Nor should the political left assume that the black voters they need to turn out in large numbers five months from now will thrill to this agenda. In a 1970 memo to President Nixon, adviser Daniel Patrick Moynihan wrote that there “is a silent black majority as well as a white one” and that “it shares most of the concerns of its white counterpart.”
That was true 50 years ago and remains true today. Most black people know that George Floyd is no more representative of blacks than Derek Chauvin is of police officers. They know that the frequency of black encounters with law enforcement has far more to do with black crime rates than with racially biased policing. They know that young black men have far more to fear from their peers than from the cops. And they know that the rioters are opportunists, not revolutionaries.
There’s nothing wrong with having a national conversation about better policing, but this one has turned into a conversation about blaming law enforcement for social inequality, which is not only illogical but dangerous. Unsafe neighborhoods retard upward mobility, and poorly policed neighborhoods are less safe. A conversation that doesn’t acknowledge that reality is hardly worth having.