Victims of a Misapprehension of Fact

I wrote here that the common belief that blacks are disproportionately killed by police officers is wrong. In fact, a minority of those shot by policemen (26% in 2015) are black, and that percentage is just about exactly in line with the number of violent criminals who are black. And a large majority of those “victims” were in the act of attacking a policeman or someone else when shot.

But liberals never let facts get in the way of their narrative. So all around us, we see false assertions about rampant police murders of young black men. For now, I will note two which are very different in their origins, but are symptoms of the same disease.

Earlier today, NFL player Isaiah Crowell, a running back for the Cleveland Browns, posted this on Instagram:

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This is hideous, obviously, but it is easy to understand how Crowell got the impression that policemen “continually choose to kill us.” If, for example, he subscribes to the New York Times, he would be inundated with this sort of ignorance.

Crowell (or, more likely, his agent and the Browns organization) quickly realized his mistake. His tweet was deleted and an extensive apology and meditation on race relations was released, written no doubt by someone else. You can read it here.

Now to a very different place on the cultural spectrum: the Museum of Modern Art. Once again, the medium is Instagram, where MOMA joined in the chorus of misinformation:

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The irony here is that the painting is actually good. But the text is stupid:

In the wake of this week’s tragic violence in Louisiana, Minnesota, and Texas, associate curator Thomas J. Lax (@thomaslax) offers a meditation on the power of image making as a tool for political intervention, and shares three works from our collection by contemporary artists that respond to anti-black racism.

Note that of the three instances of “tragic violence” referred to, only one unambiguously involved racism: the murder of five Dallas police officers by a man who said he was out to kill white people. But MOMA passes over this inconvenient fact. Only “anti-black racism”–presumed without evidence, as to the Louisiana and Minnesota incidents–is of interest.

You can read the whole MOMA post, titled “How Do Black Lives Matter In MOMA’s Collection?” here. It is, to be polite, unenlightening. Once again, the only concern is “violence against black people,” with a reference to “the history of state violence against black people in the U.S.” And much more, including this 1967 painting titled Die.


These are just two instances of misinformation about police interactions with Americans, black and otherwise, out of thousands that have appeared during the last 24 hours. It is a steady stream of lies, infecting every nook and cranny of our society.