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The co-hosts of Fox News’ “The Five” reacted Wednesday to comments that former President Barack Obama made regarding the death of Minneapolis resident George Floyd at the hands of police.
In a statement posted to his official Twitter account last week, Obama lamented the death of Floyd, who was black, saying that it can’t be “‘normal’ in 2020 America.”
“It can’t be ‘normal.’ If we want our children to grow up in a nation that lives up to its highest ideals, we can and must be better,” Obama said.
My statement on the death of George Floyd: pic.twitter.com/Hg1k9JHT6R
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) May 29, 2020
He added that people must “remember that for millions of Americans, being treated differently on account of race is tragically, painfully, maddeningly ‘normal’ — whether it’s while dealing with the health care system, or interacting with the criminal justice system, or jogging down the street, or just watching birds in a park.”
(Source: Fox News)
The former president followed that up with an address that was carried by C-SPAN, CNN, and MSNBC by claiming that “a long history” in the United States of “slavery” and “institutionalized racism that too often have been the plague, this original sin, of our society.”
The Five co-host Jesse Watters called Obama’s claims “jarring.”
“It was quite jarring to hear the black president talk about how racist the country is. That elected him twice,” Watters began.
(Source: Fox News)
“He was there for the last eight years, and this country’s still racist, it’s systematically racist, not sure what that means,” Watters continued, mockingly.
“The only suggestion from his camp about how to change the ‘systematic racism’ was from his VP [Joe] Biden yesterday, and you know what his idea was?” said Watters. “Have a commission. I mean, really? That’s your idea? I mean, that’s like the stereotypical, kick the can down the road, politician idea to just bury something that we’ve heard for the last hundred years.
“No one has any ideas except yell, scream, be mad, and like I said earlier, they’re just riding this rage ’til November because Biden himself, they know, he can’t bring this over the finish line,” Watters noted.
In fact, based on the most recent data as well as historic research, there is no real evidence that ‘systemic racism’ is inherent in American policing.
As noted by Heather MacDonald in a Tuesday column for The Wall Street Journal:
This charge of systemic police bias was wrong during the Obama years and remains so today. However sickening the video of Floyd’s arrest, it isn’t representative of the 375 million annual contacts that police officers have with civilians. A solid body of evidence finds no structural bias in the criminal-justice system with regard to arrests, prosecution or sentencing. Crime and suspect behavior, not race, determine most police actions.
She noted that, according to available data, police shot and killed 1,004 people last year, and in the vast majority of those instances the suspects were armed. Of those killed, blacks represented about one-quarter, or 235 — a percentage that has remained relatively the same since 2015.
“That share of black victims is less than what the black crime rate would predict, since police shootings are a function of how often officers encounter armed and violent suspects,” MacDonald wrote. “In 2018, the latest year for which such data have been published, African-Americans made up 53% of known homicide offenders in the U.S. and commit about 60% of robberies, though they are 13% of the population.”
Last year, police shot and killed nine unarmed blacks, while fatally shooting 19 unarmed whites, according to a Washington Post database that has reputation for being accurate, MacDonald noted.
But in high-crime portions of Chicago and other urban centers, she adds that blacks are routinely shot and killed by other blacks, and in much higher percentages, by far, than fatal police shootings.
Also, she said that the latest data refuting the claim of ‘systemic racism’ exists throughout American police agencies was published in August 2019 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Researchers found “no significant evidence of anti-black disparity in the likelihood of being fatally shot by police.”
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