Black Lives Matter
Someone asked me this week to describe what I do on TV and radio. Simple, I replied, Remember how your mom told you to never discuss politics, religion and race in polite company? On a daily basis I like to cover all three, typically all at once.
Earlier this month in a case of mistaken identity a fifth grader in Newark was chased by police with guns drawn. The cops had been chasing an armed robber who eluded them leading them to chase and confront the young man. It sparked an emotional social media post with a crying kid and mom. Initially it sounds like a terrible incident begging the question how could the cops be so aggressive and wrong to mistake a ten year old as the robbery suspect? When you look a little deeper into the issue you uncover that the kid is large for his age and after the police lost sight of the suspect they encountered the ten year old who was running away from them. According to the boy and his family, he was playing basketball when his ball went into the street and when he saw the officers running he assumed it was for him for playing in the street and he ran.
Tragic, horrific, disturbing, dangerous…these are just some of the words that came to mind as the news circulated about the ambush murders of three police officers on Sunday. The situation in America regarding law enforcement and the media storyline is getting worse with every news cycle. Over the past two weeks, five officers murdered in Dallas, a terror attack in Nice and three officers murdered in Baton Rouge. The President has stepped up to the microphone each time to deliver a reaction to the events. Instead of offering the words necessary to calm a nation and inspire confidence and solutions, in each case he made it political. Guess he really took former Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel’s words to heart about never letting a good crisis go to waste.
You may remember that Emanuel is the mayor of Chicago now as murders skyrocket on his watch… but that’s for another blog post.
Sad, disgusting, inappropriate, dangerous. These are the words that came to mind as I watched the President deliver his remarks yesterday. His focus was on political rhetoric and divisive speech. He wants the American people to believe that there are two equal sides at play here. On one side, people with legitimate grievances against the police and on the other the need to keep law enforcement officers safe. The problem is that the sides are not equal. To raise an incident that resulted in a man’s death during an arrest to the level of an assassination of officers responding to a 911 call is inaccurate, disingenuous and wrong.
As much as I tried to take the conversation to the waste in the New Jersey budget today on the show, there was a constant pull from the callers to get back to the conversation of race and law enforcement.
Here’s my quick take. The false narrative being pushed by the Black Lives Matter movement enabled by many politicians and the media is harming the very people that they claim to represent. Murder among black Americans is high and rising. For nearly twenty years the crime rates in our cities was dropping precipitously creating opportunity for families to live without the constant fear of being subject to horrific street violence. The dramatic increase started under Rudy Giuliani’s leadership in New York City, employing police policies known as “Broken Windows”, “CompStat” and “Stop & Frisk.” By the time Rudy left office murders had dropped from a high of 2,600 in 1990 to less than 900 in 2001. Rapes, robberies and assaults all way down showing a return of order to the city. The trend was picked up in other cities across America and for the next two decades crime dropped by nearly 50%.