Diversity Is Strength! It’s Also . . . Homicide-Prone Minorities in Los Angeles

Steve Sailer, VDARE, February 7, 2010

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An impressive journalistic endeavor by the Los Angeles Times to maintain a database of all 2,600+ homicide victims in L.A. County since the beginning of 2007–the Los Angeles Homicide Report–allows the public (me) to study in detail who exactly is killing and getting killed.

And that’s worth knowing because:

* L.A. County, in and of itself, is huge (with ten million residents, it’s by far the most populous county in America).

* It’s long been a forerunner of demographic and social change in the rest of America.

* Much of the recent mortgage meltdown occurred in the exurbs of Los Angeles due in part to a multiethnic version of white flight from L.A. crime.

The good news: homicides in L.A. County have been declining. The bad news: the racial disparities in homicide victimization rates remain very large, partly due to gang wars.

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{snip} To its great credit, the Homicide Report violates the media taboo on reporting ethnicity of victims and suspects. As its Frequently Asked Questions list states:

“. . . newspapers and other media outlets stopped mentioning suspects’ or victims’ race or ethnicity because of public criticism. Newspapers came to embrace the idea that such information is irrelevant to the reporting of crimes and may unfairly stigmatize racial groups.

“The Homicide Report departs from this rule in the interest of presenting the most complete and accurate demographic picture of who is dying in homicides in Los Angeles County.”

Homicides provide the most reliable of crime statistics because attention must be paid to a dead body. {snip}

Unfortunately, we can be more certain about the identities of the victims than of their killers. The Homicide Report includes information on the ethnicities of suspects, but it’s not complete or fully reliable.

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And there are always questions about how to classify individuals of mixed heritage. {snip}

Generally, government agencies try to maximize the number of Latinos–except when it comes to crime statistics. The federal Bureau of Justice Statistics, for instance, doesn’t even report “Hispanic” as a category. {snip}

One way of getting around these various methodological problems in thinking about racial differences in crime: look closely at homicide victimization rates of 15-29 year-old males. This approach can seem unkind because it assumes there is some correlation between the odds of getting killed and the odds of causing trouble. But among young men, unfortunately, that assumption has some validity.

Over the last two weeks, I’ve read the LA Times’ write-ups on hundreds of young male victims, and tracked down additional details on many of them elsewhere on the Internet, such as from their MySpace pages. {snip}

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Most killings in L.A. County involve acquaintances rather than strangers. Perhaps due to the spread of pervasive video surveillance in stores, robbery killings are now down to a small fraction of the total number of victims, and a very small sliver of young male victims.

This means that victimization rates of young men can give us some clue about crime rates.

Among 15-29 year-old males killed since the beginning of 2007, I count:

* Hispanics: 794 victims out of 611,789 young men in the 2006-2008 Census estimates

* Blacks: 380 victims out of 96,676 young men

* Non-Hispanic Caucasians: 47 out of 247,173

* Asians: 28 out of 129,716

* Pacific Islanders: 8 out of 3,510

* American Indians: 0 out of 6,088

* Total L.A. County: 15-29 year old males: 1,257 out of 1,108,268

A few technical notes: I’m counting 22 Spanish-surnamed victims as Hispanic even though the county coroner listed them as white, plus four others where there is evidence that they identified ethnically as Latino.

Not surprisingly to anybody who follows the local police blotter, 14 of the 47 Caucasian victims were of West Asian descent, and nine of those 14 Armenians. Only 1.7 percent of the population of Los Angeles County is Armenian, but some of them are a bit lively, rather like Sicilians in a Scorsese movie: enterprising and affluent, but with an Old World code of honor. {snip}

Using the Census Bureau’s estimates of the numbers of 15-29-year-old males in L.A. County in 2006-2008, we can calculate–relative to non-Hispanic whites–the homicide victimization rates among young men:

* Whites: 1.0 times the white rate (by Census definition)

* Asians: 1.1x the white rate

* Latinos: 6.8x

* Pacific Islanders: 12.0x

* African-American: 20.7x

* Total L.A. County: 6.0x

These are also large racial gaps in homicide victimization.

The disparities in homicide offence rates in L.A. County might well be even worse. Of the 33 European whites who died, 5 are reported to have been killed by cops, 9 by Latinos, 5.5 by other whites, 2.5 by blacks, and 2 by Asians. (Fractions represent multiple suspects of different races). Still, in nine of the 33 cases there is no identified suspect, so it’s difficult to generalize confidently from the Homicide Report about offending rates.

Nationally, the ethnic gaps in crime probably aren’t as huge as they are in L.A. County. The Color of Crime 2005 report from American Renaissance looked at national incarceration figures and came up with (for all ages):

“In total, blacks had the highest incarceration rate at 7.2 times the [nonHispanic] white rate, followed by Hispanics, at 2.9 times the white rate. [American] Indians and Pacific Islanders were imprisoned at about twice the white rate, and Asians at only 22 percent of the white rate.”

Why are the racial disparities so bad in Southern California?

* First, L.A. County has particularly law-abiding young white men.

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* Second, L.A. County has a notorious street gang culture that is endemic among the lower ranks of all ethnic groups in Los Angeles, except European-Americans, Japanese-Americans, and American Indians.

For example, one industrious researcher claims there are 137 Asian street gangs in L.A. County. The Homicide Report map shows the largest concentration of gang-related Asian deaths (typically Southeast Asians) on the East Side of Long Beach, just north of where the highest density of Samoans and other Pacific Islanders were killed.

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In contrast, a review of the Homicide Report suggests that there are virtually no white youth gangs seriously active in Los Angeles County, even though the county extends well up into biker and meth lab territory in the High Desert.

{snip} Indeed, victims listed as white in the Homicide Report appear to be more likely to be involved with Latino gangs than with white gangs.

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Moreover, in assessing the recent drop in homicides in LA County, it should be noted that parents took huge financial risks to get their sons farther away from the killing fields of South Central–risks that we’re all paying off.

The rational urge to move contributed to a centrifugal movement outward into the Southern California exurbs (which then spilled over into Nevada and Arizona) that was central to the Housing Bubble of the last decade. By 2006, a large majority of mortgage dollars in the Southern California exurbs were going to minorities.

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Murder, however, is for whites, and for anyone else who gets in the way of minorities that are clearly systematically prone to criminality.

One of the many advantages of an immigration moratorium is that fewer Americans will have to face the risk that has become a fact of life in my hometown.

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