Friday, March 7, 2003

Blame game

The cops are not racists


I hate to admit it, but Heather MacDonald writes about Cincinnati better than just about everyone in Cincinnati. Her new book, Are Cops Racist? sees through our city like a 170-page CAT scan.

The book's message is summed up on the cover, next to a photo of a cop in shades: "How the War Against the Police Harms Black Americans."

That makes sense. Blacks disproportionately account for crime and crime victims. They suffer worst when the police are handcuffed.

"If the police are now to be accused of racism every time they go where the crime is, that's the end of public safety," MacDonald writes.

100-proof truth

The New York City columnist and author has a way of distilling plain truth into Absolut logic, then pouring doubles on the rocks, right in front of the hatchet-swinging abolitionists of political correctness. A few shots:

• "For the past decade the press has been on a crusade to portray cops as brutal and racists, despised by the communities they are sworn to protect. That image is not just false, it is dangerous."

• "For the press, racial profiling became the very hallmark of policing, despite the fact that statistical evidence for such a practice is nonexistent."

• "As a cheap way to flaunt their own racial `sensitivity,' politicians burdened departments with cumbersome and unneeded procedures to restrain police `bias.'

"For in truth the anti-police campaign was a giant exercise in denial: It was a means by which the nation's elites avoided talking about the stubborn problems of inner-city culture - above all, its greatly elevated rates of criminal behavior." Sound familiar?

Law-abiding citizens, black and white, want tougher law enforcement "and have only contempt for anti-cop agitators," she says. I've found the same is true in Cincinnati.

But those voices are seldom heard. Instead, the people chosen by the media to speak for the "black community'' are angry black "leaders'' and race hustlers who claim looters are deep thinkers who are sending a "wake-up call" for more welfare spending.

What CAN can't do

In Chapter 4, "What Really Happened in Cincinnati," MacDonald writes: "The notion that this friendly, well-meaning town is denying employment to job-ready black men because of the color of their skin is ridiculous. To the contrary, Cincinnati's biggest corporations have long practiced affirmative action."

Her City Journal article about our April 2001 riots was passed hand-to-hand here like smuggled contraband.

The shoe still fits - and pinches some toes.

"The next time an urban riot hits, the best response is: do nothing," she writes. "Scurrying around with anti-racism task-forces and aid packages tells young kids: This is the way to get the world to notice you, this is power - destruction instead of staying in school, studying and accomplishing something lawful."

Good advice. Our Cincinnati Action Now commission has disappeared in a tar pit of "inclusion." CAN began with good intentions and swelled into an obese blob, smothered by its own "root causes."

But as MacDonald predicted, crime-infested local neighborhoods are now dialing a wake-up call you won't hear from CAN: "Stop blaming racism and back up the cops."

E-mail or call 768-8301.

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BRONSON: Blame game
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