Heather Mac Donald has turned herself into an invaluable national resource on matters of crime and policing. She has written important essays such as her recent Wall Street Journal column headlined somewhat inaccurately “The new nationwide crime wave.” The Manhattan Institute has collected some of her newspaper columns, magazine essays, podcasts, videos, and congressional testimony here, and Mac Donald herself has collected several of her important essays, mostly written for the Manhattan Institute’s superb quarterly City Journal, in her book Are Cops Racist?. Her work is full of what I have been calling, only somewhat facetiously, the deep secrets of racial profiling. They aren’t secrets in Heather’s work.
Mac Donald’s Wall Street Journal essay was the occasion of her recent appearance on CNN with New York Times op-ed columnist Charles Blow. As a general matter, Blow turns in an incredibly feeble performance. Blow’s method of operating provides that turning up the the volume of his comments and disparaging imagined arguments as “defamatory” make for formidable tools of persuasion.
Heather’s reference to black-on-black murders triggers (warning!) Blow to blow his lid, attributing views to Heather that she doesn’t express. Blow recites the obligatory piety about the almost unbelievable racial disparities in murder rates to “condensed poverty” rather than “melatonin” in the skin. We’ll turn to the question of causation in part 10. For today, I want to warm up with the highly useful video of Mac Donald and Blow (below). If the video below doesn’t render on your computer, as it doesn’t on mine, try to check it out here, where it is posted by the Manhattan Institute.
Quotable quote (Charles Blow responding to a question based on Mac Donald’s WSJ essay): “Well, it would be a strange twist of logic to suggest that that is a blowback to policing, because the police are not the people who are subject to the shootings, right?”
UPDATE: Heather Mac Donald has now responded to Blow at length in the NR column “‘Broken windows’ policing does work.”