During the last class, we spent most of our time discussing how the media portrays which players in society are victims, criminals, doctors or lawyers and so on. For whatever reason, the media has a way of disproportionately portraying black people as criminals, victims, or athlete/celebrities. This contributes to, and only enhances the problem of incognizant racism. Incognizant racism is a form of racism that occurs when people are forced to make snap judgements without thinking. If someone consistently sees black people portrayed as criminals or victims, then people will most likely make a snap decision about the next black person they see, based on information they thought was accurate.
So the past few days, I couldn’t help but wonder what else the media inaccurately portrays.
The last two weeks, I’ve heard a lot about the ‘war on cops,’ and how the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement is contributing to increasing violence against police. Fortunately, both of these claims are heaping piles of B.S.
According to the AP, The Guardian, the Washington Post and the Officer Down Memorial Page, this year is on track to be one of the safest years ever for police officers. So why all the fuss about some non-existent war on cops? Because if there’s really some clandestine war on police, the police are winning. Big time. Compared to this time last year, around 6% fewer officers have died in the line of duty. But not all fallen officers were killed by an assailant or shooter. Many die from heart attack, stroke, exhaustion, vehicle accidents and so on. This year, only 24 officers have been killed by gunfire. That’s down by 27% when measuring against this time last year.
Of course, you won’t hear that from CNN or FOX.
And who is waging this ‘war on cops?’
It’s hard to tell. Considering that as I’m writing this, The Guardian has counted 804 people killed by police, most of them White, with a sizable amount of Blacks and Latino/as. So plenty of ethnicities could justify their angst.
Or not. In fact, although a plurality of people killed by police are White, at 49%, they make up 62% of the population. 25% of people killed are Black. But Blacks are only 13% of the population. That’s worrisome, to put it lightly.
So are the people behind the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement justified in their anger? The data says yes.
Is there a ‘war on cops?’ Hardly.