This is the kind of logic liberals are afraid of.
But it’s exactly the kind of clear thinking Americans need to hear at a time when the country’s fundamental values are being challenged by mobs in the street.
In an interview with conservative talk show host Mark Levin, Kentucky State University political science professor Wilfred Reilly brought cold numbers into the heated debate over alleged “systemic racism” in the United States.
And going by the numbers, Reilly said, the allegations just don’t add up.
Reilly is clearly under no illusions about the country’s past — no one who can read or has even a passing acquaintance with American history can deny that racism has played a disgraceful role in many, many ways — but he’s talking about the contemporary United States, more than 50 years after the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
In particular, the professor has a problem with the idea of “systemic racism” that leftists from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to violent protesters in the streets are claiming afflicts modern American society.
In the interview recorded for Fox News’ “Life, Liberty and Levin” on Sunday night, he used one of the country’s biggest sports to illustrate his points.
“Obviously, if we want to be honest about some of this country’s history, there have been systems like criminal sentencing where until quite recently, you did see discrimination at kind of a broad, group-targeted level,” Reilly said.
“But very often this phrase simply means there is a difference in performance between two groups [that] ‘we’re going to attribute to racism.’”
As an example of that performance difference, Reilly cited the National Basketball Association, a league where the majority of players are black in a country where African-Americans make up only about 13.4 percent of the population, according to the Census Bureau.
“I don’t think any serious person would believe that [is] because white jocks just don’t get a fair shake in American society,” Reilly told Levin.
“The reason is that there’s what you might call a cultural variable.
“African-Americans play basketball more, and so, on average, at the median, with all due respect to the Hick from French Lick [Boston Celtics legend Larry Bird], we’re better at it.”
Check out the interview here:
The NBA wasn’t Reilly’s only argument, of course.
He also took aim at some of the left’s most common tropes, such as the fact that black Americans have more confrontations with police officers.
Since the black population has a higher rate of violent crime — crimes where the victims are black as well as the perpetrators — it stands to reason there’s going to be more police interaction, Reilly said.
Prosecutions for white-collar crime target white Americans, Reilly said. (Does that mean the Securities and Exchange Commission is biased against whites?)
No thinking American can deny that there is a history of discrimination against black people in the United States, but we’re living in the here and now, and the country is being judged today by the actions of the past.
Now, more than 150 years after the end of a Civil War to eradicate slavery, more than six decades after the passage of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964, decades where affirmative action became part of the social fabric — however rightly or wrongly — those accusations don’t stand up to the cold light of logic.
The death of George Floyd while in the custody of the Minneapolis police doesn’t change that — no matter how much pointless rioting and lawless looting it spawned.
But logic and liberalism don’t go well together.
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