The Uncomfortable Truths That President Obama Ignores About Crime - Encounter Books

Free shipping on all orders over $40

The Uncomfortable Truths That President Obama Ignores About Crime

By Ben Weingarten | July 19, 2016

The prevailing narrative propagated by the chattering class in the wake of deaths at the hands of law enforcement from Ferguson to Baton Rouge is that the criminal justice system is systemically racist, and lethally so.

Even President Obama echoed this belief following the murder of five Dallas police officers: “[T]here’s data and evidence to back up the concerns that are being expressed by these [Black Lives Matter and other] protesters,” and law enforcement ought to “acknowledge that there’s a problem and there’s an issue.” The President even asserted that recognizing this bias “is what’s going to ultimately help make the job of being a cop a lot safer.” 

In her new book, The War on CopsHeather Mac Donald contends that this narrative is wrong—and that its implications are dangerous

During an in-depth interview, I asked Mac Donald to make her case against the notion of a racist criminal justice system. The answer, says Mac Donald, lies in the uncomfortable facts about black crime.

Here is what she argued:

Blacks are 13% of the population, but they make up about two-thirds (2/3) of all people committing violent crime.

All you need to do is look at crime data: That [racist criminal justice system] narrative is based on an assiduous suppression of the facts about crime.

The narrative instead proceeds by comparing law enforcement data — whether it’s police stops, pedestrian stops, or incarceration rates — to population figures. And when you look at that it is undoubtedly the case that blacks are overrepresented among people that the police stop and arrest, and among people in prison.

Blacks are about 38% of the state prison population, but they’re 13% of the national population.

So people like President Obama, the ACLU, the Justice Department, certainly vast swathes of the media look no further and conclude “Aha! There must be systemic racism in the system.”

But, what that narrative ignores is black crime. And that’s an uncomfortable truth, but unless we look at it head-on without distortion or apology, you’re not going to understand the criminal justice system.

Blacks are 13% of the population, but they make up about two-thirds (2/3) of all people committing violent crime.

In New York City which is absolutely emblematic of America’s big cities, blacks are 23% of the population, but they commit nearly 80% of all shootings and 70% of all robberies. When you add Hispanics to those shootings you account for 98% of all shootings in New York City.

Whites by contrast are about 33% of New York’s population. They commit less than 2% of all shootings and 4% of all robberies.

What those statistics mean Ben is that every time – virtually every time in New York City – the cops are called out on a gun run, meaning somebody’s been shot and there’s a risk of retaliatory shooting, with 98% of all shootings in New York being committed by blacks and Hispanics, they are almost always sent to minority neighborhoods in support of minority victims and they will have received a description of a minority suspect.

The cops don’t wish that. It’s a reality forced on them by the reality of crime.

And that is true as well of the prison population. It is driven by violent crime, and property crime.

And unfortunately again, given as you referred to at the beginning of the program, the out-of-wedlock birthrate and the fact that so many black children – males in particular– are being raised without fathers, they are being absorbed into a gang life, they are not getting the self-control needed, and their rates of crime are simply much higher on a per-capita basis than other groups.

During the interview, which you can listen to in full or in parts below, we also had the chance to discuss several other topics including:

…and a great deal more.

Author Thumbnail

BEN WEINGARTEN is a Senior Fellow at the London Center for Policy Research, Senior Contributor at The Federalist and Founder & CEO of ChangeUp Media LLC, a media consulting and production firm dedicated to advancing conservative principles. You can find his work at, and follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

Recent Articles By This Author

In this Article
Previous Article
How Obama Is Fueling the Anti-Cop Narrative
Next Article
How Liberalism Lost Its Way