Yet another pundit suggests that blacks divert their attention towards other issues they deem more important.  As Marc Lamont Hill offered solutions for the systemic issue that is police misconduct, former police officer Harry Houck responded by stating that officers have acknowledged that there is an issue. He continues with stating

“This thing with the disparity about blacks and whites in jails. That’s got to stop because I got statistics right here which will prove me right. In New York City alone okay, blacks are 23% of the population. They make up 75% of all shootings, 70% of all robberies, and 60% of all violent crimes. Alright, whites only 3%. Now that is why there are more blacks in jail than whites….the facts in these statistics have to be addressed and you’ve got to understand them.” 

Mark Lamont Hill’s rebuttal was initially focused on discussing why the general public should second guess police officers, arguing that their standing as public servants necessitates this. When Hill mentioned an investigation of Ferguson, Missouri’s Police Department which showed “considerable evidence of racism”, Houck shouted out “that makes it systemic? It’s not systemic!”


Frustrated with the interruption, Hill says “Harry got on national TV and said
are prone to criminality. I want to be able to respond to that”, to which Houck responds “well, they are!”

As the argument progressed amongst the panel, Houck later rescinded his suggestion that black people are prone to commit crime. Former NYPD Chief Philip Banks spoke last explaining an example of systemic racism in police departments in which Black and Latino communities were disproportionately profiled during Vehicle Checkpoint procedures, an instance that he suggests departments ” are not intentionally aware of.”

These supposed open conversations surrounding racism and police brutality seem to always result in a screaming match. Instead of heeding one another’s words, the focus is almost always on each person’s desire to prove they’re correct. With such biases, can an actual conversation on racism take place?


PUBLIC NOTE: The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not reflect the view of the Urban Intellectuals, affiliates or partners.