America’s unspeakable problem: African-American’s crime rates

Summary: The most difficult problems for a society are those that we cannot bring ourselves to discuss. For America, that’s the high crime rate of African-Americans. We either ignore it or respond with police and prisons, different ways to close our eyes. We have tried both “solutions”; both have failed. At some point we have to begin dealing with our problems, or they will accumulate and gang up on us.

“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).

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 Nov 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 2001November, 26 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), total 8,321.”

See more disturbing evidence at “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…

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Warning: the income gap between races is widening in America

Summary: We begin the Trump years with generations of progress unraveling in the healing of America’s racial divide, with the likelihood of further deterioration quite high. We should understand what’s happening to better prepare for what’s next. A new study looks at the causes of the widening income gap between black and white Americans. It makes for enlightening but depressing reading.

"Nevermore" says the Raven.

Divergent Paths:
Structural Change, Economic Rank, and the Evolution of Black-White Earnings Differences, 1940-2014

By Patrick Bayer and Kerwin Kofi Charles.
National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), November 2016.

“The economic fortunes of black Americans relative to those of whites have improved greatly since the end of the Civil War, but convergence has been both glacial and imperfect. Substantial racial differences in wealth, income, and numerous other economic markers remain and there are signs that the closing of some of these gaps has significantly slowed or even reversed in recent decades. In this paper, we study the evolution of black-white earnings differences among prime-aged men from 1940 through the Great Recession.”

Their findings are disturbing. Many Americans considered the progress of black Americans since WWII, and especially since the 1960’s Civil Rights bills to be among our finest accomplishments — belated recovery from the eras of slavery and Jim Crow. This adds to the research showing that progress has stalled. More specifically, the racial income gap for upper income black Americans has narrowed while the gap for those in lower income brackets has widened.

The reasons for this have been obscure. The racial gap in educational attainment and school quality have narrowed since WWII. Why have black men in the middle and lower income groups done so poorly? Their analysis concludes that the gains went to black men that managed to gain the education credentials that our society uses as the gateway to prosperity.

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