• The Real Colour of Crime

    Ever since writing my piece against racialism, I find myself picking away at racialist arguments.  The one I keep coming across is the argument about the starkly different crime rates in the United States.  This is interesting, because among other things it illustrates the half-truths that underlie so much racialist thinking as well as the parochial fixation on the United States.

    In the United States, it’s factually unarguable.  White Americans commit 45.3% of American homicides, while black Americans commit 52.5% of homicides.  There were ~14,700 murders in the United States in 2010, so that means whites committed 6644 murders and blacks 7717 murders.  That gives you a white American homicide rate of ~3.0, and a black homicide rate of ~20 per capita for black Americans.

    QED the racialists would say.  Except that they never do the one thing that that any scientist would do, and ask for a control.  For example, if you compare the white American homicide rate to European nations, you find that it is higher than even substantially poorer countries like Hungary (1.3), Poland (1.2), Slovakia (1.4) Romania (1.7).  As regards black American crime rate, it is far, far worse than many African nations, such as Burundi (8.0). Comoros (10.0), Djibouti (10.1), Eritrea (7.1), Malawi (1.8), Mauritius (2.8) – and even Somalia (13.9) for crying out loud.

    But in fact the comparisons are worse.  As this paper points out, better medical technology masks an increased rate of violence.  What would be an assault in America would be murder in Uganda.  If we make the assumption – the generous assumption – that black Africa has a medical technology equivalent to that of the US and UK in the 1960s, then you need to multiply the calculated homicide rates by a factor of 5.  That gives you a white American homicide rate of 15.0, and a black American homicide rate of 100.

    Making that adjustment, and here are some fully black nations that are less violent than white Americans – Burundi, Comoros, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mayotte, Mozoambique, Reunion, Seychelles, Somalia (yup!), South Sudan, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Angola, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Chad, Congo (again, yup!), Gabon, Sao Tome and Principe, Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Sudan, Tunisia, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Ivory Coast, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea-Bussau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo.

    I would love to see neoreactionaries owning these facts, but I doubt they will.

    And as for black America – don’t even go there.  The adjusted black American homicide rates mean that black America is more violent – by far – than any nation on the African continent, with a murder rate that is over three times that of South Africa, and the war torn Congo.

    Depending on your hat you could argue that if you take a people, abduct them, drag them to somewhere that might as well be another planet, keep them as property, and then subject them to institutional degradation and oppression for decades, they don’t do as well as people who haven’t had that happen (note you don’t need to be a lefty to think that; Peter Hitchens takes that tack).  Or you could argue that if you have a culture that has 72.3% illegitimacy, glorifies violence, drugs and criminality, it doesn’t do as well as a conservative Christian culture with strong family values and an emphasis on hard work and personal achievement.  Or you can abandon your hat altogether and take the Nietzschean line that slave peoples are always more vicious and cruel than master peoples.

    There is, however, a coda to this.  Something I have heard from a few black Americans that come out of a more socially conservative radical tradition (most famously identified with Malcolm X for example).  They say that this situation is new, that even under the lash of segregation and slavery before that, black Americans were far more straight laced and disciplined.  If anyone can provide any hard facts on this, I’d love to follow it up.

    In conclusion – and this may be old news – it is the United States that in particular has race on the brain, all the time.  However, what we can see here is that these considerations do not stack up that much in the rest of the world.  In Germany, for example, despite the hideous Nazi era, the Afro-German community is doing pretty damn well.  We have Afro-Germans at all levels, including in the AfD, the German equivalent of UKIP.  There is even the following story that always makes me smile: there is an AfroGerman soul musician called Xavier Naidoo.  Recently, he has been found giving speeches to a rather odd group calling themselves the Reichsburger, who reject the very existence of the federal republic and want a reestablishment of the Empire.

    In other words, the face of extreme right-wing German nationalism is now a black soul musician.  The war against racism is officially over, and we won!


    Category: Life and ReasonRace and racism

    Article by: The Prussian

    • alfanerd

      Very interesting and useful information. Thank you.

      The difference between black and white crime rates in the US remain striking. When you write And as for black America – don’t even go there., my reaction is HEEEEELLLLL NO! I want to place as much distance, between “black America” and myself as possible.

      Also, I’m not sure whether African countries are proper controls. I’m happy to hear that they have lower crime rates but I could provide you with a boatload of confounding factors just off the top of my head.

      • Snakes on a Car

        How reliable are crime stats from Somalia?

    • Otto Greif

      That “white” homicide rate includes Hispanics.

    • Otto Greif

      You can’t trust African statistics, and you can’t just multiply the homicide rates by 5.

    • Snakes on a Car

      When the Federal Government Statistics say “White” without any other qualifier that means Whites, North Africans, Middle Easterners, Whites from Latin America, and Mestizos from Latin America. Its a much larger and darker group than just people of only European descent.

    • Grumpy

      Yes, lots of folks are absurdly reductionist. Lots of factors contribute to crime. But I couldn’t help noticing that your stats could also be construed to support the notion that race matters to crime rates. Your average for African nations is a few times as high as your average for poor European nations. Of the nations you’ve cited, the lowest African nation is higher than the highest European nation. All you’ve proven is that race isn’t the only factor.

      Now, I’m not saying race plays a significant factor. (At some level genetics will play a factor — that’s undeniable even if it’s a small factor and even if it’s not a stable factor, such that a few generations will reverse it.) And the only decent quality research I’ve seen, actually has blacks and whites lumped together as both being more prone to violence than other races.

      Nevertheless, I don’t see this post as proving much.