A reader writes:
I’m in a listserv argument at the moment, where my position is that the 2020-21 spike in violence is driven by young black males. Any chance you could point me toward hard data that I can use to back it up? (Just to be clear, the list members include many Republicans with bylines; I wouldn’t ask anyone for help in an argument with Internet randos.)
As far as I can tell, the FBI’s very useful crime data stop at 2019 so they’re no use in this case.
The FBI’s annual stats, which included known murder offenders by race, are normally released in late September, so I’m not aware of any Official Data yet.
But my statistical Spidey-sense has been ringing for a year that the Racial Reckoning has unleashed a wave of black on black shootings.
I’ve got many reasons for believing this. For example:
- The same thing happened in the two years after BLM emerged after Ferguson in August 2014.
- Mass shootings (4 or more struck by bullets) were way up in 2020 over 2019, and close to three-fourths of mass shootings are by blacks, according to a 2016 New York Times article.
- Woundings were up more than killings: e.g., murders were up 40% in NYC, but people shot (killed or wounded) were up 100%. I’ve explained at length Sailer’s Law of Mass Shooting but I don’t expect too many people to say, Oh, wow, that makes perfect sense, you are right.
- A fourth reason is that black traffic fatalities were up 36% during the seven months of the Racial Reckoning (June-December 2020). That’s just crazy. But this kind of thing just registers as Crimethink in many people’s minds, so it’s hard to them to think it through.
- When I read through year-end murder wrap-up articles from newspapers in 108 of the 200 biggest cities in early January 2021, every single one of the human interest intros involved a black grieving for a murdered child.
- Unlike 2019, there were zero Columbine-style mass murders in public by whites in 2020. That good streak ended with the massage parlor shootings in 2021, but none of that type of mass murders happened in 2020.
- The big increases in absolute number of murders in 2020 over 2019 tended to be in heavily black cities or ones where local newspapers reported a big increase in black murders, such as Minneapolis and Portland.
But what do you think would be most persuasive? I’m good at figuring out what the truth is, but I’m not good at figuring out what will persuade people not to respond with their Crimestop warning. I deserve the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary for my countless pieces dissenting in real time from the Racial Reckoning by pointing out that Black Lives Matter is getting more black lives killed, but I’m more likely to win that posthumously than in my lifetime.
But which arguments are most likely to persuade normies that I’m right and the conventional wisdom is wrong?