That's just wrong.
The Eastern stats are from page 203 of my book. The Iraq stats are taken from DonHodges.com.
I bring this up because of an interesting comment from a good reader of this blog. There are a lot of people out there who are willing to say, "fuck 'em. That's their problem."
As a police officer who's worked the Eastern, I kind of understand this. You try and help. You put your life on the line day in and day out. And nothing ever changes. Plus, for your efforts, you'll get called a racist.
Once I half-jokingly accused my partner of simply not liking black people, he responded passionately, “I got nothing against black people. I just don’t like these black people" (that's in chapter 3 of my book, by the way).
On the Leonard Lopate Show the other day, the host asked me, was it not true that most people I policed were "decent, hard working people." I could not take the easy (and politically correct) path and just say "yes."
Here's what I said:
"I don't want to be too insulting, but I do have a tough time, having policed the area, calling the people I dealt with decent people, by and large. We didn't get along well."
["But they saw you as the enemy almost immediately. Didn't they?"]
"Yeah, I mean, but I was. My job was to lock them up. If I were them, I wouldn't have liked me either." (listen to the whole interview here.)
I don't feel that most of the people I policed were decent people. Most people in the Eastern District may be decent, but as a police officer, you don't police most people. You police the problem-people.
But decent or not, we're all human beings. And this country is founded on the idea that we're endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights. Life is one of the those rights.
Even though I'm not "at risk," I'll keep bringing up the issue of violence, black-on-black murder in particular. I think it's a moral issue. (I also think it's an economic issue, but that's another story.) I think it's wrong to ignore this level of poverty and violence, no matter whose fault it is (and personally, I do blame the victim a lot of the time). We can do better.
We're a rich country. Supposedly we're a caring country. And if you're the type of person to ask "what would Jesus do?" go ahead and ask. I don't know what He'd say, but I'm pretty sure it wouldn't be "fuck 'em."