Ferguson IS About Race -And That’s Bad

As news, Ferguson Missouri is about a black teenager being shot by a white police officer, and subsequent black anger. As an issue, it’s both starker and more complicated than that. Pollster Fred Hicks surveyed registered voters in Georgia, and found a stunning lack of politics -or nuance. His results seem to show that white voters view it through a racial lens -just as black voters do.  “Simply put, Black and White voters in Georgia see the police in general and Ferguson specifically in very different ways. In this survey, it’s not about income, gender or even political affiliation. It’s about race,” said pollster Fredrick Hicks. “Surprisingly, White voters across the political and income spectrums responded very similarly on the survey,” he said. (Emphasis added.)

Well, on the one hand that’s not surprising. And on the other hand, it is. Less than 20% of white voters think that police are more likely to use excessive force against a black suspect than a white suspect. And less than 20% of black voters think that police do NOT use excessive force against a minority suspect. For perspective, roughly 20% of Americans think the sun revolves around the Earth, and roughly 20% think the lottery is a “good investment.” The “one-in-five” rule is a good substitute for “everyone,” wherein that, no matter the question, if less than 20% believe it, you can be fairly certain that every sane person does believe it.

So, African-Americans believe that cops are targeting them, and whites -regardless of their political beliefs or income levels- believe that cops are not targeting African-Americans. The key here is not the racial difference, but the starkness of the absolutely reversed image that black Georgia voters have of local police forces than those of white Georgia voters. And that whites believe in the system that didn’t indict Officer Darren Wilson, while blacks do not.

If a poll in Georgia can be taken as an indicator, this country seems to be dividing more and more along racial lines, rather than political or economic ones. That can’t be good. Full cross-tabs here. Release below the fold.

(Atlanta, Ga)- The Hicks Evaluation Group, a minority owned consulting firm, surveyed registered voters in Georgia about their opinions of the police, a militarized police force, the recent grand jury decision in Ferguson, Missouri and the subject of race based targeting. The survey was conducted in the wake of the recent controversy in Ferguson, Missouri regarding the shooting death of African American teenager Michael Brown by Darren Wilson, a Caucasian police officer. The decision, which set off riots across the country, including in Atlanta, also renewed discussions about excessive force and local police departments possessing military grade equipment.

HEG’s survey was designed to measure the confidence of Georgia voters in their local police departments, support for a militarized police force and to assess perceptions about racial targeting. Further, the survey contained demographic questions about the respondent’s race, political views and income. The data was analyzed to determine what factor(s) determine influenced the overall survey results.

“Simply put, Black and White voters in Georgia see the police in general and Ferguson specifically in very different ways. In this survey, it’s not about income, gender or even political affiliation. It’s about race,” said pollster Fredrick Hicks. “Surprisingly, White voters across the political and income spectrums responded very similarly on the survey,” continued Hicks.

The survey was conducted statewide on November 29th and 30th using autodial/IVR technology. Registered voters were randomly selected and called. The survey results are based on 717 completed responses.

Key Findings:

  • 64% of all respondents support their local police department having military grade equipment such as assault rifles and tanks
  • 81% of African Americans believe the local police are more likely to use excessive force against a minority than against a White person while only 17% of Caucasians feel similarly
  • Black voters overwhelmingly disagree with the decision not to indict Officer Darren Wilson; White voters overwhelmingly agree, regardless of political views
  • Note: 69% of African American respondents self-identified as either somewhat or very Liberal.

For more information or questions, please contact Fredrick Hicks at [email protected]

37 comments

  1. Jon Lester says:

    It’s also about phony narratives and a corporate media establishment that could not care less how real people are impacted by its craven pursuit of profit. This has long been evident in foreign policy coverage already, but now it’s obvious no special regard is given for Americans over anyone else.

  2. seenbetrdayz says:

    ◾64% of all respondents support their local police department having military grade equipment such as assault rifles and tanks

    I’d like to know how that one breaks down. It seems to be the most alarming of all the stats.

    • Will Durant says:

      This one bothered me as well. Though looking at the cross tabs 45% of the respondents were age 60 and above, 64% were age 50 and up. This is in keeping with an IVR poll only to land lines. Breakdown by age on this particular question is not given.

  3. John Konop says:

    What is driving this is the over policing…..If you ask people about this without a race angle….more and more agree this is the issue….We need to rethink laws and process….

    …..Because America has so many confusing laws, and also because cops sometimes make mistakes, it’s harder to assume—as conservatives often do—that as long as you behave yourself, you have nothing to fear. The raids should also trouble libertarians who sometimes believe that government can mostly be trusted when it sticks to “legitimate” functions like running police, courts, and the military.

    Government always grows, and government is force. Force is always dangerous.

    It’s healthy for conservatives, libertarians, and liberals alike to worry about the militarization of police. Conservatives worry about a repeat of incidents like the raids on religious radicals at Ruby Ridge and Waco, Texas. Liberals condemn police brutality like the recent asphyxiation death of a suspect at the hands of police in New York.

    This is a rare issue where I agree with left-wing TV host Bill Maher. On his TV show last week, Maher ranted about no-knock raids “breaking up poker games, arresting low-level pot dealers.” Maher’s right to point out that most SWAT raids are now done to arrest nonviolent drug offenders. “It’s a guy who sells weed,” says Maher. “You don’t need to shoot his dog and crash through his window.” ……

    http://reason.com/archives/2014/07/23/over-policing-america

    • seenbetrdayz says:

      “Conservatives worry about a repeat of incidents like the raids on religious radicals at Ruby Ridge and Waco, Texas. Liberals condemn police brutality like the recent asphyxiation death of a suspect at the hands of police in New York. ”

      And the flashbang’d babies in Habershame County, GA.

    • gcp says:

      And who “worries” about a 19 year old recently murdered by an 18 year old at a Dekalb bus stop and who worries about a recent triple murder in south Atlanta? Certainly not Holder or any of the local “community leaders.”

      • John Konop says:

        Do you not agree this is creating a lot of tension? Does it really make sense?

        …….. Maher ranted about no-knock raids “breaking up poker games, arresting low-level pot dealers.” Maher’s right to point out that most SWAT raids are now done to arrest nonviolent drug offenders. “It’s a guy who sells weed,” says Maher. “You don’t need to shoot his dog and crash through his window.” ……

        • gcp says:

          It’s about priorities. Does Maher or anyone talk about the two local incidents that I referenced or does he just talk about police behavior?

          Sure we could change some of our laws such as legalizing marijuana but that doesn’t do anything to prevent the daily murders, rapes, domestic violence.

          • John Konop says:

            …….Sure we could change some of our laws such as legalizing marijuana but that doesn’t do anything to prevent the daily murders, rapes, domestic violence………

            I disagree, I think overtime it will decrease the violence….some of the bloodiest gang wars in our history was over alcohol when it was illegal. A lot of collateral damage during prohibition as well. Kids without records can get better jobs….

            ……The gang wars of Chicago began with a simple, fair plan. In 1920, John Torrio had taken over the biggest organized crime outfit in Chicago by taking out their leader “Big Jim” Colosimo. Torrio saw the prohibition as a great moneymaking opportunity and began bootlegging. He and the other crime bosses of the time held a meeting, laying out a very lucrative deal. They agreed to split the city so that each gang had sole rights to sell beer and liquor in their territory.Torrio, with the help of Al Capone held the biggest piece, eventually expanding into the suburbs and Cicero. The gangs began to see large profits and they wanted more. This greediness caused them to go into other territories. The “Gang Wars” began in November 1924 with the killing of O’Banion from the O’Banion Gang by the Gennas Gang. After being shot in 1925, Torrio left the city and Al Capone took charge.Being on the losing end of shootings forced most gangs to eventually surrender to Capone. The wars peaked in 1929 with the “St. Valentine’s Massacre”.In 1931, the prohibition came to an end and Capone moved towards other rackets until arrested for tax evasion in 1932.The mafia has never again been able to match the prestige and power it held during the prohibition era and Chicago is the heart of all it once held…..

            http://www.vintage-chicago.com/2011/09/11/the-gang-wars-of-chicago-during-prohibition/

            • gcp says:

              So you are telling me the war on drugs caused an 18 year old to murder a 19 year old black female at a bus stop in a week ago in Dekalb? The 18 year old is also a suspect in several sexual assaults so did the drug war, or “over policing” cause him to commit these crimes also?

              • Do you have a degree in Straw Man Manufacturing? Because every one of your comments in this thread have been straw men.

                Do you want to know why those murders are not singled out? The same reason the single play of one player does not define the outcome, or even the integrity of the game. Not having a father around because he got tossed in prison does not make offspring a quality child.

                I bet you the Drug War prevented any semblance of a ‘nuclear family’ by decimating and criminalizing the male population in that community. Let’s toss decades of institutional racism and you got your situation in a nutshell.

                • gcp says:

                  So knowingly violating the law and going to prison is responsible for the demise of the nuclear family thus causing an 18 year old to commit murder and sexual assault? Try to use that defense in court or an “institutional racism” defense in court.

                  BTW I agree that the lack of two parent families does create a propensity for criminal behavior but it does not excuse criminal behavior. There are many reasons for the increase in single parenthood such as the increase in taxpayer funded programs and the acceptance of one parent or in some cases, no parent households, within certain communities.

                  • John Konop says:

                    Not just the parent issue…..poor kids cannot get out of the system….via fines, lack of jobs opportunities via record…..btw it is just poor black kids….all races with low income have the above problem….

                    • gcp says:

                      Maybe the various community leaders that complain about the police should also talk about avoiding out of wedlock birth and staying in school and encouraging positive behavior from young folks. I think we can agree on that one.

                      As far as the criminal record issue; juvenile records are sealed and judges increasingly use first offender sentencing for non violent adult offenders which means these records are closed and its not considered a conviction.

                    • John Konop says:

                      Gcp,

                      The system is a major wright on kids……especially financially….they require someone to have job, yet they have record and no driving rights….less of an issue if your family has money…

  4. I didn’t have to look at the demographics to know this was a land line and heavily over 50 sampling. But still it demonstrates that if you lie about something over and over, people will fight to the death to agree with it as gospel. Especially, like this issue, is based solely on fear. They want tanks to kill thugs. That is how much disregard those people have for human life.

    As eloquently pointed out many times above, the ball to keep our eye on is this situation between cops and citizens. And this program. Somewhere a weapons salesman is driving a high dollar car that was bought with that deal.

    Your taxes at work.

  5. John Konop says:

    GCP,

    Sorry I was using a federal number which is 55 percent.

    ……….Imprisonment of America’s 2.3 million prisoners, costing $24,000 per inmate per year, and $5.1 billion in new prison construction, consumes $60.3 billion in budget expenditure.

    …. total prisoners in State prison populations stayed steady at 21%. The percentage of Federal prisoners serving time for drug offenses declined from 63% in 1997 to 55% in that same period.[13] In the twenty-five years since the passage of the Anti-Drug Abuse Act, the United States penal population rose from around 300,000 to more than two million.[14]Between 1986 and 1991, African-American women’s incarceration in state prisons for drug offenses increased by 828 percent.[15……..

    ….In addition, the United States has very abnormal statistics when observing the racial dimension of mass incarceration.[citation needed] According to Michelle Alexander, the United States “imprisons a larger percentage of its black population than South Africa did at the height of apartheid”.[25]….

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_incarceration_rate

    • John Konop says:

      You can see the War on Drugs is the key driver for the increase.

      ….The “War on Drugs” is a policy that was initiated by Richard Nixon with the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970 and vigorously pursued by Ronald Reagan.[27] By 2010, drug offenders in federal prison had increased to 500,000 per year, up from 41,000 in 1985. Drug related charges accounted for more than half the rise in state prisoners. 31 million people have been arrested on drug related charges, approximately 1 in 10 Americans.[28]…….

      • gcp says:

        Your data is a little outdated. Currently about 48% of the approximately 200,000 in federal system are for drug crimes but federal system is a small population compared to total of approximately 1.6 million in state prisons.
        Once again check Ga. DOC site because we have nowhere near 48% of inmates locked up for drug offenses.

        The “drug war” explanation for crime is becoming less and less relevent to our current crime problems. My reference to the recent bus stop murder in Dekalb is a prime example.

        • John Konop says:

          …..The “drug war” explanation for crime is becoming less and less relevent to our current crime problems…..

          HUH? You basically gutted the community?

          • gcp says:

            Can you please explain why an 18 year old robs and murders a 19 year at a bus stop and why this same individual is also a suspect in several sexual assualts?

            Do you really believe it was caused by “institutional racism” or the “drug war.” If so, try using those defenses in court.

            • John Konop says:

              gcp,

              I am looking at this on a macro….not a micro example…..it does not take a rocket scientist to see the direct correlation between break down of families and a 800% increase in incarceration via “War on Drugs”.

              • Lea Thrace says:

                John,

                What gcp is doing is engaging in strawman arguments and false equivalency. This is not someone who wants to engage in discourse. I recommend you give up trying.

  6. androidguybill says:

    @gcp:

    I can answer the question of why the people who talk about police misconduct do not talk about black on black crime.

    1. Once the conversation shifts from external pressures on the black community (i.e. racism and structural unfairness) to internal issues (i.e. black on black crime, illegitimacy etc.) it never shifts back. This has literally been the case since slavery. Were conservatives to show a willingness to deal with external issues in any meaningful sense, rank-and-file blacks (and by this I do not mean “black leaders” that are diehard Marxists) would be more willing to engage the internal issues. For example, were conservative activists, foundations, lawyers etc. to take up and advocate for blacks in cases that are clearly over the line (i.e. the Patrick Dorismond incident … if you are unfamiliar with it then PLEASE do an Internet search, and realize that the New York Post, which is the conservative newspaper where this incident took place, spent MONTHS backing the police right up until one of them confessed) that would do a whole lot of good. (This is a stance that I personally agree with to a point.)

    2. Crime is going to happen. More to the point, it is committed by criminals. Police are not criminals, but are supposed to uphold the law and be law-abiding themselves. Also, if police mistreat blacks on a routine, pervasive widespread basis, then it is a form of “institutional racism” where one group of people with power causes harm to another group of people without it. So that explains why even though it is far more statistically likely for a black person to be victimized by a black criminal than a police officer, police action is a more pressing political/activist issue. (This is a stance that I disagree with almost entirely because the statistics do not really indicate endemic or pervasive mistreatment by the police of blacks, but for blacks who feel otherwise it is not necessarily an entirely illogical or illegitimate position to hold.)

    • gcp says:

      Android

      Agree with your analysis but its now 2014. We have black cops, chiefs, mayors and even a black president. At some point members of the black community must look inward at its own behavior. Unfortunately I don’t see this happening anytime soon; perhaps not ever.

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