Constricting the flow of information is a risk to Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness…
The left in America seems to believe there is some information people just do not need to know, so their allies at Internet and social media companies help them ban that “forbidden” information, essentially shutting down certain lanes on the information superhighway.
In a vast information landscape like America, it would seem information would avoid the closed lanes by just merging into the remaining open lanes – but given that there has been a consolidation and concentration of traditional outlets, creating a “corporate” media consisting primarily of broadcast media and print media (and most people still get their “news” through these outlets), it isn’t as difficult as one would think. These outlets tend to report on each other, accepting information from another approved media member rather than vetting it before disseminating it to the news consumers in the public. Just look at how much of the false information vomited out during the Russia “collusion” information turned out to be rooted in the original lies in the Steele Dossier.
But, like nature, the human mind abhors a vacuum, so the information void created by the censors working for the Tech Oligarchs is filled with bits and pieces of related (and unrelated) information, rumor, and innuendo.
Analogous to an inverted funnel, a small amount of salacious (and false) information enters the neck of the funnel, the media eats it up and when there was nothing to support it, they basically make things up from whispers, scraps and rummaging through the refuse bins. The result is that virtually none of what is reported has any basis in fact.
Think “Russia collusion” debacle.
Shutting down the information lanes was created as a defense mechanism to protect Democrats, especially the powerful in Washington and those wanting to join that club. Information detours are created for anyone at risk to protect them or to delay harmful information until it is useless to their enemies or harmless – or at least the harm can be “managed”.
But the act of shutting down the free flow of raw information (factual, false, and unrelated) creates MORE distrust, more conspiracy theories, more misinformation and “fake news” than if the information superhighway had all lanes open and people could choose their own route.
While censoring or manipulating information for political or ideological protection is dangerous, this danger is more or less “once removed” from the individual and is exhibited in the elevation to prominence of less-than-optimal people and policies. It is a risk to Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness, two of the three unalienable Rights enumerated in the Declaration of Independence.
It is rare, but such information strangulation can be a risk to Life, the third unalienable Right.
You see this all the time in plots movies and TV. Someone is wronged, then collects intel about who wronged them, makes a target designation, and embarks on a path of vengeance, only to find that their target was not the real culprit after all.
But BlackLivesMatter is not a movie character, and our lives are not a movie script.
The oft asserted claim of “disproportionate” police action is based on population segmentation as a denominator. Using the fact that blacks comprise just 13% of America’s population as that denominator, black people are statistically more likely to be shot and killed by law enforcement officers. What we should be asking is whether that ratio is a valid way to determine “disproportionality” or perhaps there is a more accurate way to measure it.
To that point, we should know that multiple scientific studies have proven that racial animus is not a factor in even the “13%” disparity. The most recent study to date was published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in 2019 and it found “no significant evidence of antiblack disparity in the likelihood of being fatally shot by police,” and instead determined that “race-specific county-level violent crime strongly predicts the race of the civilian shot.” Every one of these studies show that it is the violent crime rate of a given race that determines the likelihood a member of that race will be shot and killed by a law enforcement officer.
The latest report (2018) from the Bureau of Justice Statistics reported:
- About 61.5 million residents had at least one contact with police.
- Twenty-four percent of residents experienced contact with police, up from 21% in 2015.
- Whites (26%) were more likely than blacks (21%), Hispanics (19%), or persons of other races (20%) to experience police contact.
- There was no statistically significant difference in the percentage of whites (12%) and blacks (11%) who experienced police-initiated contact.
- Just 2% of the 61.5 million people who had at least one contact with police in 2018 reported either the use or threat of force by the officer.
Then there is this data from the Washington Post’s “Fatal Force” database:
- 94% of the 6,241 people who have been killed to date by police officers in America since the beginning of 2015 were armed in some way (58% with a gun, 75% with a gun or knife, 87% with a gun, knife, some other weapon, or were using a vehicle they were driving as a weapon).
- 91% of the black men killed by police officers since 2015 were armed (62% with a gun, 75% were with a gun or knife, 86% were armed with a gun, knife, some other weapon, or were using a vehicle they were driving as a weapon).
- Only 2% of the total victims of deadly police shootings over the past six years were unarmed black men. That is 125 people over about 6 and a quarter years – 20 fatalities per year, not the thousands per year surveys show people believe.
Nearly every single person police officers have shot and killed since The Washington Post started its comprehensive database has been armed, yet the popular misconception persists that law enforcement is killing unarmed black men at a staggering rate.
There are only two conclusions that can be drawn from this – there is a concerted effort in the national media to keep these facts away from BLM or BLM knows them and are just ignoring the truth. The former reveals them as ignorant, temperamental children filling their temperamental minds with conspiracy theories and anger, the latter as malevolent and evil, willfully ignoring facts in service to an agenda that has nothing to do with preserving black lives.
BLM exists on a foundation of false assumptions, misinformation, and untruths. It, and the reaction to it, is a risk to all three unalienable Rights – Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.