The First Law of Black Crime According to Black People
Dec 21st, 2011 by Unamused
Celebrating eleven months (minus one day) of Unamusement Park.
Regular readers are no doubt familiar with Unamusement Park’s Laws of Race and Crime.
- There is no significant bias against black people in the justice system.
- The news media are biased in favor of black people (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, etc.).
- Black people are more criminal than white people.
But not everyone agrees with our racist tricks, by which we mean our empirical evidence and rigorous arguments. In our experience, black people are particularly likely to dissent — so likely, in fact, that the Laws of Race and Crime can be considered stuff black people don’t like. Indeed, it often seems that black people (in general) react to black crime according to a unique set of principles, very different from those that govern how black people react to non-black crime and how white people react to black crime. However, no one has ever made these principles explicit.
Top race-realism researchers, operating out of Unamusement Park’s (recently rebuilt) main Hate Laboratory and using extensive data on black people collected by a particularly intrepid crack squad of research assistants, have finally distilled the Laws of Black Crime According to Black People: the general principles that govern how black people react to black crime.
Although they have never before been made explicit, these laws, which we’ll be explaining over the next few weeks (government surveillance permitting), will likely hold few surprises for the average Unamusement Park reader, who is both exceptionally intelligent and startlingly sexy. Still, I went to the trouble of typing them up, so as long as you’re here, you might as well read them. Maybe, just maybe, you can even participate in cutting-edge race realism research! (By which I mean: do my research for me!)
Today, we consider the First Law of Black Crime According to Black People. If you have any examples of the First Law in action, feel free to leave a comment. Otherwise, I’ll just add some examples of my own over the holiday.
First Law: Police Be Racis’
The Police Be Racis’ law should be familiar to every American, though probably not by that name. This law holds that the entire justice system — police, prosecutors, judges, juries, and all — is hopelessly, utterly biased against all black people, even though that makes absolutely no sense.
Indeed, our First Law of Black Crime According to Black People appears to contradict our First Law of Race and Crime — that there is no significant bias against blacks in the justice system — but we emphasize that the latter describes and explains the reality of race and crime, whereas the former describes and explains black people’s reactions to black crime. The reality of race and crime is not the subject of this post, but the outline of an argument establishing the First Law of Race and Crime is included as an appendix.
As an application of the Police Be Racis’ law, black people (among other sorts of people) can dismiss all statistics on race and crime — even when the statistics are based on victim reports, not police reports or arrests. Black people have also used the First Law to justify blatant jury bias, as in the Knoxville Horror case.
Here’s a particularly absurd example: “Stop Racist Police Terror!” was a leaflet distributed by the League for the Revolutionary Party in the wake of the police shooting of Sean Bell, and appeared in the Marxist/socialist newsletter Proletarian Revolution. Although we do not know the race of the author, the leaflet provides an excellent example of the Police Be Racis’ law in action: when one white cop and four black and Hispanic cops shoot a black man, it is a sure sign of police racism.
Some apologists for the police are trying to say that it was not an issue of race because four of the five cops who took part in the shooting were Black and Latino themselves. But on the one hand, the officer who fired 31 of the 50 shots was white…
Presumably, if the white officer had only fired 10 of the shots, the leaflet would have been entitled “Not to Worry, There Is No Racist Police Terror!”
… on the other, this wasn’t the first time that Black cops have been used against their own people.
Are there no limits to the power of police racism? It can even force black cops to shoot black people.
The real point, of course, is who the police target. It was young Black men in a working-class club who were attacked, in stark contrast to what happens in upscale clubs frequented mainly by whites.
That’s because young people are more criminal than old people, men are more criminal than women, the working class is more criminal than the upper class, and black people are more criminal than white people.
Remember: this is (apparently) audience participation day at Unamusement Park! Do you know of any other examples of the Police Be Racis’ law in action? If so, let us know! (Because we’re lazy!)
Appendix: Establishing the First Law of Race and Crime
Here’s how we know there’s no significant bias against black people in the justice system.
- Comparing criminal victimization data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) to arrest data from the FBI consistently shows that “the police are arresting people of different races at essentially the same rates at which the public is being victimized by them” (“Race, Crime, and Violence”). This was true in 1997 (“The Color of Crime”), it was true from 2001–2003 (“The Color of Crime,” expanded second edition), and it was still true in 2008 (my flyer). In particular, blacks are arrested more often than whites because they commit crimes more often than whites.
- After adjusting for victimization rates, a white criminal is generally more likely than a black criminal to be arrested for the same crime (“Race and the Probability of Arrest”):
the odds of arrest for white offenders is approximately 22% higher for robbery, 13% higher for aggravated assault, and 9% higher for simple assault than they are for black offenders. An offender’s race plays no noteworthy role in the likelihood of arrest for the crime of forcible rape. These findings suggest that the disproportionately high arrest rate for black citizens is most likely attributable to differential involvement in reported crime rather than to racially biased law enforcement practices.
Again, we see that blacks are arrested more often than whites because they commit crime more often than whites.
- If there were systemic police racism, we would expect to see larger arrest rate gaps for crimes where the police have more discretion in making an arrest, such as liquor law violations, drunkenness, and vandalism (“Police Bias? Says Who?”):
The police have a lot of discretion over whether to make an arrest in the case of non-violent crimes, such as violation of liquor laws. Unlike murder or rape, there is not a great deal of public pressure to make arrests, and the police can walk away from crime if they want to. Presumably, a “racist” officer would see a drunk on the street and make an arrest only if the drunk were black.
In fact, we observe the opposite. For example, in 2008, blacks were less likely than whites to be arrested for liquor law violations, only 1.2 times as likely to be arrested for drunkenness, and only 1.9 times as likely to be arrested for vandalism, but 3.1 times as likely to be arrested for aggravated assault, 2.9 times as likely for forcible rape, 7.8 times as likely for robbery, and 6.0 times as likely for murder (my flyer).
- According to BJS and FBI data, Asians are consistently arrested at lower rates than whites. In fact, gambling is the only crime for which Asians are arrested at a higher rate than whites. Again, this is the opposite of what we would expect if systemic racial discrimination existed in the justice system.
- So-called “hate crimes” with a supposed racial motive are punished more severely than identical crimes without a racial motive (“The Great Hate Crimes Hoax”):
Hate crime laws require that the courts search for certain motives and add extra penalties if they find them. Therefore, if you punch a man in the nose because he took your parking spot or because he was unbearably ugly or because you just felt like punching someone that day, you are guilty of assault. If you say “nigger” and punch a black man you are guilty of a hate crime and are punished more severely.
Once again, this is the opposite of what we would expect if systemic racial discrimination existed in the justice system.
- Popular evidence for systemic racial discrimination in the justice system falls apart on closer examination. Capital punishment provides one example. In 2000, a US Justice Department study was said to reveal a “racial bias” in federal death penalty cases (“US Justice Department figures reveal racial bias in federal death sentences”).
The next year, however, a Justice Department review “concluded there is no evidence of racial bias in the application of capital punishment” (“Justice Study Finds No Racial Bias”). What the Justice Department really meant was that capital punishment is racially biased against whites:
“Our analysis has confirmed that black and Hispanic defendants were less likely at each stage of the department’s review process to be subjected to the death penalty than white defendants,” [Attorney General John Ashcroft] said.
This racial bias went unremarked — more evidence that any systemic racial discrimination in the justice system is against whites.
- Drug crime provides another example of easily refuted popular evidence against the first law of race and crime. It is often claimed that blacks are less likely than whites to use drugs, although they are much more likely to be arrested on drug charges (“Police Bias? Says Who?”). For example, the conservative black commentator Armstrong Williams said (“The Media’s Bias Against Black Men in America”):
According to the federal Centers for Disease Control, a white adolescent male is four times more likely than his African-American classmate to be a regular cocaine user. Whites are 66 percent of 18- to 25-year-olds, and yet they are 70 percent of drug users in that age group. Blacks are 13.5 percent of persons in that age group and only 13 percent of young adult drug users, while Hispanics are nearly 15 percent of that age group, but yet comprise only 12 percent of drug users 18-25.
We do not dispute that blacks are more likely to be arrested on drug charges. However, the claim that they are less likely than whites to use drugs is generally (necessarily) based on self-reported drug use. Williams’ example was cocaine; according to the Office of Applied Studies (OAS) of the US Department of Health and Human Services, blacks “significantly underreport” cocaine use, which has “important implications [for] racial/ethnic comparisons” (“National Household Survey on Drug Abuse: Main Findings”).
In spite of blacks’ significant under-reporting of drug use, a 2009 report by the OAS put the overall rate of illicit drug use (all drugs, all ages, both sexes) at 10.1 percent for blacks and 8.2 percent for whites (“Results from the 2008 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: National Findings”). It is possible that Williams browsed different combinations of drugs and age groups until he found a pair (cocaine, 18–25) that favored black men over white men.
Furthermore, we have at our disposal a much better indicator of serious drug use — i.e., not marijuana (“Police Bias? Says Who?”):
The Department of Health and Human Services keeps statistics on people admitted to emergency rooms because of drug overdoses. Blacks are admitted at 6.67 times the white rate for heroin and morphine, and no less than 10.5 times the white rate for cocaine (Hispanics are admitted at two to three times the white rate). What better evidence could there be that people of different races are using drugs at markedly different rates, and that the police are simply doing their job?
Finally, FBI arrest data — which, again, agree with BJS criminal victimization data — show that blacks are much more likely to commit drug-related violent crime, including robbery, assault, and murder.
- Race differences in felony conviction rates and felony sentence lengths are misleading. When we control for just two factors, prior criminal record and the severity of a crime within a given category, these differences largely disappear (“The Color of Crime,” expanded second edition). Controlling for criminal background, felony conviction rates are actually unbiased toward Hispanics and slightly biased in favor of blacks, while felony sentence lengths are slightly biased against blacks but slightly biased in favor of Hispanics.
dismiss charges against 30 percent of adults arrested on felony charges. Racial bias at this stage could make a big difference in who goes to jail, but here, too, bias is hard to find. Marvin D. Free, Jr., a University of Wisconsin criminologist, reviewed 24 studies on prosecutor decisions, published between 1979 and 2001. Twelve used data collected in 1980 and after; all of them controlled for offense seriousness and prior record. Of these 12 studies, eight found no racial bias. Two found bias against non-whites, but two found bias against whites. Scholarship therefore leaves little basis for claims of unfair treatment.
Just a little critical thinking turns supposed evidence for system racial discrimination in the courts into rather convincing evidence against it.
- There are endless examples of the justice system systematically discriminating against whites in favor of blacks, Hispanics, and Asians.
To choose just one: although the police are justified in paying more attention to blacks and Hispanics than whites, when they do so, judges have thrown out evidence that would otherwise have convicted black and Hispanic criminals (“‘Race bias’ could free alleged drug dealer”).
- Heather Mac Donald provides more evidence of so-called “reverse” (meaning anti-white or pro-minority) racism in her book, “Are Cops Racist?” I must admit, I don’t actually own the book (yes, the thoroughness of my race-realism research has suffered recently), but here are three examples from a review by Ivan R. Dee:
- In 1997, Vice President Al Gore put an airline passenger profiling system into place that deliberately ignored any notice of a passenger’s nationality, ethnicity, gender, or religion — major predictors of Anti-American Islamic terrorism. Had a more rational system been in place on 9/11, some for the terrorists may have been apprehended.
- The FBI ignored an agent’s call to investigate Arabs training in American flight schools in the months before 9/11 — not surprisingly, since such an investigation would have subjected the Bureau to a firestorm of criticism for “racial profiling.”
- Some police departments have rejected the FBI’s request for assistance in locating expired visaholders for fear of being accused of singling out Arabs.
So there you go.