On March 2, The Times wrote about Madison County Republican Hugh McInnish’s letter noting racial disparities in Huntsville’s schools. He cited a report by my foundation on racial differences in crime rates. The article quoted the Southern Poverty Law Center as calling it “academic racism.”
People make charges of “racism” when they are losing the argument. Justice Department statistics are clear: Blacks commit murder at about seven times the white rate. (http://www.popcenter.org/problems/domestic_violence/PDFs/Fox&Zawitz_2002.pdf)
The department’s National Crime Victimization Survey asks crime victims the race of perpetrators of violent crimes and finds that blacks are overrepresented as perpetrators in single-offender crimes and vastly overrepresented in multiple-offender crimes. (http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/index.cfm?ty=tp&tid=942) When blacks are arrested in disproportionate numbers, it is because of the crime, not because cops are prejudiced.
A March 18, 2010 New York Times article on a lawsuit over a suspension notes that blacks are suspended from school at about twice the white rate. There is reason to believe that this is for the same reason blacks are seven times more likely than whites to be incarcerated: They are committing crimes at higher rates.
Our report, The Color of Crime, is based exclusively on official crime statistics (on the internet at nc-f.org.)
Mr. McInnish also noted the black/white gap in student performance. There are roughly 16,000 school districts in the U.S. and none have been able to eliminate the gap. (See NAEP 2008 Trends in Academic Progress, US Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, pp. 15, 17, 35, 37).
Jarred Taylor is President, New Century Foundation
[The article Mr. Taylor is referring to was reprinted here.]