Hillary Clinton, Black Lives Matter, and the Answer to the Liberal Race Narrative

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney, who has been in the national news lately because of the Scott shooting, expressed concern months before about problems in the black community and wanting to find solutions. He told the city council in January that he wants to keep up with rising crime.

As reported in the Charlotte Observer, Putney said he needed more personnel. “In order to have the ability to be flexible and have those innovative strategies, you also need the resources.” But what’s most important, he said, is getting to the root causes of crime — economic and social dysfunction.

Of all the homicides in Charlotte, nearly half are caused by toxic relationships. Domestic violence is a huge source of strife in the black community, and it’s not something criminal justice reform will fix.

“If you’re in a toxic, violent relationship until you break that cycle, we’re kind of defenseless to assist in preventing some of these,” Putney said.

As Cleve Wootson of the Charlotte Observer reported earlier this year, there are many factors at play when looking for solutions to the troubles of Charlotte’s black community. Domestic violence is certainly one of them, but another is “antipathy toward police departments.”

This is “increasing in the wake of highly publicized shootings of unarmed individuals, particularly minorities. The tension makes people less willing to cooperate with police to solve crimes, keeping violent criminals on the streets,” criminologists told Wootson.

Kami Chavis Simmons, the head of Wake Forest’s criminology department, said recent high-profile police shootings of minorities may be intensifying the disparity. Crime victims and witnesses in minority neighborhoods may be less willing to cooperate with officers, leaving violent criminals on the street for longer, and increasing the chance that they’ll commit more crimes.

“If you can’t trust the police officers, it is very difficult to form partnerships and for people to want to cooperate with them,” she said.

The more blacks believe the narrative that the system is rigged against them, the less likely they will cooperate with police and the more likely they will interpret disparity in arrests and crime rates with racial injustice.

This disparity, however, is more about socioeconomics than race.

“What we are experiencing is a culture of violence in low-income communities where they are socially and economically isolated without the type of mentorship or visible signs of hope,” Patrick Graham, the president and CEO of the Urban League of Central Carolinas, told Wootson. “It’s the notion that you can’t rise above the circumstances in which you live. And a lot of times it’s very hard to envision something when you don’t actually see any examples of it.”

Family breakdown, gangs, school drop-out rates—all the same problems that plague other communities across the nation can also be found in Charlotte. But, again, the solution is not criminal justice reform and gun control, as Clinton says. It’s getting into these communities, setting up mentoring programs, rebuilding families, and creating real economic opportunities to combat isolation and despair, not increasing government handouts or putting the blame on a fictional “racist” system.