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John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE GUARDIAN

 

I applaud the statistics gathered by The Guardian. The FBI has never kept such numbers although it appears they may in future.

Murder by police is so common in America that the threat to life from terrorists fades to relative insignificance.

But you must be careful about some of the kinds of comparisons you make with the statistics.

It is a statistical fact that young black males in America account for a great deal of violence themselves.

Blacks make up about 13% of America’s population.

Males are less than half that.

Young males then are roughly 3% of America’s population.

Yet in the huge volume of crime statistics which are gathered in the United States, blacks are responsible for a greatly disproportionate share of serious crimes, especially violent ones.

Nearly half of America’s murders and other serious violent crimes are committed by blacks. So perhaps 3% of the population commits nearly half the country’s violent crimes, women and older men rarely being violent.

Now, I’m sure there is lots of prejudice in police forces in America, police hiring being poorly done with no filtering for morbid psychology and there being mostly no mechanisms for dismissing police who early show poor attitudes and aptitudes until they actually do something highly destructive. Even then, in many jurisdictions they will be protected. Further the military model of policing is the standard for American police forces with many of those hired actually being from the armed forces. Further still, America’s urban sprawl pattern means literally thousands of insignificant communities are created with limited resources. It is not a set of circumstances which can possibly yield good policing.

But the crime statistics do say, and rather strongly, that police will just naturally be much more suspicious and fearful of young black males.

There is an underlying phenomenon here which is never discussed in public, yet it is real and has real effects.

If you break the state and local statistics down by the percentage of blacks in each population, invariably it is in black-dominated areas where violent crime is highest.

Cities such Chicago or Detroit or New Orleans have immensely greater violent crime than places such as, say, Portland.

And the phenomenon is not limited to the United States.

In places such as Jamaica or South Africa, violent crime rates are absolutely horrific.

I know some will say it is all a result of prejudice in society, but that seems an unjustified conclusion because most of the victims of black crime are themselves black.

 

 

 

 

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