Line up four white guys in a row. According to a poll I cited yesterday, one of those four white guys thinks he's smarter than black people. Based on his genetic whiteness alone, he thinks he's automatically smarter than the apparently less evolved black population. Around the time I graduated from high school in the late 1980s, roughly two of those four guys knew for a fact they were smarter than African-Americans so there's some progress, but not nearly enough.
As I mentioned on the Stephanie Miller Show yesterday, the fact that it's one-in-four white people indicates that African-Americans have a fairly strong chance of bumping into one of these people when they apply for a mortgage, when they fill out a lease application or when they're being interviewed for a job.
We'll never quite know for certain whether Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly is one of those people, but it wouldn't be much of a shocker if he was, especially after what he said Monday night regarding the five football players from the St. Louis Rams (Stedman Bailey, Tavon Austin, Chris Givens, Kenny Britt and Jared Cook) who acted in solidarity with the "Hands Up, Don't Shoot" movement, appearing on the field with their hands in the air.
Evidently, O'Reilly doesn't think they're smart enough to know exactly what they were protesting. Here it is verbatim:
Quite frankly, I don't think they're smart enough to know what they're doing. I don't. I absolutely don't think they're smart enough to know what they're doing.
It's possible that O'Reilly was merely making a "Dumb Jocks" crack, but considering that he himself was once a college football player (house league) while attending Marist College, it seems odd that he'd indict his own kind. Regardless of his intent, it absolutely sounded like he was suggesting that five African-Americans are too stupid to grasp what happened to Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.
Speaking of which, before dropping the stupid bomb, O'Reilly mentioned "evidence" that blacks aren't, in fact, being unjustifiably gunned down by police officers.
What if you are a police officer at the St. Louis stadium and you're, you're doing crowd control as they have in every stadium, and you go out and you see, you know, these guys come out of the tunnel with their arms raised -- "don't shoot" -- which connotes the fact that they believe, I guess, that white police officers shoot black youths all the time. Now we just debunked that with the statistics, we just showed more than 43 million African-Americans are in the country, and 123 were shot by police bullets in the latest statistics available, so that's not an epidemic, it's not crazy, it's not a hunting-down of black youths.
Weird how O'Reilly went on to criticize the intelligence of the Rams players immediately after botching his alleged debunking. Suffice to say, O'Reilly's debunking didn't debunk a damn thing. The number of shootings of black youths by police officers related to the total African-American citizen population is irrelevant. It's like saying we shouldn't be concerned about children being gunned down in schools because there 73 million kids in the U.S. and only 20 were killed at Sandy Hook (worth noting: even the NRA expressed concern about school shootings). The real test is comparative.
--According to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, 1,529 African-Americans were shot and killed in arrest-related situations between 2003 and 2009. That's 31 percent of the total number of fatalities, compared to 42 percent of fatalities involving whites. Shocking, given how whites are around 70 percent of the population, while blacks are 12 percent. In other words, the percentage of black deaths in arrest scenarios far outpaces the black population, while white deaths are far less than the total percentage of the white population.
--Mother Jonesreported that during a similar span of time, there were 45 shootings by police officers in Oakland, California. 37 of those 45 were black, and around 10 of the 37 were fatalities. Not a single white person was shot.
--The following graph was constructed based on NYPD Firearms Discharge Reports:
--Likewise, the number of NYPD incidents involving blacks far outpace the total African-American population:
Now, to be fair, not every shooting proves overt racism on behalf of the police, nor do the numbers indicate whether the shootings were unjustified. However, as numerous studies have indicated, racism isn't always an obvious, conscious bias. According to the Implicit Association Test, any one of us, no matter how open-minded we think we are, could turn out to possess racially biased tendencies. Plus, given the history of lopsided justice against blacks in the U.S., is it any wonder why shootings are viewed with suspicion?
There's clearly been an ongoing series of injustices foisted upon African-American communities at the hands of authority, controlled by whites, and as we discussed yesterday, these injustices have snowballed and naturally manifested the protests we've seen in recent months, including the five Rams players the other night who surely understand far more about what Ferguson represents than any white male TV idiot.