Wall Street Journal columnist Jason Riley chided the media for focusing on police behavior while omitting the central point after the Baltimore riots, as well as the situation in Ferguson, Mo.
In an interview with Real Clear Politics’ Carl Cannon, Riley said the media has been “off base” by not focusing on “black criminality” in their coverage, which the columnist refers to as “the one constant.”
“In terms of what is driving the tension, again, it’s black crime rates,” Riley told Cannon. “Blacks are — and it’s funny — something like a Ferguson goes down, or a Baltimore or what have you, and we start having these conversations that are largely off base. We start talking about the police and police behavior. We start talking about poverty. We start talking about unemployment. We start talking about all kinds of things except black criminality, which is the one constant in all of these cases.”
“Blacks are about 13 percent of the population, yet commit half of all murders in this country. Blacks are arrested at 2-3 times their numbers in the population for all manner of violent crime, all manner of property crime,” Riley said. “If we want to reduce tensions between law enforcement in these communities, we have to do something about these crime rates. If we want to reduce negative perceptions of young black men in society, we have to do something about behavior that is driving those perceptions. Yet, every time we get one of these flare ups, I think we start having the wrong discussions.”
“We love to talk about the black incarceration rate and how outrageously high it is as if it has no connection to the black crime rate,” he added. “I think you can’t talk about one without talking about the other.”