By Jeffrey James Higgins
Published on August 19 2017
Stories about racism are dominating the news and the false narrative that there is an epidemic of racist police officers killing unarmed black men continues to be widely believed, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. It was a hot political issue during the last presidential campaign and it became one of the most reported stories in 2016. The value of propagating this falsehood has dwindled since the election, but it still lurks below the surface, waiting to be resurrected as a political weapon.
It is time to end this myth.
A quick statistical analysis of reported police shootings in 2015 and 2016 clearly shows that the unlawful use of deadly force by police against blacks is statistically insignificant. The number of people killed by insects in the United States each year is higher than the number of unarmed blacks shot and killed by police officers. Unfortunately the proliferation of this political lie and the vilification of police has resulted in the assassination of police officers, inflamed racial tensions, and a surge of violence in black communities.
Obviously, there is racism in the United States, just like there is in every other country in the world. Some police officers do commit individual acts of racism and there may even be residual, systemically racist policies in some police departments. There are also instances when deadly force is improperly used by some police officers, but racism cannot be assumed without evidence. While individual acts of racism and excessive use of deadly force by police do exist, the characterization of these incidents as systemic problems is absurd.