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2020-11-03 g

A Grim—and Ignored—Body Count

The problem in the American inner city is not racism but drive-by shootings of blacks by other blacks.

The latest anti-cop riots to convulse an American city hit Philadelphia last week, part of a stream of such violence since the early summer. This bout of looting and assault broke out after the fatal police shooting of Walter Wallace, Jr., on October 26. The shooting of the 27-year-old Wallace appears justified, if tragic. Wallace had been threatening his mother with a knife, resulting in two previous 911 calls that day. When the police arrived, he ignored repeated requests to drop the knife as he approached the officers. The officers had not been equipped with Tasers; in that situation, they had no other option, as Wallace’s father himself has acknowledged, than to use their guns. (In March, Wallace stabbed the mother of his children and threatened to “shoot you and that house up.” His record included 18 previous arrests for robbery, assaults on cops, aggravated assault, terroristic threats, and domestic abuse.)

On Tuesday, former vice president Joe Biden tweeted his sympathy “for all those suffering the emotional weight of learning about another Black life in America lost. Walter’s life mattered.” To be sure—but Biden is referring here exclusively to the loss of black life at the hands of the police, which he, the rest of the Democratic Party, and the mainstream media have portrayed as a national epidemic, growing out of the country’s systemic racism. In fact, fatal police shootings constitute a smaller fraction of black homicide deaths than they do white and Hispanic homicide deaths. Three percent of black homicide victims are killed by a cop, compared with 10 percent of white and Hispanic homicide victims killed by a cop.

Police departments should work incessantly to minimize the number of times officers feel compelled to use deadly force, but police shootings are not the main problem afflicting urban black communities; criminal violence is. Wallace’s life mattered, yes—but so did the lives of the dozens of black children killed in drive-by shootings since the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis in late May 2020. The Democratic and media establishments have been virtually silent about those shootings, even amid their skyrocketing numbers.
The problem in the American inner city is not white supremacy but the failure to socialize young males—a problem that is a direct result of family breakdown. As businesses and apartment buildings in the nation’s big cities board themselves up in anticipation of post-election rioting, many Americans may decide that if being “racist” in the eyes of the media, academics, and other elites means worrying about their community being looted or their children being shot, they will simply have to endure that slander. (read more)


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