We are all aware of the disturbing and increasing racial divide in America, as evidenced by events such as the Travon Martin vs. George Zimmerman case, and the resulting increasingly racially charged media driven circus. That is bad enough, the recent flap over Donald Sterling and his racial comments taped by his girl friend, now we have a Seth Meyers a white "comedian" making racially charged jokes on NBC's "Late Night". I guess the grim truth escapes such fools, all too ready to make a buck joking about issues which are not just tearing our Nation apart and undoing 50+ years of work toward unity, but helping to foster completely false ideas about the actual truth of racially based crime, who it's victims are and who is actually killing whom.
On Wednesday’s “Late Night” on NBC, host Seth Meyers decided to go with a racially tinged joke about shooting “something white” during his monologue. And the audience’s reaction could be the bigger story.
“This story is nuts,” Meyers began. “A man in Arizona was arrested for unlawfully discharging a firearm after he tried to shoot the moon with a handgun. Well, on the bright side, at least he was shooting at something white. That’s the bright side.”
That initially caused several audible “oohs” from the audience. But those “oohs” soon gave rise to something a little more disturbing: wild applause
I grow so weary of famous people of every ethnicity exploiting a racial divide for every conceivable problem, seeing racism in everything, without having the courage to actually point toward statistical resources easily discovered within 10-15 minutes and a good search engine. Let's examine some of the realities shall we?
African-Americans are six times as likely as white Americans to die at the hands of a murderer, and roughly seven times as likely to murder someone. Young black men are fifteen times as likely to be murdered as young white men. This disparity is historic and pervasive, and cannot be accounted for by individual characteristics. Culture-of-violence and tail-of-the-distribution theories are also inadequate to explain the geographic and demographic pattern of the disparity. We argue that any satisfactory explanation must take into account the fact that murder can have a preemptive motive: people sometimes kill simply to avoid being killed. As a result, disputes can escalate dramatically in environments (endogenously) perceived to be dangerous, resulting in self-ful lling expectations of violence for particular dyadic interactions, and signifi cant racial disparities in rates of murder and victimization. Because of strategic complementarity, small differences in fundamentals can cause large differences in murder rates. Differences in the manner in which the criminal justice system treats murders with victims from di¤erent groups, and differences across groups in involvement in street vice, may be su¢ cient to explain the size and pattern of the racial disparity.
Further citing the January 15, 2010 Columbia University study by Brendan O'Flaherty and Rajiv Sethiz also reveal some disturbing trends:
Homicide is the second most important reason for the racial gap in life expectancy: eliminating homicide would do more to equalize black and white life expectancy than eliminating any other cause of death except heart disease. Using standard life-valuing estimates, young white men would have to be paid about $4000 a year to endure the threat of being murdered that young black men face.2 About 72,000 black men were held in state prisons on homicide charges (murder and manslaughter) in 2003, amounting to 13% of the total black prison population (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2006).
We argue here that this extraordinary concentration of homicides in the black community cannot be fully understood without recognizing that murder is a crime for which there is a powerful preemptive motive: people sometimes kill simply to avoid being killed. This is the case in war, and is also the case in some urban war zones. Ordinary people in ordinary circumstances have little or nothing to gain from killing other people, and high murder rates can generally be sustained only if some people kill for self-protection. The more dangerous the environment in which a person lives, the more likely he is to kill, holding constant his individual attributes. But the level of danger in an environment is itself endogenous, fueled by the extent of perceived danger or fear.
Murders make for a tense situation, and in tense situations, people are quick to commit murder. A significant proportion of homicides result from the escalation of disputes between acquaintances or strangers who have limited information about each others personal characteristics.3 Under such circumstances expectations of violence can become self-fulfi lling for particular types of dyadic interaction, and large racial disparities in rates of murder and victimization can be sustained.
The magnitude of the difference in murder and victimization rates far exceeds any difference in characteristics that appear to predispose people to kill and be killed: being poor, being a high-
school dropout, living in a dense urban environment, or being raised in a single-parent household, for instance. Blacks are about 2.75 times as likely as whites to be poor, 2.2 times as likely to be high-school dropouts, 2.9 times as likely to live in a large city, and 2.7 times as likely to grow up in a single parent household all ratios that are far below the observed ratios for murder victimization and offending.4 Moreover, the racial homicide gap is long-lasting and widespread, and is much greater in cities and among young men than in other places or among other age-gender groups.
In rural areas, there is no racial disparity in murder. The homicide gap is also much larger than the racial disparity in aggravated assault in some ways the crime closest to murder and there
is no racial disparity in aggravated assault among young men.
These disturbing treads are born out in many government studies, and while the over all trend for violent crimes and murders are actually trending downward over time, the racial statistics have remained much the same based upon race. U.S. Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs Bureau of Justice Statistics Criminal Victimization in the United States, 2005 Statistical Tables shows these trends, as do the more recent FBI Murder Race and Sex of Victim by Race and Sex of Offender, 2010 .
In 2011 the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs Bureau of Justice Statistics Criminal Victimization in the United States released a more recent report:
The U.S. homicide rate declined by nearly half (49%) from 1992 to 2011 Over the 20-year period from 1992 to 2011, the rate of homicide in the United States declined by 49%, from
9.3 homicides per 100,000 residents in 1992 to 4.7 in 2011 (figure 4). The decline in the homicide rate was higher during the 10-year period from 1992 to 2001 (down 39%) than from 2002 to 2011 (down 17%).
On average, the homicide rate for males was 3.6 times higher than the homicide rate for females, from 1992 to 2011. Both sexes experienced similar declines in their overall rates of homicide during the 20-year period. From 1992 to 2011, the murder rate declined by half for both males (50%) and females (49%)
The homicide rate in 2011 was highest among males, blacks, and young adults. In 2011, the murder rate for males was 7.4 homicides per 100,000 males, or an estimated 11,370 male homicide victims (table 1). The murder rate for females in 2011 was 2.0 homicides per 100,000 females, or about 3,240 female homicide victims.
From 2002 to 2011, the homicide rate among males declined by 16%, while the rate for females decreased by 20%.
From 2002 to 2011, the homicide rate for blacks was 6.3 times higher than the rate for whites. Over this 10-year period, the homicide rate among whites decreased by 17%, from 3.3 homicides per 100,000 in 2002 to 2.8 in 2011.
Similarly, the homicide rate among blacks declined by 19%, from 21.2 per 100,000 in 2002 to 17.3 in 2011. The homicide rate for persons of other races—persons identified as American Indian, Alaska Native, Asian, Native Hawaiian, or other Pacific Islander—experienced the greatest decline (down 33%), from 2.7
It seems to me that this behavior by Seth Meyers and others does nothing the either address or amend racism, it in fact promotes it, unwittingly perhaps on a desperately ignorant and impressionable public. What is really needed in America is a more frank and open climate where we can discuss the reality of these statistics in an environment where we can DO something about it, other than listen to race baiters and race pimps exploit all concerned. Martin Luther King Jr. would be appalled at what has transpired in the years since he galvanized ALL people to work together.
Many on the left profit greatly from this campaign to keep racism alive and well, and seize upon every opportunity, real or imagined to throw the race card, or as they run out of logic and facts with which to make their case, or find any opposition to any position they might hold. Any chance for honest political or social discourse or disagreement with the policies of President Obama, seems to automatically end in a race card being thrown.
We must rescue the words and actions by Martin Luther King Jr. and others who worked so hard or gave their lives to bring us closer together as Americans, regardless of ethnic origin or experience. We are nowhere near the mountaintop Dr. King spoke of ... not be a long shot!
Or have I been eating paint chips again?
Or have I been eating paint chips again?