Klavan On The Culture

Who Is to Blame for Bias?

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Political correctness kills. The leftist philosophy that conflates dishonesty with virtue is costing lives. The lie — and it is a lie — that young black men live under threat from the police obscures the hard truth that tough policing protects young black men from the true threat of other young black men. The resulting protests and anti-police violence and hostility cause cops to retreat from the areas where they’re needed most and the violent death rate increases.

Likewise the left’s truly childish notion that it is somehow bigoted to notice that an awful lot of terrorists share the same [redacted] religion causes people to turn away and fail to report the radicals in their midst, letting terrorists strike at will. As one Twitter wag put it: “See something. Say something. Get accused of Islamophobia.”

But let’s acknowledge for a moment that there is some justice to the sad tales of bias the left often uses to promote dangerous PC lies. Here, for instance, is Republican Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina, a black man:

In the course of one year, I’ve been stopped seven times by law enforcement officers. Not four, not five, not six, but seven times in one year as an elected official. Was I speeding sometimes? Sure. But the vast majority of the times, I was pulled over for nothing more than driving a new car in the wrong neighborhood, or some other reason just as trivial…

And — although Jews are far more likely to experience hate crimes in America than Muslims — any decent person can sympathize with the 15-year-old Muslim girl who told the New York Times:

“If a Muslim hasn’t been called a terrorist in middle school, lower school or high school, then they’re probably in a really great school — and I’m happy for them!”

But our sympathy for those who suffer unwanted suspicion doesn’t change the fact that those who suspect them are not acting irrationally. The cop who stops Senator Scott, the innocent air traveller who eyes his Muslim seat-mate with fear: these aren’t necessarily mean, bigoted people but more likely people doing what all humans must do to survive. They are assessing threats and making rational choices about where those threats lie.

Black people commit a vastly disproportionately large number of murders in America so a cop looking for a troublemaker is completely justified in looking at a black man first. You can call it racial profiling all you like. I call it basic police work. In the same way, a person trying to spot a terrorist would do well to keep his eye on a Muslim. Whether President Obama can get the words out of his mouth or not, there’s an awful lot of killing going on around the world in the name of Allah.

It seems to me if you are an innocent black person being troubled by the cops, if you are an innocent Muslim under suspicion from your neighbors, the people you should be angry at, the people to blame, are not the people acting on rational suspicion. The people at fault are the bad guys who have drawn that suspicion unfairly onto you.

A black man targeted by the police shouldn’t be angry at the police. He should be angry at the thugs and criminals who look like him and make his race a target. And before Muslims blame non-Muslims for the prejudice against them, maybe they ought to look to — and openly condemn — those Muslims who have given their religion a very bad name indeed.

The problem is prejudice, yes. But it’s the tribal prejudice that says we should blame others before we blame “our own.” “Our own” are the good guys, no matter what race or religion we are.

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