Sam Harris comments on Black Lives Matters

September 16, 2017 | By | 2 Replies More

I’m am largely in agreement with Sam Harris on these issues.

There are more than a few bad cops out there, and lots of good cops. There are some totally innocent people who are being victimized by the bad cops.  There are also some people who are unwisely pushing back at cops on the street, in situations where emotions are peaking and there is a gun “on the table.”  And there are many people out there over-generalizing and sanitizing (one way or the other) an ever growing disparate collection of street encounters between cops and African-American, where the African Americans end up getting shot by cops.

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Category: Bigotry, Law Enforcement Abuses, Social justice

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

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  1. Lindy says:

    Attitude plays a big part. Show a bad attitude and it’s goin’ down hill real fast.

  2. Daniel says:

    This issue of inequality with regard to policing is SO misunderstood.

    Stop resisting cops–yes. Everyone’s in agreement about that.

    We can quibble over the facts of some high-profile cases of white cops murdering black people. There are some clear-cut cases where, even in the act of submitting to the cops, they STILL used excessive and deadly force (such as with Eric Garner). Even in these more clear-cut abuses of power, the fact that these bad cops still don’t get brought to justice is what creates an institution of injustice. If the bad cops were properly prosecuted and fellow officers didn’t try to lie, cover for them, or get them off the hook, then these bad cop situations would truly be anomalies.

    The other issue is… there are well-documented racial disparities with regard to traffic violations, arrests, incarcerations, and police brutality between white and black people. When confronted with these disparities, there’s only a few explanations; black people genuinely do commit more crimes, resist arrest more, or take actions that warrant deadly force, OR there are subconscious biases at play in the decision-making of police, lawyers, judges, and like. Again, when confronted with these disparities law enforcement has not owned this problem as something they need to fix, but tend to justify themselves and blame the offenders.

    Yes, black people should not resist cops. But, what explanation do we offer for white people who don’t resist arrest and face less severe consequences?

    Black people are not inherently or genetically more prone to criminality, more prone to resist arrest, less intelligent so that they can’t defend themselves in court, worse drivers so they get singled out more, etc. The only explanation for the racial disparity is institutional bias. And I’m only talking about law enforcement here… the dynamics against them increase when you look at the same things in hiring and promotion, academic opportunity, and the like. Yes we’ve come a long way, but that doesn’t mean we’re where we need to be.

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