Thursday, August 09, 2007

Black Murder Victims

There are times when you shake your head at the absurdity of the Associated Press. In a story on the number of black murder victims, the writer, LARA JAKES JORDAN, reports the facts and then, well, goes out on a righteous cause limb.

FACT: Nearly half of the nation's murder victims in 2005 were black, and the number of black men who were slain is on the rise.
(The number of white victims also rose. See Homocide victims per 100,000 by race. Scroll to bottom.)

FACT: A majority of the black murder victims were relatively young -- between 17 and 29.

FACT: Black people represented an estimated 13 percent of the U.S. population in 2005, the latest data available, but were the victims of 49 percent of all murders and 15 percent of rapes, assaults and other nonfatal violent crimes nationwide.

FACT: Most of the black murder victims -- 93 percent -- were killed by other black people.

FACT: About 85 percent of white victims were slain by other white people.

FACT: Poorer black people were at a greater risk of violence than households with higher annual incomes. (SEE below - Income.)

She characterizes the above as, "The department's Bureau of Justice Statistics report offers a snapshot of racial disparities among violent crime victims." She could have chosen the word, "difference" but disparity suggests an inequality that needs to be corrected.

It's a money thing.
National Urban League President Marc Morial, a former mayor of New Orleans, said the data reflect a trend that cannot be reversed by law enforcement alone. It will require changes in public education and a revival of federal summer jobs programs for economically disadvantaged young people, he said.

"The mixture of illegal drugs, easy access to handguns, and young men who feel locked out of economic opportunity is what these statistics reflect," Morial said.

Not linked to in the story is the PRESS RELEASE from the Department of Justice on the report, "Black Victims of Violent Crime" (NCJ-214258) and the full report HERE (PDF)

MISSED FACT: About half of homicides against blacks occurred in cities with a population of at least 250,000 people.

MISSED FACT: About 77 percent of black homicide victims were killed with a firearm.

MISSED FACT: Black victims were more likely than victims or any other racial group or Hispanics to face an offender with a weapon.

MISSED FACT: Young males, particularly young black males, are disproportionately involved in homicide compared to their share of the population. (Click on chart to enlarge.)

FACT: Homicide offending patterns are similar to victimization patterns.

Income figures in the report are related to non-fatal crimes like robbery. (See pg 4.)

Fact: Among blacks, males and those in urban areas were the most vulnerable to robbery victimization

Between 2001 and 2005, blacks ages 12 to 19 made up about 37% of all black robbery victims, a percentage similar to that for Hispanics (table 3). Males made up the majority of robbery victims among blacks, whites and Hispanics.

About a third of black robbery victims lived in households with annual incomes of less than $15,000.

Black robbery victims (65%) were more likely than white robbery victims (41%) to live in urban areas.
If I were a reporter, I wouldn't call the National Urban League but a record producer. I wouldn't agonize over disparity but wonder if the rise of Gangsta rap in the 1990s hasn't been one of the greatest factors in the rise of both victims and offenders between 18-24.

Until we do have reporters who actually think of both whites and blacks as victims when they are murdered or robbed, the newspapers will continue to flog a 1960's - "poverty's the problem" - mentality. If money was the answer, then Washington, D.C. schools would be the best in the country. New Jersey schools would be the second best.

The problem is a decline in black culture in urban areas, the breakdown of black families, out of wedlock births, illegal drugs, bad role models, and the indifference of liberals to solving any of those problems. For liberals the answer will always be more money.

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