Contrary to common wisdom, it is acceptable to discuss race and not harm one’s career or social status. But it can only be done in two ways: (1) to list racial disparities, as long as these favor whites, and (2) to speculate on how whites wrongly achieved these disparities.
But that’s it. Even stating this obvious truth, which itself does not fall under either exception, is itself bound to cause discomfort. “Where is he going with this?” “Wait a second…” The statement, in other words, is not acceptable, though it is true.
Many large police departments have entrance exams. (Murder is: (A) Illegal, (B) To be discouraged, (C) Yellow light, (D) Okay if they deserved it.) It has been found that over a large number of people, in widely different circumstances, and through time that on average blacks score less well than whites on these tests. This is not surprising as blacks are found on average to score less well than whites on aptitude tests of all kinds (ASVAB, SAT, etc.).
These disparities, which favor whites (I’m okay so far), have not gone unnoticed. The standard argument is to call the tests “racist”, to claim that they are “biased” against blacks. This is so even though nobody can point to any question which disfavors blacks or which (say) causes them psychic pain. It is so even though everybody agrees that the tests predict success in the fields for which the tests were designed.
Still, if blacks do less well than whites on average, the problem must lie with the tests and not with those who took the tests. This theory has been confirmed all the way up to and including the Supreme Court. Since all efforts at fixing the tests have failed, the next logical step (accepting as true the theory) is to either eliminate the tests (as the Chicago PD might) or to “race norm” them.
For example, the military used to race norm tests for promotion by adding to each black’s score the amount on average (or thereabouts) that blacks score less than whites. Whatever you think of the theory, race norming does fix the mathematical disparity. So as not to cause hurt feelings, the military and other institutions try to keep quiet about these affirmative actions; unfortunately, people keep these facts in the back of their mind.
Now there are also disparities in crime, particularly violent crime, such that blacks proportionately commit from around seven to eleven times as many murders (for example) as whites. The rate varies by locale, usually increase in cities, but blacks are everywhere on average the less law abiding.
It is therefore natural and expected that arrest and conviction records should mirror the crime rates. Many more blacks than whites will be stopped, arrested, prosecuted, and convicted. This is bound to, and does, lead to ill feelings between blacks and cops. Even black cops can become suspicious that these street “aptitude tests” (arrests, etc.) are therefore “biased” against blacks, that cops doing their jobs are “racist.” This is, is it not?, the theory of the land, confirmed from on high.
Enter Christopher Dorner, an LAPD cop who claimed he did not like his job. To exact his revenge he, in cold blood, murdered the (non-white) daughter of a retired police captain. And since the daughter’s fiancé was standing next to his inamorata when she was cut down, Dorner killed him too. He then ran. As he was chased, he killed at least two others and wounded one or two (the full count is not verified at this writing; the cops initially chasing him shot at anything even vaguely Dorner-shaped).
Next arose another disparity. Some people cheered Dorner’s exploits, even comparing him to the title character in the movie Django Unchained. Jamie Foxx, who starred as Django, said, “I kill all the white people in the movie. How great is that?” Foxx’s comment is curious because Dorner started by killing non-whites. Anyway, those that cheered Dorner were overwhelmingly non-white; his detractors mostly white.
On Twitter the tag #TeamDorner was created. Here are two relevant tweets.
(Many more tweets can be found here.)
The smart money says the media will adopt this theme: He shouldn’t have done it, but he must have had his reasons. “Bob Smith is reporting live from LAPD headquarters. Bob, is it true the LAPD is racist? What about Rodney King?” The test is biased. It could not have been his fault.
Update I am not La Griffe du Lion. I noticed an unusual number of searches for my name tied to his. I am more cougarish than lionish. One enormous clue: I do not have the sense to remain anonymous. Another, technical one: I do not love the normal distribution, as regular readers will know.