Typical White Fact-Based Reasoning

Randall Hoven, American Thinker, March 24, 2008

Senator Barack Obama said in his memoir, The Audacity of Hope, “The arguments of liberals are more often grounded in reason and fact.” Yet he also claimed that to fear a black person on the street more than a white person is a racial “stereotype”, “bred” into us.


It is true that Jesse Jackson confessed to the same fear. More importantly, that fear is a rational one, borne out by “reason and fact”. The data are available.

The U.S. Justice Department provides a breakdown of homicides by the race of both the victim and offender. Looking at the data for 2005 (the latest year available), we find that whites committed 48.0% of all murders and blacks committed 51.2% of all murders.

However, whites outnumber blacks in the population. In fact, non-Hispanic whites are about 69% of the population and blacks are about 13% .

These statistics alone, that blacks are 13% of the population but commit 51.2% of the murders, indicate that blacks commit a seriously disproportionate number of murders.

What we would like to find specifically is the likelihood that a given person is a murderer. {snip}

{snip} The table is based on a total population of 10 million for illustration purposes only; the total population does not matter for relative frequencies or computing likelihoods.










Not a murderer











But now look only at columns of that table. Of 6,899,895 whites, for example, 240 of them are murderers. That is a rate of 3.5 per 100,000. (Without knowing a person’s race, that rate was 5 per 100,000, which is borne out in the rightmost column of the table.) Now look at the column for Blacks. The rate there is 19.7 per 100,000.

That is, the chance of just any person you see on the street murdering someone this year is about 5 of 100,000 (assuming you see a random sample of people). The same chance of a white person is 3.5 of 100,000. And the same chance for a black person is 19.7 of 100,000. That means a black person is 5.6 times more likely than a white person to be a murderer.

It is totally rational for a any person (including Jesse Jackson and Barack Obama’s grandmother) to fear a black person more than a white one. In fact, you should fear them 5.6 times more.

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