A response to Thabiti Anyabwile

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…


Racial Profiling Statistics
– Disparity Index = Optimal number is 1, below 1 means group is underrepresented in the sample.  Over 1 means over represented in the sample.
State Average – Disparity Index against African-American – 1.59
Ferguson Police Department
Disparity Index against African Americans – 1.37
63% of population is African-American
86% of the traffic stops are African American
Below are Communities run by black City Councils/Mayor
Pine Lawn Police Department
Disparity Index against Whites – 19.32
1.42% of population is White
27.5 % of the traffic stops are White

[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.

Berkeley Police Department
Disparity Index against Whites – 2.69
15% of population is White
42 % of the traffic stops are White
Looking at those statistics, Thabiti finds himself on the horns of a dilemma.  If a disproportionate number of traffic stops proves, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the corresponding police department is racist, then Thabiti must admit that Pine Lawn and Berkeley’s police departments are even more racist towards whites than Ferguson’s is towards blacks.

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?

I quote from http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/030515-742174-holder-frames-ferguson-pd-with-bogus-stats.htm

“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.

No, somehow I doubt that Thabiti’s comments about robes, suits or uniforms were directed at mayor Jenkins.  Funny, too, that Thabiti mentions the fraternities who have power over who can join their organizations.  If I were to make a list of “black only” organizations we’d be here all day.  And most of them hold more power than some drunken fraternity in Oklahoma.
Or how about the white reporter who was denied access to the annual White Privilege Conference because he was about to blow the whistle on the tax payer money being used to fund the conference, which by the way is rife with anti-white, anti-Western, anti-Christian vitriol.  That story here.
Thabiti says, “The shooting of Mike Brown, the police reactions to protests, the kangaroo grand jury and the aftermath all occur in this context, under this burgeoning cloud of racist stereotype, mistreatment, frustration and anger. That cloud bust and everyone got wet.”
Apparently Thabiti missed the fact that the DOJ, you know, that same entity that was right on top of exposing all of the racism in the Ferguson PD, well they found Darren Wilson innocent of any wrong doing as well.  How many times does officer Wilson have to go through the ringer and be found innocent before anyone will believe it?  Apparently it hasn’t been enough to convince Thabiti, as he’s still promoting the “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” farce, as evidenced by the picture of the slogan in his article, despite a mountain of evidence that proved Mike Brown never had his hands up.  Even the DOJ concurred with that, but the “Hands up, Don’t Shoot” farce lives on, because there’s that whole “agenda” thing and such.
And the aftermath of the grand jury decision and the police’s reactions?  Did the police put guns to people’s heads and make them burn half of Ferguson to the ground?  No, those actions were fueled by Michael Brown’s step father who was captured on video saying “Burn this b!tc# down!” and the protestors in Ferguson were all too happy to oblige.  Should the police have just packed up and went home while this was going on?  Apparently so.  That or politely ask all the rioters to stop, pretty please with a cherry on top.

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.


Buy my debut novel “The Lament of Lucas Slade” for only 99 cents here.  Follow me @RJGarnerAuthor if you have Twitter.

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