It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time

On this, the second anniversary of the death of George Floyd, the evidence is now overwhelming: American elites have blood on their hands for their hysterical response to a local police blotter incident that has since brought about many thousands of incremental dead bodies on the pavement. The Floyd fiasco has been the domestic policy equivalent of the Iraq invasion: a massive, self-inflicted national wound.

The proof is in the simultaneous eruption, once the great and the good turned sharply against the police during the mostly peaceful protests, in not just black-on-black shootings, but also in black traffic fatalities. It turns out that cops being made afraid to pull over black reckless drivers and jaywalkers leads more blacks to drive badly and/or pack a pistol.

Here’s a graph I drew up of the monthly per-capita rate of deaths by homicide from 2014 to 2020. I set the non-Hispanic white average of 2010–2014 to one so that you can easily see the racial ratios. Try to pick out when the “racial reckoning” that is being celebrated today began:

As you can see, according to the Centers for Disease Control’s WONDER database that tracks the causes of death written on all the death certificates in the country, the chance of an individual black dying violently at the hands of another human being was about 7 to 8 times the chance of a white dying by homicide back in relatively peaceful 2014.

(Unlike the FBI, the CDC measures who dies violently, but not who kills. Blacks commit a higher proportion of interracial murder than do other races, but most murders are intraracial, so measures of victims and perpetrators tend to go up and down more or less together. Also, the CDC does a better job than the FBI of disentangling Hispanics from whites.)

But then the Black Lives Matter movement began to win local victories over police departments, first in the St. Louis area, and then Baltimore, Chicago, and so forth. In the last two years of the Obama administration, the Ferguson Effect drove the black rate up to 8 to 10 times the white rate.

During the first few years of the Trump administration, this unfortunate trend was halted, but the black murder rate remained high.

Then the press and politicians went berserk in late May 2020, egging on rioters and depressing law enforcement. The Floyd Effect drove black homicides to skyrocket, peaking in July 2020 at over 15 times the white rate in 2010–2014, and remaining at an unprecedented ratio for the rest of the year.

Hispanic and white deaths by homicide also were unusually high in the second half of 2020, but not the murders of Asians (despite the Narrative that Trump’s March 2020 comments about the “Chinese virus” unleashed a frenzy of violence against Asians).

“The Floyd fiasco has been the domestic policy equivalent of the Iraq invasion: a massive, self-inflicted national wound.”

When the press is forced to admit that murders exploded in 2020, they blame it on Covid and leave George Floyd’s sacred name out of it.

No doubt, the pandemic contributed to the decline in policing that let slaughter run rampant: In March 2020, cops started social distancing from suspects and the authorities began letting criminals and crazy men out of prisons and mental wards.

Still, in March 2020, blacks were 8.7 times more likely to die by homicide than whites in 2010–2014, then 10.2 times in April, both in the normal range since the Great Awokening. With the huge eruption in violence in late May following Floyd’s death, the ratio hit 12.6 (the first time the black death-by-homicide rate exceeded 12 since 9/11), followed by 14.4 in June, a record 15.5 in July, and remained above 13 for the rest of the year.

As a million thinkpieces are saying today, something changed in May 2020.

We don’t have 2021 data from the CDC yet, but it appears to be similar. Rather than a murder “uptick” or “spike,” we seem to have reached a new plateau. Joe Biden doesn’t want to encourage more murder, but he also doesn’t seem willing to do what it takes to discourage it, either. So, the country appears stuck in a post-Floyd holding pattern.

That the Murder Boom is a by-product of the war on mass incarceration is the kind of thing that gets covered up because it would make important people look stupid. In contrast, nobody bothers to censor the fact that the Car Crash Boom is another offshoot of anti-police attitudes because, as far as I can tell, nobody noticed it until my Taki’s column last June.

But if you plot the CDC’s motor vehicle accident death stats by month (with everybody once again compared to whites from 2010–2014), it’s comparably undeniable:

The black per-capita traffic fatality rate used to be lower than the white rate (whites drive more miles per capita, and the most problem-prone whites tend to live where they need to drive a long way to get anywhere, while the most troublesome blacks tend to live in the inner city and take public transit).

But blacks pulled slightly ahead during the Ferguson Effect. Then in June 2020, the black rate exploded and stayed extreme for the rest of the year. As I pointed out last June, in the seven months following George Floyd’s demise, black road fatalities were 36 percent higher than in the same period of 2019, compared with a 9 percent increase among the rest of the population.

The connection between the mostly peaceful protests against law and order and the rise in murder and road mayhem is obvious when you stop and think about it: An active police presence discourages bad behavior.

But, two years ago today, practically nobody at the top of our society stopped to think.

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