Sunday, November 30, 2014

Cathy Young - Ferguson Beyond Black and White

Cathy Young writes a weekly column for RealClearPolitics and is also a contributing editor at Reason magazine. She blogs at and you can follow her on Twitter at @CathyYoung63.

"White conservatives can sound distastefully tone-deaf when discussing race, justice, and the demographics of crime (a risk of which I am well aware as I write this). Thus, in a July 2013 article in the wake of George Zimmerman’s acquittal in the killing of Trayvon Martin, MacDonald acknowledges that law-abiding African-American men are often targets of “humiliating” scrutiny and suspicion. Then, she goes on to say, “Here’s a proposal: For a good five-year stretch, blacks bring their crime rate down to white and Asian levels. Once it becomes widely understood that blacks are no more likely to steal, rob, rape, or shoot than whites or Asians, we’ll see if blacks still elicit the defensive reactions.” However solid MacDonald’s statistics, this comes across as smug and insulting, if only because there’s nothing law-abiding blacks can do to bring down black crime rates.
Yet surely white liberals like The New Republic’s Julia Ioffe sound no less smug when they lecture blacks who condemn self-destructive behavior in their community on the perils of “self-flagellation” and “preaching respectability.” And both liberals and libertarians can easily forget that, as grave a problem as police brutality is, violent crime takes a horrific toll on low-income minorities—not only because it hurts its immediate victims and strips others of their sense of safety, but because it ravages neighborhoods and businesses and perpetuates the poverty trap. For all the racially charged controversy about New York’s stop-and-frisk policy, a poll last October found that two-thirds of the city’s black residents wanted it to continue, albeit with changes."
Read complete article here