On Saturday, California State University Los Angeles Professor Melina Abdullah tweeted out a clarion call to Americans: stop calling the police on black people.
Now perhaps she meant that you shouldn’t call the police on somebody just because they’re black — which, of course, is correct. You shouldn’t call the police on somebody based on an immutable characteristic, rather than based on criminal behavior. That's racism.
But then she clarified: you should never call the police.
The argument thus seems to go: don’t ever call the police, but specifically don’t call the police under any circumstances if the person about whom you are calling is black. Which, of course, is a license to criminality, as well as racist.
This isn’t a shock coming from Abdullah, a radical anti-police activist who said of police, “The police that we now have were the slave catchers. So that is where it comes from. You literally have a target on your back. That is what policing was founded on and that is what it evolved out of. So the former slave catchers or paddy rollers, they were called slave patrols.” She advocates for abolishing the police in favor of community groups. (On an unrelated note, Abdullah has said that I am a “neo-Nazi” and a “neo-KKK” member. So there’s that.)
This perspective on the police is deeply counterproductive. Jill Loevy of The Los Angeles Times, no conservative, rightly wrote this in her book, Ghettoside: “African Americans have suffered from just such a lack of effective criminal justice, and this, more than anything, is the reason for the nation’s long-standing plague of black homicides…[Lack of police] left ample room for vigilantism.” More police in high crime areas helps make those areas safer for the law-abiding, regardless of race.