Military and Police

Are Black Leftist Ideologues Causing Young Black Males to Fear Being in White Neighborhoods?

In late summer 2008, I sat down with a reporter from the Seattle Post Intelligencer . He wanted to talk to me about an incident earlier in August involving off-duty Seattle police officers at a Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota. While chatting before the interview, the reporter asked me what I thought about Barack Obama maybe becoming president. Election Day was about a month away. I admitted I would not vote for him.

I noted many leftists were accusing people of racism who were not voting for Obama. I wondered: Why would any conservative vote for such a liberal candidate regardless of race? Would black liberals—any liberals—vote for Clarence Thomas, Ben Carson, or even Condoleezza Rice if they ran for president? Not likely.

I mean, does anyone really think if a black conservative Republican were running for president I’d rather vote for the white liberal Democrat just because he’s white? Come on, folks. While there are probably an infinitesimal number of people who vote solely based on race or ethnicity, I’d bet they’re spread widely across the racial spectrum. It would not be a white voter-only phenomenon.

I didn’t vote for Barack Obama specifically because I don’t agree with his ideology and policies. But I conceded to the Post Intelligencer reporter that if Obama won, “at least it should be good for race relations.” Sadly, after eight years of the first black president in American history, I couldn’t have been more wrong about the benefits to race relations. On race, the first African-American President of the United States was a singular catastrophe. Let’s move on to some of those catastrophic results.

I read a New York Times article titled “Black Boys Feel Less Safe in White Neighborhoods, Study Shows.” The author writes, “Many black boys have been racially profiled, arrested or even killed in white neighborhoods because the residents were afraid of them. A new study suggests the boys are afraid, too.” The author appears to be one of many in the media today who have donned the mantle of race myth-perpetuator.

When she uses vague terms such as “many” in reporting on the number of young black males who have been “profiled, arrested, or even killed in white neighborhoods,” how many is many? Compared to what? What is the context? Or are the kids just being told there is one? Can she prove the crisis? After reading an article that is supposed to inform, why do I have more questions after reading it than before?

Okay, I’ll concede that some “black boys feel less safe in white neighborhoods.” Remember, the study wasn’t about whether young black males are less safe in white neighborhoods; it’s about whether the boys feel less safe. How could they not? President Obama was among the luminary voices telling the kids they weren’t safe around white people. “If I had a son, he’d look like Treyvon,” the President told the nation.

The difference between feeling less safe and being less safe is an important distinction because one is reality, the other myth. This issue is important because a group of political partisans is defrauding these kids. Sadly, the fraud will follow many into their adulthood, negatively affecting race relations in America. As a retired cop, I know how race relations affect society, both the reality and the myth.

So, why do you think young black males feel less safe in white neighborhoods? If people you respect and trust to be honest with you, like your parents, teachers, ministers, politicians, even the President, teach you every day of your waking life to believe a dangerous myth, that white people hate you and white cops are out hunting you down in the streets because of your race, how could you not be afraid when walking down the street in a predominately white neighborhood?

Even the infernal Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) entered the fray, liberally spreading its own bovine excrement. This time, rather than the left conflating, they simply flip-flopped reality, thus adding to racial lies: that black on white crime is “the biggest lie in the white supremacist propaganda playbook,” and the real problem is white on black violence.

See what they did here? So, anyone who disagrees with their findings is a white supremacist. How can you have dialogue with people like that? You can’t, but you can continue putting the truth out there. People and groups like the SPLC need to be countered.

What a despicable thing to do to a child. Instilling an irrational fear to achieve your political goals. If kids are in fact safe but a partisan faction is teaching them that they are not, they are lying to the children. If the leftist identity politicians defend themselves by saying they don’t trust the FBI statistics, they should remind themselves many of the figures were gathered during the Obama administration.

Remember, it was President Obama’s attorney general, Eric Holder, who told America that “hands up, don’t shoot” never happened. Yet, the myth persists.

These American kids who happen to be black who are afraid while walking in American neighborhoods where most of the residents happen to be white is a self-fulfilling prophecy. You tell young black males they should be wary of all white people, be afraid of all white cops—of any cops, and that white people are out to get them. And, when an anomaly such as the Trayvon Martin incident occurs, you exaggerate, warp, and even lie about the facts to make it fit the myth.

George Zimmerman was not a white cop. He wasn’t a cop at all. He was an overzealous, cop-wanna-be, block watch captain with poor judgment and of Hispanic descent—the made-infamous-by-CNNwhite Hispanic.” When the left exploits such events, of course, black kids will be afraid. From the lies they’re being told, they’d be foolish not to fear white people, especially white cops.

However, if you check the DOJ/FBI statistics, you’ll see the true story about what young black males should fear. And it’s not white people or even white cops; it’s other young black males—not to mention the current Democratic Party. Just look at the raw numbers, the “how manys” of this and that which have happened, and the facts become clear. White people are not out to harm black people.

It’s interesting to note the Times article indicated “black girls did not report feeling significantly less safe in such areas.” If this were truly racial, young black girls would also experience this fear in white neighborhoods. The fact they don’t says a lot, doesn’t it? But, the left will ignore it or explain it away just like they do with anything that doesn’t fit their narrative.

People seem to think statistical results should reflect population segments as a whole. So, if black youths are 16 percent of the youth population, there should only be 16 percent of blacks killed by police. Well, only 4 percent of black youths killed were killed by cops. But what if the percentage of criminals in one race is higher than in another?

What if, according to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports, 16 percent of the juvenile population is responsible for 52 percent of youth crime? This included 58 percent for murder and 67 percent for robberies.

A 2012 (Obama still in office) DOJ study, as reported by Americanfreepress.net, showed “in 2010 black youths committed six times more murders, three times more rapes, 10 times more robberies and three times more assaults than did their white counterparts.” Couldn’t the higher crime rates account for statistical, racial incongruities?

After all, though blacks account for about 13 percent of the U.S. population, they are about 24 percent of people killed in police shootings. But, as Andrew McCarthy writes in National Review, “By and large, police are having lethal interactions not with the nation’s total population but with its criminal population [of all races].”

Still, regardless of crime rates and anomalies, the truth is young black males are safer in most white neighborhoods than they are in inner city black neighborhoods. This is especially true of predominately black neighborhoods in cities such as St. Louis, Baltimore, and infamously Chicago.

After trusted adults teach black kids (actually, all kids) that white people are racist, even if the white folks don’t know it (implicit bias), how are young black males supposed to react to any white person looking at them at any time? During my police career I had to go to “training” where I was told that I was racist whether I knew it or not.

That white person looking at a young black male walking by could be thinking about anything: That kid has nice shoes or a nice shirt. He looks like my sister Shirley’s kid. He’s dressed funny. I wonder if he’s visiting someone nearby. Maybe he’s lost. Have I seen him before? I remember when my Tommy was that age. What’s for dinner tonight? When will that mailman get here?

But when you’re taught all your life that all white people are racist and against you, how can you imagine, when a white person looks at you, they are thinking about anything other than your skin color? A white person stares at you, yells at you, is rude, gives you a bad grade, poor service at a store, or you don’t get that promotion. Is it every time and always because of your race? Really? Assuming it’s always race is akin to carrying a heavy weight draped around your neck throughout your life. It’s always there.

Teaching kids to assume that any time a white person criticizes, insults, or calls the police on a black person it is automatically racist, is dangerous. In the Times piece, the author links to articles in which white people have called the police to complain about black kids doing “innocuous” things such as selling water or hotdogs, playing in the yard, or mowing a lawn.

In one example, some crank called the police because the kids mowing the next-door neighbor’s lawn had strayed over the property line and mowed a portion of the crank’s lawn. The woman who’d hired the children said, “If they would have been four white children, the police would not have been called.” Isn’t this assumption where the real racism lies?

How could she know that? It might be true, but why have some people become so conditioned to leap to a racism conclusion? Racist used to be one of the worst things you could call someone. Not any more. It’s become ubiquitous because it fits the narrative; it perpetuates the myth.

Was the homeowner correct? Was her neighbor motivated by racism? Maybe. She knows her neighbor better than I do. Still, I worked in the landscape and lawncare industry for other companies and for my own for about a decade before I became a cop. I can testify to how pernickety people can be about their yards.

I remember one lady who, while not calling the cops, wouldn’t allow one specific landscape laborer back to work at her house because he’d unintentionally pulled out her rhubarb. No kidding, she told the owner she didn’t want him to work in her yard again—ever!

The employee was white, and the nitpicker was white. Also, as a cop, whom people did call for property disputes, I handled all sorts of neighbor complaints involving their yards. In my experience, a majority of times it had nothing to do with race. It had to do with flawed human being, which we all are to various degrees.

So, if a white woman complains about black kids straying onto her property when mowing the neighbor’s lawn, she’s being racist. But if she makes an identical complaint about white kids, she’s not racist—she’s just a crank. Anyone else see the disconnect here?

What does this do to real racism when it occurs? Or have we gotten to a place where it no longer matters if it is true racism? Perceived or presumed racism works just fine, right? No! It’s not fine. Stop assuming everything is racist when one party happens to be black and the other happens to be white—or whatever race.

As Taleeb Starkes calls it in his book Black Lies Matter, the Race Grievance Industry takes incidents that are not racist, such as police shooting armed criminals, and conflate them into racism. Then they’ll take incidents that are racist, involving individual racism and conflate them into institutional racism and then criticize the United States of America as a racist country. You know, the country some prominent leftist Democrats contend “has never been that great.”

If leftists are waiting for 100 percent of people in America to stop being racist, they’re gonna wait a long time. Individual racism will always exist—in every place and exhibited by every race. Even in more racially homogenous locales, such as countries in Africa and Asia, where the vast majority of people in any given place are black or Asian. Classism creates a form of discrimination similar to racism.

Consider the caste system in India. Generally, Indian people are dark-haired, dark-eyed, and dark-skinned. Yet, bias between people has been embedded within the culture for centuries. Just read what people have written about attempting to become a Japanese “citizen.” Daunting is putting it nicely. Racism is not an exclusively white, conservative, or American contrivance.

So, who’s problem is the proliferation of fake racism, anyway? Is it a white person’s fault that white and black leftists label him or her a de facto racist just because of his or her race? Something completely out of their control. Regardless of who perpetuates this false notion, the problem is real and concerns us all.

How can conservatives stop leftists from propagating such a myth? I don’t think they can. It’s up to leftist black people and their elite, virtue-signaling white leftist allies to stop labeling conservative white people racists simply because they disagree politically. But they won’t because it’s simply too effective a weapon.

But shouldn’t it be those doing wrong who are obligated to stop the wrongdoing? Telling kids something that isn’t true is lying. Telling black kids that white people are racist and white cops are hunting them in the streets is a lie. And lying is still wrong, no matter who does it, right? It used to be.

“The boy asked the police officer, ‘Are you a cop?’ To which the officer replied, ‘Yes.’ The boy went on to explain that his mommy told him if he ever needed help to ask a cop for it. The officer confirmed that notion adding, ‘That’s why we are here.’ The boy’s face lit up and immediately blurted, ‘Good, can you tie my shoe?'” (Credit: Facebook/Carolina Bulletin)

Does anyone believe any black youngster is safer in any black neighborhood on Chicago’s Southside than in a white neighborhood in the north? Of course not. Would they be safer walking through any of that city’s wealthier “white” neighborhoods? Statistically, yes, they would be, regardless of how they “felt.” And what’s wrong with people paying attention to things that seem out of place in their neighborhoods? See something, say something, right?

Whether you like it or not, an unknown black kid in a predominately white neighborhood might attract suspicious looks. But so would a white kid in a black neighborhood. I saw it often enough. The good folks in a black neighborhood were getting fed up with the white kids coming over from the affluent white suburbs across the lake, looking to buy drugs. I don’t blame them a bit. They’d had enough of it. And it had zero to do with racism.

Hell, in some cities, a kid from an Irish neighborhood might get hard looks from people in an Italian neighborhood and vice versa. People tend to look skeptically at strangers walking through their neighborhoods. Don’t you? If not, I don’t want you as my neighbor.

So, what are we supposed to do? Since young black males “feel” less safe in “white” neighborhoods are we not supposed to hold these kids accountable for any bad behavior? You know, because if a white person confronts a misbehaving black youngster just as he would have a white, Hispanic, or Asian kid…that white person is accused of racism. But he’s being decidedly not racist, treating the black kid the same as he would any other kid.

This warped belief system rewards illegal behavior, or at least ignores it, and demonizes those who are not being racist.

I can hear it now:

Neighbor: “I saw a kid I’ve never seen before go behind your house while you were at work.”

You: “Did you call the police?”

Neighbor: “No. He was black; I didn’t want to profile. I didn’t want to be seen as racist.”

Well, guess what? Not calling the cops on that black kid when your neighbor would have with a white kid makes her what? Yup, you guessed it: racist. And now your son is missing his brand-new bicycle that had been locked behind the house.

I urge liberals to remember what they’re doing to young black males, to all kids, when they teach them that white people are innately privileged, inherently racist, and are out to hurt them. They are setting these kids up for failure. No one can flourish in life who holds such hate in his heart. And any adult who helps put the hate there, especially for something as frivolous as promoting a political agenda, should really be disgusted with themselves.

The opinions expressed here by contributors are their own and are not the view of OpsLens which seeks to provide a platform for experience-driven commentary on today's trending headlines in the U.S. and around the world. Have a different opinion or something more to add on this topic? Contact us for guidelines on submitting your own experience-driven commentary.
Steve Pomper

Steve Pomper is an OpsLens contributor, a retired Seattle police officer, and the author of four non-fiction books, including De-Policing America: A Street Cop’s View of the Anti-Police State. You can read a review of this new book in Front Page Magazine and listen to an interview with Steve on the Joe Pags Show. Steve was a field-training officer, on the East Precinct Community Police Team, and served his entire career on the streets. He has a BA in English Language and Literature. He enjoys spending time with his kids and grand-kids. He loves to ride his Harley, hike, and cycle with his wife, Jody, a retired firefighter. You can find out more about Steve and send him comments and questions at www.stevepomper.com.

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