In the post just below, Scott refers to “the underlying behavioral disparities that are reflected in the numerical racial disparities” in incarceration rates, school discipline and so forth. As he notes, these behavioral disparities were on display for all to see last night.
It was surreal to hear liberal talking heads complaining about the number of African-Americans in prison while watching African-Americans (their “hands up” only as high as it takes to swing a baseball bat or carry stolen merchandise) smashing windows, setting fires, and looting stores. Clearly, there are some strong candidates for imprisonment who are running free.
The liberal talking heads also complained that African-Americans are the victims of rampant police brutality. But what evidence supports the claim?
Michael Brown’s case doesn’t support it. Brown was not singled out for mistreatment. He was a criminal suspect in a violent mood (as the convenience store video shows) who apparently resisted arrest and ended up in a fight with a police officer. Even if one disagrees with the grand jury and concludes that Brown did not pose a deadly threat, the shooting was hardly unprovoked.
Moreover, when was the last case before Brown’s in which a white police officer allegedly killed an African-American without justification? Brown’s case received so much attention in part because it is a rarity.
Last night, if anything, law enforcement was too restrained. I agree with Michael Brown’s cousin, a man named Pruitt. Interviewed on Fox News, he complained that law enforcement wasn’t doing enough to protect neighborhood stores and combat the looters.
Was law enforcement influenced by President Obama’s call for restraint? It shouldn’t have been. The mob wasn’t.
UPDATE: John Fund points out that the National Guard wasn’t present in Ferguson last night. This helps explain why law enforcement wasn’t more effective. But what explains the absence of the National Guard?