If you see something, say something (unless you see black)

There has been a spate of articles recently about white people calling the police against black people who were apparently doing nothing wrong, like sleeping in a common room in Yale, attempting to urinate in Starbucks, shopping at Nordstrom Rack, and playing on a golf course.

The idea behind these articles is that white people are racist.  The New York Times is even trying to fan this outrage by inviting readers to write them about times when minorities have been treated unjustly, to provide grist for future articles on the subject, in a piece entitled "Tell us about a time you judged someone based on a stereotype."

A few points to make about this:

1. The liberal media rarely report the whole story about these events.  Specifically, they often exclude key facts, such as the suspicious behavior that made people call the police.

2. These stories are cherrypicked.  We see the ones reported where the black people have committed no crimes.  There are never, ever stories of the times black people are arrested for crimes after someone phones in a "suspicious person" report.  What percentage of suspicious persons reports end up being valid?  The Times doesn't want to know; it just wants more stories of stereotypes.

3. Liberals insist that citizens be disarmed because the police will protect them.  Now they are saying citizens shouldn't call the police.

4. People call the police to report suspicious activity of many people, not just blacks.  I should know, because it happened to me.  When I moved to a new town, I went out and walked my dog.  It wasn't long before a police car came by and asked me a series of probing questions – who I was, where I came from, and where I was going.  The police also asked to see my identification.  Obviously, someone on the street thought I looked suspicious and called the police.

Do I believe I was stopped because I was white, or that the person who called the police was a black person who hates white people?  No.  It was a misunderstanding.  It happens.

5. It is not always clear what is "suspicious" behavior and what is not.  Calling the police on a hunch, even in error, is not racist.  It is up to police to evaluate the call and to decide whether it merits investigation.

6, The police are usually called disproportionately more for suspicious black people than suspicious white people.  That is because black people commit disproportionately more crimes than white people, just as young men commit disproportionately more crimes than old women.  Is this "fair"?  No.  Is this life?  Yes.

7. After 9-11, the government sent us a message: "If you see something [suspicious], say something."  Law enforcement didn't seem to worry about false alarms.  They wanted to know.  Neighborhood crime watches operate in much the same way.

8. If I were a black person, I wouldn't be happy about being stopped more by the police than a white person.  But I would put up with it, because black crime disproportionately affects black people, and if the price of being safer is occasionally being inconvenienced by well behaved police, I'd certainly consider that a good tradeoff.

But now liberals want the "If you see something, say something" motto changed to "If you see something, say something, unless black."  If you call the police on a black person who is not actually committing a crime, you're a racist.

This is just an extension of Obama's "the police are racist" campaign.  That campaign was intended to demoralize the police and discourage them from doing their job; this campaign is intended to discourage citizens from encouraging the police to do the same.

Ed Straker is the senior writer at Newsmachete.com.

There has been a spate of articles recently about white people calling the police against black people who were apparently doing nothing wrong, like sleeping in a common room in Yale, attempting to urinate in Starbucks, shopping at Nordstrom Rack, and playing on a golf course.

The idea behind these articles is that white people are racist.  The New York Times is even trying to fan this outrage by inviting readers to write them about times when minorities have been treated unjustly, to provide grist for future articles on the subject, in a piece entitled "Tell us about a time you judged someone based on a stereotype."

A few points to make about this:

1. The liberal media rarely report the whole story about these events.  Specifically, they often exclude key facts, such as the suspicious behavior that made people call the police.

2. These stories are cherrypicked.  We see the ones reported where the black people have committed no crimes.  There are never, ever stories of the times black people are arrested for crimes after someone phones in a "suspicious person" report.  What percentage of suspicious persons reports end up being valid?  The Times doesn't want to know; it just wants more stories of stereotypes.

3. Liberals insist that citizens be disarmed because the police will protect them.  Now they are saying citizens shouldn't call the police.

4. People call the police to report suspicious activity of many people, not just blacks.  I should know, because it happened to me.  When I moved to a new town, I went out and walked my dog.  It wasn't long before a police car came by and asked me a series of probing questions – who I was, where I came from, and where I was going.  The police also asked to see my identification.  Obviously, someone on the street thought I looked suspicious and called the police.

Do I believe I was stopped because I was white, or that the person who called the police was a black person who hates white people?  No.  It was a misunderstanding.  It happens.

5. It is not always clear what is "suspicious" behavior and what is not.  Calling the police on a hunch, even in error, is not racist.  It is up to police to evaluate the call and to decide whether it merits investigation.

6, The police are usually called disproportionately more for suspicious black people than suspicious white people.  That is because black people commit disproportionately more crimes than white people, just as young men commit disproportionately more crimes than old women.  Is this "fair"?  No.  Is this life?  Yes.

7. After 9-11, the government sent us a message: "If you see something [suspicious], say something."  Law enforcement didn't seem to worry about false alarms.  They wanted to know.  Neighborhood crime watches operate in much the same way.

8. If I were a black person, I wouldn't be happy about being stopped more by the police than a white person.  But I would put up with it, because black crime disproportionately affects black people, and if the price of being safer is occasionally being inconvenienced by well behaved police, I'd certainly consider that a good tradeoff.

But now liberals want the "If you see something, say something" motto changed to "If you see something, say something, unless black."  If you call the police on a black person who is not actually committing a crime, you're a racist.

This is just an extension of Obama's "the police are racist" campaign.  That campaign was intended to demoralize the police and discourage them from doing their job; this campaign is intended to discourage citizens from encouraging the police to do the same.

Ed Straker is the senior writer at Newsmachete.com.