Opinion

Why institutional racism is a myth

Statistics indicate black Americans are not targeted by police.

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The media loves to tote the narrative that black Americans are far more likely to be victims of police violence.

With renewed calls for reformed policing ringing through the U.S., it is important to separate fact from fiction.

In the wake of George Floyd’s tragic death, Democrats like Joe Biden are vowing to address “institutional racism” yet lack basic understanding of the issue.

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If Democrats truly want to solve police brutality they should do a little research.

The current media trend indicates that blacks are targeted by the police; however, new research reports just the opposite. A study released in late 2019 found “no evidence of anti-Black or anti-Hispanic disparities” across police shootings.

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The findings continue, citing that “white officers are not more likely to shoot minority civilians than non-White officers.”

Rather, police are far more likely to kill whites during a confrontation. For example, in 2017 457 white Americans were shot to death by the police in comparison to 223 black Americans.

This trend continues into 2020 where statistics show that police more commonly kill whites during confrontations. The ratio of police violence by race has not changed much over the past five years.

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A common response when presented with actual statistics is to argue that the evidence lacks context. Instead of looking at overall statistics we ought to be taking into account that black Americans represent only 13% of the population. Surely this proves that the police often target young black men, right?

When taking population differences into account, the argument against systemic racism holds up as well. Despite representing 13% of the population, the FBI reported that in 2017 black Americans committed 53% of homicides and 54% of robberies. Further, when looking into violence committed against police, black American men represent 33% of cop killers despite being only 6.6% of the population.

If blacks represent such a small percentage of the population why are they responsible for a large percent of crime? In fact, the Left’s insistence on discussing race proportions is damning to their argument.

Instead of looking toward the percent a population represents, we should also take into account how often populations interact with police.

The chance of having a deadly confrontation with police increases as the rate of interaction rises.

As politicians are working to find solutions to police violence, having a comprehensive understanding of the statistics is essential.

The idea of institutional racism existing in the U.S. is a myth—and a dangerous one at that.

Adrianna San Marco
meet the author

Adrianna San Marco is a student at Syracuse University, studying Political Science at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. In addition to writing for LifeZette, she is a New York correspondent for Campus Reform. She is also an outspoken conservative activist and serves as a Recruitment Director for Young Americans for Liberty.

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