Comments Read bypeople Along with Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, leading conservative radio host Mark Levin reaches tens of millions of listeners weekly, and what he talked about recently on his nationally syndicated show has sent shivers down the spines of many of them.
FactCheck has already looked at the statistics on killings by law enforcement officials. Though imperfect, the official figures suggest blacks are disproportionately likely to die at the hands of police. Several people have left comments pointing out that this is not necessarily surprising or unfair, since blacks are also disproportionately likely to be involved in violent crime in the US, thereby putting themselves in the firing line.
Your graph is appropriately proportionate, when you take into consideration the role that the black population plays in, not just murder, but crime in general. And yes, according to the Bureau of Justice Statisticsblack offenders committed 52 per cent of homicides recorded in the data between and Only 45 per cent of the offenders were white.
Blacks were disproportionately likely to commit homicide and to be the victims. In the offending rate for blacks was seven times higher than for whites and the victimisation rate was six times higher. As we found yesterday, 93 per cent of black victims were killed by blacks and 84 per cent of white victims were killed by whites.
These numbers tell a similar story. Inthe FBI has black criminals carrying out 38 per cent of murders, compared to What about violent crime more generally? FBI arrest rates are one way into this. Over the last three years of data — to — Clearly, these figures are problematic.
But academics have noted that the proportion of black suspects arrested by the police tends to match closely the proportion of offenders identified as black by victims in the National Crime Victimization Survey. Judging from online comments, there is a wide spectrum of views on this, from unapologetic racism to militant refusal to blame the problem on anything but historic white racism.
Some criminologists think we could be simply confusing race for poverty or inequality: If you control for deprivation, people of different races ought to be similarly predisposed to commit crime.
There is a lot of research in this area, but a lot of it is contradictory. This study of violent crime in deprived neighbourhoods in Cleveland, Ohio, found that reductions in poverty led to reductions in the crime rate in exactly the same way in predominantly black and white areas, suggesting poverty, not race, is the biggest factor.
Other studies get different results. All sociologists have suffered from the same basic problem: Some commentators on the unrest in Ferguson — mostly right-wing, though not all white — seem to favour this idea, but naturally it remains highly controversial.
The verdict There is evidence in the official police-recorded figures that black Americans are more likely to commit certain types of crime than people of other races. Higher poverty rates among various urban black communities might explain the difference in crime rates, although the evidence is mixed.
There are few simple answers and links between crime and race are likely to remain the subject of bitter argument.
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