Since the looting and burning in Cincinnati, the mainstream media have mentioned over and over the fifteen black men killed by police in the city in recent years. The implication, never so far as I know buttressed with data, has been that the police were unjustified, that they kill blacks for reasons of racism.
The media don’t say this explicitly. Explicit assertions can be checked. The results would be embarrassing. But you don’t have to be explicit, just selective in what you let people know. Merely by mentioning with mournful solemnity “the fifteen black men who died at the hands of police,” you ensure that the many people, if not most, will draw the desired conclusions.
Now, if I were black, fifteen unjustified killings would make me more than angry. In fact, being white, they would make me angry. I doubt that anyone except a lunatic fringe wants innocents shot. But is this what happened?
The Internet increasingly is the primary journal for intelligent people who want to know when the major media are lying. The big papers and television may not have figured this out yet. On the Net I found a story about the fifteen blacks killed in Cincinnati — specifically a story in the Cincinnati Enquirer, by Dan Klepal and Cindi Andrews. Let me give a few examples of what they found about the black men who were killed, and why they were shot.
(1) “Daniel Williams flagged down Kathleen Conway’s police cruiser on February 2, 1998. When she stopped, he hit her in the face and fired four shots from a .357 Magnum into her legs and abdomen before seizing the steering wheel and shoving her into the passenger seat. Officer Conway, 23, survived the attack by shooting Mr. Williams in the head with two shots from her service revolver.”
Now, does this perhaps put a different perspective on this particular shooting? I think most of us would agree that if you jump into a cop’s car and shoot her four times, you don’t have the moral high ground in complaining about being shot in return. If a white guy similarly jumped a black cop, who shot him, I’d buy the cop a beer.
Further, I seriously doubt that blacks think that a woman, just having been shot several times, should not defend herself. But you didn’t see the foregoing account on the networks, did you?
(2) In 1995, a guy named Harvey Price murdered a girl of fifteen with multiple blows from an axe, and dragged her body to the basement. Someone called the police. He eventually was found in a bathroom, with a knife. The cops used pepper spray and stun guns to try to subdue him. Both of these, I note, are nonlethal: They weren’t trying to kill him. He came at them with the knife, and they shot him.
Now, I don’t think that blacks would deny a cop the right to defend himself against an axe murderer attacking with a knife. Certainly I don’t, and I don’t care who is what color. But I’ll bet not one black, or white, in ten thousand knows the foregoing.
Most of the killings are similar. In at least one case the man was shooting at the police, who returned fire. A couple of cases are less clear. They do not remotely constitute a list of unjustified racist killings. But, weirdly, the media don’t want you to know this.
Does that seem a paranoid overstatement? Fred has gone off the deep end? Reflect.
Reporters are not stupid. Neither are editors. I promise they can think of obvious questions: What color were the cops who shot? Were the shootings justified? What were the circumstances? All shootings are investigated. There is a paper trail. Journalists know it.
But there are some stories you just aren’t supposed to write. We all know that too.
Now, what does this do for race relations?
What do you think? If you tell blacks over and over, usually by innuendo or carefully deceptive editing, that cops are murdering blacks, they’re going to be very angry. Who wouldn’t be? The ghetto, already explosive, will become more so. Either more and worse riots will come, or — as is happening — the cops will ignore crime because it’s safer not to get involved. Crime will then rise, the quality of life for blacks will fall, and the police will be blamed in the media for not providing service.
Sometimes I’m not real impressed with my trade.