Courageous Black Author Takes On False Racism Narrative in Taboo

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Taboo:  10 Facts [You Can’t Talk About]
by Wilfrid Reilly
256 pages
published January 2020


One of Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s most famous statements was:  “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.” 

In his superb book Taboo, Wilfred Reilly, a brilliant and courageous black intellectual, lays out the facts, not opinions, about the racism that critics of the country say still permeates America. In doing so, he calmly and persuasively destroys the established left-wing “truths” of systemic racism, racist police, and white privilege. Using reams of data, which are carefully sourced in 22 pages of endnotes, Reilly demolishes the cherished myths and dogma propagated by the social justice left. This is not a book of opinions. This is a desperately needed book of facts – facts which are carefully and impartially analyzed.

Reilly’s opening chapter attacks the myth that there is an “epidemic” of African-Americans being murdered by police in the United States of America. He attributes the fact that many African-Americans believe this myth squarely to the mainstream media, who ignore the truth and sensationalize the extremely rare cases of unarmed blacks being shot. In this manner, radical anti-police groups like Black Lives Matter and Antifa get improbable mileage out of false narratives.

Reilly does it with facts. In 2015, police killed 1,200 people, of which 258 were African-Americans.  Of these, exactly 17 were unarmed — and in many cases,  these unarmed people were threatening the police officer or reaching for the police officer’s weapon when police opened fire.

FBI statistics show that the black crime rate is 2.5 times greater than the white crime rate, which accounts for the disproportionate percentage of those killed. For example, blacks committed 52.2% of murders and non-negligent manslaughters in 2013 despite representing less than 13 percent of the American population. The Washington Post (hardly a right-wing publication) published a database showing that police killed 14 unarmed blacks in 2019 out of approximately 43 million African-Americans; 25 unarmed whites were also killed.

Reilly also writes in detail about some of the high-profile killings by police of black people, such as Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, which launched the Black Lives Matter movement.  He shows that the catchy phrase “Hands up, don’t’ shoot,” was pure propaganda. There have now been three inquiries into Brown’s death, including one by then-U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder (of the Obama administration). All three inquiries have exonerated the police officer because Brown, who had just committed a robbery, was going for the police officer’s weapon.

Reilly shows that the leftwing media’s narrative that there is an ongoing race war in the United States is demonstrably false. The trajectory of this narrative is that whites kill people of color all the time. Yet the FBI data from 2012 to 2013 showed that blacks committed 500,000 crimes of violence against whites while whites committed about 100,000 crimes of whites against blacks. The chart below from the 2018 FBI Crime Report shows that the overwhelming number of black homicides are blacks killed by blacks.


Murder of Black and White People in the United States, 2018

Sources:  FBI Crime Report 2018, Expanded Homicide Data Table 6 and Statista.


Reilly also carefully explains the lie of “white privilege” in the educational system in the United States. He provides data on SAT scores by African-Americans and shows how it requires a huge amount of race-norming to admit tens of thousands of blacks, who make up 7 to 10 percent of virtually every entering Ivy League and Big Ten class. At a typical top-50 educational institution, “the affirmative action edge” for black students appears to be approximately 300 SAT points. This disparity explains the lawsuits brought by white and Asian-American applicants, who face discrimination from leading educational establishments. Some white privilege!

In one of the most powerful sections of Taboo, Reilly shows how the most important “privilege” in our society today is growing up in a traditional two-parent family. He shows how fatherlessness in African-American homes accounts for not only many social pathologies but also for income inequality. Only 7 percent of two-parent African-American families live in poverty, and 71% of all high school dropouts are fatherless. And education, of course, in America is the road to success.

Additionally, Reilly provides some fascinating facts showing the average Nigerian-American household income was, according to a 2014 Census graphic, greater than the average white household income. Nigerians aren’t an outlier, either. The average household income of many immigrant groups — including Indian-Americans, Filipino-Americans, and Iranian-Americans — surpassed the average white household income. So much for white privilege and income inequality based on race.

Taboo is a must-read for anyone who wants to investigate the left’s claim of “systemic racism” and “racial injustice.” The left-wing narrative on race in America is a lie. Reilly doesn’t just argue it; he proves it. With courage and honesty, he presents the facts. For that he deserves our admiration and gratitude.