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There have been untold articles since the Trayvon decision came down that essentially say the following:
1. I am not a racist - blacks commit more crime because of the history of slavery.
2.  But because they commit more crime than whites I am justified in being more scared of them.  Huddies should scare me.
3. I am not a racist.
4.  When is the President going to address the real issue that is causing crime to explode (ie family breakdown dependency)

See the horrible Cohen article in the Op ED of the Washington Post for the most representative, and racist of these (no I am not going to link to it).

So I am going to try and set out as clearly as possible the actual data around black murders against whites.  It must be stated at the outset that is is pretty deeply held fear among whites.  Mostly this is about the fear of the young African American.

So should you be scared of the African American youth with a huddie?  The answer is only unless ladders really scare you.  

 photo mrder_zpsdf68f7ae.gif

So let me explain this table. It starts with the 2011 data on murders (the most recent that are available). There were 5,482 murders committed by African Americans.  The first thing to understand is the African American murder rate is down 51.6% since 1991.  (These numbers are from the excellent 2008 study of murder trends from 1980 to 2008 by the FBI). The second thing to understand is the vast majority of murders are intra-racial.  93% of murders committed by Whites are against other Whites, and 83% of all murders committed by African Americans are committed against other African Americans.

The second thing to understand about murder is that the overwhelming number of murders are committed against people who know each other.   Perhaps no crime statistic is less well understood than this one.  

Many of the pundit garbage written since the Trayvon verdict expresses this great feat of the African American they don't know.  But by my estimate, only about 250 murders a year are committed by African Americans against whites they did not know.  

So in fact the fear that so underpins much of the commentary about race and crime in this country is based on ignorance.  You really have far more reason to be scared of say, getting on a ladder, than you do of getting murdered by the huddie wearing teenager you see on the street.  The fear is irrational.  

One final note - this is from the 2008 FBI report.  Note the percentage of murders of women that are either by a boyfriend of a family member.  About 60% of woman who are murdered are murdered by a family member, a telling and very sad statistic.

 photo intmrder_zps66ca58f9.gif


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Comment Preferences

  •  Isn't the complaint from whites (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Noisy Democrat, fladem, LI Mike, a2nite

    that the statistics don't support the notion that black males are at risk from white racists. They are at much greater risk from other black males.

  •  Only about 60% of all murders (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fladem, johnny wurster, white blitz

    are solved. The number of murders committed by blacks (as well as by whites) is based solely on cases where a perpetrator is caught.

  •  Wow. (4+ / 0-)

    That's an eye-opener. Those are pretty good odds.

    I like to use probabilities when planning courses of action, so this information is useful. Thanks for posting this.

    Saw Fruitvale Station recently. It's a great movie, and I recommend it.

    -4.75, -5.33 Cheney 10/05/04: "I have not suggested there is a connection between Iraq and 9/11."

    by sunbro on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 10:13:40 PM PDT

  •  What are the odds of a white person being killed (0+ / 0-)

    by a white person versus a white person being killed by a black person.  It would seem the odds are much greater for a white to be killed by a white person.  

    Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

    by thestructureguy on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 10:20:42 PM PDT

    •  Almost identical (0+ / 0-)

      there are about 4350 murders a year committed by whites against white, so the math works about to be very similar since whites are a much larger share of the population.

    •  The common wisdom in the law enforcement (0+ / 0-)

      world is that violent criminals victimize people of the same race as themselves.

      "Among homicides in which the race of offender is known, most are intraracial. From 1976 to 1998, 86% of white victims were murdered by whites, 94% of black victims were murdered by blacks..."  []

      Since whites made up 72% of the population in 2010, but commit 86% percent of homicides where the victims are white, whites disproportionately commit homicides of white victims.  

      •  Not sure your conclusion about disproptionaly (0+ / 0-)

        is meaningful. But accepting that it does make sense then the disproportional homicides of black on black would really be out proportion with 94 percent black on black and their percentage to population is something like 17 percent (i think).  

        Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

        by thestructureguy on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 07:22:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  hoodie? (4+ / 0-)

    never seen "huddie" before.

    ...better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity, than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference. -FDR, 1936

    by James Allen on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 10:56:15 PM PDT

  •  Of all my fears, being killed by a black person (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nota bene

    didn't even register. I am far more afraid of my own government than random black dude in a hoodie. (Note, I am not afraid that my government is out to kill me )

  •  The number I see posted the most (5+ / 0-)

    which is apparently based on FBI files is that on a proportionate basis the murder rate by blacks is about 7 times the murder rate by whites.  

    But, people focus on numbers like this without realizing that they relate to a universe of murders that is extraordinarily small compared to the total population of potential murder victims, and that they people committing these murders are the tiniest fraction of the population of each group.  The whole thing is a study of extreme outliers.

    People fear what they're afraid of.  In a given year, a person in the U.S. is about 6 times more likely to die in a traffic accident than to be murdered.  Logically, people should be much more afraid of getting into their cars than of black or white murderers, but that's not the way it works.

  •  The fear is based on centuries of narrative (6+ / 0-)

    from the savage slave/Mandingo all the way down to Nightly news and movies/TV today. Racists know the facts don't back them up all they have to do is make suggestion and make a reference to a 'study'. Although it's important to refute w/ actual facts it's kind of irrelevant.

    We all know about 'studies' when it comes to race. Hello Bell Curve. It's the suggestion that matters nothing else because the suggestion immediately conjures IMAGES and America has centuries worth of stories, books, cartoons, movies, commercials, ads, on and on that re-inforce violent black male stereotypes.

    Remember the LeBron James Vanity Fair King Kong cover photo shoot controversy? And that was only a few years ago. Just one example out of infinite. It's everywhere. All thesea-holes have to do is make the suggestion and give some BS numbers to sound convincing. What the suggestion conjures is just enough to make someone clutch their purse even though they know they shouldn't or keep their children closer at the park when I show up.

    If I knew it was going to be that kind of party, I'd have stuck my ---- in the mashed potatoes! - Paul's Boutique

    by DoctorWho on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 11:09:01 PM PDT

  •  Just for comparison... (5+ / 0-)

    When NASA's UARS satellite came down in 2011, the odds of a person being hit by a fragment of the satellite were 1/3200, or .0003125.  The odds of a black person murdering a white person are .0000212.  There's a greater likelihood of being hit by a errant satellite than of being plugged by a black guy.  Now, since satellites and meteorites do occasionally injure people, just as in a nation of 300 million a few black people do kill white people, still the probabilities speak for themselves and lead to one conclusion:


    Tell me what to write. 'To know what is right and to do it are two different things.' - Chushingura, a tale of The Forty-Seven Ronin

    by rbird on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 11:14:10 PM PDT

  •  four blocks from my house (0+ / 0-)

    Last month my over-the-back-fence neighbor got her back door broken in and her laptop stolen . . . she saw the "child" watching her as she left to go grocery shopping.  There was a rash of break-ins on that block last year, and the "children" involved caught (and released).

    There was a jumped-from-behind mugging a couple blocks the other direction (from the murder) last year, and another a few years before that.  A few years ago there were a number of "children on bicycles" who would ride up to and jump "targets of opportunity" and grab purses, wallets or whatever.  The victims were often injured, sometimes badly.  I actually saw the team doing car break-ins five or six years ago . . . they "got away".  It is neither the highest nor lowest crime area in Berkeley, but there's enough that people remain on edge.  

    Almost every identified perp has been black.  Cure that problem and you'll have gone a long way to ending "racism".

    And then there's this one from San Francisco:

    The only thing unusual about it is that there's a video.  Black on white and Black on Chinese attacks are commonplace on the Muni.  Based on crime reports in the newspapers, and on the directly reported experience of friends and neighbors, I think that you dramatically misread both the risk and attitude-bending impact of crime as a cause of "racial" prejudice.

    Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

    by Deward Hastings on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 12:53:38 AM PDT

    •  Perhaps... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Perhaps, if we would consider how to create jobs for kids ages 10-15, to give kids an opportunity to experience work, and to earn their own money, it would reduce the incentive to steal it.  I have kids who are desperate to earn money, but it's so very hard for them, because the law does not allow them to work.   They could work in a snow cone stand, for instance, but we won't let them, by law.

      Also, remember midnight basketball, and how Clinton was derided for it?   It's about role models.  Kids who behave this way are lacking supervision and direction.   When we fund social programs to engage kids, keep them busy, and give them fun opportunities, they are less likely to find their own "opportunities".

      I truly believe that working for money builds character.   When we deny kids the opportunity to work to earn money, then they are tempted to just take it.

      •  Uh...aren't we against child labor (0+ / 0-)

        on Dkos?

        •  Yes, of course (0+ / 0-)

          We all agree on every subject, because individual opinions are not allowed on DAILYKOS.  We are DAILYKOS progressive drones who march in lockstep and speak in monotonous unison.

          I'm glad you enlightened me on what "our" opinion is.

          MY opinion, which may be different from yours, since I do remain a progressive and also an INDIVIDUAL, is that there is a difference between child exploitation, and offering enrichment in a child's life, and I can tell you, having teen girls, that small jobs like a paper route, or a little snow cone stand job, can be very exciting and rewarding as a child's first "job".   I can't tell you how exciting it was for my fourteen year old to be hired by a neighbor to do some odd jobs.   She was thrilled to earn fifty dollars.  She was not starved or forced to work 18 hours a day.  She had a choice to take the job or not, and was free to leave at anytime.  

          By "saving these children from exploitation" you may be offering them the choice between burglarizing cars, selling drugs, or no job and no money at all, and guess which one they are choosing?    Let me give you a hint.  It's NOT door number 3.

          Having programs that offer younger kids very small "jobs" that are appropriate to their age, help to teach them how work can be a benefit to their lives, and can also give them an opportunity to have a bit of money of their very own, without having to steal it.  There are only so many babysitting jobs to go around, and "lemonade stands" just don't cut it, for a variety of reasons.  

          That's MY opinion.

          I'm not sure, between you and me, that we have an "OUR" opinion on this subject, and I am less convinced that there is an official DAILYKOS opinion on any subject, nor that you are the spokesperson for it.

          I generally am in agreement with you on many subjects, but this isn't one of them.

        •  To put it another way (0+ / 0-)

          I've been a member of DKOS for a long time, so I am as much a part of "we" as you are.   You are entitled to your opinion, but you are not entitled to tell me what mine is, as part of a collective "we".

        •  aren't "we" also against (0+ / 0-)

          "children" stealing and dealing to pay for their tattoos?

          Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

          by Deward Hastings on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 10:49:13 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  my own experience, (0+ / 0-)

        and what I've observed over and over, is that (and these are obviously generalizations) immigrant and first generation Mexican (and Salvadoran) kids want to work, and work hard when given the opportunity.  The (admittedly small) sample of Ethiopians/Eritreans I've worked with and observed, and one Jamaican, the same.  It's not about "race".

        "Local" kids, especially the "hoodie" category, not so much.  Can't be bothered.  Don't want to work.  Don't show any curiosity about the job, or what needs to be done.  Show up late, if at all.  Just. Don't. Care.  Of course there are exceptions . . . many exceptions . . . you will find them with, and holding, jobs.  And being accepted, and treated, like everyone else, regardless of "race".

        A very significant part (I'd argue a substantial majority) of what drives "racism" today has little to do with skin color and everything to do with a "culture" the tolerates crime (there are people in their own "community" who know who committed the crimes I noted in my comment above and say nothing) and a sense of indolent entitlement.  Fix that and watch the "racism" shrivel and die.

        Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

        by Deward Hastings on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 10:47:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  My "boogeymen" were always white (0+ / 0-)

    When I was little I was frightened of burglars in my house and being abducted by a stranger.  In my imagination they were always white like me.

    I have heard that the reason many children will fall for tricks by abductors like "can you help me find my lost puppy?" Is because when they come across men who seem to fit the surroundings they do not see them as "strangers."

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