Sunday, July 05, 2015

If Liberals Really Cared About Black Lives

By Jack Kelly

To the “Black Lives Matter” crowd, it seems that most black lives don’t.

Roughly 7,000 blacks are murdered each year — more than 90 percent by other blacks. To some Democrats, only those shot by white police officers or white bigots seem to matter.

Just 25 percent of about 400 local police killings a year involve a white cop and a black victim, an FBI study found. Shootings of blacks by police has been cut in half since 1981. For every black person killed by a white cop, black criminals murder 70. It is 25 times more likely a black person will commit a crime of violence against a white person than vice versa.

There’s so much crime in inner-city black communities because they’re poor, some say. They have it backward.

If poverty caused crime, crime rates wouldn’t fall during recessions; wouldn’t be much lower in poor rural counties than in cities, where incomes are higher. When crime rates are adjusted for “familial risk factors,” the correlation between poverty and crime all but disappears, Swedish researchers found.

We’ve spent more on the “War on Poverty” than on all of America’s real wars combined. As social service spending exploded, urban decay accelerated.

Crime causes poverty. Businesses flee violence-riddled neighborhoods, taking jobs with them. Property values fall.

More than 60 percent of prison inmates — 85 percent of juveniles who interface with the juvenile court system — are functionally illiterate. Rotten schools stunt millions of black lives.

A reliable indicator of violent crime in a community is the proportion of fatherless families. About 80 percent of youths in prison grew up without a dad at home. Only 2 percent of poor teens who finish high school, get a job and get married before having children end up living in poverty as adults, the Brookings Institution found.

The keys to fighting crime — and thus poverty — are to give kids access to a quality education, encourage mom and dad to get hitched and, especially, to protect the law abiding from criminals.

Many Democrats prefer nostrums designed more to enrich themselves than to help the poor.

Many inner-city schools stink because they’re run for the benefit of teachers and administrators. Votes and money from teacher unions matter more to a lot of Democrats than the lives of the children trapped in them.

If so much of it weren’t spent on those who administer 126 federal programs, what we spend each year to “fight poverty” would be enough to lift every poor family in America out of poverty. If more had jobs, the poor wouldn’t need “help” from so many well-paid bureaucrats. And people dependent on the dole are more likely to vote Democratic.

The root cause of black poverty is white racism, liberals say.

Legal segregation ended in 1964 and was never a factor in most of our troubled cities, which were in much better shape half a century ago. The unemployment rate for black men is three times higher than in 1954. Black immigrants have had little difficulty climbing the economic ladder.

The tragic consequences of what happens when we blame inner-city crime on “white racism” and the actions of police are vividly on display in Baltimore.

City officials did little to protect the law abiding during the rioting that followed the death in police custody of drug dealer Freddie Gray. Murders are up 43 percent from this time last year — many of them occurring since the indictment of six police officers in connection with Mr. Gray’s death.

Cops “are more afraid of going to jail for doing their jobs properly than they are of getting shot on duty,” said the president of the Baltimore chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police.

Violent crime is up in other cities, too, because “cops all over the country have seen the six Baltimore police officers served up to appease the mob, and they know it could happen to them,” according to California law enforcement official who writes for PJ Media under the pseudonym “Jack Dunphy.”

The hottest circle of hell should be reserved for those who foment racial strife for political gain. 

Jack Kelly is a columnist for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and The Blade of Toledo, Ohio.