What Do They Really Want?

Imani Bashir, writing for the New York Times, says, "Living abroad is my way of prolonging my black son's life."  It's actually the title of the article.  She says she's been living abroad for years now, in places like Cairo and Poland and Malaysia and Wuhan (yes, that Wuhan), and that the bills are piling up and they're eating at her soul.  Still, she won't move back to America.  She sees her son's face in every black person the police kill.  She's stuck in Florida for the moment, waiting for the borders to ease up so she can go anywhere else.

Her husband, from Buffalo, New York, is traveling with her, coaching American football where he can.  She says before he turned 25, 30 of his friends had been killed.  They never talked about white picket fences when they got married.  They said if they were going to make it, if their son was going to make it, they had to go anywhere but here.  

But notice they didn't go anywhere.  They went to Poland, noted for its strict (and some say "bigoted") stances on immigration and gay rights; Cairo, a place that just blew up a few years ago, is looking to blow up again, and is known for its horrible treatment of women; and China, a communist country known for locking up Christians and Muslims and honest reporters, for not having habeas corpus, for selling the organs of political prisoners, and for grinding its workers into the dust.  It's a firm supporter of the most oppressive, volatile states in Asia, the Middle East, and Africa.  It has a domestic surveillance system seen only in our most harrowing classics of science fiction.  Nineteen eighty-four came almost to life, and Imani Bashir moved there instead of Schenectady.

I mention these things because of where she didn't go.  For instance, if she can scratch out a living on the fly, why not anywhere in black Africa?  Why not the sub-Saharan region, where, as Howard French reports in China's Second Continent, 10 of the 20 fastest growing economies exist?  Why not somewhere where the cost of living is cheaper and where, since she says racism exists everywhere, there could be little to no racism against her son? 

These questions deserve a solid answer — especially if it's anything other than "I don't want to live around black people."  It should also be asked of all the other famous black people who don't want to live around black people.  Beyond this, I think it's questionable that 30 of her husband's friends died at the hands of the police.  She never said it was the police, by the way (she casually refused, in an article about police killings, to place the blame anywhere), and we know it wasn't, because the police killed about 19 unarmed black males in 2017, and black people killed about 2,627 — a difference of over a hundred times.  In fact, in 2018, black people killed about 2,600 black people, and whites in general — all of us, despite being 60% of the populace — killed only 234, more than ten times fewer.  The greatest danger to black people in America today is always other black people.  Black lives matter to Black Lives Matter only when it gives them an excuse to attack white people.

My theory is that she doesn't go to black Africa because she doesn't feel safe around black people, and she doesn't want to be confused for them.  He doesn't, either.  It's what they call a hidden bias.  People with the sort of mindset I suspect here know that a fraction of their 13% of Americans is responsible for 50% of the crime, and they're profiling.  The fact is, they can't say it.  Once they admit it, the whole anti-racism scam is up.  It means white parents, whose children, according to the FBI, are killed twice as often by black people than the other way around, have more of an excuse to move their kids to Poland.  It means they have a reason to stop busing black kids to white schools, and going soft on crime, and beating their chests, and being hard on police.  But Bashir says she's scared of us — and because she's afraid, people are rioting.  I remind you that racism means being afraid of people for things they don't do.

The question is, what does she want?  The New York Times reports that Minneapolis, like all the other places on fire, is one of the most liberal cities in the nation.  Surpassing even Seattle, Minneapolis has black people on the City Council.  Two of these black council members are transgender.  None of them is a Republican.  Juneteenth gets a yearly parade, and the police chief, until this week, was a black man.  They're so devoted to fighting racism that you can't zone for single-family housing anymore — ostensibly to make the housing cheaper for blacks and to keep richer whites from having better neighborhoods to move to.  

This means that Minneapolis and all the other left-wing cities on fire already do everything they can to police the police — and if they go any farther, they'll have to get rid of them altogether.  The main job of the police officer, after all, is not to stop crimes in progress (since there are too few of them to see everything), but to show up after the fact and then sniff out a suspect.  This means everyone who fits a criminal's description in the area will be tracked down, picked up, tied up, and locked up — and if he refuses, probably beaten up.  If he refuses too manfully, possibly killed.  In a country of 330 million people, there are going to be a few dozen murders by cop.  But you get rid of this right to track, and you've gotten rid of the police.  You get rid of profiling, and you get rid of the concept of policing.  You get rid of the police, and you get rid of society.  And Minneapolis, where the violent crime rate was already horrible — this year, before the riots, twice the national average, and last year three — is already too dangerous.  Thanks to Black Lives Matter blowing up the police stations, it is about to get worse.

I ask you again — what does Imani Bashir want?   What they all want and can't say: to live somewhere her son can't theoretically be mistaken for or hurt by a black criminal.  It's a legitimate want.  We want it for all good black people, too.  But Black Lives Matter isn't finding ways to stop the criminals.  It's instead finding ways, mostly, to punish the innocent.  Bashir profiles and runs and barricades herself, and she's a victim of racism.  I just wish that she, and the Black Lives Matter movement, and The New York Times, would respect us when we do it, too.  They won't.

Jeremy Egerer is the author of the troublesome essays on Letters to Hannah, and he welcomes followers on Twitter and Facebook.