evident from the 2015 data."

                                  "Whites make up a disproportionally smaller portion of those killed by law enforcement compared to their portion of the general population – 11.3% less. Blacks on the other hand make up a disproportionally larger portion of those killed (26.5%) compared to the general population (13.2%) – 13.3% more or double!"

                                  Do you understand the difference between raw numbers and percentages? It's basic math. If there are 50 dogs and 50 cats and 25 of each are sick, that's proportional. If there are 75 dogs and 25 cats, and 50 dogs and 25 cats are sick, then sure, twice as many dogs than cats are sick. But 100% of the cats are sick while 66.66% (2/3) of the dogs are sick. Which means that maybe it's time to consider what's making cats so much more susceptible to illness.

                                  • 3 years ago

                                    I agree in that I don't think that police (generally), after making a stop, decide to use excessive force due to the suspects race. However if the police are generally stopping twice as many African Americans as they are Caucasians, we end up with increased police brutality against a demographic largely due to their race. Maybe if that cop had pulled someone else over, he would have made the same mistake. But he pulled over that African American. So did he pull him over due to some unintentional bias? If so, then that is racism, and that racism led to an African American death, and not the death of anyone else.

                                    I think that we have both an issue with racism and an issue with poorly trained or poorly practicing police officers. It may not be a majority of officers who contribute to those problems, but they are still problems.

                                    One of the overarching problems is that any criticism of the policies and practices of police is automatically discounted. If a cop pulled me over and decide to plant drugs on me, I would be found guilty of drug possession hands down. In a he said she said scenario, the police are always in the right because we are supposed to trust them. Generally, we can. But with no checks or balances, the system is open to abuse by the few who might do so.

                                    So the question really is, is this a strawman police officer that is racist, uses excessive force, and abuses the system? Or do those police actually exist, even in the minority? If they do exist, how do we stop that from happening?

                                    • 3 years ago

                                      Clearly there is some non-race related driver for police killing unarmed people in the US

                                      Oh, yes, clearly non-race-related

                                      Study finds police fatally shoot unarmed black men at disproportionate rates […] Black men accounted for about 40 percent of the unarmed people fatally shot by police and, when adjusted by population, were seven times as likely as unarmed white men to die from police gunfire

                                      Seven times more likely. People who're on record as displaying aggression or weapons, proportionate. People on record as not being aggressive or armed, well, people like that just shouldn't do whatever it was that got them shot, which by all appearances is to just be black. But that's clearly not the result of race.

                                      • 3 years ago

                                        The title "Black Lives Matter" in this context implies that police are especially killing black people without consideration for the value of their lives due to their race.

                                        I think that to some extent the answer to this lies in perception. For generations, this statement is absolutely true. Going back to slavery thru the 1970s this was much more common. So during that time a perception is created among a race of people that their lives are considered less valuable and more disposable, especially by law figures (slave owners, police, judges).

                                        Studies now show that this type of memory or phobia can be passed down through DNA. So it is a very real and ingrained feeling that we must consider when we start talking about whether or not their rhetoric is dangerous.

                                        • 3 years ago

                                          Fun fact: most cop killings are more white people than black, and that's a statistic. Not everything is a race issue.

                                          • 3 years ago
                                            • 3 years ago

                                              Black people ARE overrepresented among unarmed people killed by police relative to their population.

                                              You acknowledge that it's a problem that particularly affects black people. When was the last time a major, necessary change happen without some group making a big stink about it?

                                              Hell, let's even just take the more general issue of people being unjustifiably killed by LEO. It's been a problem for a long, long time, but no one really gave a shit until BLM decided to make them pay attention to the issue, and they did it because they're the ones that are most particularly affected by it. Before, the occasional news story would pop up, and people would probably just mutter to themselves, "That's terrible," and move on with their day, and then when election time comes up, no one even brought it up before.

                                              • 2 years ago

                                                i agree that while i oppose (pretty strongly) a lot of blm's tactics and rhetoric, the underlying causes they're fighting for are things i support. my problem with blm and their media supporters is their intolerance and censorship of views that are either not perfectly aligned with blm or that challenge their rhetoric. the trend toward censorship of views that aren't perfectly aligned with "official" leftist talking points is a major threat to freedom of speech in this country. these censorship leftists are weaponizing the terms "racism" and "bigotry" by broadening them to conveniently include any analysis that isn't biased in their favor. and i personally believe Donald Trump's success is largely a reaction by people desperate for anyone to stand up to media propaganda.

                                                ultimately, i'm troubled by the fact that i've found it increasingly difficult to find (in journalism) or to have (online or face-to-face) objective discussions with hard-line democrats over the past couple of years, and blm is probably the worst case of that i've seen.

                                                furthermore, i think a major problem in american politics is the lack of objective quantification of issues. we should be using more data and science to make our points and less emotional pot-stirring.

                                                • 3 years ago

                                                  If you hadn't mentioned "unarmed" in your view, then you'd be on more solid ground. It's true that police shootings seem to be fairly consistent across races when you control for the number of interactions the police have across races.

                                                  However, when it comes to shooting unarmed people, your analysis of the data is off (using the figures you posted). Among black people shot by the police, 15% were unarmed. Among white people shot by the police, 7% were unarmed. A black person shot by the police is twice as likely to have been unarmed as a white person shot by the police. There could be something other than racism driving that statistic, but it certainly doesn't prove a lack of racism in police use of deadly force on unarmed civilians.

                                                  • 3 years ago

                                                    You don't go far enough when you say it's wrong, dangerous and divisive. It's more accurate to say that the situation is catastrophic. Many black people absolutely believe that police are not just racist but actively trying to kill them. That's way more than just dangerous. Society can't remain intact without a working police force. Were in a situation where large segments of the population see the police as a threat and the police feel like they're under attack from society. That situation does not end well for anyone involved.

                                                    Edit: From blacklivesmatter.com

                                                    "Black Lives Matter is an ideological and political intervention in a world where Black lives are systematically and intentionally targeted for demise. It is an affirmation of Black folks’ contributions to this society, our humanity, and our resilience in the face of deadly oppression."

                                                    They use the words "systematically" and "intentionally", they think they are being hunted, they see a genocide where one doesn't exist. When you believe things like that, you can justify doing some really nasty things, shit is gonna get a lot worse.

                                                    • 3 years ago

                                                      I would like to point out that the data you posted does show a discrepancy between white and black people being killed. The US 2010 census put the Black/African American population at about 12% of the total, and the White population at about 64%.

                                                      We'll round off the number of people who were shot in 2015 to 1000, just cause it's so close. We would expect, if the police weren't at some level discriminating based on race, for about 640 white people to be shot and about 120 black people.

                                                      Instead, we have over 250 black people shot and less than 500 white people shot. I feel like this shows that our police system will often act harsher to black people.

                                                      • 3 years ago

                                                        OP, I would submit that while Black Lives Matter activists are, of course, primarily objecting to the killing of black people by police officers, this would not be nearly as big of an issue if the cops who murder black people were held accountable for their actions. Tamir Rice and Eric Garner's killers did not face any charges. Two of the cops involved in Freddie Gray's killing were acquitted, and legal experts think that the other four officers will likely not face punishment either. The statement that 'black lives matter' is directed at the prosecutors, judges, and jury members that will find a cop who shoots an unarmed man in the back 'not guilty'.

                                                        • 3 years ago

                                                          From a DOJ report:

                                                          "Black pedestrians were 37 percent more likely to be searched by Baltimore police citywide and 23 percent more likely to be searched during vehicle stops. But officers found contraband twice as often when searching white residents during vehicle stops and 50 percent more often during pedestrian stops, the report notes"

                                                          source

                                                          Can we put the 'Blacks commit more crimes' narrative to rest now?

                                                          • 3 years ago
                                                            • 3 years ago

                                                              Working on your thesis that police are killing people because they feel under threat (which I don't agree with) if you concede that black people suffer a bias from their race then they are more vulnerable than any other race anyway and BLM's point stands. Race works to disenfranchise the vulnerable in any bad situation. You simply need to concede that racism exists. Whether it's a threat or pure racism, as long as there is also racism yours is a distinction without much of a difference.

                                                              • 3 years ago

                                                                The BLM movement is fueled partially by the media, conservative or liberal. Minnesota and Baton Rouge are dominating the news cycle, where as maybe 20 years ago, this would not be the case. The anti police movement is a symptom of 24/7 news, where something like a Alton Sterling can make the news. A few bad apples ruin the bunch, I live in an area near D.C, and in my lifetime I have heard zero incidents they were truely unjustified

                                                                • 3 years ago

                                                                  You are right, the police are killing unarmed black men because they feel threatened. Race is put into the equation because many feel that these white officers feel more threatened of black men precisely because they are black. If Philando Castile was a 32 year old white male with his white girlfriend and white daughter in his car, would the cop feel as threatened? This is why people think racism and prejudice is the issue here.

                                                                  • 3 years ago

                                                                    However, this racism is not why the police are killing unarmed black people. Police are killing black people for the same reason they are killing unarmed white people: they think they are under threat.

                                                                    And the point black lives matter is making is that unconscious bias(or in other words racism) causes police officers to feel like they are under threat more quickly than if they were dealing with a white person.

                                                                    • 3 years ago
                                                                      • 3 years ago

                                                                        Look at the areas with strick gun control laws they have the highest rates of gun violence in America. That with no job opportunities and high drug usage and basically no options to better oneself you end up with a us versus them situation.

                                                                        In these areas due to the higher police presence you get a feeling that the man is out to get you which builds resentment on both sides they hate us cause we are black. They hate us cause we represent the law. Which escalates into something worse then what it really should be.

                                                                        It a fear thing on both sides brought about by what I mentioned above.

                                                                        • 2 years ago

                                                                          The real problem is BLM, the President's and MSM's statements are all based on lies. Lies serve more to reverse any good intentions. It's as if the media and their political allies are in cahoots. Oh wait! Why, yes they are.

                                                                          • 3 years ago

                                                                            Cops do not really kill unarmed black people. However cops are more likely to perceive black people as a threat, or as someone not valued by society, and as a result more likely to be aggressive and disrespectful.

                                                                            • 3 years ago

                                                                              how do you see the 'subtle racism' as being the cause of the disproportionate number of unarmed black people killed by police to it not being a factor in why police feeling unduly threatened?

                                                                              and what evidence do you have for it largely being framed as a black-only problem by BLM?