The Dark Knight sells out

Here is an image from the latest in a special three-part graphic novel set within Frank Miller's Dark Knight universe:


Apparently, the idea is to show the Batman standing up in favour of "social justice" and (quite brutally) taking down cops who are deliberately targeting an innocent young black kid for something he didn't know he did.

It would appear, then, that Frank Miller and the other writers for the series have decided to get political after all. Which, if you've read Frank Miller's past forays into the DC Universe, is not the least bit surprising.

What is surprising is that he's doing it in such a ham-fisted fashion. If you've read Batman: Year One, or The Dark Knight Returns, you'll know that Frank Miller's original writing showcased a keen understanding of the zeitgeist of the time, and worked to deflate the pretensions of both liberals and conservatives.

But in this case, he appears to have gone full libtard.



Let me illustrate for you the scale of the problem here.

Various news media articles on this point out the similarities between the scenes depicted here and the last few highly publicised killings of black men by white police officers; the Daily Mail, for instance, is at pains to point out that the young man pictured in the panels holds up his hands in a gesture of surrender, the same way that Michael Brown did before he was shot to death in Ferguson. The implication is, of course, that black men are routinely targeted unfairly and dealt with far more roughly by white police officers than they should be in a colour-blind society.

There is just one small problem with this narrative, and it is a big one: when white officers shoot black men, they generally do so for a reason. There are, to be clear, exceptions to this; the use of excessive force on the part of police is well known.

But is it endemic? Is it, indeed, so bad as to rate a special commentary in a flagship comic written by some of the greatest authors to grace the industry?

Not nearly.

Michael Brown, for instance, was not some innocent "gentle giant" who was shot and murdered in cold blood by a crazed racist white police officer. He was in fact a criminal who had committed a clear act of aggression, and who then charged toward officer Darren Wilson even when told to stop.


But surely that is just one counterexample, which does not disprove the narrative. Surely...

Right?

Er... no.
The use of excessive force by police isn’t unheard of, so if a consequence of the news media’s obsession with the shooting of Michael Brown by Officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson Aug. 9 is more widespread use of bodycams by police, that would be good. 
But to assert that racially motivated shootings by police are commonplace and that this was one of them undermines the rule of law and “fans racial discord,” said Milwaukee County (Wis.) Sheriff David Clarke, who is black. 
Young black males are 21 times more likely to be shot dead by police than are young white males, Pro Publica said. But because more than two-thirds of police officers are white and blacks commit about half of violent crimes, it stands to reason most police shootings would involve a white cop and a black suspect
Blacks also are more likely than whites, Hispanics or Asians to resist arrest, according to Heather Mac Donald of the Manhattan Institute. 
Black cops have shot black suspects at essentially the same rate as white cops have, Prof. Klinger’s data indicate. No statistical evidence supports the charge that white cops routinely abuse black suspects. But the question is: Did Officer Wilson use excessive force against Michael Brown? 
“What the grand jury had, that the rest of us did not have until the grand jury’s decision was announced, was a set of physical facts that told a story that was independent of what anybody said,” wrote economist Thomas Sowell, who is black. “Moreover, the physical facts were consistent with what a number of black witnesses said under oath, despite expressing fears for their own safety for contradicting what those in the rampaging mobs were saying.”

So basically, blacks commit more crimes than whites; police officers are more often white than black; therefore, it's pretty much inevitable that white police officers are going to get into tangles with black perpetrators.

This is what is known as "logical deduction". It is not, historically, something that progressives (and cuckservatives) tend to be good at.

Oh, but wait, there's more.

Do the data support the notion that white police officers disproportionately and violently target blacks?

Blacks were disproportionately likely to commit homicide and to be the victims. In 2008 the offending rate for blacks was seven times higher than for whites and the victimisation rate was six times higher. 
As we found yesterday, 93 per cent of black victims were killed by blacks and 84 per cent of white victims were killed by whites. 
Alternative statistics from the FBI are more up to date but include many crimes where the killer’s race is not recorded. These numbers tell a similar story. 
In 2013, the FBI has black criminals carrying out 38 per cent of murders, compared to 31.1 per cent for whites. The offender’s race was “unknown” in 29.1 per cent of cases.

What about violent crime more generally? FBI arrest rates are one way into this. Over the last three years of data – 2011 to 2013 – 38.5 per cent of people arrested for murder, manslaughter, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault were black. 
Clearly, these figures are problematic. We’re talking about arrests not convictions, and high black arrest rates could be taken as evidence that the police are racist. 
But academics have noted that the proportion of black suspects arrested by the police tends to match closely the proportion of offenders identified as black by victims in the National Crime Victimization Survey. 
This doesn’t support the idea that the police are unfairly discriminating against the black population when they make arrests.
Again, in general, that assertion is false. There ARE specific exceptions. Those exceptions must rightly be condemned as excessive use of force. One has to keep a sense of perspective about such things.

There is room for debate about police methods when making these arrests. I've spoken with martial artists who have trained law enforcement officers in other countries, and one of them put forth a rather interesting assertion. He stated that police officers in this country generally have lower standards of training and discipline than they do in his home country. And this does make a huge difference in terms of mentality and approach to enforcement.

He pointed out that in his country, officers are expected to train regularly with firearms- and their proficiency requirements for those same weapons are vastly higher than they are in almost any police department here in the USA. By contrast, police officers here are only required to pass a yearly certification to prove an acceptable level of marksmanship and familiarity with a firearm. (So he said, anyway.)

And finally, he noted that police training in non-lethal methods of subduing victims is generally lower than it is in his home country. Given that he regularly trains law enforcement personnel here, and has hosted many seminars on weapons defences at all sorts of ranges, I'm inclined to believe him on the subject.

The result is that deadly force is used more often than it should be, which is when the sensationalist headlines get posted about how white police officers are deliberately targeting young black men in an orgy of race-inspired hate crimes.

And, to play the devil's advocate for a moment here, if you saw this video and had no context or frame of reference in which to observe it, you might well be inclined to believe that notion. (Warning: NOT for those with delicate constitutions. For the rest of you, skip ahead to 5 minutes in.)


Was there any call to shoot Lacquan Mcdonald multiple times at medium range when he was walking away from the police? Probably not. But that is my, admittedly quite uninformed, opinion, and I do not pretend that it is in any way a good one.

The police reports differ markedly from the clear video evidence, indicating that Chicago police themselves knew full well just how bad their use of force looked.

But the video also clearly shows that this was not just some innocent young black kid facing officers with murderous intent with his hands up in a gesture of abject surrender- like that set of panels from The Dark Knight would have you believe is the case in many similar situations.

Mr. McDonald was walking away from the officers, with the knife in his hands down and by his side. That is unquestionably true based on the evidence.

That same evidence shows that it is also unquestionably true that he did not make any gestures of open surrender when surrounded by superior and lethal force.

Personally, I do not have particularly great trust in the police- certainly I trust them far less than I do any current or past member of the US armed forces, especially the Marines. But the evidence is what it is. And the evidence says that Frank Miller- whose reinvention of both the alpha and the omega of the Batman stand as true high-water marks of the entire comic book genre- is simply wrong about police brutality these days.

Comments

  1. Are you surprised?

    The Dark Knight Strikes Back, the second in this series was a piece of shit and the sjwness was bleeding through. And I loved the The Dark Knight Returns.

    It sullied the DKR. And Millers try hard effort in making Robin the big bad (as much as I dislike Robin) that turn was lame. It wasn't a surprise, it was a disappointment.

    And he was making statements that Carrie Randal is smarter that Bruce Wayne and that's SJW equalism right there.

    I will not read it, haven't read a DC comic in years

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    1. It's only in recent years that I've noticed just how full of SJW nonsense The Dark Knight Strikes Again really was. I went through years of denial pretending that it was a good graphic novel- but then I read All Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder, and... oh dear. Couldn't deny it any more.

      Thing is, it's actually hard to get a read on what Frank Miller really thinks. The guy's work and statements in public contradict the notion that he's some bleeding-heart progressive. Yet the quality of that same writing has been declining for years, going well into libtard territory.

      He's come a LONG way down from seminal works like 300, Ronin, and of course his original work in the Batverse, to "I'm the goddamn Batman". And the sad thing is, it's all happened in the space of like the last 15 years...

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  2. FWIW

    The choking case in NY was unreasonable on the part of the police, but even the daughter admitted it likely wasn't a racist thing but her father being to proud/full of himself to submit and back off, and the cops trying to get him to comply.

    The fact that NY's cig tax laws compelled them to address the complaint by the owner of the shop he was in front of....

    Nah.

    The most recent shooting - Eric Raymond has a good post. It really depends on how the shooting went, but given the ranges/etc. involved, the behavior, and the knife, it seems taking him down was legit.

    The question is did the cop just KEEP shooting from adrenaline dump, or stop, then decide to "make sure?"

    And the cops who covered it up need to be disciplined.

    Other than that? Yeah, saint Trayvon and Saint Michael are false myths and narratives that are going to get more blacks killed.

    There's also one in N Charleston that was pretty fucking stupid - cop shot a guy trotting away (and taxed, couldn't run any faster).

    That said, N CHS has a bad rep in the area, whereas the downtown and other area forces are professional.

    Worth looking int the podcast "White Girl Bleed a Lot" - even if after a bunch of episodes it's more and more of the same. Worth it for that realization alone, as well as "unpromulgated" details of major events that DO make the news.

    Nevertheless, the overall point - the shit the grievance mongers blow up is rarely the "good kid" - and the few legit cases don't blow up, likely because most people go "yeah, the cop screwed up"

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    1. I read through ESR's post after you mentioned it and you're right, it's an excellent write-up. He picked up on a number of important details that I missed, especially concerning the fact that Laquan McDonald had non-trivial levels of PCP in his system.

      Worth looking int the podcast "White Girl Bleed a Lot"

      I read the book earlier this year. It was a real eye-opener. I didn't realise just how bad the problem of black-on-white violence really is. It puts the whole BLM movement into real perspective. Here they are protesting over specific examples of supposedly egregious white racially motivated violence against blacks, when in reality blacks are committing crimes in vastly higher numbers, to a far greater degree of violence, against whites and Asians.

      Nevertheless, the overall point - the shit the grievance mongers blow up is rarely the "good kid" - and the few legit cases don't blow up, likely because most people go "yeah, the cop screwed up"

      Pretty much. And it's becoming apparent that screaming "RACISS!!!" at people who don't agree with the narrative is losing its power. It would appear that people are realising that the narrative is wrong, and that the cognitive dissonance between what the media tells them is true, and what is actually happening, is increasing by the day.

      Delete

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