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  • Is racism still a major problem in America? President Barack Obama certainly thinks so.

  • He said that racism isin our DNA.” Really? If racism is in our DNA,

  • doesn’t that mean it's immutable, unchangeable?

  • But America has changed -- and dramatically so. In 1960, 60% of Americans said they would

  • never vote for a black president. Almost 50 years later, the black man who said racism

  • is in America’s DNA was elected president, and four years later re-elected.

  • That’s only the most obvious example of racial progress. There are many others.

  • Take inter-racial marriage. As William H. Frey of the Brookings Institution wrote, “Sociologists

  • have traditionally viewed multiracial marriage as a benchmark for the ultimate stage of assimilation

  • of a particular group into society.” Black-white marriages were still illegal in 16 states

  • until 1967. And a 1958 Gallup poll found that only 4% of Americans approved of black-white

  • marriages. Today that number is 87%. In 1960, of all marriages by blacks, only 1.7 percent

  • were black-white. Today, it’s 12 percent and rising.

  • Now what aboutracial profilingand abuse of blacks by police? Doesn’t that

  • prove that racism remains a major problem? In the summer of 2014, Ferguson, Missouri

  • became ground zero for this accusation when a white policeman shot and killed an unarmed

  • black teenager. While a Department of Justice investigation of the incident cleared the

  • officer of any wrongdoing, it did accuse the city’s police department of racial bias.

  • But what was the Justice Department report’s most headline grabbing stat? The gap between

  • the percentage of blacks living in Ferguson -- 67% -- and the percentage of those stopped

  • by police for traffic violation who are black -- 85%. An 18 point discrepancy.

  • Racism, right? Not so fast.

  • Blacks comprise 25% of New York City, but account for 55% of those stopped for traffic

  • offenses -- a 30-point discrepancy, far bigger than that of Ferguson. Why isn’t the NYPD,

  • a department that is now majority minority, considered even more institutionally racist

  • than the Ferguson PD? The answer is you cannot have an honest discussion about police conduct

  • without an honest discussion of black crime.

  • Though blacks are 13% of the population, they commit 50% of the nation’s homicides,

  • and almost always the victim is another black person, just as most white homicides are against

  • other whites. In 2012, according to the Center for Disease Control, police killed 123 blacks,

  • while, by the way, killing over twice that many whites. But that same year blacks killed

  • over 6,000 people -- again, mostly other blacks.

  • What about traffic stops? Unlike when responding to dispatch calls, police officers exercise

  • more discretion when it comes to traffic stops. Thereforeracistcops can have a field

  • day when it comes to traffic stops, right?

  • Actually, no.

  • The National Institute of Justice is the research agency of the Department of Justice.

  • In 2013, the National Institute of Justice published a study called "Race, Trust and Police Legitimacy."

  • Three out of four black drivers admitted that they were stopped by the police for a "legitimate

  • reason." Blacks, compared to whites, were on average more likely to commit speeding

  • and other traffic offenses. The Institute wrote, “Seatbelt usage is chronically lower among

  • black drivers. If a law enforcement agency aggressively enforces seatbelt violations,

  • police will stop more black drivers."

  • The NIJ’s conclusion? These numerical disparities result from "differences in offending"

  • -- in other words, not because of racism.

  • Similarly, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also found that blacks violate

  • traffic laws at higher rates than whites -- in every offense, whether it’s driving without a license,

  • not wearing a seat belt, not using a child safety seat or speeding.

  • Is there still racism in America? Of course, there is. But racism is not in America’s DNA.

  • Recent history and a lot of research and data prove it.

  • As liberal Harvard sociologist Orlando Patterson said, America, “is now the least racist

  • white-majority society in the world; has a better record of legal protections of minorities

  • than any other society, white or black; offers more opportunities to a greater number of

  • black persons than any other society, including all of those of Africa."

  • Patterson, by the way, is black.

  • I’m Larry Elder for Prager University.

Is racism still a major problem in America? President Barack Obama certainly thinks so.

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Is America Racist?

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