Excellent as always. For what it's worth, unless you know him, I wouldn't assume Ray is older. Most of the older black folk I talk to have lived through history of course, but see a much better today and future. The bleakest most totalitarian horde I encounter are the recent "woke" college grads. "don't you know they're just straight up murdering black people out there?" Ugh.

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Yeah, Ray refers to his age obliquely in a few of our conversations. In fact, in this one he talks about friends who have known him for "over six decades", so he's at least that old. But yes, most older black people tend to fall into one of two categories; those who are unwilling or unable to let go of the past, and those who are focused on continuing to build a better future.

For the elders who can't let go, I can at least understand why they feel the way they do. It's the college kids who really drive me crazy. I'm far less patient with them.😄

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Follow-up, I checked the numbers.

* 135 officers killed in the line of duty / 6,971,195 officers = 0.01936% (2019)

* 259 black people killed by police (total, not just innocent) / 46,936,733 black + mixed race population) = 0.00055% (2020)

* 259 / 41,104,200 black only population = 0.00063% (2020)

It is statistically more dangerous to be a policeman than to be black in the presence of a policeman (stated per capita). Assuming that I made no simple math errors and the data sources are correct. I'm not justifying anyone being killed but lately I've started thinking about the biased ways statistical data is presented. It is so bad I've started to question all statistics and how they are stated since you can make them "prove" anything you wish if you state them right.

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Sep 27, 2021Liked by Steve QJ

Just a data point in your favor: Through my biz connections I know a family in Boston of two parents and 3 younger adults. All are as woke as woke can be. All endlessly complain that the political left is not nearly left enough. And back when the slogan first emerged, all were strongly and unambiguously in favor of defunding the police. And it was not, "by defunding we really mean reallocating the funds to improve policing." Oh no. It actually went the other way. "Defunding" was too mild for these people. They were openly for abolishing the police.

They have university degrees. They are intelligent, but their intelligence is directed towards dishonest and evasive argumentation, which they consider a virtue. Think Ezra Klein and then multiply. When the facts pile up against them, they simply go quiet and become unresponsive. I'm about 1000 miles away, so this works.

And they have a utopian view about this: They really think that cops **cause** crime. They see the whole criminal justice system as being a machine for entrapping anyone who struggles to survive and "has to" to break a law to get by. They are fully in support of, for example, simply ignoring thieves who are hungry or need new clothes. They are convinced that without criminal penalties, no one would be panicked into killing or injuring anyone during the course of a crime. This is how they explain away the recent increase in violence and murders.

They are not at all unique -- there must be millions of people who think this way.

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"And they have a utopian view about this: They really think that cops **cause** crime. They see the whole criminal justice system as being a machine for entrapping anyone who struggles to survive and "has to" to break a law to get by."

Haha, yep. I mean, we could have a conversation about how to better provide for people on the margins who really don't have enough food to eat or clothes to wear. It's certainly true that not all of these people are simply lazy and more could be done to support them. But the idea that everything would be fine if we just let people run wild and stopped the mean old police from enforcing the law is why an increasing number of people are talking about communism as if it's a good idea.

I forget quite how he put it, but Thomas Sowell once observed that there's this idea that people are good and systems are bad. And if we get rid off the systems, people will naturally organise themselves into structures that are fair and good. But they can only think this way because they've lived their whole lives cocooned within systems that insulate them from the worst aspects of human nature.

If they'd spent even a few months outside of their privileged little bubbles, seeing how life is for some people in other parts of the world, or reading the histories of people who tried to do away with these systems, they'd be cured of their delusions immediately.

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Sep 29, 2021Liked by Steve QJ

Sowell is really worth listening too. I'm half-way through "Wealth, Poverty and Politics" and have others lined up. The man knows the world.

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At first when I saw "pohleece" I thought he was a white guy making fun of "Ebonics" until he identified himself as a boomer who is a black man. That pronunciation no longer enjoys the wide spread usage it once did. I'm 70+ and remember the bad old days and the purposeful mispronunciations common in those times. Being white does not nullify that although modern SJWs often claim that it does.

In the late 70s, early 80s, I sat and did a lot of listening without pushback to black people older than me. Many conversations with an old woman who couldn't have had a lower opinion of white men and was happy to tell me all about it. It was important to her and I let her spit all the venom. She needed to get off her chest though she must have perceived it safe to do with me in 1980 Georgia.

I understand, but at the same time I must admit to less than charitable thoughts about some of Medium's black "Yes dear white people, you are all racist's" oracles. Not that I don't see some goodness in them, but you can say things sitting with someone, assuming it isn't trying to provoke a fight, that doesn't flush on the internet. That is a curse for you if you are not communicating with someone reasonable who simply has a different life experience and worldview.

I will say something here that you may or may not fault. "The police killed an unarmed [] person." If anyone gives that more meaning than it deserves they have probably lived a life of privilege. Unarmed can not be assumed to mean not dangerous. If you are an armed policeman and an able bodied, might be well trained (unknown), unarmed person decides to fight with you he might not be unarmed for long. The police receive a lot of training for firearm retention and every year some are killed with their own service pistol.

Years ago traveling at night on a cross lined road not yet improved between Phoenix and Bullhead city (the middle of nowhere) we passed a policeman walking up behind a stopped car. My wife commented the the policeman looked scared. My reply was, "He is." They touch the lens of a car's rear turn signal as they approach to leave their fingerprint as evidence if they are killed by the car's occupant.

People like to talk about per capita people killed by the police by race. I wonder if any of them have given thought to per capita police killed in the line of duty.

Anyway, once again I must say that I admire your efforts in reasonable discussion about sensitive issues with people who may not prove to be reasonable. When Ray called abolish the police ridiculous he had reason on his side, but not reality. Things are not only often not what we think they should be, that are also not what we think they are.

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"If anyone gives that more meaning than it deserves they have probably lived a life of privilege. Unarmed can not be assumed to mean not dangerous"

No, I don't fault this at all. I've studied martial arts for many years, and one thing I learned very quickly is that the vast majority of people have no appreciation for the realities of violent, fight/flight situations, never mind a life or death one. Unless you've experienced how physical stress affects your mind and body first hand, you can't begin to understand what it's like. And most people haven't.

I've had many conversations with people who forget that when all is said and done, police officers are human and afraid, and under immense pressure which they're barely trained to handle. Add a suspect who is non-compliant to the mix, and the chances that something will go wrong exponentially.

That's one of the main reasons I regularly point out how inaccurate the portrayal of police shootings of black people is. If we continue to convince black people that they're in mortal danger during every police interaction (rather than the truth which is the they have a better chance of being struck by lightning than killed by a police officer if they're unarmed), we *increase* the danger that harm will come to them, because we add their fear to an already potentially volatile situation.

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Dave - I agree with you; Data and statistics are often used as propaganda. In my experience, you have to dig into data sets to make sense of them. For example, among the most dangerous jobs in America, police work does NOT make the top ten list.

The mis-use of data and statistics has consequences - the oft-heard “I was afraid for my life” suggests perception errors rather than reality. In policing these perception errors are far more lethal than reality.

Logging is the “Number 1” most dangerous job in America. For loggers the rate of death and injuries is 135.9 per 100,000.

The next 9 most dangerous jobs in America are in construction, farming, ranching, steel workers, truck and delivery drivers, trash, airplane pilots, roofers and landscaping. In these nine professions, transportation (lots of vehicle travel) is the number one cause of work-related deaths and injuries.

Law enforcement officers patrol our freeways, highways and streets daily, but road workers have a higher rate of death and injury than police officers.

The rate of death and injuries among police officers is 14.6 per 100,000. However, unlike the top ten most dangerous jobs, data on police officer deaths includes Covid, heart attacks and 9/11 related health illness.

Domestic Violence is the most dangerous calls police answer – the highest rate of both death and injury. However, the highest rates of “Domestic Violence” in any profession, is among law enforcement officers themselves. 40% of officer families have experienced domestic violence. That’s well above the 10% of the population as a whole.

The military also has a high rate of “Domestic Violence”. Combat veterans are responsible for almost 21% of domestic violence reports.

33.7% of prison guards report knowing at least one officer who committed an UN-reported act of domestic violence.

Using national statistics is dishonest – at best. State statistics tell a more accurate story. For example, in 2021 these states have the highest number of LEO deaths.

51 in Texas this year – 48 died of Covid

32 in Florida 32 deaths – 27 died of Covid

19 in Louisiana - 14 died of Covid and 3 died in vehicle crashes

17 in California– 8 died of Covid

14 in New Jersey – all 14 died of Covid and health problems

10 in Illinois – including Chicago – 9 died of Covid and 1 died in a car crash

6 in New York – 2 died of Covid, 2 died by vehicle, 1 died of 9/11 health related illness and 1 drowned

In 2019, before Covid, there were 25 officer deaths in all of New York state – 23 died of 9/11 related illness and 1 was shot by another officer.

In 2020, during both Covid and BLM protests, Minnesota and Oregon had zero police officer deaths.

Police data is lumped in with Law Enforcement data which includes probation, prisons, jails, FBI, border patrol, customs and immigration, highway patrol, sheriffs, police departments, homeland security, state and national parks services, department of defense (military police), Parks and Wildlife – plus police departments maintained by entities incorporated as jurisdictions such as school districts and gated communities.

In my mind, we suffer such severe perception errors, we are incapable of identifying genuine threats and dangers. The result is the death of innocents.

In reality, black people do, in fact, bear the heaviest burden.

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Actually I think that you got the point of my comment even though you seem to be taking issue with it. *** It is so bad I've started to question all statistics and how they are stated since you can make them "prove" anything you wish if you state them right. *** Your 2nd to last paragraph makes me positive you got my point since there you are agreeing with it. As for the last sentence that you wrote, no kidding. I hope you didn't so misread what I wrote that you think I don't see that.

I was not trying to claim that police work is the most dangerous job and I just did an article on Medium that pointed out the difference in killed in the line of duty and shot dead in the line of duty upon statistics. I left that out of my reply here in hopes that in the spirit of what I wrote someone would catch it.

Quibbling over the difference in per capita rates on the order of 0.0006% is making a mountain out of a mole hill for political purpose. You are more likely to die in a crash driving on a road full of idiots than from driving while black on a road with cops. Mixing proving anything with the way you use statistics with a lack of proportionality and perspective takes us down a bad road to the land of bad ideas.

Thanks for reading and thinking about my comments though what the most dangerous jobs in America are is a different subject. I was writing about different truthful expressions of data can be used to support ideas in opposition.

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I am replying to myself. I meant to post this as a reply to Dave. Sorry.

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