Do we care about the flood of Black American’s blood?

Summary: The most difficult problems for a nation are those that we pretend not to see. Such as the high crime rate of Black Americans, with Blacks as the victims. We either ignore it – focusing instead on the tiny number of mass murders – or respond with police and prisons. Both “solutions” have failed. Eventually, we will have to deal with our problems or they will accumulate and overwhelm us. (This is reposted from the archives.)  Update: the answer to the title appears to be “no.” This post is getting 1/3 of average pageviews.

“Crime and bad lives are the measure of a State’s failure, all crime in the end is the crime of the community.”
— From H. G. Wells’ A Modern Utopia (1905).

River of blood

In 2017 there were ~433 mass shooting deaths (estimates vary). There were 17,251 homicides, of which aprox 8,970 (52%) were of Blacks. Of those, 11,883 had an identified killer – and 6,444 (54%) of those murders were committed by Blacks. Aprox. 13% of the US population are Black.

Twenty-one Black Americans died in 2017 for every American death from a mass shooter. But journalists tell us that mass shooters are the big problem, and that the annual tide of dead Black Americans does not matter. They tell us that so many Black Americans are killed is not a problem. They tell us that the problem is that criminals are treated too poorly.

Yet again we see that problem identification is the first and most difficult stage in social reform. We cannot fix what we refuse to see, especially when other problems are more politically useful to our ruling elites. And, after all, why should we expect anything else? America is ClownWorld.

The unspeakable problem.

Youth in jail by race and gender
From the Child Trend’s DataBank.

Breitbart is not the kind of news service I rely on, but occasionally even a blind squirrel finds a nut, as in this November 2015 story by Jerome Hudson: “5 Devastating Facts About Black-on-Black Crime.”

“In 2012, white males were 38% of the population and committed 4,582 murders. That same year, black males were just 6.6% of the population but committed a staggering 5,531 murders. In other words: black people -– at just a fifth of the size — committed almost 1,000 more murders than their white counterparts.

“The figures above highlight a horrific truth that black racialists and white liberals routinely ignore: Lawbreaking black Americans, young black males particularly, put themselves in close proximity to (mostly white male) police officers at rates sometimes five to 10 times higher than whites. …

“There have been almost as many deaths in one American city as there have been in the two major wars carried out by the U.S. military this century. Chicago’s death toll from 2001 to 26 November 2015 stands at 7,401. The combined total deaths during Operation Iraqi Freedom (2003-2015: 4,815) and Operation Enduring Freedom/Afghanistan (2001-2015: 3,506) are only 8,321.”

See more disturbing evidence in “Guns and race: The different worlds of black and white Americans” by Richard V. Reeves and Sarah Holmes of Brookings, December 2015. The bottom line is grim.

Brookings graph of gun deaths by race and gender

Even the major news media occasionally report these sad numbers, such as in “Race and Homicide in America, by the Numbers” by Matthew Cella and Alan Neuhauser in US News and World Report, September 2016 – “New federal statistics have some interesting things to say about interracial killings and ‘black-on-black’ homicides.”

Interracial killings

Interracial killings

Conclusions

“The central conservative truth is that it is culture, not politics, that determines the success of a society. The central liberal truth is that politics can change a culture and save it from itself.”
— Daniel Patrick Moynihan in Family and Nation from the 1985 Godkin Lectures at Harvard University.

Centuries of racism – baked into America’s soul at the beginning – have put African-Americans in a difficult situation. But their actions do not seem to be helping. Their leaders have little interest in addressing their communities’ incredible crime rates – with Blacks the worst affected. Instead, they state Black Live Matter protests about police’s street executions (mostly of long-time criminals) and demand that today’s Americans pay reparations to descendants of slaves (although many Americans didn’t even have ancestors in America before the Civil War). Their priorities are unlikely to reduce the flow of blood in our cities.

In a sane America, this would be a high priority public policy crisis. In ClownWorld America few even care.

This contributes to another problem: we are washing away decades of the progress after WWII, as the tide of racism rises again. I have no ideas about ways to stop this. I have not seen any ideas that look promising.

My guess – emphasis on guess – is that addressing urban crime levels is the first step with the most potential. The rest of America can help, but the initiative must start in the communities of our inner cities. Conditions can easily get worse in the future, so let’s start now.

“When the murder rate ebbs, control efforts get relaxed, thus creating the multiple conditions causing the next upswing.”
— Eric H. Monkkonen in Murder in New York City (2001).

For More information

Others have pointed to these facts, such as Michael David White in “Black Deaths by Black Killers Matter More” at The Right Track, 7 May 2019.

It is important to understand what life is like for those living with America’s history of racism, baked as it was into America at the start. For example, see “What It’s Like to Be Black in the Criminal Justice System” by Andrew Kahn and Chris Kirk at Slate, August 2015 — “These eight charts suggest there are racial disparities at every phase of the justice system.”

Ideas! For some shopping ideas, see my recommended books and films at Amazon.

If you liked this post, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. See all posts about crime, about racism, about police violence, and especially these…

  1. Congress did a great thing 50 years ago, but rot from that day has spread and taken root.
  2. Warning: the income gap between races is widening in America.
  3. Our prisons are a mirror showing the soul of America.  It’s not a pretty picture.
  4. More about the collapse of the American Criminal Justice System.
  5. Final thoughts about America’s Criminal Justice System.
  6. The Disgrace of Our Criminal {in}Justice System, and hints of reform in the air.
  7. Can We Fix Our Shameful Prisons? Why they should be, and why we might not do so.
  8. Since 9-11 we have less crime but more fear of crime. A win-win for our rulers!
  9. America’s unspeakable problem: African-American’s crime rates.
  10. Harsh truths about mass incarceration in America.
  11. A resolution for 2018: reform our criminal injustice system.
  12. Fury at new mass shootings. Disinterest in the daily killings.

About our criminal injustice system

Our system is not built to handle the high rates of crime occurring in our inner cities since the 1960s. It is slowly collapsing under the load. Reformers want to treat the criminals more gently, with more bureaucracy and broader rights. I doubt that will help.

Locked In: The True Causes of Mass Incarceration – and How to Achieve Real Reform by John F. Pfaff (2017). See a review here.

The Collapse of American Criminal Justice by William J. Stuntz (2011). See some excerpts here.

Locked In: The True Causes of Mass Incarceration and How to Achieve Real Reform
Available at Amazon.
The Collapse of American Criminal Justice
Available at Amazon.

32 thoughts on “Do we care about the flood of Black American’s blood?”

  1. If the data were available, time plotting deaths versus 1) single mother rates; and perhaps better 2nd generation or 3rd generation single mother rates would show one of the areas that is having a profound effect. I do not know the cause, but would expect it to be along the lines of culture. Single parents would have to be a major part of cultural transmission. And it may be a lack of transmission rather than what was transmitted.

  2. Regardless of race, color, and creed. Breakdown of the family unit, grade school dropouts, no social or job skills, no work, no money, welfare, hard drugs and illegal guns on the streets is a toxic brew.

    Why should we expect different results? It will take more than just caring.

      1. Ron,

        This is a serious topic. Please make sensible comments, not just quips. Caring – motivation – precedes actions. We’re at the problem identification phase – getting people to see and care about the problem. After that, we can talk about actions.

    1. Larry,

      ” This is a serious topic. Please make sensible comments, not just quips. Caring – motivation – precedes actions. We’re at the problem identification phase – getting people to see and care about the problem. After that, we can talk about actions”

      I’m well aware of the seriousness of this topic. For starters, when people have no hope, no purpose in life, they loose interest in bettering themselves. I’ve been there, done that.
      Long overdue is action on the drug epidemic and lack of jobs, after that we can address the other issues I mentioned.

  3. It would be interesting to compare black poverty, crime, murders, outcomes, etc. In cities with black leadership (mayors, police chiefs, high percent of black police, etc) vs cites with white leadership.

    We are always told that blacks are being kept down by the racist white man, well who will be blamed when everyone in charge is black?

    On might be tempted to believe that having a black mayor etc. would give better outcomes for blacks but my guess is no because mostly it is not race but class. A rich black mayor doesn’t care about poor blacks anymore than a rich white mayor cares about poor whites.

    It is not race but class, fatherless homes, lack of good middle class jobs, education are the root cause of this.

    Is there racism, yes. But I would submit that it is not the root cause.

    1. Sven,

      I too have wondered about that. My guess (guess!) is that Black urban leaders have accelerated the decline of the cities they run.

      “It is not race but class, fatherless homes, lack of good middle class jobs, education are the root cause of this.”

      More precisely, it is culture that drives these things. Class is the expression of culture.

      “Is there racism, yes. But I would submit that it is not the root cause.”

      As so often in social problems, we are locked into cycles of positive feedback. Racism and Black’s culture produce an underclass. Social pathologies of the underclass fuel racism.

      We will have a clearer understanding of the role of racism as the massive hispanic underclass develops. They experience nothing like the deep racism towards Blacks, but they will create a massive underclass none the less. This is a win-win-win for the Left. The growing underclass will smash American society, justify the Left’s claims that we’re evil, and drive their calls for more Leftist experimentations on the dying society.

  4. Larry:
    This is a wicked problem in every sense of the word. I agree the issue is hard to understand – or at least it is for me: What would make somebody go out to buy a gun with the intent of using it? Self-defense? Gang membership? Rite of passage? Intent to commit a crime? I am sure criminologists have lists of reasons. But if the four I mentioned are illustrative then reducing the number of shooting incidents is going to a long time, resources, a lot of involvement from the rest of us and a police force that is respected by the community at large.
    On reflection,my comment adds little of substance – but the issue needs to be discussed and made as visible as possible – so thank you for raising it.

    1. Bernie,

      “On reflection,my comment adds little of substance –”

      I’ll take the other side of that. You are attempting to grapple with these issues, unlike most Americans (of all races). That puts you in the front of the pack.

  5. Aside from religion which has a significant impact. Its incentives, incentives and incentives,.

    Welfare as it current occurs doesnt incentivise responsible fatherhood and encourage out of wedlock births.. Imprisonment entrenches gang culture which spreads once there is parole.

    Rap promotes criminal and sexual irresponsible behavior. This needs to be solved at multiple fronts.

    1. info,

      All sad but true. Listening to Rap shows the future of America as its underclass grows and metastasizes. Giving reparations to people who enjoy songs glorifying violence and crime isn’t likely to help them.

      1. Agreed, no Champagne. But since we know that the Rap music audience did not decline by 50% over that period of time, I think we can rule that out as a factor in the crime rate. Violent video game use and violent movies also increased while overall violent crime dropped. Out of wedlock births didn’t drop but rather stabilized at a high rate. None of these factors seems to explain the drop.

      2. Goucon,

        I think we can rule out almost all the explanations by amateur experts, most of whom blame things – or people – they don’t like.

        Social policy requires a deep understanding of what’s happening, not the applied ignorance that is the standard of practice in the capitol of ClownWorld America.

      1. Sven,

        The Donohue and Levitt theory has decisively failed replication. They still believe, scores of papers by others disagree, and very few (if any) researchers confirm their theory.

  6. “Action begins with caring. Nothing just happens.”

    Before you move on to another topic I want to thank you for saying that, LK. It’s one of the most important things I have read on any blog. If only we could keep our focus on that great truth. We must find out and oppose those sources that continue to encourage a seemingly implacable national attitude of callousness among our people. And we need to desperately find and support sources that would encourage the development of a caring attitude among ourselves. I’m going to try. Thanks, again.

    1. Gloucon X:

      If we broaden the view “Caring for the wrong things, directs efforts towards failure.” Another great point LK made was the “As so often in social problems, we are locked into cycles of positive feedback. ”

      Ad in LK’s point about many of the causes that changed a majority took decades. I would postulate that adding these three together gives an outline of the type of solution that is needed. Directing effort towards success by caring for the right things by using a set of tools that contain cycles of positive feedback that are expected to take decades.

  7. There are Black grassroots organizations and Black churches that attempt to address gun violence and crime rates in urban areas. They don’t get much as media attention as BLM.

    That aside, I agree that no one cares. Conservatives bring up high crime rates to shame Black people, most of whom are not criminals, for complaining about racism or for voting for the Democrats. Liberals ignore it to avoid sounding like Conservatives. While a lot of the gun violence is criminals shooting each other, there are also a lot of innocent victims. Maybe media attention on the more sympathetic victims would spark concern?

    Better schools and jobs would probably help, along with higher quality policing. The people who live in dangerous neighborhoods and work low wage jobs would have to organize and fight for those things. But they are unlikely to do so because those who are inclined to improve their lives focus on escaping poverty and getting out of dangerous neighborhoods.

    Regarding reparations- Black Americans paid taxes for things that they were not allowed to use during Jim Crow. Would you agree that they and/or their descendants should in the very least receive a refund of those taxes plus reasonable interest? Most black people haven’t committed any crimes so proper reparations will simply make them financially whole. It won’t end crime, but reparations are about repairing wrongs not about ending crime.

    1. BG,

      “Better schools and jobs would probably help”

      Better schools has been tried, with pretty much nil success. As in the court-ordered Baltimore experiment. As for jobs, see below.

      “along with higher quality policing. The people who live in dangerous neighborhoods and work low wage jobs would have to organize and fight for those things.”

      They are organizing and fighting – most often for lower-quality policing and more dangerous neighborhoods (because they love the criminals that prey upon them). Also, “fighting” isn’t a way to get jobs. Employers like people with educations and no criminal records. “Fighting” and “organizing” won’t get jobs. Probably the opposite.

      “But they are unlikely to do so because those who are inclined to improve their lives focus on escaping poverty and getting out of dangerous neighborhoods.”

      Inner-city areas have lots of political activism, but not for the things you appear to believe they need.

      “Black Americans paid taxes for things that they were not allowed to use during Jim Crow.”

      • First, that’s not the proposal for reparation that major Democrats propose.
      • Second, that makes no sense. How do we determine who those people are, and what fraction of the taxes they paid are due as refunds? How many other people are due refunds, such as Native Americans?
      • Third, it is quite false. Since the New Deal, people in the lower-income brackets consume far more in government services than they pay.
      1. info,

        Singapore is a culture, not a model in the sense we use the term. As is Japan. I wonder about the extent to which we can successfully copy their systems. That is, abstract individual components of their culture – stick it into our culture – and get anything useful.

        We could learn some individual features, certainly!

  8. “Higher quality policing…” Fine idea except that it would mean the end of affirmative action hiring. Why is the crime rate by by cops higher than for CWP holders? Because affirmative action hiring means taking lots of folks with + criminal records who would never qualify for a CWP. Past behaviour predicts future behaviour.
    For 99.99% of human history, a young woman becoming pregnant without proper family support was virtually a death sentence. Now it is incentivised.. Maybe humans do not rewire their instincts quickly enough to cope with this kind of rapid change.

  9. There is yet another perspective on this.

    I was thinking of Europeans being mostly of “slave” ancestry, yet different. Until I came accross this: (what a coincidnce): “Prisoners of Intelligence” by James Thompson at the Unz Review – “When dull meet bright, tough love rules.”

    Make your own conclusions after reading that…

      1. FM,

        What was meant: Slavery is just the most depraved form of Serfdom and most Europeans are indeed mostly of Serf ancestry; as continental Europe abolished serfdom from by the time of French Revolution up to mid 19th century (Austria 1848, Russia ~1860s)

        OTOH American slaves were different — not only by the skin pigmentation. To truly emancipate them would take a bit more than freedom and money for nothing. My guess is that more than four generations of social engineering would be required; doing near zilch (as of now) would never resolve this problem and could precipitate another “Final Solution” (IE “Project Liberia II”).

      2. Jako,

        “What was meant: Slavery is just the most depraved form of Serfdom and most Europeans are indeed mostly of Serf ancestry”

        That’s not really true. During pre-modern times, over 80% of the population worked the land. Conditions of those workers in western europe improved in the 14th century (perhaps as a result of labor shortages after the plagues). But even before that, there were several levels of farm workers – from freeman at the top to slaves at the bottom. Other than slaves, the other groups had various rights.

        The Domesday Book (1086) is one of the few census-type records we have from that era that cover a larger area. It showed that England’s farmworkers were 12% freeholders, 35% serfs (including villeins, the highest class of serf), 30% cotters and bordars, and 9% slaves.

        “My guess is that more than four generations of social engineering would be required; doing near zilch (as of now) would never resolve this problem”

        That’s only sorta. Conditions of Afro-Americans began to improve after WWI, and more quickly after WWII, and accelerated after the great Civil Rights laws. Little or none of this was caused by government assistance. The War on Poverty probably, on balance, made things worse by damaging their families (replace husbands and fathers with government aid). I saw this as a social worker in the early 1970s. Teen girls’ “right of passage” was to get knocked up. We give them money to move away from their parents. With some grey economy work and money from boyfriends, they did OK. Government-subsidized pathology.

        A policy of “benign neglect” (to borrow sociologist Daniel Moynihan’s phrase, applied in a different context) probably would have been better. So consider me a skeptic about beneficial “social engineering.” That’s beyond the current state of knowledge.

        Of course, adequate provision of public services would help. Better schools, better police. But these are pipe dreams in the current ghetto culture, as many experiments have shown (e.g., Baltimore schools).

        “doing near zilch (as of now)”

        I hope you are kidding. Do you know how much is spent by local, State, and Federal programs on inner cities and welfare-related services? Calling that “near-zilch” is nuts.

    1. Roger,

      Indeed it is. I first wrote about this 12 years ago: “Diagnosing the Eagle: Alienation.” See my subsequent posts about alienation.

      Five years ago I saw the broader decay: “We live in the crazy years, but can choose a different destiny for ourselves and our children.” See my other posts documenting our entry into the Crazy Years.

      Now we’re becoming ClownWorld, which I suspect is a late stage of the Crazy Years (but it might be an early stage). Either way, I suspect ClownWorld is the final meme for America. Our institutions are falling like dominoes, becoming dysfuctional.

      That Dreher is noticing alienation is nice, but very late to the game.

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