Heather Mac Donald Explains the Deadly Cost of the Left’s Wrong-Headed Anti-Cop Ideology
Writer Heather Mac Donald appeared with Rush Limbaugh on Friday and discussed the horrific murders of five Dallas police officers. It’s a very important conversation, particularly about what’s at stake: without the thin blue line of policing, civilization faces anarchy.
Her well researched new book “The War on Cops: How the New Attack on Law and Order Makes Everyone Less Safe” disproves many of the left-wing claims about police misconduct.
I disagree somewhat with MacDonald’s statement near the end that economic need in the inner city has no relation to crime. The situation is more complicated than that. Whole generations have grown up on welfare, and the loss of jobs from the society may no longer seem like a problem to those who live within a cultural norm of food stamps and housing vouchers.
Jobs bring more than a paycheck: they also supply regularity to a family. Many a difficult kid has benefited from having a 9-to-5 gig where the structure of work has the calming effect of teaching basic responsibility. Having a good job allows young people to plan a future with a family and buying a house, where personal progress can be envisioned.
A couple generations ago, ordinary young people could go from high school graduation to a decent job in a nearby manufacturing plant. The St. Louis area that includes troubled Ferguson was home to several Big Three automotive plants, but they are all gone now as a result of the outsourcing of entire industries to cheap-labor havens abroad.
Not to excuse the violence in Ferguson and elsewhere, but young people have a right to be angry about their shrunken opportunities. Except the problem isn’t police, but instead is the globalist economy promoted by our own government that has devastated American workers via outsourcing and excessive immigration. The resulting social dysfunction comes largely from an economy that no longer supports the people. And today’s increasing automation is making a bad situation worse for many Americans.
Here’s the transcript of the interview:
Heather Mac Donald Talks About Her Essential Book: The War on Cops, RushLimbaugh.com, July 08, 2016
RUSH: And greetings to you. Happy to have you with us, ladies and gentlemen, the Rush Limbaugh program, it is Friday. Let’s commence. And I know that many of you want to weigh in on what’s going on all over the place. And you shall. Whatever you want to talk about when we get to the phones, telephone number is 800‑282‑2882. And the e‑mail address is ElRushbo@eibnet.com.
Okay. The war on cops has now come to Dallas, Texas. The war on police has come to Dallas, Texas. Now, after the program yesterday I interviewed Heather Mac Donald for the next issue of the Limbaugh Letter. She has a book out. She’s a scholar, Manhattan Institute, and a prolific writer. And her most recent book is: The War on Cops: How the New Attack on Law and Order Makes Everyone Less Safe. Not just the cops, but particularly the cops.
It was a compelling interview, and this morning I feverishly reached out and asked her if she had some time because she said some incredible things. Her research has produced some incredible statistics, and I want you to hear it from her. So she has graciously consented to come back and she joins us now. Heather, thanks for making time today. I really appreciate it.
MAC DONALD: Oh Rush, it’s an honor talking to you twice in 24 hours.
RUSH: It’s a rare opportunity. Most people don’t get that. (laughing)
MAC DONALD: They’d kill to be in my position.
RUSH: It’s great that you had time to do this, because this book, I would now call this book essential. Let me mention the title of this one more time, folks, “The War on Cops,” which will help you find it, that’s really all you need. The full title is “How the New Attack on Law and Order Makes Everybody Less Safe.” I don’t want to steal your thunder, but I want to review some of the things that you said yesterday. I went back to the transcript of the interview. Let me run through some of these things before you elaborate.
You said you could end all police shootings tomorrow, both lethal and nonlethal and justified and unjustified, and it would have a negligible effect on the astronomical rate at which blacks die by shootings. And then there was this: The Justice Department under Obama came out with a report in March of 2015, a little over a year ago, that found that black and Hispanic officers were actually far more likely to shoot unarmed black suspects under what’s known as threat misperception. That is the false belief that the suspect is armed. That happens much more than with white officers, who are less likely to engage in that type of threat misperception.
Then there was a study by the New York Police Department. Te former acting director of the National Institute of Justice found that black officers in the New York Police Department were 3.3 times more likely to use their guns at shooting scenes than white officers. So, A, officers are more hesitant about shooting armed black suspects than armed white suspects to the point where now there’s a risk that officers are hesitating so long that they may put their own lives at risk. The Black Lives Matter, that is all about white officers attacking blacks, is simply not true. That’s the bottom line here. Everything everybody believes isn’t true. They think Ferguson, Missouri happens every day. And it does not.
MAC DONALD: Well, Rush, President Obama lied to the nation last night, and he embraced the Black Lives Matter myth that there is a racist war by white officers against black civilians in this country. And we see the results. In fact, there’s no government agency more dedicated to the proposition that Black Lives Matter than the police. Proactive policing has saved tens of thousands of minority lives since the mid‑1990s.
And now police officers are backing off. They’ve been backing off before the Dallas assassinations under the assault of hatred that is being spewed at them on the streets. But above all in the mainstream media by activists and by politicians from the White House on down, they’re backing off of proactive policing, and crime is going up astronomically, as much as 90 percent in cities with large black populations. And now, after these Dallas shootings, officers are going to be even more reluctant to engage. And the result is going to be more carnage.
RUSH: Yeah, it’s going to be a long summer. And something I mentioned to you yesterday that I want to throw back out there is that the sickening thing to me about this, nobody likes seeing this. We can’t deny that what happened in Minnesota happened. We can’t deny that what happened in Louisiana happened with those two shootings. We can’t deny what happened in Ferguson happened. But they make it up after it happens. We don’t really know what happened in Minneapolis yet. We don’t really know what happened in Louisiana yet, all the circumstances.
But we do know that in Ferguson they created a totally false narrative. Hands up, don’t shoot, never happened. And yet how many people in this country, minorities, believe that it did, to this day. Now, how is that possible? And my contention is that we have a political party that’s seeking to benefit from all of this. A political party, the Democrats, are seeking to advance their agenda with every one of these unfortunate incidents. And if that is the case it isn’t going to stop. You’ve got Jesse Jackson out there today blaming Donald Trump for this, for crying out loud. And he’s not the only one doing so.
MAC DONALD: Well, it’s politics and it’s also ideology. There’s an ideology that’s taken hold of universities, that has taken hold of elite establishments, that is committed to the myth of endemic white racism. And you’re right, there have been bad shootings, police shootings. The Walter Scott shooting in North Charleston was very bad. The Laquan McDonald shooting in Chicago. These were appalling incidents of police negligence and likely criminality. But those are not representative of this nation’s police forces. They are more professional than ever before and they are dedicated to saving black lives.
RUSH: Heather, let me stop you there because these are assertions that you’re making that you have backed up with research. You’re not just pontificating here off the cuff. By the way, Heather Mac Donald’s our guest here, The War on Cops is her new book. Everything you just said has been backed up by research you conducted.
MAC DONALD: Well, let’s look at some of the numbers. I know numbers are sometimes tough over the radio, but a larger proportion of white and Hispanic homicide deaths are the results of police killings than black homicide deaths. That is, 12 percent of all whites and Hispanics who die of homicide are killed by police officers. Four percent of all blacks, homicide victims, are killed by police officers. So if we’re going to have an Anti‑Cop Lives Matter movement it would make more sense to call it White and Hispanic Lives Matter.
The fact is that over 6,000 blacks die of homicide each year. That is more than white and Hispanic homicide victims combined, even though blacks are 13 percent of the nation’s population. And the reason they are dying of homicide at a rate six times higher than whites and Hispanics combined is because they commit homicide at eight times the rate higher than whites and Hispanics combined. And that type of crime disparity means that when the police are trying to save lives, they are in minority neighborhoods confronting people engaged in drive‑by shootings, killing children.
In the last 72 hours in Chicago there’s been about four children under the age of eight who have been shot. One boy shot in the back on Father’s Day. A three‑year‑old boy was shot. He’s now paralyzed for life. That’s who police are trying to protect. But given the disparities in crime rates the police cannot help but be in minority neighborhoods where they’re confronting violent and resisting suspects and sometimes officers themselves will have to use force to protect themselves and protect innocent bystanders.
RUSH: Heather, you’ve just alluded to something that’s highly politically incorrect. You’ve just given numbers, hard evidence, on what is called black-on-black crime. You’re not supposed to mention that during incidents like this because the only thing you’re supposed to talk about, Heather, is how vicious racist white cops are hunting down innocent black men in neighborhoods. That’s the narrative. That’s what inner-city youths are being taught. That’s what they’re being told.
MAC DONALD: Rush, here’s another very politically incorrect fact, and I don’t want to racialize policing, people should not. But if we’re going to talk about race and policing, let’s talk about cop killings. Over the last decade, black males made up 40 percent of all cop killers, even though they’re six percent of the population. It turns out, Rush, that a police officer is 18-and-a-half times more likely to be killed by a black male than an unarmed black male is likely to be killed by a police officer.
RUSH: Say that again. She said this to me in the interview yesterday and I was sitting here with my mouth open. We just don’t hear this. This is the result of your research. You’re not making this up. You’re not opinionizing. This is it. Say that one more time.
MAC DONALD: Again, you can look at the data on police shootings. If you look at those numbers, and it’s in my book, the arithmetic that I generated this by, a police officer is 18-and-a-half times more likely to be shot by a black male than an unarmed black male is likely to be shot by a police officer. So, again, there’s been an effort in Chicago by some city aldermen there to create a Blue Lives Matter law. And that has been attacked as racist by the Black Lives Matter activists out there and the ACLU.
But in fact it makes a lot of sense to have a Blue Lives Matter movement because officers are putting their lives on the line every day. They were running towards the shooting scene in Dallas last night as they run towards shooting scenes in inner cities on a daily basis to try and protect children. We don’t know the names of these black children who have been killed because the Black Lives Matter activists don’t care to talk about it.
In Cleveland in September of 2015, three children under the age of five were murdered by drive-by shootings, leading the police chief there, who happens to be black, to break down in tears and say everybody protests when a cop is shot. Why aren’t we out here protesting when we shoot each other? That is the big mystery of our time. And again President Obama last night only fanned these fires of hatred by putting out his usual lies that the criminal justice system is racist. It is not. It responds to crime in order to try to protect lives, not to take them.
RUSH: Speaking of President Obama, in part of show prep today I found a story from March, I think, of 2015, in which President Obama welcomed two founders of Black Lives Matter to the White House and commemorated them and their efforts and praised them as being better organizers than he is. And Black Lives Matter was exactly who they are then as who they are today. They’re a terrorist group. They’re quickly becoming a terrorist group committing hate crimes. And the attorney general today is saying that she’s going to look into this, investigate this as a hate crime, which is amazing they’re not trying to find out if this guy is a member of the Tea Party.
MAC DONALD: (Laughing) Absolutely. It is so appropriate that the Black Lives Matter movement took off on the basis of the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson, which as you say, Rush, was a hoax and has continued to venerate Michael Brown as a martyr to police brutality, which is also a hoax, because the entire movement is based on a lie.
It is simply not the case that the police are disproportionately shooting black males when you take violent crime into account. And for President Obama to give that movement any credibility when it is now threatening law and order itself, we are at risk of attacking the very foundation of civilization if this type of hatred continues.
And I can tell you, Rush, that what happened in Dallas is an extreme version of what officers are experiencing every day. It’s why we have seen a 17 percent increase in homicides last year in the 56 largest cities. An almost unprecedented one-year spike in homicides because officers are backing off of proactive policing, because I hear this from officers across the country, and I was contacted two weeks ago by several Dallas officers who were talking about their reluctance to engage in proactive policing, because when they get out of their cars now, and this is happening across the country, officers in inner-city areas find themselves surrounded by hostile jeering crowds, sticking cell phones right in the officer’s face.
It’s not a question of standing on the curb, filming an incident. It’s a question of interfering with an arrest scene, going in and refusing to obey orders. As a Chicago cop told me several weeks ago when I was out there, he’s never seen such hatred directed at officers in his 20 years in policing. He said this is an almost undoable job now. And, again, the lives that are being lost in this crime spike, Baltimore is now at its highest per capita homicide rate in its history, are overwhelmingly black lives. But if this continues we’re going to return to the situation of the 1960s and the 1970s, where people were fleeing cities because lawlessness was out of control.
RUSH: Talking here with Heather Mac Donald, a quick commercial break and I’ll come back and I’ll ask you a related question. Her book, by the way, folks, which is now essential, The War on Cops: How The New Attack on Law and Order Makes Everyone Less Safe. I don’t like to blindside people with questions, particularly political. If you don’t even want to answer this I would understand.
But when we get back here, think about if you were contacted by officials in Dallas, and you may well be, in light of what obviously happened there, what happened in Minneapolis, what happened in Louisiana, and the cop shootings, black suspects that are legit, that do happen. What would you say if somebody asked you how to deal with this in the inner city or African-American community. How would you approach them? How would you get your message to them?
RUSH: We’re back with Heather Mac Donald. She graduated from Yale 1978, attended Cambridge, and graduated from Stanford University Law School in 1985. She has written numerous articles and several books on the subject of whether cops are racist. And she’s currently at the Manhattan Institute. What would you do? We obviously want this stuff to end. We want law and order to triumph. We want respect for everybody. What you do? You’ve become an expert now on what’s going wrong.
MAC DONALD: Rush, I would try something absolutely unique in this area which is truth. I think that when the Black Lives Matter movement has been allowed to thrive by a deliberate ignorance — cultivated ignorance — about the problem of black crime, that you cannot understand police activity without understanding patterns of crime. And the media has basically suppressed any knowledge about how bad things are in inner cities. So I would start by giving the data on black crime that explains why officers are in inner-city neighborhoods trying to save lives.
And beyond that, I would give voice to the many people in inner-city communities that I have spoken to over the years that adore the cops. I would give voice to people like Mrs. Sweeper, a cancer amputee in the Mount Hope section of the Bronx, who told me, “Please, Jesus, send more police.” The only time she felt safe to go into her building lobby and pick up her mail was when the police were there because the place was otherwise colonized by teens trespassing, smoking weed, and dealing drugs. There are thousands, millions —
RUSH: See, you’re not supposed to talk about that stuff going on. You start into that and you’ll have Jesse Jackson into your case. Can you hang on just a couple more minutes? Just a couple more questions here, because you’re so fascinating, and the data you have is so interesting. Just a couple more minutes. I’ve got to take a quick break and we’ll be right back.
MAC DONALD: Love to.
RUSH: Heather Mac Donald, staying with the program, folks.
RUSH: We welcome back Heather Mac Donald, author of The War on Cops: How the New Attack on Law and Order Makes Everyone Less Safe. You know what they were chanting in Dallas last night? Hands up, don’t shoot. Hands up, don’t shoot. In addition to everything that they were chanting, hands up, don’t shoot.
MAC DONALD: Wow, well, people want to embrace the lie that makes them feel like they’re victimized. It’s just extraordinary.
RUSH: And who is exploiting that? My whole point, you look at something like these events and when you see a beneficiary, it’s sickening. When you see people trying to benefit from these really horrible, sad events, these things rip the guts out of every American’s body when these kinds of things happen. Nobody wants to see this. But there are people that profit from it or try to. And that makes it even more sickening in a political sense.
Let me quickly run something by you. Attorney General Lynch, while we were talking in the first hour, did a short, short press conference, and she said, she announced that the Dallas attack will be investigated by the Department of Justice as a hate crime, which is noteworthy because it’s the first cop killing ever investigated as a hate crime. What’s your interpretation of that?
MAC DONALD: Well, I think the Obama Administration may be having second thoughts about the type of rhetoric that it’s been using, because there’s no question that it is fomenting hatred out there. And this is very dangerous stuff. We’re playing with fire, Rush. The degree of racialized rhetoric is going to take us back to the 1960s. I think a lot of people are clueless about the degree of hatred of whites. You know what this gunman said, that he hated white people and hated white cops, I hear that a lot in the inner city. And we overlook it. We don’t want to look at it head on. But if we continue with this discourse, we’re going to get more hate crimes.
I’m glad that Loretta Lynch is willing to take this on honestly, because up to now it’s been a completely politically biased understanding of who hates whom in this society, and the notion that our main problem here is white hatred of blacks is completely fiction. We have every elite establishment in this country tying itself into knots to try and admit as many black applicant students or employees as possible. We have gone from a nation of segregation and explicit and invidious and horrible discrimination to true, willing colorblindness. But there’s still a constituency, as you say Rush, that is committed to division, and we better get a hold of this pretty soon, because we could be back to the levels of revolutionary violence that we were seeing in the ’60s.
RUSH: I asked you yesterday in our newsletter interview to comment — and I’m going to ask you to comment again here now — on the whole concept of the Obama Department of Justice. I don’t know how you describe it, demanding or forcing federal guidelines on local police departments. They’ve done it in over 30 communities now, including Ferguson, including Baltimore. What is that? Is it based on an assumption local cops don’t know what they’re doing or that they’re not doing it the way Obama wants them to do it and they’re being, in a way, threatened with removal of federal funds if they don’t accept the consent decrees that are forthcoming here? What’s the upshot of it in terms of actual policing?
MAC DONALD: The upshot is that policing takes the backseat to paper pushing. There’s been no administration in recent history that is more anti-law enforcement than the Obama Administration. They’ve saddled more police departments with these crippling consent decrees and federal monitors than any previous administration.
In keeping with Obama’s constant drumbeat that cops are racist and treat black and white people in identical situations differently, these consent decrees send in a bunch of DOJ civil rights attorneys that know nothing about policing and they get their hands on a bunch of cop statistics, things like arrest statistics or pedestrian stops. They compare it to population data and conclude that the police are racist because inevitably the police will be making more pedestrian stops of blacks if they’re trying to save lives because in black communities is where three-year-old children are getting shot to death in drive-by shootings.
So they declare the police department racist and then make them fill out endless forms of data. They take officers off the beat in order to meet the Justice Department’s paper pushing requirements. The Obama Administration is now pushing a concept of implicit bias training on officers across the country. This is complete folly. It is based on junk science that has been recently completely disproven by a study, an extremely sophisticated study out of the University of Washington that found that cops actually hesitate longer to decide to shoot armed black suspects than armed white suspects and are less likely to shoot unarmed black suspects than unarmed white suspects.
This recent study blows apart the pre-existing implicit bias junk science, and yet the Obama Administration is now demanding that officers get sent to this training that is a waste of time because officers want good tactical training. They want help in making those crucial, cruel, just anxiety-producing split-second decisions of shoot/don’t shoot. And none of us would be able to live under that pressure. They want that training, but implicit bias training, which is what gets foisted on these departments is a complete waste of time.
RUSH: Pardon me, but it sounds like what’s actually happening here is that the Obama Administration is presuming that there is racism in all of these police departments and has concocted a mechanism whereby they can prove it, not really prove it, but where they can claim it, which is the last thing we want to do. We want to reduce racial tension. They’re promoting it, it seems like.
MAC DONALD: My experience is cops are totally colorblind. Black cops, white cops, they’ll all say, “I don’t care if you’re green, purple or orange, if you’re acting in a way to raise my suspicions I’m going to stop and question you.” But you’re absolutely right, Rush, the Obama Administration starts with the presumption that cops are racist. I just simply refer you to a speech from Poland last night. He’s had to do a complete about-face on this.
And it may be too harsh to say, as Patrick Lynch and the NYPD said of de Blasio, after theassassinations of Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos in December of 2014 by the Black Lives Matter movement. What Lynch said of de Blasio, that he had blood on his hands, that was an incendiary remark. But Obama’s timing was not great last night in perpetuating the lies of the Black Lives Matter movement that are demonstrably false.
RUSH: Well, I’m hearing people use the word “terrorism” in association with this incident. And some people are describing the shooter as an actual terrorist within the definition of the word that we use when we’re talking about al-Qaeda, ISIS, militant Islam and so forth. Not that there’s a connection here to that. But terrorism in this country usually means that. But now people are calling this it.
It was an act of terror. There’s no denying. When you have a military-type triangulation assassination squad with the expressed objective, as the shooter has made clear, he wanted to kill white cops. But one more question before you go, and that is: With all your studies I’m sure you’ve encountered the sociological aspects of this. What role, if any, does economics in the inner city play in all of this?
MAC DONALD: Very little.
MAC DONALD: Criminologists were just chomping at the bit during the 2008 recession thinking that this would prove their favorite root causes theory of crime that is driven by economic need. Crime continued to drop nationally through the recession to record lows. And it was dropping through the first half of 2014 when it made a rapid reverse course and began rising after the Michael Brown hoax in Ferguson, Missouri. The ’60s, 1960s, which was really the nadir of violent crime, we had a very strong economy. There is no connection. There’s people in the inner city today, the good, the clean people who completely avoid any involvement with crime. They have no involvement with the police because, as they tell me, I’m a good person. The cops don’t stop me.
That is an excuse. The people that are engaged in these mindless drive-by shootings, the kids in Chicago right now who are responsible for this year’s 50 percent increase in shootings that are killing four-year-old children, they have smartphones. I mean, the teen involvement in smartphone media and social media is a godsend to the police because they can track down all these crews. But these kids are not exactly hand-to-mouth struggle for subsistence. And it’s not the drug war either.
This is a breakdown of the family that is leaving kids without any socialization and any decent role models. They don’t have fathers. So to say it’s an economic problem, I think, is completely false and you have lots of Asian immigrants who are at much lower income than many people on welfare and their children are virtually not involved in crime because they have two parents at home that are teaching them academic discipline and respect for authority.
RUSH: Heather, I can’t thank you enough. You are superb. You are excellent. And I am very, very grateful you had so much time for us today.
MAC DONALD: Rush, thank you. Listen, anybody knows that this is one of the greatest opportunities any author could have, and this is such a privilege. Thank you so much.
RUSH: This book, you’ve just gotten a little taste of it here, folks, in this short discussion,The War on Cops: How the New Attack on Law and Order Makes Everybody Less Safe. It’s Heather Mac Donald. And thank you again, Ms. Mac Donald.
RUSH: Heather McDonald made a lot of brilliant points. One of the points I think that’s most interesting to a lot of people was the fact that economics plays no role here; that rather, it’s busted families, no role models. It’s the same thing the left says about, “Well, terrorists become terrorists because we’ve zapped their economies. We’ve zapped their resources.” And that’s bogus, too.
RUSH: I appreciate all of you out there who have been waiting. We’re starting in San Diego and this is Robert. You’re next, sir, great to have you with us. Hi.
CALLER: Thank you, Rush. I appreciate what your guest stated essentially that a police officer is 18 times more likely to be killed by a black male than an unarmed black male is to be killed by a cop. So that being said, that is an enormous risk every day when you go to work. And I think cops have another risk that people don’t appreciate. I think in terms of medical professionals, financial people, radio talk show hosts.
We could go to work every day, but we don’t have the risk of making a poor judgment in a snap decision and spending the rest of our life in jail like a police officer does. And I think that’s why you’re going to see police officers not respond immediately because I wouldn’t go alone into a situation where I know people may lie about what happened. I’m going to wait until I have witnesses. I need two or three people for safety alone, but also if something bad happens so that I have somebody I trust to at least tell the truth.
RUSH: Well, Ms. Mac Donald actually addresses that. And one of the points she made to me yesterday in the interview we did with The Limbaugh Letter was that there is some evidence of that happening, but what she’s found is that people who want to become police officers have some similarity with people who join the military. They know what they’re possibly getting into. More so in the military, particularly when your nation is at war and you sign up and you volunteer. But when you sign up to be a police officer, and particularly in certain cities, you know what could happen.
And her point was that really on balance these are some of the finest people we have. They take some of the greatest risks, as you’re pointing out, and so far it is a danger that they are backing off now. They’re backing off and potentially dangerous situations to other citizens because of the very possibility that you have mentioned here. One wrong move and now with every citizen with a camera and their phone out there, and now people learning editing techniques as well, you know, it is causing some stand-offishness.
But she’s found cops that are not affected by that. They’re so devoted to the job, and they’re so devoted to public safety that some of them continue to take the risk. But that is a good point. That’s an excellent observation, one wrong move and they don’t even have to go to jail. Look at the cop in Ferguson who didn’t do anything wrong. He’s still in hiding and had to quit the police force.
CALLER: Rush, I would make another suggestion, I think yesterday in the hearings with Comey the truth finally came out and people can deny what they want, but I think smart people delineated all the facts much like your guest did today. I would love to see a hearing on this topic that you’re discussing today and have Trey Gowdy and Representative Hurd and other people lay it out there, lay the facts out there and for once and for all. People could hear it, whether they decide to listen to it or —
RUSH: It could happen. You never know.