Kenosha Shooting

In 2019 370 white suspects were shot by police and 235 black suspects were shot by police.  In 2020 the projected totals are 305 white suspects will be shot by police and 158 black suspects will be shot by police. (1)  It’s interesting in a year when police shootings are down (2) (which I’m sure the unnecessary destruction of the economy and limitations on social gatherings is largely responsible for) the promotion of police racism and the excessive use of police force as an issue is at its height.  It could be argued that shootings that appear to be unjustified or non-shooting deaths and custody have risen, but I believe a comparison of news coverage from last year to this year will not yield a significantly greater number of incidents.  Coverage of this year’s incidents will be significantly greater, due to the popularity of controversial issues, but I doubt you’ll see a significant increase in incidents.  In a year when police shootings are down, people make the issue to seem the most important.  

1: 2020 statistics got to August which represents 57.3% of the year.  42.7% 111 black suspects is an additional 47 giving us a projected total of 158 and reduction of 33% from 2019.  White people 215 42.7% is 90 giving us a projected total of 305 and reduction of 21% from 2019.

2: This reduction is largely a product of limited opportunities for social interaction caused by unnecessary restrictions put in place due to Covid-19.  

The media is not responsible.  The media responds to the interest of the public.  Since these stories attract attention the media looks for these stories and reports them through their consumers preferred bias.  People consume information that reinforces their bias and they avoid information that challenges their biases.  The former feels good and the latter feels bad.  The media is serving their interest as a business to maximize attention by finding stories that reinforce consumer biases.  

A politician sees the world through a lens of positioning.  Their first thoughts when a popular subject is brought to their attention is how they can position themselves to that subject to maximize the benefit to their image.  Sometimes they have advisors who bring the subject to their attention and advise them how different segments of the population will respond to different positions on the issues.  If it improves their image they promote it.  If it will harm their image they oppose it.  In Wisconsin, the republicans can end the mask mandate by passing a resolution in both chambers.  Instead they refuse to hold the session because the mandate is popular.  They stand to gain more by not striking down the mandate since those who are opposed will not be voting for democrats who are responsible for the mandate, and they’re not the subject anger from those who oppose the mandate.  Of course if they were principled, they’d understand the subject well enough to explain why Covid-19 is not a threat to public safety.  Maybe they do and can, but they do not because it is more advantageous to their image and produces greater motivation in their base to vote to be opposed to restrictions, than it is to destroy the issue altogether.

People, especially activists operate to similar and even the same degree as politicians do.  Where every subject isn’t viewed on objective value, rather it is viewed as something the individual can position himself to to increase his image to his peers.  Sometimes this is for material gain as is the case with the politician.  There is also inherent value in image promotion, where the perception of having increased your value to others (believing they like you more) increases self worth which produces a positive feeling.  Beyond this, image promotion increases opportunities for social interaction which typically has positive feelings attached to it.  The idea of racism is a moral issue, where people being discriminated against based on race is perceived as circumstantial imposition.  The idea that racism exists and a person is contributing to ending it also produces good feelings.  

There is a general bias among activists to promote the cause of racism, for image within their group, material gain, opportunities for social interaction, and positive feelings of contributing to moral progress.  The behavior is not motivated by solving the issue.  If it was, activists would study the issue to correct the function that is producing the result.  They don’t do this.  Instead they consume information that is presented without context or in the omission of critical details that reinforces their bias that racism is a problem.  If they did understand the subject itself, they would learn that the issue is not an issue.  They are moved emotionally by incidents they largely do not understand that are paraded through the public consciousness and made to seem as if they represent normal policing.  

There are over 150,000 police contacts per day.  Racism, or the excessive use of police force is so great a problem, that you cannot even produce 1 controversial event out of 150,000 contacts per day.(3)  There are many days, even weeks where there are no controversial uses of force.  When you have 20 in years time this does not represent a problem and normative policing, it represents an inevitable exception to the norm, inevitable based on the abundance of contact and the nature of the contact being enforcement of the law.  More importantly, when officers do use excessive force they are prosecuted for it.

(3) footnote 1: Elizabeth Davis, Anthony Whyde, BJS Statisticians, Lynn Langton Ph.D., former BJS Statistician, 10/11/2018 “Contact Between the Police and Public, 2015”.  Bureau of Justice Statistics.

Second, there is no evidence of systemic racism in policing, or by opportunities.  In examples which are used to promote the idea of racism, the one quality always lacking in these examples is how the suspects race motivated how the officer treated the suspect.  When Ariel Roman, a white man, unarmed, was shot twice by black officers while he was fleeing on foot earlier this year, no one claimed that was an example of police racism.  I don’t believe it was, but I also don’t believe race is the motivation for any other officer involved shootings.  The only way a person’s actions can be motivated by race is 1: if there is something in the interaction that reveals an officer’s treatment of a suspect if motivated by race, or 2: if suspects of one race are treated in ways in which suspects of another race are not.  No example of excessive force by police includes details to establish 1.  There are no examples of black suspects being killed where there are not also examples of white suspects being killed under similar circumstances.  There is no racism in policing, and other criminal justice outcomes typically have their roots in class not race.  

Black people are not denied educational, housing, employment, or other services based on race, and it is illegal to racially discriminate. (4)  A greater proportion of the black population are impoverished and poor, but the number as a total, the number of poor and impoverished black is far lower than white people.  No doubt there are a greater proportion of black people who are poor because of past systemic racism pre-civil rights acts, but today there are no racially systemic barriers.  Poor black people are living with the same disadvantages as poor white people.  Class, not race is the greatest determinant of disadvantage.

(4) This article addresses two studies that have been popularly cited to create the illusion that there is racial discrimination in employment and shows definitively through the employment trend that no such discrimination is occuring.  If there was discrimination in employment black unemployment would increase much more dramatically than white unemployment during an economic downturn and would recover much more slowly during recovery.  The preference for white employees if such a preference existed would cause employers to fire black employees first during downsizing and then hire white employees first during recovery.  It would be visible in the trends and it is not.    

Upper middle class and upper class white people have no context for racism.  People interact intimately with people of their own socioeconomic class.  Advantaged white people interact with other advantaged white people and their experience causes them to believe all white people are advantaged.  They do not interact intimately with the 19 million white Americans who are below the poverty line, or 26% of white people who are in the bottom half of the income distribution.  They are receptive to the promotion of race as a source of disadvantage and have no experience or perspective into the challenges faced by poor white people which are the same as the challenges faced by poor black people.  

Industry has recognized the growing popularity of racism as a cause.  They’re participating in the promotion in the promotion of it.  1st and foremost because associating they’re brand with being anti racist increases the image of their brand and aids sales.  2nd, because industry has an interest in ensuring that there is a sizable poor population to maintain an advantageous labor market.  Race is the greatest divider of the underclass and obstruction to class goals.  Promoting racism as a problem benefits industry by keeping the focus off of class which increases and maintains their advantage.  

I hate activists because they are promoting a cause that has no basis, which obstructs class goals, is deceptive, contributes to the obstruction of communication generally and decreases everyone’s quality of life.  I hate them more so because I understand their motivation.  As mentioned, if they were concerned with the cause itself they would research the cause and realize there is no basis for the cause.  Their motivation as mentioned is image promotion and the feelings derived from that promotion.  Their motivation is social interaction and the feeling derived from that interaction.  Their motivation is in the feelings of ideas of justice or restoring neutrality.  It’s about them, it isn’t about the cause, and it’s evident by how ignorant they are of the cause itself.  

I’ve written about past incidents this year and no one is interested in an objective analysis.  I’m not going to spend any time analyzing this incident.  Whether the shooting was justified or not justified it represents an incident that will be reviewed by the proper authorities and charges will be applied if appropriate.  It does not represent a problem in policing whatever the conclusion is that requires legislative attention.

It isn’t that all lives matter, or black live matter.  The truth is no lives matter unless that life can be exploited for someone else’s gain.  George Floyd was an interesting example.  His life didn’t matter when he spent his money on drugs and no one would give him $20 to purchase a pack of cigarettes and some beer.  Had his life mattered before he died, he wouldn’t have tried to purchase items with a fake 20 dollar bill and wouldn’t have had any police contact to begin with.  His life only mattered after he died a controversial death while being apprehended by police.  His life mattered when it could be exploited by activists for their material gain and social purposes as well as to serve as an example of something it wasn’t an example of.  His life mattered when it could be exploited by the media to achieve higher ratings to earn more money from ad revenue.  His life mattered when it could be exploited by politicians to enhance their image to the public and increase their chances of being reelected while not compromising their ability to represent industry.  His life only mattered when industry saw it as advantageous to associate their brand with the ideas his death was being exploited for.