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Heather MacDonald: #BlackLivesMatter Movement “A Very Tragic Diversion”

Heather MacDonald: #BlackLivesMatter Movement “A Very Tragic Diversion”

“The one government agency that is the most dedicated to the proposition that black lives matter is the police”

Heather MacDonald of the Manhattan Institute, has made a career of painstakingly going into the police departments and town meetings and impacted urban neighborhoods to research the facts on the ground about how police practices actually affect lives.

On July 21, 2015, MacDonald appeard on the Harvard Lunch Club Political podcast, hosted by radio talk show host Todd Feinberg and me.  The full 35-minute podcast segment is at the bottom of this post.

MacDonald spoke out against the crippling influence that the “Black Lives Matter” movement is having on the quality of life in the very neighborhoods where the protests are taking place:

I think this is an even more extreme example of the way this country deals with race and policing, which is to talk fanatically about police in order not to talk about the far more difficult problem of black crime.

Proactive policing practices have been the target of protests against “police racism.” Speaking about this so-called “broken windows” method of policing, where police detain perpetrators for minor, quality of life violations like turnstile jumping or loitering and smoking weed, MacDonald notes:

This type of policing that pays attention to public order is demanded by the residents of poor communities. They want the police to get the drug dealers off the corner, they want them to get the kids off their stoop who are hanging out there loitering and smoking weed and so that sort of policing is in fact a moral imperative.

and that, far from being a threat to Black lives and Black communities:

the one government agency that is the most dedicated to the proposition that Black lives matter is the police.

In a second topic of the podcast – which is also the subject of MacDonald’s recent City Journal article: Microaggression, Macro Crazy – MacDonald talks about an initiative by University of California President Janet Napolitano, asking all deans and department chairs in the university’s ten campuses to undergo training in overcoming their “implicit biases” toward women and minorities.

The objective is to thereupon instruct faculty members in how to avoid committing microaggressions, those acts of alleged racism that are invisible to the naked eye.

Says MacDonald:

The idea that faculty members at the University of California or any American campus are discriminating against the most qualified faculty candidate for a position whether it’s in a physics department, an engineering department, or a literature department because that candidate is female or a so-called “under-represented minority” which is Blacks and Hispanics, i.e. not Asian, is ludicrous.

As both of you know, every faculty search, far from being an effort to discriminate against women and minorities is a desperate, fear-driven effort to find remotely qualified females and under-represented minority candidates to interview and ultimately hire.

And yet Janet Napolitano, the president of the University of California, like all of the diversity clones underneath her are trying to put out the opposite idea that their own faculty, and of course they never name names – who are these bigots? who are these sexists? – need to undergo diversity training and watch preposterous little skits about racist hiring committees in order to purge themselves of racism and sexism.

This is absurd.

Listen to it all and join the fun at the Harvard Lunch Club Political Podcast.


Todd Feinburg is a radio talk host and mobile radio entrepreneur with about 25 years in broadcasting. He had a ten year stint at WRKO in Boston where he hosted several different programs, the last of which was the morning show, which he co-hosted for 5 years ending in 2012.

Mike Stopa teaches graduate chemistry at MIT, consults for the National Science Foundation and is working with a start-up that has developed a new type of computer memory. Mike is also a lifelong Republican who has run for Congress in Massachusetts.


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“the one government agency that is the most dedicated to the proposition that Black lives matter is the police.”

Perfectly said.

But the left is not interested in black lives or any other life. Only in power, and any tool that gets it is used, including pretending to care about others.

its because the black community is full of ignorant indentured servants to the Democratic party who will never try to fit into the wider society and frankly the wider society is better off for that …

can’t be fixed … stop trying … stop policing them and let them slaughter each other and keep it from spilling over … they have to want the change and until they start fighting for their own peace the rest of society should leave them to it …

    Stan25 in reply to dorsaighost. | July 27, 2015 at 8:20 am

    That is all well and good, but there is one thing left out of your idea. That is the professional race hustlers, like Al Sharpton, Jessie Jackson, Calypso Louis Farrakhan, the Reverend Jeremiah Wright etc. They want the racial divide to continue. As long as they can make a dime off of agitating against so-called rAAAAAAcism, the black community will be fractured.

DINORightMarie | July 27, 2015 at 12:14 am

Welcome to you both!

I am encouraged by your logic and reason, your solid arguments.

Alas, the people you discuss will look at you and judge you by the color of your skin (white) and not the content of your character – or the veracity of your argument points.

Which is the very epitome of bigoted racism, and I believe they both know it and see it as a powerful weapon to oppress and destroy anyone in their way.

Also, I believe it’s borne of paranoid projection of “racism everywhere,” borne of a psychosis, as discussed in a prior LI post.

All I can say is that if it makes perfect sense to us normies, it is insanity to the collectivist hive-mind denizens.

NC Mountain Girl | July 27, 2015 at 12:50 am

Liberal policies make it very hard for law abiding black citizens to defend themselves. While the courts have ruled cities cannot prevent residents from owning guns liberal dominated cities continue to use zoning laws to make it very hard to legally purchase a gun, get certified to carry a gun or to become proficient in its use. For example, I don’t believe there is a single gun shop or public shooting range inside the city limits of Chicago.

#BlackLivesDoNotMatter – to blacks.

    stevewhitemd in reply to [email protected]. | July 27, 2015 at 7:34 am

    Black lives do matter to blacks.

    Black lives don’t matter much to black progressive activists: they’re about power at any cost, and so black lives (and white, and hispanic, and asian) are just tools to be used as needed.

    Black lives don’t matter much to black gang-bangers and drug-dealers: they see black all day, and so a life is just another life to be used or manipulated.

    Black lives certainly don’t matter much to black politicians: except on election day, of course, when they expect 90% of the vote of their “brothers and sisters”.

    But black lives matter a great deal to ordinary black people in the neighborhoods. That’s family and friends. The problem is, ordinary black people don’t have the power and voice to enforce that. It’s simple: THEY don’t matter in a system that rewards, in perverse ways, activists, gang-bangers and politicians.

      Estragon in reply to stevewhitemd. | July 27, 2015 at 7:57 am

      A big part of why they have no power is they refuse to vote for anyone other than the Democrat.

      As long as their voting bloc remains solid and unwavering, there is no incentive for either party to actually address their problems (to even the limited extent to which it is appropriate for government to do so).

      Sammy Finkelman in reply to stevewhitemd. | July 27, 2015 at 10:58 am

      What matters to progressive activists is money, and money doesn’t come from ordinary black people – it comes from criminals.

If black lives mattered, they would be working to eliminate the street violence that takes so many lives, of all races, but mainly black lives.

Are they doing it? No.

    Estragon in reply to Exiliado. | July 27, 2015 at 7:59 am

    Many people in these communities live in fear of the criminals. They organize marches for peace all the time, but as I told a local pastor, “The young people here, and those you see in church on Sundays, are not the problem. You are preaching to the choir – and I don’t blame you. The choir won’t shoot.”

    Ragspierre in reply to Exiliado. | July 27, 2015 at 8:05 am

    Of course they are! Go talk to the leaders in the black churches.

    “This type of policing that pays attention to public order is demanded by the residents of poor communities.

    **They want the police to get the drug dealers off the corner, they want them to get the kids off their stoop who are hanging out there loitering and smoking weed and so that sort of policing is in fact a moral imperative.”**

    The Chicago precinct with the highest rate of newly minted concealed carry permits? WAY a “minority” neighborhood, and the permits granted to minority members.

      Exiliado in reply to Ragspierre. | July 27, 2015 at 9:18 am

      It amounts, in most cases, to cheap lip service.

      These people know who and where.
      They know their communities but they won’t talk to police. They “want” to get the drug dealers out of their street corners but they won’t point out who they are.

As much as I agree with MacDonald’s assessment, particular of the university, I had to wince at “the much more difficult problem of black crime.”

Before you can talk about solving a problem, you must first admit you have one, and the blacktivists and Democrats refuse to acknowledge it.

– –

How much easier is it to blame Ol’ Whitey, he of the Plantation and Jim Crow, and to promise free goodies in compensation for grievances real and imagined? Why address the real problem at all?

So they have not. It’s been a forbidden subject for over 40 years now.

Since the 60s, the Collective has been in open warfare with anything that fosters a civil society, which naturally includes the police and the criminal legal system.

Because of the pendulum effect in American polity, we’ve sometimes had reactions to that that have produced some excesses, which themselves are then used by the Collectivists to tar the whole.

I think we’re about to see a national push-back toward support for law and order, along with a concurrent rationalization of some of our more excessive use of incarceration.

But I hope…I very much hope…that Heather MacDonald will be very attentively listened to by the conservatives. She is a standout among thinkers on these subjects, and has her data in a row, so to speak.

    FrankNatoli in reply to Ragspierre. | July 27, 2015 at 11:36 am

    “I think we’re about to see a national push-back toward support for law and order, along with a concurrent rationalization of some of our more excessive use of incarceration.”

    MacDonald’s “Is the Criminal Justice System Racist”, see link above, documents that the loudest voices demanding police action against the crack epidemic were black “leaders” [and now they hate the same police]:

    Leave aside the irony of the press’s now declaring smugly that the press exaggerated the ravages of crack. (The same New York Times that now sneers at “images—or perhaps anecdotes—about the evils of crack” ran searing photos of crack addicts in 1993 that included a woman kneeling before a crack dealer, unzipping his fly, a baby clinging to her back; such degraded prostitutes, known as “strawberries,” were pervasive casualties of the epidemic.) The biggest problem with the revisionist narrative is its unreality. The assertion that concern about crack resulted from “unconscious racial aversion towards blacks” ignores a key fact: black leaders were the first to sound the alarm about the drug, as Harvard law professor Randall Kennedy documents in Race, Crime, and the Law. Harlem congressman Charles Rangel initiated the federal response to the epidemic, warning the House of Representatives in March 1986 that crack had made cocaine “frightening[ly]” accessible to youth. A few months later, Brooklyn congressman Major Owens explicitly rejected what is now received wisdom about media hype. “None of the press accounts really have exaggerated what is actually going on,” Owens said; the crack epidemic was “as bad as any articles have stated.” Queens congressman Alton Waldon then called on his colleagues to act: “For those of us who are black this self-inflicted pain is the worst oppression we have known since slavery. . . . Let us . . . pledge to crack down on crack.” The bill that eventually passed, containing the crack/powder distinction, won majority support among black congressmen, none of whom, as Kennedy points out, objected to it as racist.

      Ragspierre in reply to FrankNatoli. | July 27, 2015 at 12:22 pm


      As I tried to convey, Heather MacDonald is a treasure, and an essential read on any of the crime/race issues one could name.

For 200 years the white Democrat has known how to control the plantation system. Today they are joined by activist blacks who are all too eager to help white Democrats with this management. Anything for power.

Sammy Finkelman | July 27, 2015 at 10:57 am

“The one government agency that is the most dedicated to the proposition that black lives matter is the police”

Of course, but then these people don’t care about real black lives.

Their whole proposition is that black lives are in danger only from police, and that to say all lives matter, means that black lives don’t.

It’s all a big lie, and what they really mean is Black lives DON’T matter.

What matters is what they say.

Like Humpty Dumpty in Alice in Wonderland.

Get a copy of David Simon’s “Homicide, a Year on the Killing Streets”. Simon was a Baltimore Sun reporter who got himself embedded with Baltimore homicide for the entire year of 1988, then wrote his book. Then, and now, inner city blacks, all of them, male or female, young or old, clean or with a record, have a culture of despising the police, absolutely refusing to provide any information to the police, and when they do it’s almost always a lie, even when the liar has no liability in the investigation in the first place, he or she being merely a witness. Virtually all the victims in Simon’s book were black; virtually all the perpetrators and/or suspects were black, but nobody would cooperate with the police. What conclusion other than black lives do not matter to inner city blacks could anyone possibly come to?

    Ragspierre in reply to FrankNatoli. | July 27, 2015 at 12:36 pm

    Oh. So a sensational book is “evidence”???

    What about the SEVERAL essential witnesses who testified in the Mike Brown affair? I mean in REAL LIFE?

    What about the black witnesses who testified in favor of George Zimmerman?

    Here’s a fact: the SINGLE most likely demographic group to call police to report a crime is BLACK America.

      FrankNatoli in reply to Ragspierre. | July 27, 2015 at 1:02 pm

      I don’t know about you, but I don’t work in a big city homicide department. Therefore, all I “know” is what I read. Simon was/is a Lib, big time, but accurately reported everything he saw, and he went out with the detectives. And he used real names, detectives and street types, so there was no “based on” funny business. And calling the police to report a crime is very different from working with the police to solve a crime. All signs are that there is a wall of silence if not outright mendacity with malice aforethought between the residents and the cops.

      Curiously, when Simon wrote the scripts for “The Wire”, for TV he completely inverted everything he reported in “Homicide”. For “The Wire”, the cops are all flawed and failures, whereas the drug dealers are respectable and care about family. “The Wire” is, of course, really is what you consider “sensational”, and has nothing to do with reality.

        Ragspierre in reply to FrankNatoli. | July 27, 2015 at 1:20 pm

        You consider “The Jungle” and “The Grapes Of Wrath” conclusive evidence, too?

        Did or did not black witnesses provide testimony exonerating Officer Wilson before the grand jury?

        Who do you image testifies in trials of black thugs?

          FrankNatoli in reply to Ragspierre. | July 27, 2015 at 9:42 pm

          You’re absolutely right. “Homicide, a Year on the Killing Streets” is pure sensationalism.
          599 pages of what appeared to me to be meticulously documented dates, times, names and locations of what actually happened in Baltimore in 1988…pure sensationalism.
          An analysis of how everybody lies to Baltimore homicide, not just the words of the detectives [Irish-American, Italian-American, Black-American] themselves, but the first person observations of the author himself, page 34:
          (1) Murderers lie because they have to.
          (2) Witnesses and other participants lie because they think they have to.
          (3) Everyone else lies for the sheer joy of it, and to uphold a general principle that under no circumstances do you provide accurate information to a cop.
          Pure sensationalism.
          Jack Dunphy, long time LAPD street cop, writes on numerous conservative websites, who recommended the book as THE BEST AND MOST ACCURATE account of what the reality is on the streets…pure sensationalism.
          I do beg your pardon for thinking otherwise!

As long as Blacks, even dead ones, continue to vote for democrats, there is no need to seek change. Actually the dead ones can be relied 100% to vote for democrats. Sometimes the live ones either forget to go to the polls or are otherwise occupied at the time.

Please note, her name is “Heather Mac Donald”, not “Heather MacDonald”.

    Ragspierre in reply to Ichneumon. | July 27, 2015 at 2:52 pm

    Damned if you don’t appear to be correct.

    As a MacDonald clansman misef, however, we will claim her.

The utilitarian self-absolving #BlackLivesMatter meme puts the onus of any black life squarely onto someone else.

This endlessly repeated meme makes the whole of humanity responsible for whatever happens, just as AGW-ers seek to shame humanity into submission.