USA Today’s above-fold, front page story yesterday dealt with crime dropping nationwide. It is commonly accepted – though completely inaccurate – that crime increases when unemployment rises. If only this were true then we might have an explanation for why Black crime rates are as bad as they are (and why movies and fiction utilize military pathogens in their plots to destabilize populations when reality requires no weaponized hallucinogens to bring majority Black cities to the verge of anarchy) since Black unemployment is so astoundingly high.
USA Today reports:
When Washington debates whether America is safe, the focus now is usually on the increasing threat of terrorism — not violent crime.That has largely obscured some good news about violent crime: Across the nation, homicide rates have dropped to their lowest levels in nearly a generation. And overall violent crime has sunk to its lowest level since 1973, Justice Department statistics show.
The reductions have continued despite a grinding recession, a slow economic recovery and spikes in gang membership, according to recently released FBI figures for the first half of 2010.
The long-term trend is particularly striking in the nation’s three largest cities —New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. Homicides in New York have dropped 79% during the past two decades — from 2,245 in 1990 to 471 in 2009, the last full year measured. Chicago is down 46% during that period, from 850 to 458. Los Angeles is down 68%, from 983 to 312.
The reductions, especially in New York, have been so dramatic that violent crime virtually has disappeared from the national political discourse.
“It certainly did not emerge in the (November) midterm elections, and it hasn’t been an issue of national public concern since at least 2000,” Carnegie Mellon University criminologist Alfred Blumstein says.
Analysts say a range of factors have helped to tamp down violent crime. Among them: improved crime-mapping technology that has allowed police to deploy officers more efficiently at a time when many law enforcement resources are being directed toward anti-terror programs; crackdowns on gangs and community outreach programs that are being credited with thwarting serious crimes.
And then there have been factors beyond the control of police: a booming economy for much of the past two decades, and the absence of gang-fueled wars over a drug of the moment, such as the turf battles over crack cocaine that led to unprecedented urban violence in the 1980s and ’90s.
For all the good news, in America’s three biggest cities the two-decade free-fall in homicides has not erased public insecurity about violent crime. The prospect of prolonged economic woes raise troubling questions about whether violent crime could rise again, and some recent trends that affect residents’ quality of life have been unsettling.
It is impolite to acknowledge what the data for crime portends, highly unpalatable to Disingenuous White Liberals (DWLs) – you haven’t truly lived until you’ve made someone cry or fidget uncomfortably in their chair for pointing out which racial group commits a disproportionate amount of the petty, violent and inter-racial crime in America – and ruinous to those who place credence in the argument that nurture forever trumps nature.
The reverse has happened. Crime rates are falling, coincidentally at the same time the prisons across America are filling up with those incapable of abiding the law (recidivism rates and a three strikes your out policy adding to the mix).
Crime has dropped during the largest recession in the past 60 years, despite warnings from sociologist, pundits and those engaging in wishful thinking that rates of crime would rise with prolonged and continuously rising unemployment. Unemployment for Black people (and recent Black college graduates) is reaching levels not seen in scores of years.
The reverse has happened.
Why has crime dropped in America, when unemployment continuous to get worse each and every day? Perhaps because a large percentage of the would-be criminals are currently locked away in jail?:
With approximately 2.3 million people in prison or jail, the United States incarcerates more people than any other country in the world—by far. Our per capita rate is six times greater than Canada’s, eight times greater than France’s, and twelve times greater than Japan’s. Here, at least, we are an undisputed world leader; we have a 40 percent lead on our closest competitors—Russia and Belarus.
Even so, the imprisoned make up only two thirds of one percent of the nation’s general population. And most of those imprisoned are poor and uneducated, disproportionately drawn from the margins of society. For the vast majority of us, in other words, the idea that we might find ourselves in jail or prison is simply not a genuine concern.
For one group in particular, however, these figures have concrete and deep-rooted implications—African-Americans, especially young black men, and especially poor young black men. African-Americans are 13 percent of the general population, but over 50 percent of the prison population. Blacks are incarcerated at a rate eight times higher than that of whites—a disparity that dwarfs other racial disparities. (Black–white disparities in unemployment, for example, are 2–1; in nonmarital childbirth, 3–1; in infant mortality, 2–1; and in net worth, 1–5 1).
In the 1950s, when segregation was still legal, African-Americans comprised 30 percent of the prison population. Sixty years later, African-Americans and Latinos make up 70 percent of the incarcerated population, and that population has skyrocketed. The disparities are greatest where race and class intersect—nearly 60 percent of all young black men born between 1965 and 1969 who dropped out of high school went to prison at least once on a felony conviction before they turned thirty-five. And the incarceration rate for this group—black male high school dropouts—is nearly fifty times the national average.2
DWLs and Black Excuse Makers (BEMs) are constantly flabbergasted and astounded at the high rates of Black incarceration, never accepting that high rates of Black criminal activity are to blame instead of overzealous police forces the nation over intent on preying upon law-abiding Black people merely for the crime of having an ebony epidermis.
Here is a curious thing about that increasing poverty, though — and it’s something that has received very little press attention: It has not resulted in a higher crime rate. In fact, according to the FBI, even as unemployment was spiking during 2009, the rate of murders, rapes, robberies, and aggravated assaults declined by 4.4 percent compared with the previous year. As even the Washington Post acknowledged, the conventional wisdom for many decades has been that “economic trouble breeds lawlessness.”
In 1967, President Lyndon Johnson’s Crime Commission declared that “Warring on poverty, inadequate housing, and unemployment is warring on crime. A civil rights law is a law against crime. Money for schools is money against crime.” New York City Mayor John V. Lindsay, a liberal Republican, agreed, saying, “If we are to eliminate the crime and violence in this country, we must eliminate the hopelessness, futility, and alienation from which they spring.” Thousands of professors, journalists, politicians, and community activists assured us that crime would not be controlled until the “causes of crime” were addressed.
But starting in the early l990s, crime rates began a steep decline and the recession has not interrupted that trend. What happened? Did we successfully vanquish hopelessness, futility, and alienation? The numbers, as the Christian Science Monitor observed, have left “a lot of criminologists scratching their heads.” They’ve speculated, not completely implausibly, that higher unemployment levels translate to more people at home and fewer opportunities for property crimes, and (less convincingly) that social programs like “community outreach programs” are paying off.
Conservatives, for our part, have argued that smarter policing and tougher sentencing of career criminals accounts for falling crime rates. From 1991 to 2004, for example, New York City saw its violent crime rate decline by 75 percent. Starting in the 1980s, communities across the country have hired more police, passed tougher sentencing laws, and kept criminals in prison longer.
Since 1980, America’s prison population has increased by 350 percent, while the overall population has risen by 33 percent. By contrast, as political scientist James Q. Wilson points out, during the same period, Great Britain made a big effort to reduce its prison population. During the following decade, Great Britain’s crime rate spiked, while ours declined.
England’s prison population is intentionally reduced, leaving the dwindling Anglo-Saxon population there at the mercy of an unmentionable criminal problem (yes, Black crim) that plagues Albion’s Seed across the Atlantic.
Many have expressed consternation as to why crime rates are failing during the recession, though one simple explanation is that those breaking the law are receiving harsher sentences. Some have argued that high abortion rates in certain segments of the population that break the law have cut crime, but we’ll leave that theory to more interested parties.
A toleration of criminality has never been part of the American fabric and it should surprise no one that Black crime rates of today are similar to what they were 100- years ago. Reading Dwight Murphy’s monograph “Lynching – History and Analysis” one is shocked to learn that high Black crime rates and not insidiously robed white people were behind the majority of historical lynchings:
In Lynching – History and Analysis (1995) Wichita State University professor Dwight Murphey refutes the case that lynchings were largely a result white of racism. People often resorted to lynching because the authorities were a long ride away, and President Andrew Jackson himself sanctioned the practice when he recommended to Iowa settlers that they lynch murderers. Likewise in Kansas, a New York Tribune correspondent reported in 1858 that “[t]here is a very general disposition to pass over the hopelessly useless forms of Territorial law and corrupt Federal courts, and try these parties (i.e. horse-thieves) by Lynch law.”
Prof. Murphey notes that contrary to current assumptions, blacks also formed lynch gangs, mostly to lynch blacks, but sometimes to lynch whites. In Clarksdale, Tennessee, blacks lynched a white in 1914 for raping a black woman. The authorities later ruled that this was justifiable homicide. In 1872 in Chicot County, Arkansas, armed blacks broke three whites out of jail and shot them to death. Nor was lynching by any means a sport in which any black was fair game. In Tennessee in 1911, four white men hanged a black man and his two daughters for no good reason. This outrage roused the ire of the community; the whites were tried and two were hanged.
It is true that blacks were lynched more often than whites, but, as is the case today, blacks were also more likely to commit violent crimes, so even if lynching had been entirely race-blind, the number of executions would still have been racially unbalanced. Prof. Murphey cites black homicide rates in 1921-22 for Atlanta, Birmingham, Memphis and New Orleans per 100,000 that were 102.2, 97.2, 116.9 and 46.7 respectively. This corresponded to white rates of 15.0, 28.0, 29.6, and 8.4. According to Murphey, “These figures are eloquent testimony that serious crime was the primary provocation for lynching.” Even W.E.B. DuBois wrote disparagingly of “a class of black criminals, loafers, and ne’er-do-wells who are a menace to their fellows, both black and white.”
With this in mind we at Stuff Black People Don’t Like remember Georgia State Trooper Chadwick LeCroy, the victim of not only DWLs and BEMs continued indifference to reality, but yet another white person gunned down by a Black person whose name will never carry the gravity and weight of Emmit Till or James Byrd.
Habitual Black criminal Gregory Evans gunned down Officer LeCroy and in the process garnered his 19th arrest:
Before he was charged Tuesday with killing a state trooper, Gregory Favors had been arrested three times this year after trying to flee police, court records show.
Each time, Favors obtained bond in Fulton County. Each time a pretrial services officer had recommended against it, court records show.
The three arrests this year are among 18 times Favors has been arrested dating back to the 1990s. His 19th arrest this week was for the murder of Trooper First Class Chadwick LeCroy, who was shot after police say he had pursued Favors on Bolton Road.
Favors’ prior convictions include cocaine possession and distribution, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, fleeing and attempting to elude police, making false statements, forgery, obstruction of justice and tampering with evidence, court records show.
In a statement issued Wednesday, Fulton Chief Judge Cynthia Wright noted that the Superior Court Pretrial Services had recommended Favors not be released. She said the judges were “saddened” by the shooting, but they declined to comment further on the case since it will likely be coming before them. Wright said the court is currently reviewing information related to Favors and his history in the Atlanta Judicial Circuit.
It’s time to admit the obvious that can be easily extrapolated from this data: some people are predisposed to wanton violence. And that is truly the Stuff Black People Don’t Like to hear, though their community is awash in Black-on-Black violence (Black-on-white violence rarely happens, right?).
As 2010 comes to a close, we remember Trooper LeCroy. Unlike Till, Byrd, the Jena Six and countless other Black people whose names are constantly invoked to fan the flames of Black Run America (BRA), your death will only be remembered by Those Who Can See.