HART: Riots Harm Minorities Most, And Myths Perpetuate Violence

(Photo by Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images)

Ron Hart Ron Hart is a libertarian humorist and author who can be reached at Ron@RonaldHart.com.
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The justifiable anger that rippled through the country over the death of George Floyd spawned unjustifiable looting and rioting. Liberal mayors stepped aside and let looters rampage and attack their police with impunity. Restoring order to protect people and property is the first job of a mayor. Sitting idle and letting this happen paved the way for a larger breakdown of public safety and order. Oddly, social justice just became more important than social distancing.

We have plenty of police: local cops, state troopers, state bureaus of investigation, county sheriffs, DAs, TSA, NSA, DOJ, Homeland Security, FBI, etc. We pay for a lot of enforcement, so let’s use them for something other than going after political enemies.

Sadly, all this violence is based on the myth perpetuated by the left and the media. Stanford researcher on the matter Heather MacDonald updated her book and penned another fantastic op-ed piece in The Wall Street Journal with facts about the declining murder rate of blacks at the hands of police, “The Myth of Systemic Police Racism.”

In reality, when there is outrage over an unjust police action, blacks do not get meaningful change by stealing a 72-inch Sony TV. All that does is reinforce stereotypes and harm their community. The “Ferguson Effect” becomes a reality. When police step aside, criminals step up, especially when motivated by the myth that blacks are being killed unjustifiably by police in record numbers. This path toward chaos is rooted in a lie. And you cannot simultaneously fight violence while doing violence.

Police shot nine unarmed blacks in 2019 and 19 unarmed whites. That rate is down from Obama-era numbers of 38 and 32 respectively. There were 7,407 African-American murder victims in 2018, and more than ninety percent were shot by other blacks. Let’s be clear: Where is the real problem?

These are clear and indisputable facts. Nine unarmed blacks shot by police in a country of 320 million. Our nation is being destroyed based on a lie. Blacks are 53% of known homicide offenders and commit 60% of robberies, even though black males are only 6.5% of the U.S. population. Why then would black people not want strong policing in their neighborhoods since they are the most at risk?

A black friend of mine tried to lighten the tense racial mood with me, and succinctly put this in perspective by saying “I was driving to work and my check engine light came on. Kinda made me wish we had not looted that Goodyear repair shop last weekend.” He sees the bigger picture, and not one on a stolen 72-inch TV.

Stores leave looted communities and/or prices go up because of the risk and cost of looting — which insurance does not cover. As we all know, insurance companies in America do not cover any real risks. This lets them save money so GEICO, Allstate, Liberty and Progressive can pay for every other commercial on TV telling you how great they are. And they are, until you have a claim.

We must hold accountable the few police who abuse their power. Yet there is zero evidence of systemic racial bias in policing. In fact, given current fears, they are not as aggressive as they should be to protect the minority neighborhoods most hurt by crime.

Liberal elites keep the myth alive and wax pious about police brutality. For their part, Taylor Swift and Yoko Ono have announced plans to record a new song about racial harmony. And if civility is not restored, they have threatened to release it.

In predictable and irrational overreaction mode, the left wants to defund the police because of one isolated incident.  There are 100,000 deaths per year caused by medical errors.  So we should defund hospitals, too?  The left’s contempt for police is so bad they are demanding that the cop be kicked out of the Village People.

For those who are wondering where COVID went, apparently throwing bricks at store windows is the cure we were seeking. I will admit, I was caught off guard. It became looting season and I still had my COVID-season decorations up. I did protect my business with my AR-15, and I also hid my jokes in my house in case looters came to steal my material.

Further complicating things, when I go to a store these days, do I need to bring a mask or a brick?

A libertarian syndicated op-ed humorist, award-winning author and TV commentator. He can be reached at Ron@RonaldHart.com or on Twitter @RonaldHart.