(RINF) – Today’s critical issue of cops killing people has largely been framed in a racial context.
But a database created by The Washington Post cataloging every fatal shooting nationwide by a police officer in the line of duty since January 1, 2015 paints a different picture.
Of the 1502 people that have been shot and killed by police, 46% were white men, and 24% were black men. In other words, the number one target of cops today is white men, not black men.
While it holds true that on a per-capita basis, black men are more than twice as likely to be fatally shot by a cop than white men, this does not hold true for white and black women, who are about equally as likely to be killed by cops.
So are police racist against black men but not black women?
Further, 96% of those fatally shot by an officer were men, meaning males are nearly 20-times more likely to be gunned down than females. Can a claim be made that cops are sexist against men?
The real message conveyed in The Post’s data is that cops kill an average of nearly 3 people per day, and it is quantitatively indefensible to claim the shootings are racially motivated. It may be true, but the numbers do not validate that assertion.
Systemic racism is a large, ugly part of American society. But individual claims of racism are very serious, and accusations should be based on proof, not speculation.
The real outrage should be at the number of people cops kill, period.
Certainly there are racist cops, just like there are racist judges, journalists and auto mechanics. And people in the law enforcement profession in the U.S. (ICE, FBI, DEA, etc.) belong to a brutal, oppressive profession, regardless of their race.
Racism isn’t a one-way problem either, as recently shown in Canada, where a woman yelled “I hate white people” and then punched a white woman in the face, knocking out one of her teeth. Yet somehow the Canadian judge ruled that there wasn’t enough evidence to assert that the attack was racially motivated.
Are we headed towards a society in which people who are historically oppressed will be allowed to become oppressors? Or will the ongoing study by the Post help people realize the issue of trigger-happy police goes way beyond the simple dichotomy of black versus white?