Fox News host Bill O’Reilly had Tavis Smiley of PBS on his show Wednesday night to discuss the grand jury’s decision not to indict the police officer who killed Eric Garner in New York City.
(We’ve covered Garner’s death – as well as my personal belief that the grand jury should have indicted the officer for manslaughter.)
Seeing as Smiley is a devout liberal and a consummate race baiter, he decided to argue that the death of Mr. Garner (as well as Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin) was part of a larger racial corruption of the justice system. Smiley claims that police do not respect black lives and also seems to suggest that there is some kind of epidemic of black deaths at the hands of American police.
“There is no respect for the humanity and the dignity for black life in this country,” Smiley says at one point.
However, as O’Reilly points out… the facts just don’t support Smiley’s claim.
“Do you know how many blacks were killed by police by gunfire last year?” O’Reilly asked.
“Off the top of my head, I don’t,” Smiley replied.
“The number is 123,” O’Reilly said. “Do you know how many whites were killed? 326.”
“There are 43 million-plus black Americans — 123 were killed by police gunfire,” he continued. “There isn’t an epidemic of this. … But when it happens it’s extremely troubling.”
The numbers don’t bear out a statistical equality. There are a lot more white Americans than black Americans… but they are close enough to suggest that there is not some rampant abuse of the system. By the same token, the disproportionate amount of African-American males in the prison system (non-Hispanic blacks make up almost 40% of the prison population – even though they make up only 7-8% of the American population) seems to argue that while there are flaws in our justice system, police-caused deaths is not one of them.
We have race-based issues in our nation. Any nation that is not homogenous has race-issues (yes, even in Europe). We also have problems with our justice system – America incarcerates more of her own citizens than any nation in the world, and a disproportionate number of those are African-American. Today, Republicans like Rand Paul, Justin Amash, Mike Lee and others are working with Democrats in an attempt to reform our system. We imprison far too many non-violent offenders who end up escalating their own criminal behavior BECAUSE of their time in prison.
While it may seem that our race issues are the more pressing issue to correct, I would argue that our justice system issues are. If we can solve the problems that are built in to our system of justice, it would alleviate much of the race-based concerns of our minority populations.
White America is not out to get American minorities. Police are not hoping to arrest, persecute or punish minorities. The problem is not one of purpose, but of the many laws that we have on our books. We have too many laws and we have too many unnecessary laws. We call ourselves the “land of the free,” but our many laws and overfull prisons would seem to disagree.
The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by EagleRising.com