Had a great conversation with my friend Peter Brown on the show Friday morning. He started the conversation explaining that he is a black Democrat and he supports the cops.

He talked about growing up in a white neighborhood and how good his connection to the neighborhood was as a young kid.

He talked about the need for strong black role models to inspire the next generation of black youth. Inspiration and strength over the constant cry of victimhood. Without strong police support, neighborhoods will devolve into gang-infested danger zones. Look what’s happening in Seattle. The mob has taken over a section of the city after they forced police out of their precinct building. They are essentially calling for an expanded "police-free zone." This is insanity and it will cost lives. Police response time in the area served by the now occupied police precinct has risen from five minutes to 18 minutes.

How can anyone feel safe in an area occupied by an ignorant mob bent on fueling the fire of racial division and hate? We’ve gone way beyond the justified anger and outrage over the killing of George Floyd. This is a battle over the role police play in our society. This is a battle over the minds of a new generation of young black and brown kids. Will these kids grow up in a world where violence is encouraged by politicians as a legitimate way of expressing a desire for change? Will these kids grow up in a world seeing themselves as victims? Will they grow up in a world believing that the greatest nation on Earth, where people of all races and backgrounds have an opportunity to live free and prosper, is actually a racist bastion focused on keeping people of color down?

Peter’s confidence in our nation is a sentiment that should be shared with everyone regardless of race. We discussed the great Frederick Douglass, born a slave, who rose to became one of the most prominent abolitionist leaders in history. Douglass has inspired generations of Americans, black, brown, white and everything in between. One of my favorite quotes in history is from Frederick Douglass: “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.”

This quote sums up perfectly the sentiment from Peter and a growing number of voices in the black community. People who are sick and tired of violence and victimhood. Men and women who want to empower their children with strong examples of black American heroes who changed the course of history. Barack Obama, whether I agree with his policies or not, showed the world that not only is America NOT a racist country, but anyone can grab opportunity and a person of color could become the most powerful leader in the world.

As far as systemic racism in our police departments, nothing could be further from the truth. Cops like every group of people and institution have members that do bad things. Racism exists. Hate exists. Evil exists. But to paint the million members of law enforcement with the same brush applied to the horrific actions of a few is intellectually dishonest and makes it harder to root out those who should be removed from the force.

A million LEOs, tens of millions of interactions with the public. Around 11 million arrests every year. Almost all, by the book and resulting in a better and safer community. On the other side, more than 60,000 cops are assaulted every year. So far this year, 23 cops have been gunned down protecting and serving the rest of us. Did you know that close to 90% of the homicide and manslaughter victims in New York last year were black or Hispanic? Did you know that 92% of the suspects in those crimes were also black or Hispanic?

Using the data that the Washington Post has compiled on unarmed suspects shot and killed by police, in 2019 the total number of black suspects who were shot and killed was nine. Not 9%, nine people. As far as white suspects? Nineteen shot and killed, more than twice the number of black suspects. And the definition of “unarmed” is questionable, here’s the pull quote:

The police fatally shot nine unarmed blacks and 19 unarmed whites in 2019, according to a Washington Post database, down from 38 and 32, respectively, in 2015. The Post defines “unarmed” broadly to include such cases as a suspect in Newark, N.J., who had a loaded handgun in his car during a police chase. In 2018 there were 7,407 black homicide victims. Assuming a comparable number of victims last year, those nine unarmed black victims of police shootings represent 0.1% of all African-Americans killed in 2019. By contrast, a police officer is 18½ times more likely to be killed by a black male than an unarmed black male is to be killed by a police officer. - Heather Mac Donald, article from the Washington Post

The facts simply don’t support the anti-cop narrative. If we are serious about restoring peace, prosperity and confidence in the critical role of law enforcement, it’s time to teach your kids responsibility and courage. Victimhood and playing the blame game based on select use of data to support an agenda is dangerous and destructive.

Enter your number to get the NJ 101.5 app

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Spadea. Any opinions expressed are Bill's own. Bill Spadea is on the air weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m., talkin’ Jersey, taking your calls at 1-800-283-1015.

More from New Jersey 101.5: