I’m told that every black man has at least one story of injustice. A good friend of mine nearly missed his graduation from Stanford Business school after being arrested in an airport on what he claims were totally fabricated drug charges. He’s my friend, so I believe him, even if I think there might have been a bit more to the story.
Cops, black cops, white cops, green cops, are people like the rest of us. They aren’t exceptionally intelligent, or by the standard I was raised, exceptionally brave. Some of them are lazy, some are genuinely stupid, some are brilliant, and some are industrious. But they all labor under the same incentives, the same risks and the same constraints.
Young black men commit a widely outsized percentage of the violent crime in America, and are somewhat less intelligent as a group than the national average. Cops know this. Stupid, violent people tend to operate more freely outside the law. They do more drugs. They are involved in more non violent conflict.
This is why stop and frisk (or as Rudy Giuliani called it yesterday “Stop – Question – And Frisk”) is such a fantastic idea. It puts a bureaucratic structure around that first meeting between cops and our most violent dangerous citizens. It provides a peaceful honest way for the cops to get to the truth of what is going on without unnecessary risk or force.
As a percentage, It’s my belief that there are more lawless violent young black men in our inner cities than there are cops who break the law. But the difference between them is that the cops will follow rules if provided. We have control over them. So Stop and Frisk should be correctly thought of as something we do FOR black America, not TO black America.
The numbers are beyond debate. When stop and frisk was used as part of an overall policing policy of the Giuliani and Bloomberg administrations, murders in New York dropped 84%. That isn’t hurting the black community it’s helping them. And Racism is a poor motivator, for helping black America.