Zar Kriegman var talknuser for Reuters, indtil han gik i dybden med Black Lives Matter-bevægelsen påstande om racistisk-motiveret politivold. Han vidste det kunne koste ham jobbet at fremlægge statistikken, men til sidst smed han det online internt. Hans opslag blev taget ned kort efter, og nogle dage senere var han fyret. Det er en lang beretning (der blandt andet henviser til Roland Fryers forskning), men skal du kun læse en artikel i dag, så lad det være denne. Her lidt fra gennemgangen hos Common sense – I Criticized BLM. Then I Was Fired..
“In 2020, I started to witness the spread of a new ideology inside the company. On our internal collaboration platform, the Hub, people would post about ‘the self-indulgent tears of white women’ and the danger of ‘White Privilege glasses.’ They’d share articles with titles like ‘Seeing White,’ ‘Habits of Whiteness’ and ‘How to Be a Better White Person.’ There was fervent and vocal support for Black Lives Matter at every level of the company. No one challenged the racial essentialism or the groupthink.
This concerned me. I had been following the academic research on BLM for years…, and I had come to the conclusion that the claim upon which the whole movement rested—that police more readily shoot black people—was false.
The data was unequivocal. It showed that, if anything, police were slightly less likely to use lethal force against black suspects than white ones.
… Police are authorized to use lethal force only when they believe a suspect poses a grave danger of harming others. So, when it comes to measuring cops’ racial attitudes, it’s important that we compare apples and apples: Black suspects who pose a grave danger and white suspects who do the same.
Unfortunately, we don’t have reliable data on the racial makeup of dangerous suspects, but we do have a good proxy: The number of people in each group who murder police officers.
According to calculations (published by Patrick Frey, Deputy District Attorney for Los Angeles County) based on FBI data, black Americans account for 37 percent of those who murder police officers, and 34 percent of the unarmed suspects killed by police. Meanwhile, whites make up 42.7 percent of cop killers and 42 percent of the unarmed suspects shot by police—meaning whites are killed by police at a 7 percent higher rate than blacks.
If you broaden the analysis to include armed suspects, the gap is even wider, with whites shot at a 70 percent higher rate than blacks. Other experts in the field concur that, in relation to the number of police officers murdered, whites are shot disproportionately.
… For many months I stayed silent. I continued to read Reuters’ reporting on the movement, and started to see how the company’s misguided worldview about policing and racism was distorting the way we were reporting news stories to the public.
In one story, Reuters reported on police in Kenosha, Wisconsin shooting a black man, Jacob Blake, in the back—but failed to mention that they did so only after he grabbed a knife and looked likely to lunge at them.
In another story, Reuters referred ‘to a wave of killings of African-Americans by police using unjustified lethal force,’ despite a lack of statistical evidence that such a wave of police killings had taken place. (In 2020, 18 unarmed black Americans were killed by police, according to The Washington Post database.)
And in yet another, Reuters referred to the shooting of Michael Brown as one of a number of ‘egregious examples of lethal police violence,’ despite the fact that an investigation conducted by the Justice Department—then run by Barack Obama’s Attorney General Eric Holder—had cleared the police officer in question of all wrongdoing.
A pattern was starting to emerge: Reporters and editors would omit key details that undermined the BLM narrative. More important than reporting accurately was upholding—nurturing—that storyline.
At some point, the organization went from ignoring key facts to just reporting lies. When Donald Trump declared, in July 2020, that the police kill more white than black people—this is true—Reuters, in its dispatch, repeated the false claim that blacks ‘are shot at a disproportionate rate.’ …
All this left me deeply unsettled: It was bad for Reuters, which was supposed to be objectiveand withhold judgment. It was bad for our readers, who were being misinformed. And it was bad for black people in rough neighborhoods, where local officials, prompted to take action by reporting like ours and the public outcry it triggered, were doing things like defunding the police.”