Grand Juries, the Opera

High drama is unfolding before our eyes as Ferguson and Staten Island are playing out like a grand opera, with the usual race-baiting suspects in lead roles.  Students and others with too much time on their hands form the chorus.  The orchestra comprises members of the media and elected officials who are not on stage, but who nevertheless greatly contribute to the overall madness, mayhem, and malice from the orchestra pit.

The entire thing has become unreal.  (If only it were.)

So, no, Jesse Jackson, the Grand Jury was not “a hangman’s noose.”

And no, Mr. Watson, president of the Howard University Student’s Association, you will not “end up just like Michael Brown, shot dead.”

And to the many students at Howard who felt compelled to pose for a group photo with your hands up: please.  You can do better.  Michael Brown was a violent criminal who tried to kill a police officer.  Don’t drag yourselves down into the mire.

Farrakhan, you don’t deserve keystrokes.

Members of the CBC, for goodness's sake, put your hands down.  No one is targeting you.  Or anyone else, for that matter.  And while some of you may have dreadful memories of another time in America, it’s not that time anymore, so stop peddling backward to relive it.

Oh, and you over there.  Yeah, you, Deirdre Owens, CUNY professor.  Darren Wilson does not represent a “repressive, capitalist state.”  Was that some kind of lame attempt to write a title for a screenplay, or what?

Members of the St. Louis Rams.  What are you doing?  You couldn’t resist getting swept along in a tide of polluted waters, could you?  How much sense exactly has been knocked out of your heads over the years?

And radio host Tavis Smiley, it’s not “open season, hunting season on black men.”  I can imagine how distressed you or anyone must be feeling to say such a thing, but it’s simply not true.  Not even close.  Not even hardly close.

Also giving a shout-out to the fragile babies at Columbia University Law School who need psychological counseling – so traumatized are they by recent events.  Listen, kids, if you have such delicate sensibilities, methinks you ought to find a different field of study.

And whatever bug you’ve got, please stop spreading it around, because it seems highly contagious.  Word up to Harvard patsies.  Get a grip, take your final exams as scheduled, and get on with your lovely lives.  K?

Now after this brief sampling of histrionics, let’s climb down from the stage, turn on the house lights, open the doors, and exit the theater so we can treat ourselves to a few facts:

In 2012, 471 people were shot and killed by the police.  And not because the police decide to go out and shoot folks.  So let’s not walk back into the theater and onto that stage.

Of that number, 326 were white or Hispanic, 123 were black, and the remaining individuals were from other demographic groups.  In other words, approximately one quarter of those killed by the police were black.  According to the 2013 census, 13.2% of Americans are black (with an additional small fraction of 1% being mixed-race).  That means that the number of blacks killed by the police is double the proportion of blacks in the general population.

On the face of it, that seems suspicious.  Until one reviews crime stats and demographics.

According to the Bureau of Prisons, blacks constitute 37.4% of the prison population.  So while blacks make up a little over 13% of the general population, they constitute well over one third of those who are incarcerated for committing a crime.

So while the number of blacks killed by the police is nearly double the proportion of blacks in the general population, the number of blacks involved in criminal activity is more than triple the proportion of blacks in the general population.  Therefore, it would stand to reason that the number of blacks involved with the police is disproportionately higher.  Which would necessarily result in the number of fatalities being proportionately higher as well.

In fact, if one extrapolates these figures to the number of individuals killed by the police in 2012, it would suggest that the number of blacks killed might have been somewhere in the vicinity of 157, which would reflect one third of the total number of individuals killed.  Instead, the number was lower.

Considering the facts (unpopular as that is these days), no case can be made that supports the escalating hysteria about how black lives don’t matter or for the outrageous slander against police officers.

But it makes for some great theater.  And I fear we haven’t seen the end of it.  Not nearly.

High drama is unfolding before our eyes as Ferguson and Staten Island are playing out like a grand opera, with the usual race-baiting suspects in lead roles.  Students and others with too much time on their hands form the chorus.  The orchestra comprises members of the media and elected officials who are not on stage, but who nevertheless greatly contribute to the overall madness, mayhem, and malice from the orchestra pit.

The entire thing has become unreal.  (If only it were.)

So, no, Jesse Jackson, the Grand Jury was not “a hangman’s noose.”

And no, Mr. Watson, president of the Howard University Student’s Association, you will not “end up just like Michael Brown, shot dead.”

And to the many students at Howard who felt compelled to pose for a group photo with your hands up: please.  You can do better.  Michael Brown was a violent criminal who tried to kill a police officer.  Don’t drag yourselves down into the mire.

Farrakhan, you don’t deserve keystrokes.

Members of the CBC, for goodness's sake, put your hands down.  No one is targeting you.  Or anyone else, for that matter.  And while some of you may have dreadful memories of another time in America, it’s not that time anymore, so stop peddling backward to relive it.

Oh, and you over there.  Yeah, you, Deirdre Owens, CUNY professor.  Darren Wilson does not represent a “repressive, capitalist state.”  Was that some kind of lame attempt to write a title for a screenplay, or what?

Members of the St. Louis Rams.  What are you doing?  You couldn’t resist getting swept along in a tide of polluted waters, could you?  How much sense exactly has been knocked out of your heads over the years?

And radio host Tavis Smiley, it’s not “open season, hunting season on black men.”  I can imagine how distressed you or anyone must be feeling to say such a thing, but it’s simply not true.  Not even close.  Not even hardly close.

Also giving a shout-out to the fragile babies at Columbia University Law School who need psychological counseling – so traumatized are they by recent events.  Listen, kids, if you have such delicate sensibilities, methinks you ought to find a different field of study.

And whatever bug you’ve got, please stop spreading it around, because it seems highly contagious.  Word up to Harvard patsies.  Get a grip, take your final exams as scheduled, and get on with your lovely lives.  K?

Now after this brief sampling of histrionics, let’s climb down from the stage, turn on the house lights, open the doors, and exit the theater so we can treat ourselves to a few facts:

In 2012, 471 people were shot and killed by the police.  And not because the police decide to go out and shoot folks.  So let’s not walk back into the theater and onto that stage.

Of that number, 326 were white or Hispanic, 123 were black, and the remaining individuals were from other demographic groups.  In other words, approximately one quarter of those killed by the police were black.  According to the 2013 census, 13.2% of Americans are black (with an additional small fraction of 1% being mixed-race).  That means that the number of blacks killed by the police is double the proportion of blacks in the general population.

On the face of it, that seems suspicious.  Until one reviews crime stats and demographics.

According to the Bureau of Prisons, blacks constitute 37.4% of the prison population.  So while blacks make up a little over 13% of the general population, they constitute well over one third of those who are incarcerated for committing a crime.

So while the number of blacks killed by the police is nearly double the proportion of blacks in the general population, the number of blacks involved in criminal activity is more than triple the proportion of blacks in the general population.  Therefore, it would stand to reason that the number of blacks involved with the police is disproportionately higher.  Which would necessarily result in the number of fatalities being proportionately higher as well.

In fact, if one extrapolates these figures to the number of individuals killed by the police in 2012, it would suggest that the number of blacks killed might have been somewhere in the vicinity of 157, which would reflect one third of the total number of individuals killed.  Instead, the number was lower.

Considering the facts (unpopular as that is these days), no case can be made that supports the escalating hysteria about how black lives don’t matter or for the outrageous slander against police officers.

But it makes for some great theater.  And I fear we haven’t seen the end of it.  Not nearly.