CPAC Invites Van Jones to Celebrate the Greatest Lie of Our Generation

Van Jones is going to CPAC to celebrate Criminal Justice Reform — i.e., the idea that there are way too many black people in prison for no reason whatsoever, other than white racism, so let's let them out.

Miraculously, President Trump, with a little help from Van Jones and Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, agreed.  So did lots of Republicans.  In December, they signed a bill aimed at doing just that.  Trump even bragged about it at the State of the Union address.

Conservatives who claim to be enthusiastic about this "reform" usually leave out the fundamental underpinning of CJR that has dominated liberal support for it since it became a thing more than five years ago:  white racism is everywhere, all the time, and explains everything.

Consider this a cheat sheet for conservatives who are hoodwinked by Van Jones and his fairy tales.

The One Huge Fact about CJR is the enormous disparity between white people and black people in prison.  It starts with racist laws, then goes to police, prosecutors, juries, judges, and parole boards all being part of a racist system that stops, arrests, tries, convicts, sentences, releases, and returns black people to prison in numbers that are wildly out of proportion.

Especially drugs.  Just a few days ago in Baltimore, state attorney Marilyn Mosby said she was going to stop prosecuting marijuana arrests because most people arrested are black.  And, as everyone knows, white people and black people smoke the same amount of pot.

Thus the proof of rampant white racism.  Again.  


Wrong.  But the entire enterprise of CJR rests on that one piece of fiction as the biggest example of white racism and black victimization in criminal justice. 

I've never heard a reporter question that claim of white racism.  Not even once.  But if you read the front-page stories in the New York Times and Washington Post, and you follow the smallest of threads, you will find the basis of that statement about equal drug use comes from the Census Bureau.

In addition to the questionnaires  we return via mail, Census workers visit some 3,500 homes for a longer interview I call the Super-Census.  One of the questions is about drug use.

Black people and white people tell the Census workers they use drugs at about the same rate. 

That is called self-reporting.  Not one drug counselor or law officer in America takes self-reporting seriously when it comes to determining drug use.  At Johns Hopkins University, they compared self-reported marijuana use among black people with actual drug tests.

According to the Journal of Addictive Behaviors:

A study of 290 African American men in Baltimore, Maryland undergoing a treatment for hypertension showed that self-reporting of illicit drug use is unreliable.  Only 48 of the participants reported drug use but urine drug tests revealed that 131 used drugs.

There's more.  Way more.  Different study:

[U]nderreporting of cocaine was documented with urine testing validation as well where African Americans in comparison to Caucasians who were urine positive were about 6 times less likely to report cocaine use when other factors are controlled for.

"Even when other factors were controlled for, the self-report and hair test results for African Americans were more discrepant than for non-African Americans, a finding consistent with past studies."

Let me break this down into plain English: self-reporting is unreliable.  And black people are far more likely to lie when it comes to talking about their drug use.

So for starters, when Van Jones tells CPAC that black people and white people use drugs in the same amount but only black people are arrested, and CJR is going to fix that, just think: that is a lie.  Any cop will tell you as well.

Let's break down this fantasy of criminal justice reform even more.  If there are too many black people in prison, it can be for only one of two reasons: 1) black people are unjustly convicted; 2) cops ignore white criminals.

If it is the former, hire some lawyers and get them out — just the way I did when I reported a story about a black San Diego man who was unjustly accused of trying to kill his white girlfriend.  I showed that the crime never happened and got him out of prison after he was convicted.  His name is Kelvin Wiley.  And yes, that was a big deal at NPR, the L.A. Times, Court TV, the San Diego Union-Tribune, and lots of other places.

So it can be done.

If it is the latter, and cops are ignoring white criminals, show me the victims, the videos, the 911 calls, the witnesses, the police reports.  Surely, if some white guy breaks into a home, and the victim calls police, police are not going to tell the victim they are not arresting white people this month.

All of a sudden, we are left with one possibility.  If tons of black people are in prison, it is because black crime and violence are wildly out of proportion. 

And by just a happy coincidence, that is what I document on these pages, in my scintillating bestsellers including Don't Make the Black Kids Angry, on my video channel, and now on daily podcasts.

We show how relentless white racism and black victimization is the greatest lie of our generation.  Let's see how many people at CPAC join Van Jones in perpetuating this dangerous hoax.

Colin Flaherty is the author of that scintillating bestseller, Don't Make the Black Kids Angry.  You can find his podcast at all the popular places, except for iTunes, where they say he is a very, very, very bad person and they are not going to let you hear what he says.  He is still on Twitter at @ColinFlaherty, waiting for someone to prove him wrong so he can go back to playing golf with rich people.