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From the New York Times’ op-ed page:

The Wrecker (composite picture)

Artificial Intelligence’s White Guy Problem

By KATE CRAWFORD JUNE 25, 2016

ACCORDING to some prominent voices in the tech world, artificial intelligence presents a looming existential threat to humanity: Warnings by luminaries like Elon Musk and Nick Bostrom about “the singularity” — when machines become smarter than humans — have attracted millions of dollars and spawned a multitude of conferences.

But this hand-wringing is a distraction from the very real problems with artificial intelligence today, which may already be exacerbating inequality in the workplace, at home and in our legal and judicial systems. Sexism, racism and other forms of discrimination are being built into the machine-learning algorithms that underlie the technology behind many “intelligent” systems that shape how we are categorized and advertised to.

Take a small example from last year: Users discovered that Google’s photo app, which applies automatic labels to pictures in digital photo albums, was classifying images of black people as gorillas. Google apologized; it was unintentional.

But similar errors have emerged in Nikon’s camera software, which misread images of Asian people as blinking, and in Hewlett-Packard’s web camera software, which had difficulty recognizing people with dark skin tones.

This is fundamentally a data problem. Algorithms learn by being fed certain images, often chosen by engineers, and the system builds a model of the world based on those images. If a system is trained on photos of people who are overwhelmingly white, it will have a harder time recognizing nonwhite faces.

A very serious example was revealed in an investigation published last month by ProPublica. It found that widely used software that assessed the risk of recidivism in criminals was twice as likely to mistakenly flag black defendants as being at a higher risk of committing future crimes. It was also twice as likely to incorrectly flag white defendants as low risk.

The reason those predictions are so skewed is still unknown

But, obviously, it couldn’t possibly have anything to do with blacks being more likely to commit crimes in the future. It couldn’t possibly be that reality is racist because that would be racist.

, because the company responsible for these algorithms keeps its formulas secret — it’s proprietary information. Judges do rely on machine-driven risk assessments in different ways — some may even discount them entirely — but there is little they can do to understand the logic behind them.

Police departments across the United States are also deploying data-driven risk-assessment tools in “predictive policing” crime prevention efforts. In many cities, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Miami, software analyses of large sets of historical crime data are used to forecast where crime hot spots are most likely to emerge; the police are then directed to those areas.

At the very least, this software risks perpetuating an already vicious cycle, in which the police increase their presence in the same places they are already policing (or overpolicing), thus ensuring that more arrests come from those areas.

As the New York Times reported on Chicago’s latest Memorial Day Weekend:

From Friday evening to the end of Monday, 64 people will have been shot in this city of 2.7 million, six of them fatally. In a population made up of nearly equal numbers of whites, blacks and Hispanics, 52 of the shooting victims are black, 11 Hispanic and one white.

Obviously, the problem in Chicago is “overpolicing” of black areas, causing blacks to be arrested (and shoot each other) so much.

Actually, if you want to arrest more whites (and Asians), computer programs could be pretty good at identifying potential examples of Crime in the Suites like price-fixing and insider trading. That’s one thing Artificial Intelligence is better than Natural Intelligence at: plowing through huge numbers of examples to find ones that seem a little off.

You’d then need forensic accountants and the like to nail it down, but nobody seems very interested in that anymore. As Hillary Clinton likes to say, concerning ourselves with the doings of malefactors of great wealth gets in the way of, what really matters: obsessing over transgender rights. Haven’t you seen “Hamilton” yet? Only racists like Andrew Jackson worry about what financiers are up to. As you’ll notice, Jackson is getting replaced by Harriet Tubman, not Alexander Hamilton.

Back to Kate Crawford:

In the United States, this could result in more surveillance in traditionally poorer, nonwhite neighborhoods, while wealthy, whiter neighborhoods are scrutinized even less. Predictive programs are only as good as the data they are trained on, and that data has a complex history.

Histories of discrimination can live on in digital platforms, and if they go unquestioned, they become part of the logic of everyday algorithmic systems. Another scandal emerged recently when it was revealed that Amazon’s same-day delivery service was unavailable for ZIP codes in predominantly black neighborhoods.

It’s almost as if, when it’s working well, Artificial Intelligence comes up with the same conclusions as Natural Intelligence.

The areas overlooked were remarkably similar to those affected by mortgage redlining in the mid-20th century.

The research of magisterial historian Genius T. Coates proves that New Deal redlining regulations have more effect on American life in 2016 than anything that has happened since.

Amazon promised to redress the gaps, but it reminds us how systemic inequality can haunt machine intelligence.

Comrades, there are Wreckers everywhere! They must be liquidated.

And then there’s gender discrimination. Last July, computer scientists at Carnegie Mellon University found that women were less likely than men to be shown ads on Google for highly paid jobs. The complexity of how search engines show ads to internet users makes it hard to say why this happened — whether the advertisers preferred showing the ads to men, or the outcome was an unintended consequence of the algorithms involved.

Regardless, algorithmic flaws aren’t easily discoverable: How would a woman know to apply for a job she never saw advertised? How might a black community learn that it were being overpoliced by software?

We need to be vigilant about how we design and train these machine-learning systems, or we will see ingrained forms of bias built into the artificial intelligence of the future.

Like all technologies before it, artificial intelligence will reflect the values of its creators.

Five of the attendees of the 1956 Dartmouth Summer Research Project on Artificial Intelligence reunited at the July AI@50 conference. From left: Trenchard More, John McCarthy, Marvin Minsky, Oliver Selfridge, and Ray Solomonoff. (Photo by Joseph Mehling ’69)

It’s all their fault.

Granted, the field is now full of Asians as well as whites, but everything is still the fault of the Evil White Guys.

Why? Just because. They’re bad. What more do you need to know? Why are you asking questions?

By the way, that’s not Artificial Intelligence, that’s Very Human Intelligence: who/whom.

So inclusivity matters — from who designs it to who sits on the company boards and which ethical perspectives are included.

Kate Crawford is available to sit on the Board of your company (unicorns only need apply) and give it her imprimatur of virtuous non-White Guyness.

Otherwise, we risk constructing machine intelligence that mirrors a narrow and privileged vision of society, with its old, familiar biases and stereotypes.

If we look at how systems can be discriminatory now, we will be much better placed to design fairer artificial intelligence. But that requires far more accountability from the tech community. Governments and public institutions can do their part as well: As they invest in predictive technologies, they need to commit to fairness and due process.

While machine-learning technology can offer unexpected insights and new forms of convenience, we must address the current implications for communities that have less power, for those who aren’t dominant in elite Silicon Valley circles.

Currently the loudest voices debating the potential dangers of superintelligence are affluent white men, and, perhaps for them, the biggest threat is the rise of an artificially intelligent apex predator.

But for those who already face marginalization or bias, the threats are here.

Kate Crawford is a principal researcher at Microsoft and co-chairwoman of a White House symposium on society and A.I.

Judging by her own P.R. photo, Kate Crawford is possibly the Whitest Woman in the World.

But that’s not the point, the point is that she’s not one of those horrible White Guys that everybody is always talking about.

Seriously, if you are pundit needing to write a piece explaining Trump or Brexit or whatever, consider what a normal human reaction would be to the kind of Mindless White Guy Hate, as seen in this op-ed, that is utterly respectable in the prestige press.

 

Screenshot 2016-06-25 02.42.22Should I buy on Race Road because it’s going to gentrify or should I sell on Privilege Place because it’s going to tip?

I was visiting the Museum of Man in the most spectacular building in San Diego’s Balboa Park.

And sure enough they have the race-does-not-exist touring exhibit that I was having fun at the expense of way back in 2004.

It was promoted by the former president of the American Association of Anthropology, Alan Goodman, who memorably explained:

“[Race] doesn’t exist biologically, but it does exist socially … Culturally I’m white-ified. People see me as white. That has something to do with how I look, but it has nothing to do with biological variation.”

Above left is a picture of Dr. Goodman, who looks pretty fly (for a white-ified guy).

 

By being pro-European, rather than pro-Syrian, pro-Afghan, and pro-Eritrean.

But if you don’t want Dresden, Salzburg, Sienna, Avignon, and Bath to be like Kabul, you hate European Values.

 

From the BBC:

Brexit: David Cameron to quit after UK votes to leave EU
2 minutes ago

Prime Minister David Cameron is to step down by October after the UK voted to leave the European Union.

Mr Cameron made the announcement in a statement outside Downing Street after the final result was announced.

He said he would attempt to “steady the ship” over the coming weeks and months but that “fresh leadership” was needed.

The PM had urged the country to vote Remain, warning of economic and security consequences of an exit, but the UK voted to Leave by 52% to 48%.
England and Wales voted strongly for Brexit, while London, Scotland and Northern Ireland backed staying in.

The referendum turnout was 71.8% – with more than 30 million people voting – the highest turnout at a UK-wide vote since 1992.

… UKIP leader Nigel Farage – who has campaigned for the past 20 years for Britain to leave the EU – told cheering supporters “this will be a victory for ordinary people, for decent people”.

Mr Farage – who predicted a Remain win at the start of the night after polls suggested that would happen – said it would “go down in history as our independence day”.

But pro-Leave Conservatives including Boris Johnson and Michael Gove have signed a letter to Mr Cameron urging him to stay on whatever the result.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who called for the UK to remain in the EU but was accused of a lukewarm campaign, said poorer communities were “fed up” with cuts and felt “marginalised by successive governments”.

London has voted to stay in the EU by around 60% to 40%.

However, no other region of England has voted in favour of remaining.

 

Screenshot 2016-06-23 21.03.37

 

Screenshot 2016-06-23 20.49.26

 

From the NYT:

Supreme Court Tie Blocks Obama Immigration Plan

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court announced on Thursday that it had deadlocked in a case challenging President Obama’s immigration plan, effectively ending what Mr. Obama had hoped would become one of his central legacies. The program would have shielded as many as five million undocumented immigrants from deportation and allowed them to legally work in the United States.

The 4-4 tie, which left in place an appeals court ruling blocking the plan, amplified the contentious election-year debate over the nation’s immigration policy and presidential power.

When the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case in January, it seemed poised to issue a major ruling on presidential power. That did not materialize, but the court’s action, which established no precedent and included no reasoning, was nonetheless perhaps its most important statement this term.

The decision was just nine words long: “The judgment is affirmed by an equally divided court.” …

The case, United States v. Texas, No. 15-674, concerned a 2014 executive action by the president to allow as many as five million unauthorized immigrants who were the parents of citizens or of lawful permanent residents to apply for a program that would spare them from deportation and provide them with work permits. The program was called Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents, or DAPA.

Mr. Obama has said he took the action after years of frustration with Republicans in Congress who had repeatedly refused to support bipartisan Senate legislation to update immigration laws. A coalition of 26 states, led by Texas, promptly challenged the plan, accusing the president of ignoring administrative procedures for changing rules and of abusing the power of his office by circumventing Congress.

“Today’s decision keeps in place what we have maintained from the very start: One person, even a president, cannot unilaterally change the law,” Ken Paxton, the Texas attorney general, said in a statement after the ruling. “This is a major setback to President Obama’s attempts to expand executive power, and a victory for those who believe in the separation of powers and the rule of law.”

 

Good news in a case I’ve been following. It was the subject of an NBC Dateline episode, “The Girl with the Blue Mustang.” If you watch it carefully, you’ll note that there is zero evidence against the man who has been in prison for years.

From the Los Angeles Times:

Man convicted of murdering college student set free amid questions over guilt

An Iraq war veteran convicted in the 2000 slaying of college student Michelle O’Keefe was ordered released from state prison Thursday after prosecutors express doubts about his guilt.

“The people no longer have confidence in the conviction,” Los Angeles Deputy Dist Atty. Bobby Grace told a judge, who ordered Raymond Lee Jennings released.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge William Ryan recommended that Jennings be released immediately from the courthouse but ordered electronic monitoring for Jennings because the case against him has not been dismissed.

Jennings, who worked as a security guard at the Palmdale parking lot where O’Keefe was found, smiled broadly as entered the courtroom.

“He was happy to know, after 11 years, his ordeal is over,” his attorney, Jeffrey Ehrlich, said outside court.

Q: Who is Jennings and how did he come under suspicion?

Jennings was an Army National Guardsman and Iraq war veteran.

Detectives grew suspicious when Jennings he told them the young woman was still alive when he found her but that he did not perform CPR because he feared contaminating the crime scene. But there was no physical evidence linking Jennings to the crime. No weapon was found.

Two juries in Los Angeles deadlocked on the case. But prosecutors got a conviction during a third trial, which was held in Lancaster, in the region where O’Keefe lived.

Deputy Dist. Atty. Michael Blake argued during the trial that Jennings gave inconsistent accounts in statements to detectives and in his deposition and revealed details that only the killer would know, such as the order of the shots that were fired.

What is the new evidence?

Prosecutors are not saying. But Jennings’ attorney offered some clues.

Jeffrey Ehrlich said the new investigation uncovered evidence suggesting a robbery or carjacking and that Jennings had nothing to do with it.

“There were other people at the scene, and D.A.’s office was aware of them, but they only looked at Mr. Jennings,” he said.

In a letter to prosecutors, Ehrlich outlined what he considers the weaknesses of their case. The letter noted that there were several people in the parking lot at the time of the killing who were smoking pot and listening to music. The letter quoted one of the witnesses as saying she saw a man in Toyota Tercel flee the scene.

Ehrlich argued that investigators failed to look into whether other people in the parking lot might be involved in the murder. He noted in the letter that one of the people in the parking lot that night had ties to street gangs and in the years since was involved in series criminal activities.

The prosecutor said the security guard probably made an advance toward O’Keefe and was rebuffed, leading to a confrontation and then the shooting.

“It’s an unspeakable crime for no good reason,” Blake said after the verdict.

Defense attorneys said that Jennings was only speculating about the killing during his interviews and said he inaccurately described one of the victim’s wounds as a gunshot. Medical experts concluded that it was caused by a blow to the head.

What’s next?

Prosecutors have said the new investigation is continuing. It’s unclear whether they plan to charge a new suspect in the killing.

An Iraq war veteran convicted in the 2000 slaying of college student Michelle O’Keefe was ordered released from state prison Thursday after prosecutors express doubts about his guilt.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge William Ryan ordered that Raymond Lee Jennings be released on his own recognizance after prosecutors filed a writ under seal that the jurist described as making it clear that prosecutors no longer believed in his 2009 conviction in the Palmdale slaying. He was freed Thursday afternoon.

“We are prepared to say the people no longer have confidence in the conviction based on third party culpability,” Los Angeles Deputy Dist. Atty. Bobby Grace told a judge, who ordered Jennings released.

Grace’s statement alluded to a new investigation the District Attorney’s office has launched into February 2000 fatal shooting that has developed new evidence. Grace declined to address specifics outside court but his statement in court supported suggestions by Jennings’ attorneys that another person present that night is responsible for shooting to death O’Keefe.

Prosecutors reopened the case after attorneys for Jennings questioned why Los Angeles Sheriff’s detectives never interviewed several other people at the scene in a car.

… Jennings smiled broadly as entered the courtroom. “He was happy to know, after 11 years, his ordeal is over,” his attorney, Jeffrey Ehrlich, said outside court.

Ehrlich said sheriff’s detectives focused on Jennings, a father of five and Iraq War Veteran, as opposed to several other people at the scene including four people in a car smoking marijuana and listening to music.

Jennings was the Regular Guy White Defendant — an average family man with a spotless military record picking up some extra bucks as a security guard. He deployed to Iraq several times in the many years before he was charged.

Congratulations to the Ehrlich family of lawyers for their pro bono work in this case.

From the Ehrlich Law Firm press release:

On the night of the murder, Jennings, then 25 years old, had been patrolling the parking lot as an unarmed security guard. He heard gunshots and saw a car slowly rolling backward into a planter. Ms. O’Keefe’s body was inside, slumped over the steering wheel. She had been shot multiple times.

No forensic evidence tied Jennings to the crime. There was no gunshot residue on his clothes, nor was there any hair, fibers, or other trace evidence to suggest he had been in contact with the victim. No witness claimed to have seen the crime. At the time, Jennings was a 7-year veteran of the Army National Guard, with no prior criminal record. He held a “secret” security clearance and was studying to be a U.S. Marshal.

The murder went unsolved for over 5 years. In 2005, the District Attorney’s office charged Jennings with the murder, and he was arrested while he was on leave from serving in Iraq with his National Guard Unit. The case against Jennings was wholly circumstantial, and was primarily based on a now-discredited claim that he knew non-public details about the crime that only O’Keefe’s killer would have known.

Jennings was tried three times, with the first two juries unable to reach a verdict. In December 2009, a third jury convicted Jennings of second-degree murder. He was sentenced to a life term. His conviction was affirmed on appeal in 2011.

In June 2015, Jennings’ case came to the attention Ehrlich’s law-student son, Clinton Ehrlich. Clinton had seen a link on the internet to an NBC “Dateline” episode about the case. After watching the program he concluded that the case against Jennings was flawed, and he did further research. A few days later he convinced his father to take on the case for Jennings pro bono.

Clinton continued to develop a critique of the State’s case against Jennings, and on October 2, 2015, the father-son team submitted a 34-page single-spaced letter to the CRU, refuting every aspect of the State’s case. The letter persuaded the four experienced prosecutors staffing the CRU that Jennings was innocent and that the O’Keefe murder investigation should be re-opened. A new investigation was launched in May 2016.

The new investigation immediately focused on the people other than Jennings who had been in the parking lot when O’Keefe was shot.

Jennings, who has five children, has thus far served over 11 years in prison.

 
• Tags: Crime

Black Lives Matter does great in getting the Obama Administration’s and national media’s support and in encouraging blacks to riot and to murder each other. BLM does not have much of a track record in actual justice proceedings however:

Baltimore Officer in Freddie Gray Case Is Cleared of All Charges
By JESS BIDGOOD and SHERYL GAY STOLBERG JUNE 23, 2016

BALTIMORE — The Baltimore police officer who drove the van in which Freddie Gray sustained a fatal spinal injury was acquitted on Thursday of second-degree murder and six lesser charges, leaving prosecutors still without a conviction after three high-profile trials in a case that has shaken this city.

In his ruling, Judge Barry G. Williams rejected the prosecution’s claim that the officer, Caesar R. Goodson Jr., had given Mr. Gray a “rough ride” in the van, intentionally putting him at risk for an injury by taking a wide turn while Mr. Gray was not secured with a seatbelt.

“The court finds there is insufficient evidence that the defendant gave or intended to give Mr. Gray a rough ride,” Judge Williams, said, adding that there had not been “evidence presented at this trial that the defendant intended for any crime to happen.” …

On Thursday, the courtroom was packed, and hushed, as the judge read the verdicts; sheriff’s deputies had issued a warning: “No moans, no groans.” Afterward, Officer Goodson hugged members of his family and two other officers charged in the death — Officers Garrett E. Miller and Edward M. Nero — who had been seated in the front row.

The state’s attorney, Marilyn Mosby, heaved a sigh and walked out, her head down, escorted by her security guard. The two prosecutors who tried the case, Jan Bledsoe and Michael Schatzow, followed, purse-lipped and looking glum.

For Ms. Mosby, the not guilty verdicts raise an obvious and painful question: Can she go forward with the rest of the prosecutions? Four more trials — including a retrial of Officer William G. Porter, whose first trial ended with a hung jury in December — remain. (Officer Nero was acquitted of four charges last month.) Several lawyers who attended the trial said Ms. Mosby must now rethink her strategy.

“If she abandons the prosecution of the four remaining trials, the only interpretation of that is that she has been defeated — certainly that does not bode well politically for her,” said Warren Alperstein, a lawyer who represents police officers, though not those charged in the Gray cases. “On the other hand, how do far do you take this when you are 0 for three?”

Mr. Gray’s death spurred days of violent protests that prompted the governor to call in the National Guard and put the city at the center of a wrenching national debate over race and policing. Ms. Mosby, stood on the steps of the city’s War Memorial and told residents that she would “deliver justice” on their behalf. Ms. Mosby then took the unusual step of charging six officers in Mr. Gray’s fatal arrest and death, reserving the steepest charge — second-degree “depraved heart” murder — for Officer Goodson, who is also black.

Freddie was a professional litigant, so he may have been engaging in a Dive for Dough scheme.

 

Screenshot 2016-06-23 20.37.56

What do you think?

 

Last year, we were assured that Europe had to accept Merkel’s Million Muslim Mob because the Syrian civil war was a once in a half-century tragedy, but of course the West didn’t have to accept business as normal migrants from Africa, where the population is forecast by the UN to octuple to almost four billion between 1990 and 2100.

But, now rhetorical momentum is leading the prestige press to change its tune. Discriminating against Africans is … discrimination! Against blacks!

From the NYT op-ed page:

For Europe, Arab Lives Matter More Than Africans’
By CHARLOTTE MCDONALD-GIBSON JUNE 22, 2016

… But with the fresh images of human suffering comes an uncomfortable reality: The men, women and children who survive this grueling journey will not be welcomed with the same compassion as the Syrians and Iraqis who have come before them, because a majority hail from Africa.

Like the smugglers who put the poorer sub-Saharan Africans in the holds of trawlers while giving the Syrians the upper deck, Europe has its own two-tier system. The European Union draws a distinction between a genuine refugee and an economic migrant, and people coming from the world’s poorest continent are generally assumed to be the latter. It is a narrative of the “good” migrant and the “bad” one that leads to policies focused on keeping people out and ignores a more nuanced reality.

Twenty-six percent of the world’s refugees are in sub-Saharan Africa.

Of course, there are plenty of other countries in sub-Saharan Africa for genuine refugees to go to.

The largest number of migrants to arrive in Italy so far this year are Eritreans, who are fleeing a dictatorship that the United Nations has accused of crimes against humanity. The second biggest group is Nigerians. The International Organization for Migration has told me that at least 80 percent of Nigerian women and girls are trafficked for sexual exploitation.

Uh, then why should Europe encourage this trafficking?

And many of the people trying to reach Europe this year are not fleeing conflict in their own lands, but in Libya, where they have suffered kidnapping, torture and imprisonment.

Uh, so they could avoid conflict just by staying home?

These facts rarely make the news. Sometimes the prejudice is implicit. … Other times it is explicit. Last year, the British foreign secretary, Philip Hammond, referred to African migrants as “marauding.” He told the BBC, “Europe can’t protect itself and preserve its standard of living and social infrastructure if it has to absorb millions of migrants from Africa.”

Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi was more blunt about Europe’s prejudices in 2010, when he asked the European Union for five billion euros to stop people leaving Libya. “Europe might no longer be European, and even black, as there are millions who want to come in,” he said. “We don’t know what will happen, what will be the reaction of the white and Christian Europeans faced with this influx of starving and ignorant Africans.”

Well, Hillary took care of that old bigot!

Colonel Qaddafi’s racist fearmongering seemed to work.

Italy had a Trump-like prime minister in Silvio Berlusconi who worked out a deal with Kafaffee to keep Europe from being overrun. But Hillary solved that problem by having Gathathee sodomized to death, so now, problem solved, Europe is being overrun.

Europe cannot be expected to offer a home to every person fleeing poverty or persecution, and European Union governments are right to try to come up with policies that deter people from making the voyage.

But not any that would actually work, like Australia’s, much less Israel’s.

But these policies need to be focused on the human rights of migrants whether they hail from Africa or the Middle East. A person’s nationality cannot become shorthand for his or her worth.

And there we go.

George Soros’s bank accounts are, of course, completely sacred, but the scarcity value of your citizenship in a first world nation should have zero worth, you racist bigot you.

 

Commenter Antonymous looks up who perpetrated the last 25 mass shootings/bombings according to the Los Angeles Times list of “Deadliest U.S. Mass Shootings:”

Kamikaze killers are aptly named, in that they are largely committed by foreign or non-traditional Americans.

In the last ten years, there have been 16 mass shootings/bombings by non-whites, primarily immigrants and/or muslims — most of which targeted whites. There were 9 mass shooting by whites, only two of which were racially motivated. Contrary to the current narrative, whites are significantly overrepresented as *victims* and underrepresented as perpetrators.

Non-white perpetrators of mass shootings since 2007:

(1) Roseburg OR — Biracial black-identified man (targeted white Christians, specifically asking their religion before killing)
(2) Fort Hood TX (2009) — Palestinian Muslim
(3) Fort Hood TX (2014) — Hispanic man
(4) Santa Barbara CA — Biracial Moroccan [Malaysian-English] man (targeted white college women, angry over rejection) [but also stabbed to death a bunch of his Asian roommates, but nobody remembers those poor bastards]
(5) Virginia Tech VA — Korean immigrant
(6) Washington DC (naval yard) — Black man
(7) Binghamton NY — Vietnamese immigrant
(8) San Bernardino CA — Pakistani and Yemeni Muslim immigrants, Al Quaeda / ISIS affiliated
(9) Orlando FL — Afghan Muslim, ISIS affiliated
(10) Boston MA — Caucasus Muslim immigrants
(11) Chattanooga TN — Palestinian-Jordanian Muslim immigrant, ISIS affiliated
(12) Santa Monica CA — Lebanese Muslim(?) [first name John, so more likely a Christian Arab]
(13) Brookfield WI — Jamaican immigrant
(14) Oakland CA — Korean immigrant
(15) Manchester CT — Black man [targeting white coworkers]
(16) Salt Lake UT — Bosnian Muslim immigrant

vs. white perpetrators:

(1) Aurora CO theatre
(2) Sandy Hook elementary
(3) Colorado Springs clinic
(4) Seal Beach CA salon
(5) Tucson AZ political rally
(6) DeKalb IL university
(7) Omaha NE mall
(8) Oak Creek WI sikh temple [targeting perceived muslims]
(9) Charleston SC church shooting [targeting blacks]

Source: http://timelines.latimes.com/deadliest-shooting-rampages/

As usual the political narrative of a big white bogey man is backward.

If you started with a different date, the proportions would be a little different, but 25 is a good round number. Another publication might include more or fewer mass slaughters. And a few of the categorizations might be arguable. I invite corrections in the comments.

But still, I hadn’t been aware that only 36% of mass shooters were regular American white guys, and I’m reasonably well-informed.

Of course, everybody, I believe, except Mrs. Farook in San Bernardino was a man.

 

What’s your opinion?

 

From my new column in Taki’s Magazine:

Was The Juice on the Juice?
by Steve Sailer
June 22, 2016

I’ve been pointing out for years that O.J. Simpson’s 1994 white Bronco run for the Mexican border from his lawyer Robert Kardashian’s house was a turning point in American cultural history, spawning the Kardashians, Caitlyn Jenner, and much else that you could be watching on your TV right now. …

This is the year that the media finally figured out this bit of its own history and is running various lengthy miniseries and documentaries about O.J. Simpson. But that raises the problem of explaining to young people who O.J. was and why.

All good youngsters today know that America was virulently racist until, roughly, last week.

But the O.J. story is hard to fit into The Narrative of endless white racism.

The reason the conventional wisdom has such trouble making sense out of the Simpson story is because O.J. epitomizes how beloved blacks had become by American whites in the last third of the 20th century…and how often blacks then let whites down.

Read the whole thing there.

 

From the NYT:

How Do You Stop a Future Terrorist When the Only Evidence Is a Thought?
By RUKMINI CALLIMACHI JUNE 21, 2016

MAGNANVILLE, France — The first time Larossi Abballa appeared on the radar of French terrorism investigators, the only act of violence they could pin on him was killing bunnies.

He had joined a small group of men, all bent on waging jihad, on a trip to a snowy forest in northern France five years ago, when he was 19. There, they videotaped themselves slaughtering the rabbits, bought so the men could grow used to the feel of killing.

When he and seven others were later arrested, the authorities found that several of the men had saved the video of the slaughter on their cellphones, alongside footage of soldiers being beheaded, according to French court records. Mr. Abballa was eventually convicted on a terrorism charge and spent more than two years in prison.

In hindsight, it is not hard to see how that first act of brutality foreshadowed what happened last week: Armed with a knife, Mr. Abballa attacked a couple in northern France in the name of the Islamic State and left them to bleed to death.

But at the time of his arrest in 2011, investigators were not able to definitively show that he was a permanent threat to France. After his prison stint, he was placed under surveillance. Just months after the wiretaps stopped, he committed the double murder last week.

Across Europe and the United States, law enforcement officials are struggling to reckon with attackers like Mr. Abballa and Omar Mateen, whose shooting rampage this month at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla., left 49 dead. They are men who clearly seemed to be building toward violent acts, and whose names had surfaced in terrorism investigations, but who avoided crossing legal lines that could tip off the authorities until it was too late.

With thousands of terrorism surveillance cases running at any given time, the European authorities say they are swamped and are in the difficult position of trying to head off attacks of which the only forewarning is often in the form of what someone thinks or what they are overheard saying. …

As the most junior member of the group, Mr. Abballa was not chosen to go, and that frustrated him. “I’m thirsty for blood, Allah is my witness,” he wrote in an email intercepted by the authorities. In another, he begged, “Please let me go, pls, pls, pls.”

When it appeared that he would not be sent to Pakistan, he turned his rage toward France, writing on Feb. 19, 2011, “With Allah’s will, we will find a way to raise the flag here.” A week letter, he wrote that his cell would “wipe away the infidels.” …

Considered the group’s least influential member, Mr. Abballa spent more than two years in prison and was released in 2013. He was kept under surveillance until the end of 2015. …

“We are in fact drowning in intelligence,” said Alain Bauer, a professor of criminology at the National Conservatory of Arts and Crafts in Paris.

He and others said there were structural problems, including the fact that France’s so-called S List, a database of people believed to have been radicalized, has over 10,000 names and is not ranked according to threat level.

Though most on the list never commit violence, others have now been responsible for gruesome headlines. Eight of the 10 men who staged the deadliest European terrorist attack in over a decade — the Paris killings on Nov. 13 — were on the S List and several had spent time behind bars, yet were able to sneak back into France and Belgium from Syria. Another suspect on the list, Amedy Coulibaly, had also been imprisoned on a terrorism conviction. Eight months after his electronic bracelet was removed by the French authorities, he killed a police officer and opened fire in a kosher supermarket in Paris in January 2015, leaving four more people dead in the Islamic State’s name. …

After Mr. Abballa killed the couple in Magnanville, France, last week, a deputy in Parliament, Éric Ciotti, introduced a bill creating the status of “administrative detention” for those representing a security threat. …

In other words, concentration camps …

Prime Minister Manuel Valls said last week that he would consider the proposal, but that there would be “no Guantánamo” in France, the French newspaper Libération reported.

Jean-Charles Brisard, the chairman of the French Center for the Analysis of Terrorism in Paris, called the idea “absurd” and said France could not jettison civil liberties.

He added that putting everyone on the S List under surveillance was impossible, because there are more than 10,000 names and fewer than 5,000 agents. It takes 20 agents per suspect for 24-hour surveillance, he said, meaning France could perform round-the-clock surveillance of only a small fraction of those suspected of being radicalized.

“My profound conviction is that unfortunately we need to get used to living with this new threat,” Mr. Brisard said. “It’s permanent, it’s diffuse and it can erupt at any moment.”

Here’s another idea that’s neither throwing all suspects in concentration camps nor lying back and thinking of the E.U. like Monsieur Brisard suggests: pay Muslims to leave the country. The principle is already in place: France already offers a few thousand euros to immigrants to leave France for good.

Call in each individual on the S List and tell him: We know you hate France, and, too be frank, we’re not all fond of you either, so let’s make a clean break of it. Here’s 20,000 euros to leave France forever. In return, you hand over your French passport and ID card and sign this paper saying that you will never come back to France and if you ever set foot in France or the E.U. again, you’ll got to prison for 20 years.

… In a long rant captured on the video, Mr. Abballa’s thoughts returned to the frustration he felt in 2011, when he begged to be allowed to go abroad to wage jihad.

“I address this also to the French infidel authorities. This is the result of your work. You closed the door to my Hijrah,” he said, using an Arabic term for a pilgrimage that for some Islamic State devotees has come to mean traveling to Syria and Iraq to join the group. “You closed the door toward the lands of the caliphate? Well, good then, we have opened the door of jihad onto your territory.”

Better these guys make their hegira to somewhere outside of Europe than their Old Country cousins make their hegira to Europe.

 

One of the big boosts to the “sharing economy” (e.g., Uber, Airbnb) has been the widespread assumption that anti-discrimination laws don’t apply to them, because they are, like, high tech and disruptive and stuff.

But that golden age of obliviousness is slowly coming to an end. From the NYT:

Airbnb Vows to Fight Racism, but Its Users Can’t Sue to Prompt Fairness
By KATIE BENNER JUNE 19, 2016

SAN FRANCISCO — Brian Chesky, chief executive of Airbnb, made a vow this month to root out bigotry from his business.

His online room-sharing company has recently been grappling with claims of discrimination, with several Airbnb users sharing stories on social media about how they were supposedly denied a booking because of their race. The issue came into the open in December, when a working paper by Harvard University researchers found it was harder for guests with African-American-sounding names to rent rooms through the site.

“This is a huge issue for us,” Mr. Chesky said at a company event in San Francisco in early June. “We will be revisiting the design of our site from end to end to see how we can create a more inclusive platform.”

But even as Mr. Chesky promised to stamp out racism from Airbnb, the company’s class-action litigation policy makes it tough — if not impossible — for customers to push the start-up to make any substantive changes on the issue. Airbnb requires that people agree to waive their right to sue, or to join in any class-action lawsuit or class-action arbitration, to use the service.

… The waiver clause can be broadly applied to many issues, not just accusations of discrimination. But class-action lawsuits have been particularly effective legal tools to press companies on their discrimination policies over the years, civil rights lawyers said, which would give Airbnb more cause to wield it as it grapples with the issue. …

“Class-action cases have been the only effective way to prove and remedy systemic discrimination because you can’t prove a pattern of behavior with individually filed cases,” said Joanne Doroshow, executive director of New York Law School’s Center for Justice and Democracy, who specializes in civil justice issues.

In an interview, Chris Lehane, the head of global policy for Airbnb, said the company was being proactive in dealing with discrimination claims. Airbnb recently removed two of its hosts, including one for writing racist epithets to a black user and another for refusing a transgender woman as a guest. Mr. Lehane said the company suspended, or in some cases permanently banned, those who violated its anti-discrimination policy.

But presumably, those cases involved hosts mentioning in writing why they were turning down a would-be guest. The one time I stayed at an AirBnB, my first several choices turned me down, no reason given. We finally larded our emails to hosts with countless references to our respectability, including the rather posh colleges we graduated from in the 1980s and got us in somewhere.

That’s not unreasonable — I was applying to stay in somebody’s home, after all — but obviously disparate impact will happen when you give individuals a choice about who they allow in their homes.

Airbnb this month also hired Laura Murphy, the former head of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Washington legislative office, as an outside adviser to look at the issue. Ms. Murphy said Airbnb was examining its internal structures and technology, and its processes for identifying and handling discrimination incidents, and building relationships with organizations like fair housing, human rights and travel groups.

Airbnb aims to have announcements in the next 10 days about preliminary actions it is taking on discrimination, and it plans to have a full report with proposed remedies in September, she said. Eventually, the company wants to have a division to handle and resolve discrimination complaints, Ms. Murphy added. …

Airbnb’s expansion depends partly on whether people of different nationalities and ethnicities feel welcomed to the platform in the same nondiscriminatory way that they are welcomed at international hotel chains.

But of course Airbnb’s expansion also depends partly on finding more homeowners who want to let strangers into their homes. The more discretion you give the hosts, the more enthusiastic will be. But more discretion means more discrimination against would-be guests.

Fighting disparate impact discrimination by hosts by accusing them of not accepting representative % of blacks, transgenders, gays, American Indians, the handicapped, etc. could be done, but it would alienate a lot of hosts by forcing them to have to use up time and energy fighting statistical accusations by Airbnb? Who needs that?

Two rival room-sharing services, Innclusive and Noirbnb, are now marketing themselves as services that provide inclusive and safe short-term rentals for people of any race or ethnicity.

Ms. Murphy, the Airbnb adviser, said the company recognized that eliminating discrimination was in its best interests. She said Airbnb’s relative youth — the company was founded in 2008 — meant it could deal with the issue in a more agile way than companies with entrenched cultures that may have needed the pressure of litigation to do the right thing.

Because everybody in America was totally racist up through 2007, but being founded in 2008 means Airbnb was born without original sin.

 

Peter Beinart repeats in The Atlantic in “The Republican Party’s White Strategy the conventional wisdom about how California Republicans shot themselves in the foot by supporting immigration restrictionist Proposition 187 in 1994:

From 1994 to 1998, in other words, California Republicans rebelled against Latino immigration in many of the ways Ann Coulter now hopes America as a whole will. What has happened since is instructive.

When Pete Wilson announced his presidential campaign [in 1995], California was a Republican-leaning state. Between the end of World War II and the end of the Cold War, it had gone to the Republican presidential candidate nine out of 11 times and elected a Republican governor seven out of 11 times.

Mr. Beinart is being disingenuous with the history when he writes “9 out of 11 times” to suggest a steady reality. In truth, California went Republican in 9 out of 10 elections from 1952 thru 1988 (often by narrow margins, and often by having a Republican superstar on the national ticket), but, beginning spectacularly in 1992, two years before Proposition 187, went Democratic six times and counting.

The New York Times’ John Harwood attempts a similar ruse in

In California, a Lesson for Donald Trump and the G.O.P.
By JOHN HARWOOD JUNE 21, 2016

… [Proposition 187] worked in the short run. Mr. Wilson won re-election handily.

Yet California Republicans have struggled ever since. The signal Mr. Wilson and his party sent in 1994 alienated Latino and other nonwhite voters as their political clout was swelling.

Before 1994, Republican nominees had carried California in six of seven presidential contests. Since then, they’ve lost all five, averaging 40 percent of the vote.

 

 

Beinart and Harwood are both covering up the fact that California had turned into a Democratic leaning state several years before 1994′s Proposition 187. California’s switch over from red-purple to blue happened at the polls in 1992, two years earlier.

 

A more straightforward NYT paragraph would have read:

Before 1992, Republican nominees had carried California in six straight presidential contests. Since then, they’ve lost all six, averaging 40 percent of the vote.

But then they would been reduced to arguing that 1994′s Proposition 187 caused the GOP’s very bad 1992 in California (the Republicans lost not just the Electoral College but two Senate elections in one day that year) by sending back Bad Karma Waves from the Future, or something.

I realized that Beinart and Harwood are just repeating the Conventional Wisdom, but they’re smart enough to have looked up the actual numbers and noticed that the Conventional Wisdom is wrong.

California had voted Republican in 9 out of 10 Presidential elections between 1952 and 1988. But George W. Bush had been crushed in 1992 in California, winning only 32.6% of the vote and losing to Bill Clinton by 13.4 percentage points. Nationally, Bush won 37.0% and lost to Clinton by 5.6 points, so the Bush margin of defeat in California was 7.8 points worse than in the whole country.

So, the disastrous effect of Prop 187 in 1994 should have made the 1996 GOP candidate Bob Dole do even worse in Calif0rnia relative to the whole country than poor Bush did in 1992, right?

Yet in 1996, after Proposition 187, the GOP margin of defeat in California was down to 12.9 points from 13.4 points in 1992. And that’s relative to a worse national margin of defeat for the GOP candidate of 8.5 points in 1996 versus a 5.6 point national margin in 1992.

So Bush in 1992 did 7.8 points worse in California than in the whole country, while Dole in 1996, running against the same opponents, Clinton and Perot, did only 4.4 points worse in California than in the whole country.

So, between 1992 and 1996, rather than 1994′s Proposition 187 destroying the GOP in California, the GOP presidential candidate improved by a net-net-net of 3.4 points.

That’s not a huge effect, but it’s a surprising one since it’s the opposite of the endlessly repeated conventional wisdom. The numbers have been calculable for almost 20 years, but it’s so much easier to go with the myth than to do a little arithmetic.

It’s almost as if the Democrats and their media allies keep lying to the Republicans about why they shouldn’t imitate Pete Wilson’s spectacularly successful re-election campaign (from down by 20 to winning by 15 over Jerry Brown’s sister). They don’t keep recounting the same myths because they are genuinely concerned about their dear friends the Republicans hurting themselves, but because they are scared of the strategy.

More than anything else, what doomed the GOP in California was a combination of the end of the Cold War, which had paid for lots of Republican-voting military-industrial complex employees in California, and the big exodus of Republican whites to states with cheaper housing. (The GOP did well in smaller inland West states with cheaper housing due to the influx of Republican ex-Californians.)

What killed the GOP in California after its success under Wilson was its inability to run up big majorities among whites. For example, in 2000 George W. Bush won only 49% of the California white vote in the L.A. Times exit poll. In 2004, GWB won only 51% of the white vote. In 2008, the pro-amnesty John McCain, sponsor of the 2006 Kennedy-McCain amnesty bill, won only 46% of the white vote in California.

Republican candidates can’t win in diverse states like California and Texas without rolling up big white majorities, the way Romney beat Obama in Texas in 2012 by 76-24.

 

From Justice Sotomayor’s dissent in Utah v. Strieff:

For a dissenting view on the philosopher of “black bodies” and “people who believe they are white,” see my “The First Rule of White Club.”

 

I’ve always admired Israel and have frequently recommended that Americans study Israel’s hard-headed policies and attitudes for models for our own country. Donald Trump appears to feel much the same way. From the Israeli broadsheet Haaretz:

On Walls and Racial Profiling, Trump Damns Israel With Loud Praise

His tributes could turn off critics as well as admirers of Israel, who loathe the presumptive GOP candidate.

Chemi Shalev Jun 20, 2016 10:43 PM

- Trump says U.S. should consider racial profiling, cites Israel as a role model
- Israeli minister justifies security ‘profiling’ hailed by Trump
- If ISIS wills it, Trump can still be president, as Israelis well know
- Is Trump blowing his big, post-Orlando opportunity?

One can argue whether Israel is or isn’t a light unto the nations, but it has certainly served as role model for Donald Trump in recent weeks. On Monday, Trump cited Israel’s “success” as a reason for American to rethink its attitude towards racial profiling. In the past, he has praised the efficacy of Israeli barriers in keeping out terrorists and illegal immigrants as an inspiration for the controversial wall he wants to build along the U.S. border with Mexico. “If you think walls don’t work, just ask Israel,” he says.

Mike Huckabee, one of Trump’s few vocal supporters in the GOP, told Fox News this week why, when it comes to Muslims, Israel was a paragon of virtue. “In Israel, they don’t play the political correct game,” Huckabee noted. “When everybody acts like ‘Oh what Trump has said is so amazing,’ it’s not that amazing in Israel.”

Many Israelis will be proud to serve as a kosher certificate for Trump’s declarations. … Citing Israel as paragon would certainly please Sheldon Adelson who, like Huckabee, remains rather lonely as one of the few big donors to openly declare support for Trump.

But as for the rest of the world, allow me to quote my late father, who, in such circumstances, would have muttered “moykhl toyves”, which, loosely translated, means don’t do me any favors. Trump’s compliments damage Israel’s name in the very places where it isn’t all that great in the first place, such as liberal Democrats. The rarely highlighted “racial profiling” that Israel employs at Ben Gurion Airport and other security bottlenecks is simply adding insult to the many injuries that Israel’s critics already discern.

But the negative impact of the close identification that Trump is trying to forge between Israel and his policies could spread much wider. Even with increased criticism from the left, Israel remains much more popular in American public opinion than the presumptive Republican nominee. His reputation is still far worse than ours. In the eyes of Trump’s detractors, his tributes are a stain. His compliments damn Israel with loud praise and drag it into the mud, where he currently finds himself.

This didn’t seem to bother Yisrael Katz, Israel’s transportation minister, who was eager to own “racial profiling” in a meeting with foreign correspondents on Tuesday. Katz was careful not to relate to Trump or the presidential race, but headlines in the U.S. nonetheless cited him as endorsing the GOP candidate’s suggestions. Profiling is necessary and effective, Katz said, when asked about Trump’s statement. When there is Islamic terror, he noted, “You can only look for it among Muslims.”

But even if one accepts that singling out Muslims in general and Israeli Arabs in particular is a necessary evil, as Israel’s High Court of Justice decided last year, and even if one views the profiling as a main ingredient in the high level of security achieved at Ben Gurion Airport – there’s no reason to be boasting about it in public. Israel, with its unique challenges and singular solutions, is not America. It doesn’t even speak the same language.

The United States, unlike Israel, has a constitution, which seems to frown on racial profiling, as the U.S. Supreme Court ruled, according to most interpretations, in a 2012 case involving illegal immigrants in Arizona. Moreover, America has other issues to contend with, besides terror, and other minorities to consider, besides Muslims. Latino Americans despise racial profiling when they are automatically stopped as illegal immigrants. African Americans fight racial profiling when it gets them arrested for standing innocently on a street corner. Now with the help of Trump and his endorsers, they will know that Israel is the source of inspiration for the practice that they detest.

Many Israelis will agree with Trump and Huckabee’s diagnosis of politically correct as the mother of all evils. Many seem to associate the term with the unpopular President Obama. Of course, Israelis and other PC-critics seem to ignore the fact that politically correct discourse does not apply only to Muslims. In America it prevents politicians from stereotyping Hispanics, African Americans, Asians and, of course, Jews as well.

As I wrote in Taki’s Magazine awhile back:

Trump’s backers tend to believe they have more to gain from frank, outspoken debate (whether in pragmatic advantages or simply in entertainment value), while his opponents assume that they, personally, have more to lose from a return to a freer market for ideas.

This is one of those rare cases in politics where both sides may be right.

 

David Frum interviews Barry Latzer, a professor at CUNY, in The Atlantic:

The Cultural Roots of Crime
A conversation about the rise and fall of violence in America with criminal-justice scholar Barry Latzer.

DAVID FRUM JUN 19, 2016 POLITICS

Barry Latzer is that rare academic with both practical and theoretical knowledge of his subject matter. He prosecuted and defended accused criminals while teaching at the City University of New York graduate center and John Jay College of Criminal Justice. His new book, The Rise and Fall of Violent Crime in America, makes use of more than a century of crime statistics to sum up the wisdom of a long career studying why crime waves rise and fall. It’s a book that does not shy from the controversial, as you’ll see from our conversation.

David Frum: Your book ends with the ominous possibility that the great crime reduction since the early 1990s is not a permanent transition, but just a temporary trough in a recurring cycle of crime spikes and crime drop-offs. Could you briefly explain the basis of this worrying claim?

Barry Latzer: The optimistic view is that the late ‘60s crime tsunami, which ended in the mid-1990s, was sui generis, and we are now in a period of “permanent peace,” with low crime for the foreseeable future. Pessimists rely on the late Eric Monkkonen’s cyclical theory of crime, which suggests that the successive weakening and strengthening of social controls on violence lead to a crime roller coaster. The current zeitgeist favors a weakening of social controls, including reductions in incarcerative sentences and restrictions on police, on the grounds that the criminal-justice system is too racist, unfair, and expensive. If Monkkonen were correct, we will get a crime rise before long. Optimists point to the absence of factors that brought on the 60s crime boom: no immigration or migration of high-crime populations, no demographic upsurge in the youth population. They might also add: continued movement of minorities to the middle class, and no drug epidemics (like crack cocaine) among poor populations, which generate spikes in violent crime. (The current heroin/opioid crisis is unlikely to produce significant violent crime so long as the drugs are cheap and the users relatively affluent. Drug and alcohol prohibitions produce violence in two ways: where distribution gangs compete for territory and kill one another, and where poor populations are unable to support their addictions, leading to robbery and other crimes to raise money.)

I’m more optimistic about crime. Americans have invested enormously over the last two generations in crime-proofing themselves, as I pointed out 8 years ago. There are probably more anti-crime innovations possible. Moreover, today’s liberals are more hypocritical than Warren Court Era liberals were (that’s a good thing).

Frum: Maybe we can get some perspective on today’s crime situation by more closely examining the previous peak, 1890-1935, and the previous plunge, 1935-1965. Why in your estimation did crime spike so high in that first period and drop so deep in the second?

Latzer: I wouldn’t date the start of the first 20th century crime boom at 1890. The 1890s were a low-crime period in the big cities of the North. In the South, however, black violent crime rose and rural whites panicked, leading to the lynching and convict lease policies of that era. Northern cities started to suffer more violent crime in the first decade of the 20th century, partly because of the southern Italian migration to the U.S. The typical Italian immigrant crimes were murder, assault and threats of same by the so-called Black Hand, a proto-Mafia which mainly terrified the immigrants themselves. Then, following World War I, a Mexican migration to the U.S. added to the crime totals, as did a major spike in black migration out of the South. The war sparked a black movement to big cities for economic betterment, but, unfortunately, also brought with it high crime rates within the black community. In addition, Prohibition, which began in 1920, produced violence among the alcohol distribution gangs competing for turf (though this violence did not target ordinary citizens).

Violent crime peaked in the early 1930s, with a wave of bank robberies by “Pretty Boy” Floyd, “Baby Face” Nelson, John Dillinger, and Bonnie and Clyde Barrow. This was accompanied by the sensational kidnap-murder of the Lindbergh baby in 1932 and a spate of copycat kidnappings. J. Edgar Hoover made his name by directing the Federal Bureau of Investigation to hunt down and capture or kill these “Public Enemies,” as he labeled them, and by 1934 the FBI or local agents had successfully done so with each of them.

Crime rates started to decline in the mid-1930s, at the same time that the New Deal went into effect. This may seem like cause-and-effect: unemployment and poverty were reduced, so violent crime diminished. But this is not necessarily correct. First, Prohibition ended in 1933, and that helped reduce murder rates. Second, the spate of bank robberies and kidnappings declined, partly because law enforcement apprehended high-profile perpetrators. Third, migration by blacks and Mexicans and immigration by Italians declined dramatically when jobs became unavailable due to the Depression. Finally, there was a severe downturn in the economy in 1937 and 1938, yet violent crime continued to fall. The American public was terribly damaged by the Great Depression—68 percent of Americans were below the poverty line in 1939—but this produced no increase in violent crime.

During World War II, crime continued to drop, partly because the war removed hundreds of thousands of young men from the streets to the barracks. When the war ended there was a brief spike in violent crime, but the downturn continued after the war and well into the postwar boom of the 1950s. No one is sure why crime remained low in the 1950s, but several factors helped. Crime rates for African Americans, though higher than average, were historically low for that community. Drug and alcohol use also were down. The Depression had produced a birth dearth, so the young male population was reduced. And the supercharged economy created a massive and growing middle class in a short period of time; and middle-class people seldom commit crimes of violence. All in all, the 1950s was a golden age of low crime.

 

 
Steve Sailer
About Steve Sailer

Steve Sailer is a journalist, movie critic for Taki's Magazine, VDARE.com columnist, and founder of the Human Biodiversity discussion group for top scientists and public intellectuals.


Past
Classics
The “war hero” candidate buried information about POWs left behind in Vietnam.
Hundreds of POWs may have been left to die in Vietnam, abandoned by their government—and our media.
The unspoken statistical reality of urban crime over the last quarter century.
Talk TV sensationalists and axe-grinding ideologues have fallen for a myth of immigrant lawlessness.
What Was John McCain's True Wartime Record in Vietnam?
Confederate Flag Day, State Capitol, Raleigh, N.C. -- March 3, 2007