Commentary: Tragic Killings Are a Warning

Police BlueTwo separate police shootings on Tuesday and Wednesday led to a series of protests across the country, one of which turned deadly for five police officers in Dallas with six more wounded.

It is important to point out that we do not have a full picture as of yet as to what occurred in Dallas, what the motive was, and therefore all commentary on it is speculative at best.

At this point what we know is quite limited – 10 police officers were shot by snipers during the protests, an 11th officer was shot in an exchange of gunfire with a suspect.  Dallas Police Chief David Brown told the media last night that it’s unclear how many suspects were involved, but three people are in custody.

Two of the shooters were snipers, firing “ambush-style” from an “elevated position,” Chief Brown said.

CNN quoted retired FBI special agent Steve Moore as saying that the attack of this magnitude required advance work.  “This was an attack planned long before — waiting for an opportunity to go,” Mr. Moore said. “I think there was so much logistically, ammunition-wise. They may not have planned the location, they may not have planned the vantage point. But they had prepared for an attack before last night’s shooting is my guess.”

President Barack Obama, who had strong words yesterday for law enforcement, has strong words this morning on the tragic shooting.

“We still don’t know all the facts, we do know there’s been a vicious, calculated and despicable act on law enforcement,” President Obama said. “I believe I speak for every American when I say we are horrified.”

The backdrop to this tragedy is two more police killings of black men.  As we reported yesterday, a video showed Alton Sterling on Tuesday night, pinned to the ground in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, when he was shot in the chest and back at close range by police officers.

The second death, the next day, came in Minnesota, when Philando Castile was stopped for a traffic stop in St. Paul and was shot several times by a police officer.  The video starts right after the shooting, where the woman calmly tells the officer, “He was just getting his license and registration, sir,” noting to the camera that he was not reaching for the gun that he was legally licensed to carry.

“Would this have happened if the passengers, the drivers were white? I don’t think it would have,” Governor Mark Dayton said at a news conference on Thursday. “All of us in Minnesota are forced to confront that this kind of racism exists.”

President Obama also had strong words on Thursday, stating that “what I can say is that all of us as Americans should be troubled by these shootings, because these are not isolated incidents.  They’re symptomatic of a broader set of racial disparities that exist in our criminal justice system.”

The President then went through statistics, noting that “African Americans are 30 percent more likely than whites to be pulled over.  After being pulled over, African Americans and Hispanics are three times more likely to be searched.  Last year, African Americans were shot by police at more than twice the rate of whites.  African Americans are arrested at twice the rate of whites.  African American defendants are 75 percent more likely to be charged with offenses carrying mandatory minimums.  They receive sentences that are almost 10 percent longer than comparable whites arrested for the same crime.”

He said, “So that if you add it all up, the African American and Hispanic population, who make up only 30 percent of the general population, make up more than half of the incarcerated population.”

The point, as the President drove home, is that “when incidents like this occur, there’s a big chunk of our fellow citizenry that feels as if because of the color of their skin, they are not being treated the same.  And that hurts.  And that should trouble all of us.  This is not just a black issue.  It’s not just a Hispanic issue. This is an American issue that we should all care about.  All fair-minded people should be concerned.”

The President added the need to rebuild trust between communities and the police departments, noting that some jurisdictions have already started to adopt these recommendations.

The President said that “ultimately, if you can rebuild trust between communities and the police departments that serve them, that helps us solve crime problems.  That will make life easier for police officers.  They will have more cooperation.  They will be safer.  They will be more likely to come home.  So it would be good for crime-fighting and it will avert tragedy.”

In words that would prove tragically prophetic, the President added, “to all of law enforcement, I want to be very clear: We know you have a tough job.  We mourn those in uniform who are protecting us who lose their lives.  On a regular basis, I have joined with families in front of Capitol Hill to commemorate the incredible heroism that they’ve displayed. “

He added, “There is no contradiction between us supporting law enforcement — making sure they’ve got the equipment they need, making sure that their collective bargaining rights are recognized, making sure that they’re adequately staffed, making sure that they are respected, making sure their families are supported — and also saying that there are problems across our criminal justice system, there are biases — some conscious and unconscious — that have to be rooted out.  That’s not an attack on law enforcement.  That is reflective of the values that the vast majority of law enforcement bring to the job.”

It is a tragedy that has now comes to the fore.

Yesterday on the Vanguard we had a renewed debate on All Lives Matter v. Black Lives Matter.

As the President would put it, “If communities are mistrustful of the police, that makes those law enforcement officers who are doing a great job and are doing the right thing, it makes their lives harder.  So when people say ‘Black Lives Matter,’ that doesn’t mean blue lives don’t matter; it just means all lives matter, but right now the big concern is the fact that the data shows black folks are more vulnerable to these kinds of incidents. “

The problem with All Lives Matter is that it ignores the inequity in the system.  The example of a family sitting down at the table, everyone getting a piece of chicken but one, and the youngest stating, I need food.  The father responds – we all need food.  While true, the father’s statement misses the fact that one member of his family has been denied his food and therefore the father’s statement ignores the injustice that the youngest suffers.

As we noted last year, the reality is that implicit in the statement “Black Lives Matter” is the word “too.”  That the Black Lives Matter movement is really stating that Black lives matter too.

We can see this statement in the Chicago report, “CPD’s own data gives validity to the widely held belief the police have no regard for the sanctity of life when it comes to people of color.”

Until the sanctity of life is respected, the phrase Black Lives Matter is a call for justice and equity in the system.

Clearly, the tragedy in Dallas will change the thinking.  It is quite possible that the shootings in Dallas were the result of pent up anger over these police killings and it is also quite possible that the shootings had nothing to do with this issue at all.  We need to learn more.

Assuming motive right now, the shootings make it all the more imperative that we change the way we do things – that we bring the communities of color together with the police and bring an end to the tactics that result in the loss of life that is needless and pointless.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

Related posts

63 Comments

  1. Barack Palin

    This is being reported this morning.  During police negotiations with one of the shooters he stated:

    One of the suspects who slaughtered five Dallas cops at an anti-police brutality protest said he was on a mission to “kill white people, especially white officers.”

    The shooter said he was angry over recent police killings of black men and was “upset about Black Lives Matter” — although he stressed that he was not affiliated with the activist group, Brown said.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/dallas-shooter-killed-cops-wanted-kill-chief-article-1.2704049

     

  2. South of Davis

    David wrote:

    > we do not have a full picture as of yet as to what occurred in Dallas,

    > what the motive was, and therefore all commentary on it is

    > speculative at best.

    It looks like that when you tell people long enough that only “Black Lives Matter” you let them know that “White Lives Don’t Matter” and give them the OK to kill white people…

    Dallas Police Chief David Brown (who is black and probably only alive today because the shooter thought his life “mattered”), said:

    “during the exchange of gunfire with the suspect, he made the following announcement: “The suspect said he was upset about Black Lives Matter,” said Brown, who is black. “He said he was upset about the recent police shootings. The suspect said he was upset at white people. The suspect stated that he wanted to kill white people, especially white officers.””

    1. David Greenwald

      “It looks like that when you tell people long enough that only “Black Lives Matter” you let them know that “White Lives Don’t Matter” and give them the OK to kill white people…”

      I don’t agree with that, but when you have anger people do things irrationally.

      However, I will point out that when I wrote this, the information you posted at the bottom was not available.

    2. Eric Gelber

      It looks like that when you tell people long enough that only “Black Lives Matter” you let them know that “White Lives Don’t Matter” and give them the OK to kill white people…

      I guess if anyone actually said that other than those on the far right, I might agree with you. But it is you who inserted the word “only” before Black Lives Matter. A more accurate statement of the intent of the Black Lives Matter movement would be: Black Lives Matter too.

      1. Rich RifkinWDE 73

        A more accurate statement of the intent of the Black Lives Matter movement would be: Black Lives Matter too.

        If that were the case, then why are people who say “all lives matter” shouted down or called “racist” by the BLM activists?

        I think the only defensible point made by the BLM is that far too many young black people, especially males from 15-29, are being shot and killed in our country. That they focus their wrath on the police killings of blacks distorts the reality. Almost all of these killings are young black males killing other young black males.*

        I assume most people know that is the case. What most people likely don’t know is that far more white people are killed by cops in the United States than blacks. 49 percent of all those killed by cops are white; 30% black; 19% Hispanic; 2% Asian or other. I think the reason those numbers are not well known is because the narrative in the media plays up the killings of blacks and never are the killings of whites by cops turned into a major national story.

        Insofar as black are only 13% of the U.S. population, you might think being the victim of police killings 30% of the time is gravely disproportionate. But I think the number to compare these cases to is the homicide rate and the violent crime rate.

        That is just what Peter Moskos, professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice at the City University of New York, did. “Adjusted for the homicide rate, whites are 1.7 times more likely than blacks die at the hands of police,” Moskos said. “Adjusted for the racial disparity at which police are feloniously killed, whites are 1.3 times more likely than blacks to die at the hands of police.”

        I am strongly of the belief that we have two (or more problems) running into one another that have led to this situation. The first and most important is the total breakdown of the black family in the poor inner-cities. The near total absence of intact families and fathers raising their kids is our foremost crisis. The second issue is that our police forces have become militarized over the last 25-30 years and as a consequence they are far more likely to use deadly force against civilians, especially those they perceive (in some cases incorrectly) as a threat.

        *From a story in The Atlantic: “The numbers are staggering. From 1980 to 2013, 262,000 black males were killed in America. By contrast, roughly 58,000 Americans died in Vietnam. In New Orleans, about 6,000 African American men have been murdered since 1980. The killers of these men were, in the vast majority of cases, other African American men.”

        1. Barack Palin

           But I think the number to compare these cases to is the homicide rate and the violent crime rate.
          “Adjusted for the homicide rate, whites are 1.7 times more likely than blacks die at the hands of police,” Moskos said. “Adjusted for the racial disparity at which police are feloniously killed, whites are 1.3 times more likely than blacks to die at the hands of police.”

          Very interesting stats.  David?
           

        2. David Greenwald

          Part of the problem in this debate is what is the relevant statistic.

          If you look at raw numbers you see more whites than blacks killed by police.

          On the other hand, blacks are outnumbered like 8 to 1 by whites

          On the other hand, blacks are more likely to be involved in the criminal justice system than whites which makes them more likely to come into contact with the police.

          On the other hand, blacks are far more likely to be unarmed when they are shot by police.

          So you can kind of pick your stat and probably justify it on both sides.

          So then what?

          We are still where we are:

          1.  Too many young blacks have been shot and killed by police

          2.  Many of these deaths were avoidable and preventable had police chosen different tactics and approaches

          3.  The result of these deaths serves to undermine trust in the system and as we saw last night, form the basis for unstable people to lash out at the system.

          So we can debate endlessly about which is the most relevant stat or we can acknowledge that we have a problem and can do better.

        3. Frankly

          David – Your stats are not controlled for the neighborhood crime rates and racial population.  Baghdad has more deaths than does New York City.   And there would tend to be more Muslim’s killed in Baghdad than in New York City.  Does that mean that Baghdad police are racists against Muslims?

          When you have a concentration of blacks where there is more crime, there will be more police encounters.

          The issue is economic.

        4. Eric Gelber

          why are people who say “all lives matter” shouted down or called “racist” by the BLM activists?

          Because “all lives matter” ignores the societal problem that Black Lives Matter is trying to bring attention to: The significantly disproportionate incidence of police violence against blacks, and the inequitable treatment of blacks by the criminal justice system, generally.

          Of course, statistics can be manipulated to prove one’s point. But using absolute numbers instead of incident rates is disingenuous. Here’s an excerpt from the President’s speech yesterday that includes some telling numbers:

          According to various studies, not just one, but a wide range of studies that have been carried out over a number of years, African Americans are 30 percent more likely than whites to be pulled over.
          After being pulled over, African Americans and Hispanics are three times more likely to be searched.
          Last year African Americans were shot by police at more than twice the rate of whites.
          African Americans are arrested at twice the rate of whites; African Americans defendants are 75 percent more likely to be charged with offenses carrying mandatory minimums. They receive sentences that are almost ten percent longer than comparable whites arrested for the same crime.

        5. Barack Palin

          David

          On the other hand, blacks are outnumbered like 8 to 1 by whites

          Where are you getting your numbers today and why do your figures always err on the side of the point you’re trying to make?

          Whites outnumber blacks about 5.5 to 1 and that’s counting hispanics as being white.

          That’s somthing I never understand, why does the Cencus Bureau count Hispanics as whites but when we’re talking about college admissions or affirmative action Hispanics aren’t considered white.

        6. Rich RifkinWDE 73

          GELBER: The significantly disproportionate incidence of police violence against blacks …

          For argument’s sake, let’s just say that is true.* But at the same time, you know it is true that in absolute numbers there are more whites (roughly 5:3) killed by the police. Given those absolute numbers, how is it that nationally** we have all heard the names and stories of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Walter Scott, Freddie Gray, Philando Castillo, Alton Sterling and so on, but there is no list of names (or maybe even one single name) of a white who was killed by the cops and it received big media coverage?

          I don’t mean to suggest that the cases above do not deserve attention. I think those cases and more should be covered in full. However, the fact that no cases where the person killed by a cop is white gets any national** attention makes the public think that there are virtually no whites being killed by cops. I don’t want to misquote her, but Toni Morrison (a very smart black writer) said not too long ago that she wants “just once” to see a white person killed by the police and see how white people react. The implication of her statement is that whites are never the victims of these shootings by police officers. And that conclusion is understandable given the distortion in coverage by the national media.**

          I really think if five out of every ten stories covered by the national media where a person killed by the cops were white, we would not have a “black lives matter” movement. I think the entire impetus of the BLM is that this is only happening to blacks, because in 10 out of 10 cases that get attention the dead person is black. If it were 3 out of 10 covered were black and 2 were non-white Hispanic and 5 whites, there likely would be groups of people organized around the idea of fixing this situation. But that fix would not be focused just on stopping the killing of blacks by cops.

          *As I noted above, whites are actually disproportionately more likely to be killed by the police when adjusted for homicide rates or adjusted for rates of other serious violent crimes.

          **I am stressing national media, because I assume all cases where cops kill someone, white, black, brown, yellow, whatever, gets local coverage of some sort.

        7. South of Davis

          Rich wrote:

          > we have all heard the names and stories of

          > Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Walter

          > Scott, Freddie Gray, Philando Castillo, Alton

          > Sterling and so on, but there is no list of names

          >(or maybe even one single name) of a white who

          > was killed by the cops and it received big media

          > coverage?

          We have all heard the names Jonbenet Ramsey, Polly Klaas, Chandra Levey, Elizabeth Smart and Laci Peterson and so on but there is not list of names (or maybe even one single name) of a black girl who was missing and received big media coverage.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Missing_white_woman_syndrome

        8. Rich RifkinWDE 73

          SOD: I agree completely. That was the narrative in the media for a long time: that white, mostly blonde girls were being kidnapped or killed. Those stories got a lot of attention from the national media, while similar stories where the child was black or brown got no national coverage.

          After several years of this distortion, liberal/left activists argued forcefully that the media was biased in favor of covering stories where the missing girl was white and attractive, often from a upper-income family and the media were ignoring the same kinds of cases where the girls were from poor or non-white families.

          I think the immediate response by the media for awhile was to focus on a few cases of missing black girls. But I think the longer-term response has simply been to ignore these sorts of stories altogether.

          What’s notable about the distortions in the coverage of killings by police is that incidents like the one in Minnesota and the other one in Louisiana which sparked the Dallas march where the cops were murdered happen just about every day. But these cases mostly are ignored — unless there is some riveting cell-phone video. And then once one case gets publicity, the media will pick up the narrative and give several other similar cases (that they never would have reported on) a great deal of attention.

          For example, when Delrawn Dempsey was shot and killed by an off-duty cop in Brooklyn, it got no national attention. But only after the cases in LA and MN sparked outrage, national media started reporting a few days later about the Dempsey case. I don’t know if the officer in the Dempsey case was white. But if Dempsey had not been black, no one would have covered his case (which, by the way, sounded to me like an unjustified killing by a cop who was way too quick to shoot his gun).

        9. Eric Gelber

          Over the past year [2015] The Post found that the vast majority of those shot and killed by police were armed and half of them were white. Still, police killed blacks at three times the rate of whites when adjusted for the populations where these shootings occurred. And although black men represent 6 percent of the U.S. population, they made up nearly 40 percent of those who were killed while unarmed.

          https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/final-tally-police-shot-and-killed-984-people-in-2015/2016/01/05/3ec7a404-b3c5-11e5-a76a-0b5145e8679a_story.html

          This is the reason police killings of blacks receive far more coverage. The statistical disparities are shocking and newsworthy.

        10. Rich RifkinWDE 73

          But if Dempsey had not been black, no one would have covered his case …

          For example, no national media covered any of these killings in the last week: Melissa Ventura, Joshua Bolster, Jerry Dale Hardwick, William Tracy Patterson, Shannon Labit, Jonathan Justice, Helmut Wihowski, Steven McQueen, Alexis George Mishtowt or Michael Damore. All of those people were whites killed by cops since July 1. Yet no stories. No coverage. The president of the U.S. did not comment on any of those cases. There have been no marches. There will never be any marches.

          For all I know, every one of these killings was justifiable. But it’s not a small list. It is 10 people, all whites, killed in the last week by cops in the U.S. And yet no national coverage. It simply does not fit the narrative of “black lives matter.”

    3. hpierce

      The way I’ve parsed the gunman’s comment, he was angry at the ‘BLM’ folk as much as he was ‘white folk’… the irony is that it took place in Dallas, which as more info comes out, is actually a good exemplar of community involvement policing, in fact apparently there were officers participating (not just “monitoring” in what was intended to be a peaceful demonstration.

      The shooter was an angry person, guessing with a personality disorder, who happened to be ‘black’…

      1. Tia Will

        The shooter was an angry person, guessing with a personality disorder, who happened to be ‘black’…”

        Reminiscent of the actions of Dylan Roof Storm an angry person who happened to be white.

        Thus the reason for my article also of this date, but written prior to my hearing of the Dallas shootings. Given the highly violent nature of our society, and given the large number of guns which make their way into the hands of impulsive, angry, hate driven or mentally ill individuals, how do we best approach lessening the adverse consequences of gun related violence regardless of the race, religion, job description or ideologic persuasion of the shooter ?

        1. hpierce

          Seems as good a place as any to point out that one poster (will not single out) equated Muslim with ‘race’/ethnicity… part of the problem, nowhere near solution… there are Irish Muslims, Pakistani and Jordanian Catholics.

          To see all Irish as Catholic, to see Muslim as a “race”… well, it’s ‘profiling’… and perhaps a sign of a weak intelligence… seeing the world in black/white, conservative/liberal, Republican/Democrat, union/private entrepreneur, etc., etc….

          At least in my opinion, based on my ‘limited’ experience…

  3. David Greenwald

    Statement from the Sierra Club:

    After the police killings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile this week, our executive director Michael Brune shared this:

    “It is impossible to not be outraged by the devastating images of black people being gunned down by police on a shockingly regular basis and it should be impossible to remain silent in the face of this sustained injustice any longer. Sadly, the tragedies that are unfolding before our eyes are just a fraction of the violence that has been happening off camera in our nation for far too long.

    The Sierra Club believes all people deserve a healthy planet with clean air and water, a stable climate and safe communities. That means all people deserve equal protection under the law and the right to a life free of discrimination, hatred and violence. Unfortunately, those aspirations and goals are not a reality in our country, and that is why that is why the Sierra Club stands in solidarity with all of those saying #‎BlackLivesMatter, demanding justice, accountability, and action to confront the racism and inequality that has allowed these tragedies to persist. We can do better and by standing together to work for the changes that are needed, we will.”

  4. Frankly

    President Obama shares blame for the climate of racial conflict and violence.  Rather than delivering words and actions that bridge social and racial gaps, he exploits events to pursue a divisive political agenda.

    The national mainstream media also shares blame for the climate of racial conflict and violence.  It sensationalizes cop shootings of black suspects and ignores cop shooting of white suspects and ignores black on black crime and killing.

    See this interview from Kendrick Lamar, a popular Rap artist from Compton.

    http://noisey.vice.com/blog/kendrick-lamar-extended-noisey-bompton-interview

    This part is key.

    Entrepreneurs. Owning they own barber shops. Own businesses. They don’t see that, though. They try to pull back from that. That’s not on CNN. That’s not on the news. Know what I’m saying. It’s really a trip.  I wish the whole world could come and have a conversation with these guys. And they’re going to give you the real deal. You get cats that say, “I’m in the hood, all I know is the hood, I wanna go back to the hood and do this, and do that, and be on the block.” They do they cause they got to do that. They don’t want to be doing what they’re doing. It’s not for the luxury. It’s the circumstances that be. You know. They want to be in these businesses. Own their own businesses for better. All these cats got kids, man, they don’t want their kids seeing the same lifestyle. They want to make it out the lifestyle, come back and give to the kid that don’t necessarily see it because they’re in it just the same way they used to be in it.

    In this show there was a lot of coming back to the point that there is no economic opportunity in these neighborhoods.  It is clear to me that the root of problems that has led us to BLM and the violence between police and blacks is the lack of economic opportunity in these neighborhoods.

    Note how many of our leaders are actually doing anything significant to remedy this problem.  I can’t see any, can you?

    1. David Greenwald

      Obama has done a very good job of articulating how the black community feels about the current situation. For far too long we have ignored the concerns of the black community and now that they are getting attention, it’s called divisive. That makes things worse, not better.

      1. Frankly

        One of the things that irritates me about politics and the opinions of some people is that they seem conflate symbolism and emotional satisfaction with real tangible improvement.

        You seem to be satisfied only that there is attention.

        1. Frankly

          I agree that the recognition of a problem is a first necessary step, but activists make a career out of it.  What will they do for fun and a living if the problems are actually fixed?

          How about this… there is a need for removing the silence of criticism over the problems caused by the perpetual activism.

          1. David Greenwald

            I do think you have to separate the words of the president from those of activists. I don’t agree with your latter statement. There has been a lot of movement towards reform in the last two years everything from the implementation of body worn cameras to the proposed use of force changes by PERF. I don’t think any of this would be happening absent perpetual political pressure.

        2. Frankly

          Those are fine areas of progress if your end game is to help implement symbolic changes to make people feel better for a short period of time.  But how have body cameras being worn improved the overall situation?  Seems to be blowing up doesn’t it.

          Again, this is what irritates me about politics.  What are the real root causes and what are the real solutions.  Your thinking lives in a political activist space… where your satisfaction for progress is primarily symbolic.

          I was watching a good show about Switzerland and why they were so successful as a country given the lack of natural resources, etc.  The primary take away was their pragmatism and focus on really solving social problems and not wasting time on all the symbolic media fluff.

        3. wdf1

          Frankly:  I was watching a good show about Switzerland and why they were so successful as a country

          Once ran into this sign:

          Heaven is when: the chefs are Italian, the police are British, the mechanics are German, the lovers are French, and it’s all being organized by the Swiss.

          Hell is when: the chefs are British, the police are German, the mechanics are French, the lovers are Swiss, and it’s all being organized by the Italians.

    2. wdf1

      Frankly:  Note how many of our leaders are actually doing anything significant to remedy this problem.  I can’t see any, can you?

      I don’t discern any leadership from Congress on these issues.  Do you?

  5. David Greenwald

    “When people say ‘black lives matter,’ that doesn’t mean blue lives don’t matter. It just means all lives matter, but right now the big concern is the fact that the data shows black folks are more vulnerable to these kinds of incidents.” – 
President Obama

    1. Frankly

      http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/general_politics/august_2015/has_obama_widened_the_racial_divide

      Only 20% of Likely U.S. Voters believe President Obama has brought Americans of different races closer together, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. Forty-seven percent (47%) think Obama has driven those of different races further apart instead. Twenty-seven percent (27%) say his words and actions have had no major impact either way. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

        1. Frankly

          No, I don’t buy that at all.  Things have gotten worse… much worse.

          It isn’t all Obama’s fault of course, but he has definitely contribute to the decline in black white relations.  He has failed in economic policy to bring back economic prosperity to the working-class.   This is leading to declines in social capital and morality in working-class neighborhoods.  This is leading to more fatherless households and more young people turning to gangs, drugs and crime.

          Where are the jobs?

          Where are the reformed schools?

          Where are the moral institutions?

          Obama has not done much of anything for these neighborhoods other than blame law enforcement for their problems.

        2. hpierce

          So, Frankly, with a Democrat president, and a Republican House, pretty much throughout his tenure (the only body that can originate spending/tax bills), and a Republican Senate for the past few years, it is Obama who is primarily responsible for the economy?  Where does the private sector fit in?  Are they dependent on the House/Senate/President?

        3. wdf1

          Frankly:  Where are the reformed schools?

          Obama has mostly continued the policies of GW Bush and No Child Left Behind (NCLB).

          The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), passed in December 2015 and signed by Obama made some slight improvements, but continues a lot of the same policies.  In lower income neighborhoods, there is a greater lack of social and non-cognitive skills (in come contexts called “good citizenship,” which is a phrase you detest) compatible with 21st century economic success.  If most of the focus is on interventions and enrichment in math and English Language Arts (ELA), then those social and non-cognitive skills will remain undeveloped.

          Where are the reformed schools?  There have actually been lots of (“failing”) public schools being closed down in lower income communities and turned over to privately run charter businesses.  Failing means that they didn’t score at a high enough threshold on standardized test scores in math and ELA.  Privately run charters are not succeeding, because they’re following the model of improving standardized test scores and doing little to nothing else.  They’re often screening out students who don’t show potential of performing well on standardized tests.  There is little local community engagement with privately run charter schools, because they’re not directly beholden to an elected school board.

          Trump has been inspecific on K-12 education issues; I’m not expecting much from him.  Clinton gave an education policy speech last week, but I haven’t yet had a chance to read through it.

        4. Rich RifkinWDE 73

          In lower income neighborhoods, there is a greater lack of social and non-cognitive skills (in come contexts called “good citizenship,” which is a phrase you detest) compatible with 21st century economic success.

          Why is it that these kids are not getting “social and non-cognitive skills” at home from their mothers and fathers? It seems pretty obvious to me that the problems begin with the parents. Rather than trying to fix what they effed up, maybe the best answer is to incentivize the parents to do a better job?

          Maybe reward them for teaching their kids “social and non-cognitive skills” after they have attended parenting classes which informs them what they are doing wrong? And if these parents don’t improve, then take away the goodies we give them? In other words, reward good behavior and punish bad. The result will be better behavior.

        5. wdf1

          Rifkin:  Maybe reward them for teaching their kids “social and non-cognitive skills” after they have attended parenting classes which informs them what they are doing wrong?

          And if they don’t end up getting it from their parents, then what?

          Non-cognitive skills are the difference between having a high school diploma from attending conventional high school and getting a GED.  source (search for ‘James Heckman’, an economist)

          Non-cognitive skills are also what you develop and acquire from participating in high school music, athletics, newspaper staff, yearbook, student government, drama, debate, robotics team (a more popular activity in recent  years), etc.

        6. Frankly

          Non-cognitive skills are also developed interacting with adults and doing real work. In fact, I would say those are the best ways for young people to develop non-cognitive skills.

          And I don’t like that label at all because it is all just development of some sort.

        7. Frankly

          So, Frankly, with a Democrat president, and a Republican House, pretty much throughout his tenure (the only body that can originate spending/tax bills), and a Republican Senate for the past few years, it is Obama who is primarily responsible for the economy?  Where does the private sector fit in?  Are they dependent on the House/Senate/President?

          hpierce, first you should ask Harry Reid.

          Then you should note that establishment Republican Senators have been mostly RINOs, and shysters like Hillary Clinton in it for their own enrichment and the enrichment of their pals.

          But I’m sure you understand leadership.  I’m sure you remember the Obama hope and change promises.  I’m sure you understand the connection with good Democrat governance and support for the working class.  Who was going to lead that charge if not the top Democrat in charge?

          Ironically the BLM movement is really catalyzed by the same root problems that catalyze the Trumpkin Proletariat… the collapse of the American working class.  Blacks were at the back end of that bus but steadily, if slowly, moving forward… or at least seeing some light at the end of the tunnel… and then the Great Recession and a President that decided he needed to focus on making his elite liberal base happy instead of caring for the crash of middle-class opportunity.

          Not only is the light gone but so too is the tunnel.

          But there is little to no policy being promoted to bring it back.

          The trade deals we did with Canada and Mexico were largely neutral in impact to the American middle class.  But the trade deals with Asia have been a giant mistake.  Clinton voted for them, and Obama wants to double down on them.

          Globalism and a new world order is a liberal pursuit that Obama shares and Clinton shared until she noted that she needed the Sanders voters. It is also a pursuit of the large multi-national corporations that get to enrich ownership at the expense of the American worker.

          Obama has supported and protected the crappy education status quo while turning every lever and switch he could find to slow down economic growth while exploding our national debt.

          At the very least Obama is guilty of not doing enough to help the working class.  He deleted hope from their communities by failing to make needed change and by heaping on other change that causes more harm than good.

  6. Frankly

    http://www.brookings.edu/blogs/social-mobility-memos/posts/2015/01/15-mlk-black-opportunity-reeves

    What would Martin Luther King Jr. think of America in 2015 if he’d lived to see his eighty-sixth birthday? No doubt, he’d be pleased by the legal and political advances of black Americans, crowned by the election and re-election of President Obama. 

    But King would be disturbed by the stubborn race gaps that remain, especially in opportunity, tarnishing the idea of the American Dream. In terms of opportunity, there are still two Americas, divided by race. Five facts show how far we still have to go.

    1. hpierce

      Am thinking Dr King might have been walking with the folks in Dallas… then offering his support and love to the families of the police officers killed and/or wounded… but, I can’t claim to know Dr King…

  7. Frankly

    http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2016/01/tavis-smiley-on-every-leading-economic-issue-black-americans-have-lost-ground-under-obama-video/

    What about poverty? In 2009, when Obama took office, the black poverty rate was 25.8 percent. As of 2014, according to Pew Research Center, the black poverty rate was 27.2 percent.

    What about income? CNNMoney says, “Minority households’ median income fell 9 percent between 2010 and 2013, compared to a drop of only 1 percent for whites.” The Financial Times wrote last October: “Since 2009, median non-white household income has dropped by almost a 10th to $33,000 a year, according to the U.S. Federal Reserve’s survey of consumer finances. As a whole, median incomes fell by 5 percent. But by the more telling measure of net wealth — assets minus liabilities — the numbers offer a more troubling story.”

    What about net worth and the black-white “wealth gap”? The Financial Times said: “The median non-white family today has a net worth of just $18,100 — almost a fifth lower than it was when Mr. Obama took office. White median wealth, on the other hand, has inched up by 1 percent to $142,000. In 2009, white households were seven times richer than their black counterparts. That gap is now eightfold. Both in relative and absolute terms, blacks are doing worse under Mr. Obama.” Remember, these numbers apply to all “non-whites.” For blacks, it’s worse.

    When looking only at “black net worth” — which is lower compared to non-whites as a whole — white households are actually 13 times wealthier than black households. From 2010 to 2013, according to the Federal Reserve, white household median wealth increased a modest 2.4 percent, while Hispanic families’ wealth declined 14 percent, to $13,700. But blacks’ net worth fell from $16,600 to $11,000. This is an astonishing three-year drop of 34 percent. Investors Business Daily put it this way, “That’s a steeper decline than occurred from 2007 to 2010, when blacks’ net worth fell 13.5 percent.” The black/white “wealth-gap” has reached a 25-year high.

    What about unemployment? In 2009, black unemployment was 12.7 percent, and by 2014, it had fallen to 10.1 percent. This sounds like good news until one examines the black labor force participation rate — the percentage of blacks working or seeking work. It’s the lowest since these numbers have been recorded.

  8. hpierce

    Remember the old truism:  there are lies, damned lies, and statistics… variously originally attributed to Disreali or Twain, but those original attributions seem to be in the “lie” category, except Twain quoted someone else in at least one of his works… see:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lies,_damned_lies,_and_statistics

    [or,as I referred to it in college. ‘sadistics’…]

    Scientific method… hypothesis, experiment/observe, analyse, conclusion
    Statistics… observe, conclusion, analyse, hypothesize…

  9. tribeUSA

    hp–the statistics themselves don’t lie; they are simply a set of compiled observations. However, most members of the general public and most members of the media do not understand statistics, and how to evaluate and interpret a statistical study. Stanford University recognized that such a dearth of understanding of basic statistical concepts was bad for society, and instituted a requirement for a Statistics course for all undergraduates sometime in the 1990s. Statistical studies have their strengths and their weaknesses; by reporting on such studies accurately and being able to correctly interpret these studies, the power and the limitations of a statistical study can be assessed.

    1. hpierce

      Statisticians still can (and do) use their personal/political biases to consider what “factors” to take into effect…  to say,

      most members of the general public and most members of the media do not understand statistics, and how to evaluate and interpret a statistical study

      is an apparently convenient way to say that public discourse is a poker game, and if you don’t recognize a ‘bluff’, too bad for you…

       

  10. Frankly

    A look into the mindset of a left-leaning media talking head these days…

    CNN anchor Fredricka Whitfield:

    “It was very courageous and brave, if not crazy as well, to open fire on the police headquarters, and now you have this scene, this standoff. So you believe these are the hallmarks of more than one person’s involvement.”

    1. tribeUSA

      Yikes, for real, an anchor talking this irresponsibly? Its worse than I thought. I wonder if she’ll recommend medals next for those that shot the police? Sick

          1. Don Shor

            It means that it was irrelevant to the current discussion, so I’m not sure why you posted it.

  11. WesC

    I was listening to a Canadian radio station about the Dallas shooting and one of their guests was a former Baltimore police Sgt.  He stated he was not at all surprised by the shooting, but was surprised that it had not happened sooner.  He went on to state that he felt there were two very noticeable trends occurring over the past 20 yrs that together made the shooting an expected event. First was the increasing militarization of the police and second was the increasing dehumanizion of the public by the police. He stated that increasingly police are perceived as treating members of the public as less than human and that they do not matter.

    Later while speaking to family member who lives in a very rural state that is 91% white and only 0.6% black, he stated that people there were also getting very fed up with heavy handed police tactics.  He went on to say that it is common practice for officers to pull their gun on you for routine traffic stops in broad daylight.

    Unfortunately instead of a open and honest discussion of how this came about and what can we do stop the senseless shootings, the result will probably be an uptick in AR-15 purchases, a few “we support our police” bumper stickers or or ribbons on trees, and then back to business as usual in a week or less.

    1. tribeUSA

      Yes, I would contend that the issues of the gradually increasing militarization of police and of abuse of force by police–which have affected all races–has been side-tracked into a racial issue. By conflating racism with these police issues, I think the larger trends in policing have gotton confused and needlessly politicized–it seems to me that a large number of americans, perhaps the majority, see the trends of police militarization and abuse of force as ‘black’ issues that may be the result of race-baiting by the mainstream media, politicos and activists; whereas it seems to me that these policing trends affect all races; particularly the poor of all races. By framing this as a race issue; it seems to me that, together with the re-emergence of identity politics, this is contributing to the racial divide in america.

       

      Re: ” second was the increasing dehumanizion of the public by the police. He stated that increasingly police are perceived as treating members of the public as less than human and that they do not matter.”  This fits in with an implicit but veiled attitude that has been promulgated by the elites in politics and Wall Street and the global internationalist corporations; and most visibly by the mainstream media–the population is increasingly being viewed and treated as dumb beasts on an animal farm that is managed by the land, wealth and ‘stock’holders–in contrast to being treated as sentient beings of enormous potential who are capable of assuming responsibility for their own lives and some power to guide their own destiny.  Rather than being guided to the potential of more aware,  intelligent and responsible human beings, the population is being guided into a mindset that learns of little save the technical info. needed to perform their jobs competently (yes including the most complex technical jobs of today), and to comply passively and without question to any and all demands made on them by their bosses at their workplace, and they need not have much in the way of other human responsibilities–just chase the golden carrot and respect the stick and let it help guide you, or you may get whacked! This is being reflected in recent changes in language–I may develop this further in another thread.

  12. sisterhood

    I used to work in an office bldg. in Sac. Approximately 200 employees. One day I asked several of my white and black co-workers this exact same question:

    “Have you ever been pulled over for a flickering or broken tail light?”

    Blacks – “Yes.”

    Whites – “No.”

    1. tribeUSA

      sisterhood–I’m a white guy, and I was pulled over once in Davis for a tail-light that was out; and have also been pulled over twice for one (of two) license-plate lights that were out. This was back when I had long hair and drove a beat-up old pickup truck (which is still operational for town driving!). I thanked the policeman for letting me know about the rear tail-light (I hadn’t known it was out; and it is safer to drive with both tail-lights working to reduce the chances of getting rear-ended); but not for the license-plate light, as fixing that problem involved a difficult awkward solder job under my truck–the first solder job didn’t hold for long; so I got pulled over again by the Davis police a few weeks later! I think the second solder job held (reminds me to give it a check!)

      P.S. I had also gotton pulled over by Davis PD for a trailor hitch partially obstructing my rear license plate, and again for a partially bent-over rear license plate. I corrected both problems. I was driving while white during all these stops!

      1. Barack Palin

        Same here Tribe for for my family and I.  I’ve been stopped twice for a broken tail light and another time for a head light that was out.  Also have received two tickets for no seat belts.  Two of my kids have received tickets for over tinted front side windows.  I and my kids were driving while white too.

Leave a Reply

X Close

Newsletter Sign-Up

X Close

Monthly Subscriber Sign-Up

Enter the maximum amount you want to pay each month
$ USD
Sign up for