Liberal Views, Black Victims

Walter Williams, Creators Syndicate, August 22, 2007

Last year, among the nation’s 10 largest cities, Philadelphia had the highest murder rate with 406 victims. This year could easily top last year’s with 240 murders so far.

{snip}

According to Bureau of Justice statistics, between 1976 and 2005, blacks, while 13 percent of the population, committed over 52 percent of the nation’s homicides and were 46 percent of the homicide victims. Ninety-four percent of black homicide victims had a black person as their murderer.

Blacks are not only the major victims of homicide; blacks suffer high rates of all categories of serious violent crime, and another black is most often the perpetrator.

{snip}

Up through 1979, the FBI reported homicide arrests sorted by racial breakdowns that included Japanese. Between 1976 and 1978, 21 of 48,695 arrests for murder and non-negligent manslaughter were Japanese-Americans. That translates to an annual murder rate of 1 per 100,000 of the Japanese-American population. Would anyone advance the argument that the reason why homicide is virtually nonexistent among Japanese-Americans is because they can’t find guns?

{snip}

During the 1940s and ’50s, I grew up in North Philadelphia where many of today’s murders occur. It was a time when blacks were much poorer, there was far more racial discrimination, and fewer employment opportunities and other opportunities for upward socioeconomic mobility were available. There was nowhere near the level of crime and wanton destruction that exists today. Behavior accepted today wasn’t accepted then by either black adults or policemen.

Police authorities often know who are the local criminals and drug lords and where crack houses are located; however, various legal technicalities hamper their ability to make arrests and raids. Law-abiding citizens are often afraid to assist police or testify against criminals for fear of retaliation that can include murder. {snip}

So here’s the question: Should black people accept government’s dereliction of its first basic function, that of providing protection? My answer is no. One of our basic rights is the right to defend oneself against predators. If the government can’t or won’t protect people, people have a right to protect themselves.

You say, “Hey, Williams, you’re not talking about vigilantism, are you?” Yes, I am. Webster’s Dictionary defines vigilantismas: a volunteer committee organized to suppress and punish crime summarily as when the processes of law are viewed as inadequate.

{snip} Black men should set up neighborhood patrols, armed if necessary, and if politicians and police don’t like it, they should do their jobs. No one should have to live in daily fear for their lives and safety.

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