With the amount of racialized stories being published and available to read on various social media websites, one might be quick to assume that activists like Ben Crump are telling the truth when they claim that it is “open season on black people.” Americans continuously adopting this perception, likely due to thousands of available news stories which only tell part of the story.
Professional basketball player for the Los Angeles Lakers, Lebron James, once tweeted that Black Americans are being quite literally “hunted” by White people. His tweet received tens of thousands of retweets, and hundreds of thousands of interactions. Similarly, former President Barack Obama’s twitter statement on the death of George Floyd – which sparked nationwide riots – received hundreds of thousands of retweets and millions of interactions. The narrative of Black Americans being the victims of White violence, or that police are killing Black Americans because they are Black is nothing new, however just a just a cursory look at all available scientific data and one will find this narrative could not be further from the truth.
With little effort, one can study widely available data from the Bureau of Justice, crime statistics from the FBI, and crime rates from the CDC to reveal the full story. The scientific data reveals that the complete opposite of many of these narratives is true, a thesis which will be extrapolated on below.
A Long List of Scientific Papers Disprove Racial Bias in Police killings
FBI data show that for every 10,000 Black Americans arrested for violent crime, 3 are killed, yet for every 10,000 White Americans arrested for violent crime, 4 are killed. Black police officer on Black perpetrator accounts for many of the Black victim of police killings as well.
Taking into account that Black Americans are far more likely to commit violent crime than Whites, these figures, if anything, suggest an anti-white bias.
Lott and Moody (2017), Using one of the most comprehensive lists of police shootings compiled, finds blacks suspects are not more likely to be shot by white officers than blacks after controlling for a whole host of variables and finds no support for racially-based discrimination by white officers.
Cesario et al. (2018) – We know blacks are overrepresented compared to their % of the population in police killings, but that isn’t the right benchmark. Blacks also commit more crimes which makes them more likely to find themselves in scenarios involving police, and that alone means they’re more likely to “act out” and lead to a justified police killing. Using various metrics of crime (murder, violent crime, weapons violations), and looking at all fatal shootings, they found a consistent anti white bias in police shootings. Disaggregating the data and only looking at unarmed victims shows blacks still usually not being discriminated against and, in fact, being shot less than you’d expect.
James (2016) did a lab experiment with police officers and found officers took longer to shoot blacks than whites in their scenarios (1.09 to shoot a white, 1.32 seconds to shoot a black), and they were more likely to wrongly shoot nonaggressing whites than nonaggressing blacks.
Johnson et al. (2019) looked at 2015 data and found that black and white cops were equally likely to shoot blacks.
Fryer (2016, revised 2018) found no racial bias in police shootings, though he did find bias in police use of force. The data was limited to Houston, though, and most studies on police use of force show no bias or even the reverse.
Goff et al. (2016) found no bias in police shootings but did find a bias in police force (like Fryer). However, when they controlled for violent crime, whites were actually more likely to experience the use of force than blacks were.
Phillips and Kim (2021) found that Citizen race/ethnicity and gender were not significant determinants of officer-involved shootings (OIS).
Wang and Fan (2021) found no significant evidence to conclude that racial discrimination occurred during fatal police shootings.
Maguire (2020) reports that among those who had force used against them, African American suspects were significantly less likely than white suspects to be injured. The risk of injury for other racial and ethnic groups is about the same as the risk for white suspects.
Davis (2019) found Finally when assessing how factors like police officer’s race, age, years of service, or place of residence influence the decision to shoot an armed or unarmed suspect in the decision-making process in shoot/don’t shoot simulation scenarios. They found that some police officers displayed implicit bias, but there was no activation of the bias against the Black male suspects. The participants shot armed White males more quickly than armed Black males and the aforementioned factors did not have an effect on the decision to shoot/don’t shoot an unarmed Black male.
Ross (2015) found a racial bias in police shootings & was widely reported in media. There are critical issues that weren’t reported though: It didn’t use incident level data, making it subject to the ecological fallacy. Further, it used odd metrics of crime (like assault and weapons violations), when crimes like homicide are more appropriate because those crimes typically include a body and have much less police discretion in terms of arrests etc. These crimes also are more violent than weapons violations, which may not meaningfully predict how likely someone is going to run into the police in a violent encounter (if a black with a CCW accidentally walks into a gun-free building, that’s technically a violation but isn’t violent and may not predict a violent encounter with a cop like stabbing someone would). This paper isn’t too convincing because of that.
The True Statistics on Police Shootings
If we look at specifically unarmed black men shot by police, data from the Washington Post from 2016 shows that there were a total of 18. When comparing this data to CDC data that show other causes of death, it puts everything into perspective.
There are more unarmed and armed white Americans killed by police annually, despite black Americans having many times the number of police encounters due to their crime rates being several times higher. Additionally, many of the unarmed black Americans shot by police were shot by black police officers.
Black Americans are also many times more likely to shoot and kill a police officer than any other group of people. Despite making up only 6.4% of the population of the United States, Black males make up a much higher percentage of cop killers.
The FBI’s Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted program tracks the deaths of officers who were on duty or acting in an official manner while off duty. The FBI publishes annual reports breaking down the figure in two ways: accidents and “felonious incidents,” which are deaths as a result of a criminal act. Felonious incidents include ambushes, traffic pursuits, responding to domestic disturbances, or delivering search warrants.
There were 511 officers killed in felonious incidents and 540 offenders from 2004 to 2013, according to FBI reports. Among the total offenders, 43 percent were Black and 54 percent were White. Whites make up the majority, 62%, of the American population, while Black Americans only make up 13% of the population.
From 1980 to 2013, there were 2,269 officers killed in felonious incidents and 2,896 offenders. The racial breakdown of offenders over the 33-year period was on par with the 10-year period: 52 percent were White, and 41 percent were Black.
The Black population in America ranged from 11.6 percent to 13 percent between 1980 to 2013. Compared to that percentage in the population, the percentage of Black offenders who killed police officers per 100,000 is extremely high.
In Minneapolis, Black Americans make up over 70% of all the suspects for violent crimes, but only 69% of the arrests for violent crimes. This means that Black Americans in Minneapolis are statistically under-policed in the city, not over-policed.
This is consistently true for many other cities throughout the country. In the city of Chicago, Black Americans make up almost 90% of all of the gun homicides, yet only account for just over 70% of the arrests for gun homicide.
It is widely believed that Black Americans commit violent crimes at substantially higher rates than Whites due to socioeconomic factors. This is a falsehood. By examining raw data provided by officially recognized institutions, it becomes clear that this is not the case.
In 1999, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York published an economic policy review titled ‘Unequal Incomes, Unequal outcomes? Economic Inequality and Measures of Well-Being.’ It is shown on table 5 of page 93 that people belonging to black families in the top income bracket committed up to 5 times the rate of crime whites did of the same income bracket. Moreover, from 1976 to 1995, offenders from the highest income bracket from black families committed a higher rate of violent crimes than the lowest income white families, at between 2 to 20 times the rate.
An analysis based on data provided by the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics also proved something similar. The study ‘Race, Wealth and Incarceration: Results from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth,’ released in the academic journal ‘Race and Social Problems,’ reveals that “although higher levels of wealth were associated with lower rates of incarceration, the likelihood of future incarceration still was higher for blacks at every level of wealth compared to the white likelihood, as well as the Hispanic likelihood, which fell below the white likelihood for some levels of wealth.” It is also notable that Native Americans have generally had higher levels of poverty over the last 30 or so years, according to a study published by The Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality, yet still commit lower crime rates than blacks.
A Washington Post article titled ‘Poor white kids are less likely to go to prison than rich black kids’ examines the data and suggests “discrimination against people of color is more complicated and fundamental than economic inequality,” implying that institutional racism is behind the phenomenon. The problem with this argument is that the black crime rate has gotten progressively worse since segregation. Similarly, the black out-of-wedlock rate has gotten far worse since segregation.
We should also consider the fact that Asians had fewer rights than blacks for many years, yet still commit the absolute lowest crime rate of any racial group in the United States. While blacks were granted constitutional rights of citizenship in 1865, Asians could only apply for citizenship after the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952. Despite this, in many studies Asian people do not even have their own category in race-crime studies, often lumped in with other ethnic groups under the negligible ‘others’ crime rates.
Similarly, the argument for inter-generational trauma caused by slavery does not conclusively explain causation either. Both Native Americans and Jewish immigrants have experienced trauma as a result of violence and marginalization, yet crime rates for both groups are far lower than that of black Americans. The same could be said for refugees from South East Asia that arrived in the U.S during the Vietnam War.
The True Statistics of Interracial crime
Data shows white Americans are far more often victims of interracial crime than black Americans. In 2018, The Bureau of Justice Statistics released their survey of criminal victimization, breaking down 593,598 interracial violence between blacks and whites.
Blacks committed 537,204 of those interracial felonies or 90 percent, and whites committed 56,394 of them or less than 10 percent. This information directly contradicts the Democratic claim of Trump-inspired white violence. In 2012-13, then-President Obama’s DOJ recorded that black Americans committed 85 percent of all interracial victimizations between blacks and whites; white Americans only committed 15 percent.
Despite only making up 13.4% of the American population, black Americans commit more than double the amount of interracial homicides on white Americans, who make up 60.4% of the American population.
This trend also carries over to interracial rape statistics. In 2008, the Bureau of Justice released its crime victimization survey for the race of victim and race of offender, specifically recording rape and verbal threats of rape. It concluded that white-on-black instances were statistically zero, and it continues to stay at or around this mark every year in every analysis since 2008.
The Bureau of Justice extrapolated an estimate of 117,640 White women who say they were sexually assaulted or threatened with sexual assault. Of those victims, 16.4% reported their assailant as Black. The final numbers were 19,293 White women sexually assaulted or threatened by Black men in a 24 month period. Again, the reverse was zero.
The True Statistics of Black Homicide and Violent Crime
Homicide and violent crimes committed by Black Americans, in general, are significantly more than those committed by white Americans. According to data from the 2017 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), between 1999 and 2015 Black Americans committed many more homicides than white Americans, approximately 10 or 11 times more.
A study conducted by the FBI also revealed that in 2016, violent crime committed by black Americans was more than double that of whites Americans. The data suggest that violent crime and homicides are committed by both blacks and whites, but the difference in amount is highly significant, virtually incomparable at times.
The True Statistics of Hate Crime and Hate Groups
During the outbreak of COVID-19 in the United States, there were countless headlines being published regarding Anti-Asian attacks, implying that these were in retaliation for the spread of the virus in America. Some media outlets blamed President Trump’s rhetoric, claiming without evidence that the rise in Anti-Asian biased incidents was fueled by President Trump referring to COVID-19 as the ‘Chinese Virus.’ Others implied that the perpetrators of these attacks were white Americans.
Outside of the fact that almost every media outlet also used the ‘Chinese virus’ label to describe COVID-19 on numerous occasions, numbers show that the perpetrators of these incidents do not fit the demographic of typical Trump supporters, and definitely weren’t white.
In a list compiled of all of the attacks on Asians in the US where the offender was known and reported, most of the perpetrators of the crimes were black Americans. The most vicious attack of them all, a mass stabbing of an Asian family at a Sam’s Club supermarket, was carried out by a Hispanic man.
The media also fails to mention that black Americans are vastly overrepresented among perpetrators of hate crimes—by 50 percent—according to recent Justice Department data from 2017; whites are underrepresented by 24 percent.
This is particularly true for the anti-Jewish hate crimes occurring mainly in New York City. Additionally, black Americans commit hate crimes at a rate that is three times higher than whites per 100,000 according to FBI crime data from 2016 and 2017. All of this data available, and yet the numerous congressional hearings on “White Nationalism” may have made you believe otherwise.
Black Americans are also more than twice as likely to be in a hate group than white Americans, according to the SPLC’s own data. They state on the website that “The black nationalist movement is a reaction to centuries of institutionalized white supremacy in America,” which supposedly justifies their actions.
As noted, the data show that the out-of-wedlock rate for black Americans has gotten increasingly worse since the era of Jim Crow and Martin Luther King jr. In 1960, the out-of-wedlock rate for black Americans was approximately 20%. Today, the out-of-wedlock rate for black Americans is over 70%. Furthermore, the violent crime rate has also gotten substantially worse for black males. According to the FBI, despite making up only 6% of the American population, black males – specifically ages 18 to 35, commit over half of all the homicides in the United States. This was not true in the 1950’s and 1960’s.
Fatherless homes are one of the single greatest predictors of criminality and much greater predictors than economics. If the black household income has gotten better since the 1960s and the era of segregation, race relations have gotten better since this time as well, then why is it the case that fatherlessness and crime rates are far worse today?
One of the more recent theories about black crime is related to the Monamine oxidase A gene, which according to a study published in Psychiatric Quarterly in 2014 “African-American males who carry the 2-repeat allele are significantly more likely than all other genotypes to engage in shooting and stabbing behaviors and to report having multiple shooting and stabbing victims.”
A medical study published in 2014 has also shown that blacks have more testosterone than whites, and another study has shown that more testosterone leads to physically and sexually aggressive behavior. In the study ‘Testosterone and Aggressive behavior in man,’ it is shown that testosterone is heritable, which could explain the high rate of violent crime. It is also known that a gene named the androgen receptor, which increases the body’s ability to use its testosterone, is more common in blacks. It has also been shown that testosterone can also be impacted by environmental factors.
A study titled ‘Behavioral Genetics and Crime’ published in The Neurobiology of Criminal Behavior states “a growing literature base has served to substantiate that genetic factors are as important to the development of some forms of criminal activity as are environmental factors.” The statement is true in that one can find academic journals online that form a consensus around the matter, such as this study backed by the Australian Government and many others.
IQ and genetic construct are the most plausible explanations for the differences in crime rates among races. Environmental factors may also be related in the sense that the evolution of races around the world has resulted in differences in people both mentally and physically. One can draw the conclusion that like sexuality, a predisposition towards criminal behavior is a combination of genetics and environment. Regardless, the facts conclude that racist attitudes and structures created by whites against blacks have very little to do with black crime.
Outside of single mother households, one of the stronger theories is that crime is related to IQ averages. In a 2010 study published by Science Direct, based on information provided by the FBI, it is stated that there seems to be a connection between IQ and crime. Intelligence affects decision-making and rational thought, and another study has shown intelligence can drop further when agitated or angry. According to World Data, the countries with the lowest mean IQ are African, the last 21 out of 109 countries are mostly African.
In the study ‘The Role and Significance of Consanguinity as a Demographic Variable‘ from the journal ‘Population and Development Review,’ it is stated “In many regions of Asia and Africa consanguineous marriages–conventionally referring to unions between persons related as second cousins or closer–account for approximately 20 to 50 percent of all unions and, contrary to received opinion, there is no evidence of a significant decline in their popularity.” While many Asian states tend to have higher IQ, the “regions of Asia” mentioned by the author mainly focuses on South Asian countries such as Pakistan or India, in which the average IQ sits at around 83. It is also said “Consanguinity generally is associated with increased fertility, due at least in part to younger maternal age at marriage,” and Roman civil law banned inbreeding within four degrees of consanguinity, so it is known that Europeans were not inbreeding since at least 449 BC. This is most likely the factor that leads to a difference in intelligence between whites and blacks.
The difference in IQ is seen in the education system in modern America. In a study published in The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education titled ‘Why Family Income Differences Don’t Explain the Racial Gap in SAT Scores,’ it is stated: “in 1997 black students from families with incomes between $80,000 and $100,000 did in fact score lower on the SAT test than did students from white families with incomes of less than $10,000.”
The study ‘Race, Poverty and SAT Scores: Modeling the Influences of Family Income on Black and White High School Students’ SAT Performance’, which was published in the academic journal Teachers College Record in 2013, shows that whites scored higher on both math and verbal tests than blacks at every bracket of income. The link between blacks and low IQ has been repeatedly proven through various academic studies, such as ‘Standardized Tests: The interpretation of Racial and Ethnic Gaps‘ of the journal La Griffe du Lion.
One experiment was conducted in Kansas city in which taxpayer money was used to inject a large sum of cash into the education system there:
“Kansas City spent as much as $11,700 per pupil–more money per pupil, on a cost of living adjusted basis, than any other of the 280 largest districts in the country. The money bought higher teachers’ salaries, 15 new schools, and such amenities as an Olympic‐sized swimming pool with an underwater viewing room, television and animation studios, a robotics lab, a 25‐acre wildlife sanctuary, a zoo, a model United Nations with simultaneous translation capability, and field trips to Mexico and Senegal. The student‐teacher ratio was 12 or 13 to 1, the lowest of any major school district in the country.
The results were dismal. Test scores did not rise; the black‐white gap did not diminish; and there was less, not greater integration.”
This information all suggests that black people are prone to low IQ regardless of their environment or financial situation, which could explain high rates of crime among blacks.