An Unsubstantiated Movement | #BlackLivesMatter, George Floyd, & Racist Police

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Battling make-believe dragons doesn't make us heroes. Regardless of how much applause it receives.

Hi. Look. Before you get mad. Before you disregard me or call me names. Before you assume that I'm just being contrarian or looking for excuses to argue. Try to be understanding here. Try to remain open-minded. Strive to be rational. Because the thing is...
*gulp*

I won't bother describing the current situation in the world. I'm sure you've heard. I'll just get to the point.

It's genuinely worrisome how no one appears to care about (or is being exposed to, at least) the facts on this matter concerning "racist police". If you see the statistics (publicly available), they aren't ambiguous. It isn't conspiratorial talk. It isn't racist talk. It isn't conservative talk (I voted for Hillary, for Pete's sake!). It's simply a matter of looking at the data available to us and allowing ourselves to perceive it from an unbiased eye.
• 13% of the American population is black. 
• That 13% commits about 50% of all the homicides in America. 
• The numbers of arrests (and convictions) for other crimes are also disproportionately from that 13%. 
• Thus, as you'd expect, if more of a group is committing crimes, more of that group is likely to come in contact with police. 
• And coming in contact with the police (regardless of race) ups the likelihood of being a victim of police brutality/killings. 
• The end result is that the percentage of police violence against black people is approximately equal to that against white people, once you factor in the percentage of crimes the population commits. Black people are NOT being targeted.
So, why are so many in this 13% committing crimes?
• There's an unusually high percentage of the black population that's living in poverty. 
• Studies show that higher rates of poverty equate to a higher likelihood of criminal activity. 
• Ipso facto, as you'd expect, an unusually high percentage of that 13% is involved in criminal activity. 
(NOTE: There are other factors suggested for this, as well, but this seemed the most obvious to mention.)
Is the disproportionate amount of poverty due to racism?

Possibly. But that's not what these protests are about, are they? No one's chanting about poverty. Nor are they chanting about police brutality or corruption in general. They're simply running on (and spreading) the completely unsubstantiated assumption that police all over America are specifically targeting black people. Not to mention, this all spawned from the unsubstantiated assumption that George Floyd's tragic death was racially motivated (a matter to which there's still yet to be any sign of). I realize this is merely a result of the media's reinforcement of this narrative and it's viral appeal -- and not the public's fault, necessarily -- but that doesn't change the fact of what's happening. This isn't an epidemic of racism. It's an epidemic of irrationality.

"But what about [insert names of black people tragically killed by cops]?"

As mentioned above, there is police brutality in the world. There are racists in the world. No one's disputing that (although, the vastly exaggerated extent of this is worth disputing). But anecdotes and personal experiences don't equate to evidence (that's what statistics are for). An example of something having occurred doesn't imply that it's occurring in significant numbers (even if there's a lot of examples of it). Hundreds of people are struck by lightning every year, for instance. There's plenty of stories proving it that you could share. But, even with all those examples, it's obviously still an extremely rare event to happen. The reason we hear about so much violence against black people from the police isn't because it's happening in especially large amounts; it's because that type of "racist story" gets more clicks, views, and ratings, and tends to go more viral (because people like to share stories that seemingly support what they already believe). Thus, it's reported on during each and every instance (and often has racism attributed to it when the actual cause may simply be bad policing in general; such as in the Floyd situation).

While this belief that people have is certainly well-intentioned, and most protesters are perfectly peaceful, what's happening right now is not based on facts. Its focus is not properly directed. And it's resulted in crime, violence, death (21, at the time I write this), and paranoia that's being claimed as "justified" by a scary number of people.

Also, weren't we in the middle of a disease pandemic? 👇

See the source image
Side by side, hip to hip, cheek to cheek, some with masks, some not, shouting en masse
Just like #MeToo, the entire #BlackLivesMatter movement, regardless of how nominally righteous-sounding it seems, is completely rooted in a false narrative that's continuing to go more viral than it's fact-checking. And while I've always considered myself more liberal than conservative, I refuse to deviate from critical thinking due simply to my tribe having told me to do so.

Argument from authority is a fallacy. 

Argumentum ad populum is a fallacy.

Anecdotes aren't evidence.

And facts are facts, regardless of whether they fit in with our pre-established beliefs, opinions, agendas, or narratives.

Our beliefs shouldn't change how we interpret evidence.

Evidence should change how we interpret our beliefs.