The Black Community and Crime
The FBI reported that the total number of homicides in 2015 was 15,696. Blacks were about 52 percent of homicide victims. That means about 8,100 black lives were ended violently, and over 90 percent of the time, the perpetrator was another black. Listening to the news media and the Black Lives Matter movement, one would think that black deaths at the hands of police are the major problem. It turns out that in 2015, police across the nation shot and killed 986 people. Of that number, 495 were white (50 percent), 258 were black (26 percent) and 172 Hispanic (17 percent). A study of 2,699 fatal police killings between 2013 and 2015, conducted by John R. Lott Jr. and Carlisle E. Moody of the Crime Prevention Research Center, demonstrates that the odds of a black suspect’s being killed by a black police officer were consistently greater than a black suspect’s getting killed by a white officer. Politicians, race hustlers and the news media keep such studies under wraps because these studies don’t help their narrative about racist cops.
The homicide victim is not the only victim, whether he is a criminal or not, for there are mourning loved ones. No one ever fully recovers from having a son, daughter, husband, mother or father murdered. Murder is not the only crime that takes a heavy toll on the black community. Blacks are disproportionately represented as victims in every category of violent crime — e.g., forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault.
Today’s level of lawlessness and insecurity in many black communities is a relatively new phenomenon. In the 1930s, ’40s and ’50s, people didn’t bar their windows. Doors were often left unlocked. People didn’t go to bed with the sounds of gunshots. What changed everything was the liberal vision that blamed crime on poverty and racial discrimination. Academic liberals and hustling politicians told us that to deal with crime, we had to deal with those “root causes.” Plus, courts began granting criminals new rights that caused murder and other violent crime rates to skyrocket. The liberals’ argument ignores the fact that there was far greater civility in black neighborhoods at a time when there was far greater poverty and discrimination.
The presence of criminals, having driven many businesses out, forces residents to bear the costs of shopping outside their neighborhoods. Fearing robberies, taxi drivers — including black drivers — often refuse to do home pickups in black neighborhoods and frequently pass up black customers hailing them. Plus, there’s the insult associated with not being able to receive pizza or other deliveries on the same terms as people in other neighborhoods.
In low-crime neighborhoods, FedEx, UPS and other delivery companies routinely leave packages that contain valuable merchandise on a doorstep if no one is at home. That saves the expense of redelivery or recipients from having to go pick up the packages. In low-crime communities, supermarket managers may leave plants, fertilizer and other home and garden items outdoors, often unattended and overnight. They display merchandise at entryways and exits. Where there is less honesty, supermarkets cannot use all the space that they lease, and hence they are less profitable. In high-crime neighborhoods, delivery companies leaving packages at the door and supermarkets leaving goods outside unattended would be equivalent to economic suicide.
Politicians who call for law and order are often viewed negatively, but poor people are the most dependent on law and order. In the face of high crime or social disorder, wealthier people can afford to purchase alarm systems, buy guard dogs, hire guards and, if things get too bad, move to a gated community. These options are not available to poor people. The only protection they have is an orderly society.
Ultimately, the solution to high crime rests with black people. Given the current political environment, it doesn’t pay a black or white politician to take those steps necessary to crack down on lawlessness in black communities.
Walter E. Williams is a professor of economics at George Mason University. To find out more about Walter E. Williams and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.
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Last Updated: Monday, Jan 09, 2017 06:24:21 -0800
In 1980, he joined the faculty of George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., and is currently the John M. Olin Distinguished Professor of Economics. From 1995 to 2001, he served as department chairman. He has also served on the faculties of Los Angeles City College (1967-69), California State University (1967-1971) and Temple University (1973-1980). From 1963 to 1967, he was a group supervisor of juvenile delinquents for the Los Angeles County Probation Department.
More than 150 of his publications have appeared in scholarly journals such as Economic Inquiry, American Economic Review and Social Science Quarterly and popular publications such as Reader's Digest, The Wall Street Journal and Newsweek. He has made many TV and radio appearances on such programs as Milton Friedman's Free to Choose, William F. Buckley's Firing Line, Face The Nation, Nightline and Crossfire, and is an occasional substitute host for The Rush Limbaugh Show.
He is also the author of several books. Among these are The State Against Blacks, later made into a television documentary, America: A Minority Viewpoint, All It Takes Is Guts, South Africa's War Against Capitalism, More Liberty Means Less Government, Liberty Versus The Tyranny of Socialism, and recently his autobiography, Up From The Projects.
In 1981, he began writing his weekly column called A Minority View for Heritage Features Syndicate. And in 1991, he joined Creators Syndicate as part of its friendly takeover of Heritage Features.
Williams sits on many boards of directors and advisory boards, including the Hoover Institution, Grove City College, Cato Institute, Institute of Economic Affairs and the Heritage Foundation.
The awards and honors Williams has received are many. These include the National Fellow at the Hoover Institute of War, Revolution, and Peace; the Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellowship; the National Service Award from the Institute for Socioeconomic Studies; and the George Washington Medal of Honor from the Valley Forge Freedom Foundation and Adam Smith Award from the Foundation for Economic Education. In 1984-1985, he received the Faculty Member of the Year Award from the George Mason University Alumni. He is also a member of the American Economic Association, the Mont Pelerin Society and is a Distinguished Scholar of the Heritage Foundation.
Williams participates in many debates and conferences, is a frequent public speaker and has often given testimony before both houses of Congress.
Originally posted at http://get.creators.com/content/release/195040.