Earlier this month, John Rivers tweeted out his hope for the future:
I dream of a world where a midlevel manager in a midlevel company can accurately quote FBI crime statistics on Facebook and not be fired.
We don’t live in that utopia, however, so you should be cautious about mentioning this article at work. But at least accurately quoting government crime statistics is more convenient than ever due to the publication of The Color of Crime, 2016 Revised Edition.
Researched and written in a sober, judicious manner by veteran economic analyst Edwin S. Rubenstein, this is the first update since 2005 of Jared Taylor’s American Renaissance magazine’s venerable report on racial differences in crime rates.
Rubenstein carefully walks readers through the different sources of statistics about crime and race, such as arrests, imprisonment, and interviews with victims.
All three measures come up with similar racial ratios. On average, blacks commit more violent crimes than Hispanics, who commit more than whites, who commit more than Asians.
The more severe the crime, the worse the racial ratios tend to be. For example, California data is instructive because it carefully breaks out Latinos from whites, whereas federal statistics usually lump whites and Hispanics together. In California, blacks are arrested for homicide 8.6 times as often as whites (down from 9.8 times in 2002) compared with 2.5 times for Hispanics (down from 3.6 in 2002). Robbery, a career that favors the athletic and fleet of foot, is even more of a black specialty, with a black-to-white ratio of 13.4 (down from 15.9 in 2002) versus 2.0 for Hispanics (down from 2.7).
In contrast, in California, blacks are arrested for driving offenses only 1.7 times as often as whites, and Hispanics merely 1.3 times as often.
Or, to use national statistics, blacks are incarcerated 13.1 times as often as whites in state prisons for robbery but only 2.6 times as often for “other property crimes.”
Rubenstein makes the important point that this pattern of lower racial ratios for less vicious crimes is inconsistent with the conventional wisdom that racial differences must be the result of blacks and Hispanics being the victims of discrimination by police and juries:
Almost without exception, the black/white and Hispanic/white arrest multiples are lower for the less serious crimes. Whatever else this difference may mean, it is strong evidence that the police are not making biased arrests. Police have broad discretion as to whether they will arrest someone for forcible touching, shoplifting, or setting off a false fire alarm. If racist police wanted to vent prejudices on non-whites, these are the crimes for which they could most easily do so. They can walk away if someone complains he was spat on, and if they are racist they can walk away if the spitter is white but make an arrest if the spitter is black. Police cannot walk away if someone is lying on the sidewalk bleeding from a knife wound.
Interracial violence, contrary to the impression you might get these days from the obsessions of respectable media outlets, is overwhelmingly skewed toward victimizing whites (and Asians):
In 2012 and 2013, blacks committed an annual average of 560,600 crimes of violence against whites whereas whites committed only about 99,400 such crimes against blacks. This means blacks were the attackers in 84.9 percent of the violent crimes involving blacks and whites.
The differences in propensity toward interracial violence are noteworthy:
In 2012/2013, the actual likelihood of attack was extremely low in all cases, but statistically, any given black person was 27 times more likely to attack a white and six times more likely to attack a Hispanic than vice versa. A Hispanic was eight times more likely to attack a white than the reverse.
Rubenstein puts “Black Lives Matter” into proper perspective by citing federal murder statistics:
Although most murders are within the same race, [individual] blacks were 13.6 times more likely to kill nonblacks than [individual] nonblacks were to kill blacks.
There has been much denunciation by Democrats and the more Jeb Bush-like Republicans of mass incarceration, but The Color of Crime points out that imprisonment is in decline:
The incarceration rate peaked at 788 per 100,000 US residents in 2007 and declined to 730 by 2013.
Until the post-Ferguson spike in black-on-black crime, it was looking as if imprisonment would begin to fall rapidly as the murderers of the crack era of a quarter century ago began to die off or be released.
Those who rage against “mass incarceration” would be more persuasive if they first apologized for what their ideological predecessors did to America in the 1960s and 1970s, and then explained why, exactly, they aren’t going to do the same thing all over again.