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May 1st, 2017

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The Intersection of the Grievance Culture and the Welfare State

Larry Elder

By Larry Elder

Published May 7, 2015

 The Intersection of the Grievance Culture and the Welfare State

After the mysterious death of suspect Freddie Gray, the Maryland state's attorney for Baltimore charged all six Baltimore police officers involved with his arrest and transport. The crimes ranging from "second-degree depraved-heart murder" to involuntary manslaughter, assault, misconduct in office and false imprisonment. Locals cheered her decision to charge all six. The charges followed three days of riots triggered by Gray's funeral and came almost immediately after the medical examiner filed his report calling Gray's death a "homicide."

Now for the hard part.

Not only will the charges be difficult to prove but three of those charged are black. The claim of illegal "racial profiling" argues that white racist officers possess an unwarranted fear of young black men. But what happens to that analysis when the accused officers are black? If black cops are just as likely to engage in race-based misconduct, why did Ferguson demonstrators demand a "diverse" police force?

If the Ferguson outrage and riots were about "lack of representation" or "lack of voice," this cannot be said about Baltimore. The city council is majority black, the police department is approximately 40 percent black, the top two officials running the department are black men, the city has a black mayor, the state's attorney for Baltimore City — who charged the six officers — is black, the new U.S. attorney general is a black female, and of course the President of the United States is black.

The left has created a culture of anger and entitlement based upon government dependency and the false assertion that racism remains a major problem. Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Ga., for example, said that the recent police killings mean "open season on black men in America." The Baltimore mayor's shameful embrace of the Rev. Al Sharpton, the race-hustling incendiary who demanded an arrest of Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, did not help matters. Some actually believe this tripe about "institutional racism." Of those, how many rioted over Freddie Gray's "murder," no matter the race of the mayor?

Police shootings over the last several decades are down. Cop shootings of blacks are down more than 75 percent over the last 45 years, while the death-by-cop rate for whites has increased slightly. According to the CDC — which tracks all causes of death, including shootings by law enforcement — over twice as many whites are killed by police as are blacks.

Police "profile" because out of a relatively small percentage of the population come more than 50 percent of homicides and 40 percent of the people behind bars. Blacks are 13 percent of the population, but young blacks — the category that disproportionately commits crime — are 3 percent of the population.

Speaking of "root causes," Baltimore has not had a Republican mayor since 1967. So why haven't the Democrats addressed the "root causes"? In 1992, then-presidential candidate Bill Clinton blamed the "Rodney King riots" in Los Angeles on "12 years of denial and neglect" under the Reagan/Bush presidencies. Can we similarly attribute Baltimore's riots to six years of Obama's "progressive" policies?

Baltimore, Democrats say, needs a "new Marshall plan." But, according to the Heritage Foundation, we have spent over $22 trillion on anti-poverty programs. On education in Baltimore, in 2012 (the latest year available), they spent $15,287 per student. Yet almost half of urban Baltimoreans fail to graduate high school, and of those who do, many cannot read write and compute at grade level. Spend more?

In 1965, 25 percent of black kids were born out of wedlock. Today that number is up to 72 percent. Obama said that a kid without a father is 20 times more likely to go to jail. Blame the welfare state that incentivizes women into marrying the government.

Last year 189 blacks were killed in Baltimore. Where were CNN and President Barack Obama and then-Attorney General Eric Holder and Sharpton? Chicago averages 35 to 40 murders per month, the majority by and against blacks — and most remain unsolved. Where are CNN/Obama/Holder/Sharpton?

Obama has now misfired in at least four "racial" matters: the Cambridge police/Harvard professor incident; Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman; Michael Brown/Darren Wilson; and now Baltimore.

Obama's claimed the "Cambridge police acted stupidly" in arresting black Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr., who falsely and belligerently accused a white officer of racial profiling.

In the case of Trayvon Martin, Obama said, "If I had a son, he'd look like Trayvon." But the jury found Zimmerman not only not guilty, but jurors later said that during their deliberations race never came up.

In the case of Ferguson, the Department of Justice found that Michael Brown very likely did not have his hands up and that the cop acted appropriately when he killed Brown, a charging suspect who posed a risk of death or serious injury.

Who would've thought that after the election and reelection of the nation's first black president, we'd see race riots in our nation's cities? Baltimore is what happens at the intersection of the grievance culture and the welfare state.

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Larry Elder is a best-selling author and radio talk-show host.

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