This is a response to Thabiti Anyabwile’s article titled “How Deep the Root of Racism?” found here.
Thabiti mentions that the DOJ report of the Ferguson Police Department reveals that racism is alive and well. I would agree with him that racism is alive and well, but Thabiti only tells half the story. He didn’t mention if it was the 7 racist emails found over the course of 5 years or the fact that there was a disproportionate number of traffic stops made on blacks in the city of Ferguson as to why he believes racism is still strong.
The problem is, he assumes racism MUST account for the disproportionate number of citations. What other possibility could there be right? Fine. If a disproportionate number of traffic stops or citations written to one race is stone cold, air tight proof of racism, so be it. The problem for Thabiti is that in order to make this claim, he has no choice but to acknowledge the problem exists in reverse, only it’s much, much more severe.
Kevin Jackson, on his website, has some information to add. The following statistics were taken directly from the Missouri Attorney General’s website…
[Author’s (Kevin Jackson’s) note:] Here’s an interesting factoid on Pine Lawn: Pine Lawn’s Director of Public Safety (Police Chief) and their City Prosecutor “moonlights” as the Attorney for Michael Brown’s family.
He also must admit that the DOJ is racist towards whites for not applying the same level of scrutiny and investigation into Pine Lawn and Berkeley’s police departments as it did with Ferguson’s. Has the DOJ begun going through those departments e-mails yet? I doubt it, and I wouldn’t hold my breath on that happening either, it doesn’t fit the agenda.
But could it be… by some stretch of the imagination… (no probably not) but could it be… that blacks are committing more traffic infractions in Ferguson, and therein lies the explanation for the disproportionate number of traffic stops?
“Outrageously, the nation’s top prosecutor failed to control for factors that explain the racial “disparity” in traffic stops, such as speeding, DUI, expired license plates, headlight, seat-belt and child-restraint violations and other reasons for being pulled over.
Holder’s own department statistics show that African Americans, on average, violate speeding and other traffic laws at much greater rates than whites.
The Justice Department’s research arm, the National Institute of Justice, explains that differences in traffic stops can simply be attributed to “differences in offending.”
Duh. For another example, “Seat-belt usage is chronically lower among blacks,” the NIJ says in a 2013 study. “If a law enforcement agency aggressively enforces violations, police will stop more black drivers.”
It adds that three out of every four black drivers say “police had a legitimate reason for stopping them.”
The institute cites two major studies on police profiling, one conducted in Savannah, Ga., and another in Cincinnati. Neither “support the perception that a high level of discrimination occurs prior to a traffic stop.”
Perhaps the attorney general should read his own research before making wild accusations of racism based on specious data.
Holder also complains black motorists were more likely than whites to receive multiple citations from Ferguson police, proof in his mind that cops “enforce the law more harshly against black people than others.”
“African Americans experience disparate impact in nearly every aspect of Ferguson’s law enforcement system,” his report finds.
But federal data compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that blacks violate traffic laws at higher rates than whites in every offense, including driving with an invalid license.
Yet Holder makes it sound as if Ferguson police target blacks at random for stops for no other reason than “driving while black,” and then pile on the tickets.”
Thabiti goes on to say, “Racism acts far more seductively than that. She prefers men in robes or suits or uniform. She rathers young people wearing the letters of fraternities with power over who can and cannot join their organizations.”
He didn’t specify if he was talking about black mayor of Monticello, NY, Gordon Jenkins who called white cops “peckerwoods” and “crackers” after being arrested for DWI. Here’s the video on that.
Thabiti says, “This point isn’t to be forgotten. When we talk about Ferguson’s criminal justice system or systemic injustice generally, we’re talking about the weight of the State crushing citizens. We’re talking about everyday people being harassed, imprisoned, and further impoverished by a government that’s supposed to be “of the People by the People for the People.”To put it plainly: These things kill Black people. Sometimes slowly. Sometimes suddenly. But it’s always deadly. It could be the death of long sentences or the death of bullets.
Racism kills white people too. Like Zemir Belgic, who was beaten to death with a hammer by a group of angry black males in southwest St. Louis. Although, somehow, the murder is not being investigated as a hate crime. Belgic was simply driving his car when the group walked up to his car and began beating it with a hammer. When he got out of the car, they turned the hammer on him, killing him. Racism played no part in it though, right? If you believe that I’ve got some ocean front property in Arizona to sell you. (That story found here.)
Thabiti continues, “It could be the lingering death of poverty and resource restriction or the infectious death of disease and few health resources. But it’s death.”
I’m interested in what resources are being restricted from blacks. Could you provide an example Thabiti? Could you provide an example of how health resources are held back from blacks? And don’t play the poverty card. The government has bent over backwards to address that issue and it’s only made things worse, as proven Jason Riley’s book, “Please Stop Helping Us: How Liberals Make it Harder for Blacks to Succeed.” Excellent book by the way, and can be found here...
But racism isn’t the only killer out there. Hatred in general is what kills people. People like NYPD officers Ramos and Liu. They were killed because they were hated. They were hated, in large part, because of a deluge of anti-cop rhetoric found on TV, radio, internet articles, and even out of the mouths of pastors, and sometimes on T-shirts worn by said pastors.
Thabiti concludes his article by saying this is a Christian Discipleship issue as much as it is a Social Justice issue. I agree wholeheartedly. So what is discipleship exactly? Is it hyper-grace given to violent black criminals? Is it taking a pound of flesh from police officers who are merely defending their own lives? Pastors like Thabiti, Bryan Loritts and Leonce Crump all seem to want one thing.
And that thing is this: “Grace but not law for blacks, law but not grace for whites & cops.” That’s not the gospel, sir. And if that’s how the gardener’s going to tend his garden, the garden’s going to keep having weeds.
So if racism is going to be uprooted, by all means, throw me a shovel and I’ll get to work. But let’s dig up all the weeds instead of leaving those behind whose roots have a darker hue.
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