Letter questions Sanders’ use of facts

Published 9:42 pm Thursday, July 28, 2016

Dear Editor,
Hank Sanders, in his most recent diatribe, asked a lot of questions and gave us a lot of facts. For the sake of brevity, I’m going to ignore Hank’s picking at the scab of slavery in our country, a favorite family tradition of his. Those of you who would like a more fact based assessment of that dark time would do well to read Jeffery Lord’s column entitled “Democrats’ Missing History” from the Wall Street Journal in 2008. Google it, you may find it interesting. Let’s spend our time, instead, looking at a few of Hank’s opinions he put forward as facts and his one seemingly relevant question.

Hank said “Some will say greater black imprisonment represents greater criminal activities by blacks… statistics demonstrate otherwise.” Not hardly. Let’s look at recent crime stats by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, a division of the United States Justice Department. About 55 percent of all crimes are committed by black men, who comprise about 6 percent of the population. Well over 90 percent of the victims of those crimes were other blacks.

Hank said “Black men are two and a half times more likely to be killed by law enforcement.” Here are the real facts, again from BJS. In 2015, 385 people were killed by police — 180 were white, 105 were black. The remainder were Hispanic, Asian or unknown. Well over 83 percent of those killed were armed. Extremely few were unjustified, probably all of those made the news. The truth is, given the crime statistics, police are more than twice as likely to use deadly force against a white than a black.

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Hank said, “Blacks receive longer sentences than whites for the same crimes.” Again BJS data says otherwise. Average sentences for drug possession: whites-34 months, blacks-32 months. For drug trafficking: whites-52 months; blacks- 47 months. For murder: whites- 258 months; blacks- 251 months. Other stats go both ways, always within a few months.

Apparently oblivious to the above facts, Hank asked, “Do black lives matter?” While this passes as a relevant question on its face, in this day and age it’s ludicrous. Of course black lives matter. All lives matter. Gee, does saying that make me a racist?

Unfortunately, Hank ignored the more pertinent question: Do black lives matter to Black Lives Matter? Or does it only matter to BLM when a police officer kills a black man?

The thousands of black lives that are lost or irrevocably damaged every year in Chicago, Los Angeles, Cleveland, Detroit, Washington D.C. don’t seem to matter to Black Lives Matter. They have yet to ever mention these big city killing fields in their ever growing rants. Are they silent about this because these black men, women and children are murdered by other blacks or is it because these cities are governed by Democrats and have been for decades. Whatever their reasons, all this death and destruction doesn’t apparently advance whatever sick agenda this racial hate group is promoting. So no, these black lives do not matter to Black Lives Matter.

Does Black Lives Matter ever work to stop the massive drug activity or curb the rampant street gangs those drugs fuel in our inner cities? What about the growing problems caused by generations of children being raised by struggling mothers? No, the fine folks of BLM only protest with chants like “Pigs in a blanket, fry ‘em like bacon!” and “What do we want? Dead cops. When do we want ‘em? Now!” If you haven’t heard these delightful slogans, you need to pay better attention. Of course, I’m sure the growing influence of BLM has nothing to do with the recent rash of police assassinations by black snipers! Yes that is sarcasm for you “Sheldon” types.

And right here in Selma, we have good ‘ole Hank stirring the pot for his own purposes, not to mention Rose holding her Black Lives Matter sign at the foot of the bridge in a vain effort to be relevant. Straight up Hank, what’s your deal? Are you getting something out of this or do you just enjoy fomenting hatred? Inquiring minds want to know.

As a final result, Hank would have us believe that racism is “imbedded in every institution from church to schools to law enforcement.” Sorry Hank, but as you said yourself: You may be entitled to your own opinions, but not your own “facts.”

Dusty Brown