“If you had to guess, how many unarmed Black men were killed by police in 2019?” The majority of responses to this 2020 poll question were inaccurate—many wildly inaccurate. Why?
News media creates an alternate reality through its ceaseless production of unbalanced and data-poor reporting. Politicians and public figures encourage inaccurate narratives that serve their agenda. In Episode 6 of “Wokeness, Public Safety, BLM & Antifa,” Matt Thornton uncovers the data no one wants to talk about. He also explains why ignoring reality serves no one.
Matt Thornton has taught functional martial arts for more than 30 years. He holds a 5th-degree black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and is the founder of Straight Blast Gym International, training champion MMA fighters and world-class law enforcement instructors. His latest book is The Gift of Violence: Practical Knowledge for Surviving and Thriving in a Dangerous World.
All the solutions to woke ideology begin with educating people. Because it all starts with miseducation. The “defund the police” movement is a perfect example of this. The average leftist who is part of the woke ideology (who buys into that) believes that American police officers are walking the streets with the intention to murder black citizens. There is no evidence to show that. There's zero evidence to show that. There never was.
It all begins with a lie. It all begins with telling people that they're out there trying to murder black citizens and taking one particular incident, highlighting it on video, repeating it over and over again with a narrative that the entire media, like the mockingbirds that they are, repeats endlessly. Then people walk around and think something that's actually backwards.
The first thing we have to do is start talking about the data. We have to present this case. About half of all America's murders occur in eight zip codes and are committed by a very small demographic of young black men who are between the ages of 15 and 24. They commit about half of the murders in the United States. Usually, their victims look just like they do. Most crime is intra-racial, so it's black people killing black people, white people killing white people. That's because, more often than not, the person knows the suspect. And even when they don't, the majority of crime is within race. Intra-racial. Those are the facts.
The police are in those zip codes not because they're racist, but because that's where the crime is, and they're the only people who are willing to go in there and put their life on the line to stop it. The police need to go where the violence is if we want the police to stop the violence and if we want to see less dead bodies on the street. To do that, we have to be honest about where that violence is.
When you remove them from the neighborhoods and the zip codes where they're needed, all that happens is many more innocent people—you can see what's going on in Chicago right now. Young black children, ages four through eight, getting shot every weekend with drive-bys that are going wild.
Ignoring that fact, pretending that fact’s not true…the ultimate victims of that aren't going to be white Americans. It's not going to be me. It's going to be poor black Americans who are stuck in those zip codes where 60% or 70% of the gang shootings in the United States occur, places like Chicago and Baltimore. Their kids are the ones that are going to be shot because we're not being honest about the numbers. And that's between 7000 and 8000 homicides per year. And keep in mind, many of those are kids and children that are accidentally shot in drive-bys in places like Chicago and Baltimore.
Then when you look at the number of unarmed black Americans who are killed by police officers, it averages about 12 to 14. Small enough every year that you can actually go back and look at each individual case, which I would strongly suggest everybody listening to me does. And when you do, you'll see that the term "unarmed" is actually misapplied. In one case, the suspect was trying to run police officers over with a car. In another case, the suspect had a female police officer on the ground and was trying to beat her to death with her radio. These are the kind of things that get listed as "unarmed.”
In reality, when you remove those cases from the data, you're left with one or two. One or two cases every year, out of a country of 350 million some odd people. One or two cases. That's what Black Lives Matter is focusing on. They have things to say about just about everything except the 7000 to 8000 homicides per year of young black Americans. So, number one, they're lying, and number two, what I'd like everybody listening and hearing me and watching this to do is check those numbers, check those numbers for yourself. Go back and look at it and then ask yourself, once you've done that, why BLM doesn't talk about that issue. And once you do that, I think you'll realize that BLM is actually part of the problem.
What they've done is they've created a situation in the United States where proactive policing is not happening. The police are not going out and actively making the arrests of gang members, which in times past is what has stopped a lot of these gang shootings. They're defunding the police. NYPD cut its non-uniform division completely, so there are no undercover officers on the street there. The net result of that is going to be over the next couple of years, thousands more dead black Americans than there otherwise would be.
The only thing that's going to stop that violence is armed good people getting the armed bad people out of the neighborhood, arrested, and locked up. That's the only thing that's going to solve that problem. That’s just the reality of how our world works.
Watch the series Introduction
Watch Episode 1: A Police Story
Watch Episode 2: Why don’t police “shoot them in the leg”?
Watch Episode 3: Disparities in Outcomes: Proof of Racism?
Watch Episode 4: Can Words Be Violence?
A quick followup. This video was marked as "hateful content" by TikTok and removed.
"BLM is actually part of the problem."
Brilliant! Matt's clarity is inspiring. Keep writing, Matt.