Repeatedly publishing lies to what end? Open letter to Rob Curley, Editor of the Spokesman-Review
By Tom Horne
To: Rob Curley, Editor of the Spokesman Review
Subject: Repeatedly publishing lies to what end?
In the past year you have published at least three stories using statistics to prove racism in our criminal justice system, both nationally with Jennifer Rubin’s 2/4/23 article, and locally with articles by Shawn Vestal on 2/2/22 and by Colin Tiernan on 10/6/22. These articles have cited statistics on percentages of those incarcerated who are black and the percentage of people killed by police who are black to show that our justice system is racist. The authors of these articles and you, the guy who publishes them, are not ignorant people. You certainly are aware of the rest of the statistics that show a very high black crime rate that fully explains the “disproportionate” incarceration and killing of blacks by police. Those statistics show that our 12.4 % black population account for over 39% of murder offenders, more than three times what should be expected. This indicates that blacks are responsible for a disproportionate percentage of crimes in our society sufficient to explain the “disproportionate” incarceration percentage and the “disproportionate” percentage killed by cops.
Journalism is a vital profession in a free society. It is supposed to give the public unbiased complete information so that we can make informed decisions regarding how we are governed. Using only part of the pertinent statistics, to create a false conclusion is to lie. The authors of the articles, and you who pay them, are telling lies, repeatedly. To what end? Do you want to inflame race relations? Not enough racism to meet demand, so you have to make it up?
Anyone who knowingly publishes lies should not be a journalist. On the other hand, if you, Jennifer Rubin, Shawn Vestal and Colin Tiernan are so ill informed that you are unaware of the disproportionate black crime rate, then you all should be in a different profession.
Below are two letters to the editor you have published and an attached table showing FBI statistics on murder by race from 2013 to 2020. I commend you for publishing letters that refute your articles but that does not atone for publishing lies.
Tom Horne — email@example.com
Jennifer Rubin left out half the numbers.
Here is a quote from Jennifer Rubin’s 2/3/23 column on police reform:
“Too many people die from police shootings, and a disproportionate number are Black. This is not “wokeism.” It is a fact, derived from a huge body of data. The Mapping Police Violence project found: “ Black people were 26% of those killed by police in 2022 despite being only 13% of the population””
The obvious conclusion is that this disparity must be due to racism. She leaves out more facts from a “huge body of data”, the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting tables, that shows that in 2020 over 39% of murder offenders, and 56% of victims, were black. So, this 12.4% of our population is responsible for over 3 times the murders you would expect. This murder rate is a rough proxy for the crime rate of our black community and fully explains the “discrepancy” in the number of blacks killed by police. The crime rate, rather than race, is the pertinent factor.
Rubin, and the editors who buy articles using the same template, are not ignorant of the whole story, yet they continually leave out the part about the black crime rate. They repeat this lie, to the detriment of the nation and the black community. Policy changes based on this lie do not solve any problem and have reduced policing in black communities leading to thousands of additional black deaths since Michael Brown’s death in 2013.
It is all about race, even when it isn’t.
Spokane County is about 84% white and 2.4% Black. A 2/21/21 Spokesman article on crime gave us murder statistics for 2020 by race. There were 21 murders that year in Spokane. Assuming that suspects whose race was not indicated were white, then 16 murder suspects, or 76% were white, about what you would expect. Six murder victims were black, as were 6 murder suspects, which works out to 29% of murder suspects being black. So, the black 2.4% of our population accounted for 29% of our murder suspects, which is about 12 times their portion of the population.
Here is a quote from an Oct. 6, 2022 Colin Tiernan article about the race for District 4 County Commissioner.
“Kuney has acknowledged the criminal justice system disproportionately impacts people of color. Incarceration rates paint a clear picture. For instance, while 2% of county residents are Black, Black people make up 14% of the county jail population.”
Tiernan’s premise, like Vestal’s before him on 2/2/22, was clearly that racism in our justice system was responsible for the disparity.
Kuney did not explicitly refute the premise.
Hopefully the high murder rate in 2020 was a fluke, but the black murder rate in 2020, at 12 times their portion of the population, clearly indicates a black crime rate sufficient to explain the black incarceration rate being 7 times their portion of the population. Tiernan and Vestal need to read the Spokesman and digest the numbers, rather than make unsubstantiated claims of racism.
From Tom Horne <firstname.lastname@example.org>