Something irks me about the name ‘Social Justice Warriors’. This name implies that these people fight for justice, but justice involves looking at each individual case on the merits of that specific case, and then treating each case individually, on its individual merits. Justice either exists on the individual level, or it does not exist at all, and ‘Social Justice Warriors’ do not believe in justice in terms of fair treatment on an individual basis. ‘Social Justice Warriors’ want to eliminate actual justice, treating everyone as a member of an identity group, and delivering verdicts and outcomes to those groups, while ignoring the specifics of individual cases. There is nothing ‘just’ about that.
Case in point: former St Louis Police Officer Jason Stockley, who was acquitted of First Degree Murder in the shooting of an African American suspect a few days ago. St Louis has been aflame in riots ever since. You can read the whole verdict here: Jason Stockley Verdict.
Anthony Smith was a drug dealer, who, after being caught dealing heroin, hit Jason Stockley’s arm (and two cars) with his car, while racing out of a parking lot, to then lead Jason Stockley in a high speed chase. The chase ended when Anthony Smith lost control of his car, which Jason Stockley then ran into, to make sure that Anthony Smith did not flee again. When Officer Stockley approached Anthony Smith’s car, Anthony Smith fished around for, and eventually found, a gun, forcing Officer Stockley to shoot and kill Anthony Smith.
The Jason Stockley case is another clear-cut incidence of a police officer involved in a justified shooting, and neither the media, nor the ‘Social Justice Warriors’ rioting in St Louis, care one bit about the specifics of the case. To them, another African American was killed by a cop, and the reasons for the killing don’t matter. The only thing that matters is that a cop killed an African American man.
Just to be clear, Jason Stockley should never have lost his job, much less been tried for murder, and the fact that prosecutors are bowing to political pressure and taking police officers to court, on murder charges, when justified shootings occur, is causing what some call the ‘Ferguson Effect’, in which police officers, afraid of being in the next YouTube video, are avoiding the policing of inner city neighborhoods. Violent crime rates are soaring in our inner cities as a result (https://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/14/us/murder-rates-cities-fbi.html).
According to the FBI, more than half of all violent crimes committed in the United States, involve both an African American perpetrator, and an African American victim (FBI Crime Statistics). Society deserves plenty of blame for this, as explored in American Apartheid, but what also needs to be explored is the reason so-called ‘Social Justice Warriors’ focus on protecting the perpetrators of violent crime rather than the victims, even when both are African American. Where are the riots over the death of Chicago resident Darrius Buckley, who was killed in his driveway yesterday by Jeffrey Manor (http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-south-side-homicide-charges-20170918-story.html)? Both the victim, and the perpetrator, are African American, and had the police harmed Jeffrey Manor when they arrested him, there would likely be riots. Where are the riots for Darrius Buckley? Is he not just as dead as is Anthony Smith? The difference is that whereas Anthony Smith was a drug dealer who pulled a gun on a cop, Darrius Buckley did nothing wrong. Where is the justice in rioting for criminals and ignoring acts of wanton violence committed against innocent people?
The notion that African American men are somehow being hunted by the police is asinine. We know, from the FBI crime statistics (link above) that African American men commit more than half of all violent crime in our country, even though they are only about 6.5% of our population. We also know that this is not caused by over-policing, as we can look at crimes, like murder, where having a body present makes over-policing impossible. 6.5% is misleading, as almost all violent crime is committed by men, regardless of ethnicity, but African Americans make up 13% of our population, and commit 53% of the violent crime, and that is a fact. When you look at African American incarceration rates, they follow this proportion perfectly, and when you look at the numbers of African Americans killed by police, compared to other ethnicities, fewer are killed than would be expected. The FBI is very open about this – the numbers do not lie.
I want to stress again that African American crime rates are not higher because of ethnicity, but because of socio-economic factors, and those factors have a societal cause, as shown (again) in American Apartheid. We can, and must, do better as a society, to stop holding African Americans, and particularly African American men, down. But the police exist to prevent crime and to catch criminals, and let us stop pretending the police are somehow the bad guys. Our police officer by and large deserve our love and respect.
And while we are being honest, let us take a look at the name, ‘Social Justice Warrors’. The word ‘justice’ does not fit at all. ‘Justice’ is, in fact, the exact opposite of what these people want. For that matter, ‘Social’ and ‘Warrior’ don’t fit very well either. How about we call them, ‘Stupid Jughead Wannabies’ instead? We can still use ‘SJW’ for short.