Wokeness, Public Safety, BLM & Antifa
A new series by Matt Thornton
Today, Pitchstone Publishing releases an important new book: The Gift of Violence by Matt Thornton. The book does not celebrate the inherent violence in humanity, but offers knowledge and empowerment to deal with the potential violence we face every day. New York Times bestselling author Robb Wolf wrote the foreword and I wrote the afterword.
Matt’s career teaching functional martial arts spans 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. I’m delighted to introduce a 7-part series from Matt titled Wokeness, Public Safety, BLM & Antifa. We will release new segments on Tuesdays and Thursdays through May 2.
Without further ado, here’s Matt’s guest post and intro video to the series. Enjoy!
The Gift of Violence
By Matt Thornton
A poll conducted in 2020 by the Skeptic Research Center asked a nationally representative sample of Americans the following question:
“If you had to guess, how many unarmed Black men were killed by police in 2019?”
The survey offered answer choices ranging from “about 10” to “more than 10,000.” Roughly 31 percent of survey respondents who identified as “very liberal” estimated that police had killed about 1,000 or more unarmed black men the previous year, with another 22 percent overall believing the number to be at least 10,000.
In summary, 53% of Americans who identified as “very liberal” believe police murder somewhere between 1000-10,000 unarmed black men a year.
What is the actual number? Twelve.
According to the Washington Post’s comprehensive database of police killings, police shot and killed 54 unarmed people in 2019, 26 were listed as white, 12 black, 11 Hispanic, and 5 “other.”
It’s also important to note that the majority of the twelve shot were actively trying to hurt or kill the officer. For example, in at least two of the twelve cases involving black men, the perpetrators were killed while trying to run over an officer with a car. In another, an individual took and used the officer’s taser on him. In another, a female officer was being physically beaten by a suspect when she fired. All those cases were classified as “unarmed.”
“Unarmed” never means “not deadly.” There is always a gun involved—the officer’s. In many encounters, the suspect is fighting to get ahold of it. In the Ferguson case, it was claimed that Michael Brown had his hands up when Officer Darren Wilson shot him, in cold blood, in the middle of the street. Upon investigation, the forensic evidence as well as a half-dozen black witnesses confirmed Officer Wilson’s account. Michael Brown tried to take Officer Wilson’s gun and was charging at him when shot. The “Hands up, don’t shoot!’ slogan was a lie.
When you set aside cases where the suspect was actively threatening an officer’s life with physical force, you are left with one or two cases a year. In 2019, officers involved in two shootings were found at fault and sentenced accordingly.
What is the net result of so many people being so misinformed?
After the George Floyd incident in June 2020, in cities across the country, regressive anti-policing policies were rushed in. In Chicago, this meant the department was down 1000 officers. New restrictions on the police were put in place that inhibited proactive/community policing, and several thousand violent offenders were put back on the street thanks to far left District Attorneys and activist judges. The net result was a 25 year high in murder for the city and hundreds more dead bodies, many of them young kids.
In 2021, more than 12 American cities saw record breaking levels of murder. Without evidence, ideologically-driven reporters parrot back to each other that this increase must be related to lockdowns. A closer look shows clearly that the constant attacks on law enforcement, budget cuts, and a climate of hatred fueled by that same irresponsible media have effectively halted proactive policing. Whenever that happens, violence skyrockets and thousands more needlessly die. The blood that covers media personalities, policy makers, and activists who’ve pushed the “defund the police” narrative will never wash off.
Because homicides within the black community occur at more than four times the national average, the people who will suffer most from these changes won’t be the upper-middle-class urban elites who foolishly push them through or the politicians and media personalities who have their own armed security. It will be poor, black Americans who live in the kinds of areas where 3-year-old Mekhi James was murdered, along with 197 other Chicago youth since 2020. It’s no wonder that black Americans consistently poll higher than whites in wanting increased police presence. The citizens in those high crime neighborhoods know better than anyone that cutting police funding doesn’t solve our violence problem—it increases it.
The narrative that police officers are looking to kill black Americans is a pernicious lie. Understanding this is the first step in making our cities safer for everyone.
Matt Thornton is the author of The Gift of Violence, a book dedicated to helping good people learn to navigate a violent world. You can purchase your copy at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and most major bookstores.