Attorney General Eric Holder: Blinded by Blackness
| Shortly after this great country elects its first black president, and he subsequently appoints its first black attorney general, we are told we are a nation of cowards. Attorney General Eric Holder does not spell out the exact context he uses to validate this broadly generalized condemnation. In the next sentence he mentions the great disparity in the proportion of black persons in the nation’s prisons!
By implication, our new attorney general is suggesting that the old Jim Crow era is still hard at work, and that blacks are being targeted and convicted inappropriately for crimes they did not commit. Such blatantly biased generalization is embarrassing when the source is the nation’s top police officer.
Such nonsense is expected from the ACLU, whose positions offer free get out of jail cards. This cultural bias is main stream for the black community, where a large proportion of folks believe that every policeman is a puppet of white racism, not to be trusted, and is the last place where justice could be expected. This is reminiscent of the liberal media’s headlines which blast the police for shooting an unarmed black man. The same papers never protest the number of policemen who are shot and killed by unarmed black men. What is striking is the number of unarmed black men who are roaming the streets, and the number of drive-by shootings in black neighborhoods by unarmed black men.
Our newly appointed attorney general would be well advised to become a student of death by firearms in our cities. While many deaths are non-black persons, a disproportionate number of shooting deaths in our cities are black victims, black males, black females, black bystanders and black drug dealers. While a thunderous outcry has been heard over deaths in Iraq, the death toll of folks on the streets of our inner-cities has been greater every year than the total number of servicemen killed in Iraq. It doesn’t receive much press because the soldiers are all armed, while the shootings in the inner-cities are all perpetrated by unarmed black men.
Our new attorney general would probably find that the proportion of black to non-black shooting victims in the cities is a close corollary of the black to non-black inmates in the nation’s prisons. His second finding would be that not a single killed or injured black person was shot by an unarmed black man.
While it is known that justice comes off the tracks on rare occasions, Attorney General Holder’s first assumption should be that the vast majority of inmates in prison are there for both just and valid reasons. They are there because they are guilty. They are there because they were engaged in a crime, they were arrested, they were tried based upon the evidence presented to a jury of peers, or the individual copped a plea to limit his sentence. Holder’s condemnation also ignores the absolute guilt of brother O. J. Simpson, who murdered two persons in cold blood, was tried by a jury of peers, and was acquitted of his crimes. Another unarmed black man is unjustly accused! Hello!
The hair-brained notion that any disproportion is based upon racial targeting ignores all relevant facts, and validates only a single inane assertion, that the prisons’ population is disproportionately black compared to the population at large. It completely ignores what is known about criminal behavior, and what is known about the pattern of individual criminals. An equally relevant focus could be upon the disproportionate number of illegal Hispanic prisoners in the country’s jails. One might suppose that they, too, were targeted, and did not actually commit any crimes.
There are a vast number of petty criminals who deal in drugs on street corners and protect their territories and gang members through violence. A disproportionate number of these are black, and probably Hispanic males. Their arrest and conviction produces a disproportionate population in prison. This is as it should be. They are guilty, and sooner or later when convicted they go to jail. Their brothers and sisters often worship their memories when absent from their communities.
What is rarely revealed is the chronic nature of criminal behavior. While one or two convictions may result in limited punishment, the Third Strike laws often send chronic offenders away for many years. An individual convicted of a single petty crime, like drug dealing, may receive no jail time on a first conviction. A single conviction, for what may be called a first offense, is rarely a first offense. In the case of drug dealing, the individual has in many cases committed hundreds or thousands of similar crimes before being caught. A conviction for a first offense is a legal fiction for an individual who may be a chronic offender, and has avoided being caught earlier.
The justice in Third Strike laws is in removing chronic offenders from the cities’ streets. Considerable evidence exists that removing the repeat offenders makes the streets safer, and the crime rates in the cities go down. Those who accumulate within the prison system are those with longer sentences. They will be counted repeatedly each year that data is collected. If this results in a disproportionate racial count in the prisons it validates the count, rather than being based upon some alleged racial bias. The fundamental belief that those in prison are there due to bias is blind to the overwhelming statistical realities within the criminal justice system.
At best, our new attorney general, Eric Holder, is either poorly informed about the nature of crime and the criminal justice system, or he has been blinded by the propaganda which circulates freely within the black community that the police and the criminal justice system are not to be trusted. It appears that he has been blinded by his own blackness, and may have an inadequate understanding of the data and the operations of the criminal justice system which he is charged to lead.
It would be nice if Attorney General Holder specified all those ways in which our people are cowardly. As a generalized value judgment, the one context he has identified reflects very badly upon his suitability to perform the duties entrusted to him by Brother Obama.