Lost in the imbroglio over the NFL’s disrespect for our national anthem is the irony of the original impetus for Colin Kaepernick’s antics. Players are protesting supposed police brutality while new data shows there is a growing epidemic of violent crime in America, which is likely the result of dissuading police from proactive law enforcement work.
Sadly, the biggest victims of this rebounding epidemic are African Americans. Where is the protest or outrage over violent crime in inner cities rather than the police response to it (or lack thereof)?
It’s hard to overstate the importance of yesterday’s release of crime data from the FBI showing a second straight year with rising violent crime. After plummeting for 23 years, violent crime rose in 2015 and again in 2016, bending the only positive social trajectory we have witnessed over the past generation.
According to the FBI, violent crime rose by 4.1 percent and the murder rate spiked by 8.6 percent — the greatest single-year increase in 25 years. Also, while the murder rate spiked in all city size groups, it skyrocketed by over 20 percent in cities with over 1 million people. This, after increasing by a similar rate in 2015.
While the overall violent crime rate is still relatively low compared to the ‘70s, due to the quarter-century-long decline, the rate has now climbed back to 2012 levels, setting us back five years’ worth of progress.
These latest numbers demonstrate that the 2015 increase was not a blip on the radar but a likely trajectory change. Unlike most other statistics, which fluctuate from time to time, this new trend is very alarming.
When violent crime drops every year for over two decades, there are clearly some fixed and inveterate macro-factors at play. While criminologists disagree over the causes behind the drop, more aggressive policing and tougher sentences are undeniably a major part of the equation.
But whether one believes the great crime-reduction miracle is the result of tough-on-crime laws or other sociological reasons, it takes a pretty transcendent countervailing factor to reverse this 23-year trend by even a small percentage, much less such a significant increase.
This is why it’s dishonest when some major media outlets tout the fact that crime is still relatively low compared to the pre-‘90s era; there has been a generational sea shift in violent crime that is almost permanent. Of course, it will take many years of dismantling law and order to return to the pre-Giuliani days. Do we really want to wait for another few years of spikes in crime to pull the fire alarm?
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It is hard to deny that that the war on the police over the past few years has affected policing practices and performance nationwide. Also, the chickens of the endless criminal releases and leniencies in sentencing sweeping the nation are coming home to roost.
As we observed last year in our series of articles on the effort to promote jailbreak, now is the worst time to begin rolling back all the factors that led to the miraculous decline in violent crime. Which is why having Jared Kushner work with the Left on criminal justice reform is another disaster waiting to happen, on par with his collaboration with Senator Dick Durbin on amnesty.
Thus, it is clear that the Black Lives Matter war on police has done more to fuel crime than any other factor this generation. Who does it hurt the most? The very lives for which they claim to care.
According to the WSJ, “in 2014, 698 more blacks were killed than whites, according to the FBI. In 2015, 1,185 more blacks were killed than whites, according to the data.” Well, based on the new tables in the FBI’s “Crime in the United States” report, 1,305 more blacks were killed than whites in 2016. That is simply an astounding statistic given that blacks comprise just 13 percent of the population. And the trajectory has gotten worse since the inception of the war on the police.
Folks, this is not the result of police brutality, this is the result of the war on the police and preventing them from addressing the real issue plaguing American cities – black-on-black crime. There were almost 1,100 more black murder offenders than whites, even though they comprise a fraction of the population.
We could shut down every police department in America and all it would do is lead to more bloodletting for everyone, but most devastatingly for black communities. Even if we were to accept the premise of the Black Lives Matter movement that all 16 unarmed blacks shot by police last year were not in self-defense, that accounts for just 0.002% of the 7,881 black homicide victims, the overwhelming majority of whom were killed by black criminals, not whites or police.
What we are seeing today in popular culture protesting the police is akin to protesting the firefighters instead of the arsonists. Do black lives really matter? If they do, the hard data show incontrovertibly that the Ferguson effect – dismantling the police and the criminal justice system in inner cities – is the most direct way to ensuring that their lives indeed don’t matter.
Perhaps we — alongside NFL players, SJWs nationwide, and perpetually outraged BLM groups — should take a knee for the missing 7,881 black victims of 2016 … just not during the national anthem.
Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.