False charges of racial profiling threaten to obliterate the crime-fighting gains of the last decade, especially in America's inner cities. This is the message of Heather Mac Donald's new book, in which she brings her special brand of tough and honest journalism to the current war against the police. The anti-profiling crusade, she charges, thrives on an ignorance of policing and a willful blindness to the demographics of crime. In careful reports from New York and other major cities across the country, Ms. Mac ...
False charges of racial profiling threaten to obliterate the crime-fighting gains of the last decade, especially in America's inner cities. This is the message of Heather Mac Donald's new book, in which she brings her special brand of tough and honest journalism to the current war against the police. The anti-profiling crusade, she charges, thrives on an ignorance of policing and a willful blindness to the demographics of crime. In careful reports from New York and other major cities across the country, Ms. Mac Donald investigates the workings of the police, the controversy over racial profiling, and the anti-profiling lobby's harmful effects on black Americans. The reduction in urban crime, one of the nation's signal policy successes of the 1990s, has benefited black communities even more dramatically than white neighborhoods, she shows. By policing inner cities actively after long neglect, cops have allowed business and civil society to flourish there once more. But attacks on police, centering on false charges of police racism and racial profiling, and spearheaded by activists, the press, and even the Justice Department, have slowed the success and threaten to reverse it. Ms. Mac Donald looks at the reality behind the allegations and writes about the black cops you never heard about, the press coverage of policing, and policing strategies across the country. Her iconoclastic findings demolish the prevailing anti-cop orthodoxy.
Smart and fearless..... the best investigative journalist in America.... .Her argument is simple and clear.
The Wall Street Journal
Ms. Mac Donald eviscerates the case against the troopers with careful logic.
We are lucky to have Heather Mac Donald fighting for the legitimate interests of law enforcement.
A contributing editor for the City Journal, Mac Donald asserts that in a post-Amadou Diallo and Abner Louima climate, police in New York and New Jersey have been wrongfully attacked by the media as being prejudiced when most are merely doing their jobs. Mac Donald readily admits "racist cops do exist," but sees the police mostly as shackled, less-effective agents of justice who hold back in black and Latino neighborhoods for fear that they'll be called racist. One section usefully highlights police anger-management techniques and communication with citizens and community groups, and notes that both need to be improved to help prevent police brutality. Yet the book often reads like overcompensation for perceived media bias. Mac Donald's interviews focus primarily on citizens who view the police positively, with little data to back up the book's positive-to-negative spin ratio. Practically all officers profiled come across as beleaguered, fair-minded street soldiers struggling beneath a media onslaught. And, quite glaringly, the book doesn't make good on the promise of its subtitle. Anecdotes about black Americans who long for a stronger police presence are passing mentions; Mac Donald spends much more time singling out publications (particularly The New York Times) as well as writers, theorists and politicians who've jumped on the anti-racial profiling bandwagon. An antagonistic tone and jeering asides (the author ridicules a politician for incorporating parts of the play The Vagina Monologues into her swearing-in ceremony) further squander the potential for meaningful dialogue that Mac Donald's ideas afford. (Jan.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
MacDonald (The Burden of Bad Ideas) is one of the few authors who attempts to justify current policing methods, arguing that the truth about policing and issues related to race is not known to the general public. She contends that the police should be receiving accolades for all the good work they do; instead, they are constantly attacked by the media (especially the New York Times), which offer unsubstantiated claims that racial profiling is running amok. MacDonald presents a great deal of evidence to debunk this media-driven myth: law-abiding inner-city citizens want a highly visible police presence, black officers pull over the same percentage of minority motorists as do their white counterparts, officers receive many hours of sensitivity and diversity training, and so on. In particular, she takes great exception to what she sees as the New York Times's biased approach to covering police matters, showing, for instance, that they do not report such incidents as police officers capturing gun-wielding felons without firing a shot, as the NYPD has done 155 times since 1995. This book is essential reading for anyone who assumes that racial profiling is an undisputed fact. Highly recommended for collections in criminal justice and the social sciences.-Tim Delaney, Canisius Coll., Buffalo, NY Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.