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The current BLM narrative, peddled nonstop by the mainstream media, would make one think that it’s open season on black Americans and that the hunters are all whites. I think that this is a completely false narrative. The fundamental problem is black-on-black crime, particularly with respect to the worst of all crimes — murder.
I rely on the FBI’s 2018 Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) data. I’ll provide specific links at the end.
I think that our pal Kozak has set forth an informative set of statistics in the comments of several posts, though if I recall correctly, his data was a bit old (from 2013, if I recall). I think that this is one of the graphs that he posted, which I was able to find online:
This is quite a persuasive graph. It raises three questions:
- Is it accurate?
- Are the current figures substantially the same?
- Is this a fair, or a misleading, presentation of the facts about murder in the US?
Technically, I’m not going to answer the first question, because I’m less interested in murder figures from 2013. The most recent figures available are from 2018, and I will present those, answering the second question. As you will see, the figures from 2018 are substantially similar to the 2013 graph above.
The third question is interesting. I think that this graph is a fair presentation, but it turns out to be a bit tricky. A graph like the example above has to be adjusted for population, which raises the question of whether the race of the victim or the race of the offender should be used to make the population adjustment. Fortunately, it’s not very hard to do both.
If you use the race of the offender for the population adjustment, you are asking questions such as: How often does a black person murder another black person? How often does a white person murder a black person? The focus is on the population of offenders. This is important because it shows what type of person is the real problem.
If you use the race of the victim for the population adjustment, you are asking questions such as: If you are black, how likely are you to be murdered by another black person? How likely are you to be murdered by a white person? This is also important because it shows what risks are faced by (presumably) innocent people.
I say “presumably” innocent because some murder victims are far from innocent. Some murders are doubtless the result of gang wars, in which no one is really innocent.
I limit this analysis to black and white Americans. Only 8.3% of murders in the relevant UCR data involved a person of other or unknown race, as either an offender or a victim.
I. By Race of Offender
Here is the 2018 graph of murder in the US, by race of the offender.
This is essentially the same result as the 2013 graph at the top of this post. This graph shows who is the problem with respect to murder. The big problem, adjusted for group population, is black people who kill other black people. The proportion of white people who murder a black person is tiny.
Murder is mostly intra-racial:
- 82% of the victims of black murderers are black, while only 16% of the victims of black murderers are white.
- 89% of the victims of white murderers are white, while only 8% of the victims of white murderers are black.
II. By Race of Victim
Here is the 2018 graph of murder in the US, by race of the victim:
This graph shows the risk faced by individuals, by race. Blacks are disproportionately the victims of murder, as they are also disproportionately the offenders.
Another interesting result of this graph is that whites face a higher risk of being murdered by another white than blacks. This is a good answer to Ta-Nehisi Coates, who wrote a misleading and hateful letter to his son in The Atlantic (here), about how afraid he was for his son after learning that the — entirely innocent — “killers of Michael Brown would go free.” Here are the facts:
- The risk that a white person will be murdered by another white person is more than twice the risk that a black person will be murdered by a white person, but:
- The risk that a black person will be murdered by another black person is almost six times the risk that a white person will be murdered by another white person, and:
- The risk that a black person will be murdered by another black person is more than ten times the risk that a black person will be murdered by a white person.
So perhaps Mr. Coates should keep his son away from other black people. White people are much safer for his son, statistically speaking.
III. Caveats, Data Limitations, and Technical Notes
Races do not commit crimes. No one was ever murdered by the black race, or by the white race. Murder is committed by individuals, some black, some white, some of mixed or other race. Murder victims, likewise, are individuals. I do not like this practice of treating people as members of groups.
It is reasonable to analyze the proportions of various groups who are the perpetrators and victims of crime. My analysis shows that black Americans are disproportionately the victims of murder, and that the overwhelming majority of their murderers are also black.
It is also not entirely accurate to conclude that “blacks” or “whites” face a certain risk of murder. Such figures are national averages, and vary widely between jurisdictions. My impression is that murder is very geographically concentrated, especially in inner-city and other poor areas, and most especially in the black inner cities. My analysis does not account for this (and does not even demonstrate that my impression is correct).
So, for example, my generalization of the risk of murder faced by the son of Ta-Nehisi Coates is unlikely to be correct for him as an individual. I was using him as a hypothetical example of an individual of a particular race. I suspect that Mr. Coates’s son is quite a bit safer than my kids, given his presumed wealth and status.
This analysis relies on data from the Expanded Homicide portion of the UCR. The UCR data table that details the race of both murder offenders and victims includes 6,570 total murders. Of this total, 6,025 involved an offender who was either black or white, and a victim who was either black or white. Here are the raw counts, in graph form:
This is less than half of the total reported murders in the Expanded Homicide portion of the UCR, which is 14,123. (Table 1, here.) I presume that the FBI had insufficient information to categorize many of these murders by race.
The UCR Expanded Homicide figures used above do not include justifiable homicide, which is separately reported. In 2018, the UCR reported 410 justifiable homicides by law enforcement (Table 14, here), and 353 justifiable homicides by private citizen (Table 15, here). Thus, a total of 14,886 homicides are included in the 2018 UCR Expanded Homicide data.
This is lower than the 16,214 murders and nonnegligent manslaughters reported in the main UCR data (here). I have not reconciled this discrepancy. (Any insight would be appreciated.)
My population data is from the US Census estimates for 2018 (here): white population 236,173,020 (72.2%); black population 41,617,764 (12.7%).
A final note. This analysis generally confirms the 2013 graph shown at the top of this post, but the figures are up somewhat. This is because homicides are up. Here are the figures since 2013 (source here):
- 2013: 14,319 (45 per million)
- 2014: 14,164 (44 per million)
- 2015: 15,883 (49 per million)
- 2016: 17,413 (54 per million)
- 2017: 17,294 (53 per million)
- 2018: 16,214 (50 per million)
Notice the surge in 2015. Heather MacDonald has attributed that to the Ferguson Effect. The Atlantic article by Ta-Nehisi Coates was written in July 2015.
Ms. MacDonald has predicted that the Floyd Effect (my term) is going to make the Ferguson Effect look like a picnic. Sadly, I think that she will prove to be right. The bulk of the victims — and the perpetrators — will likely be black.
But to Mr. Coates, and the Left generally, those black lives apparently don’t matter. They matter to me. I want the cops protecting them, which means that the cops need to proactively fight the criminal element, with force when necessary.
God bless and protect our Thin Blue Line.
BLM delenda est.Published in