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Recently released FBI hate-crime statistics for 1999
February 16, 2001 11:01 AM   Subscribe

Recently released FBI hate-crime statistics for 1999 show that - as many have feared - enforcement of hate-crime laws is skewed against blacks. Of racially-motivated where the offenders race is known, blacks make up 20% of the reported incidents despite representing only 13% of the population as a whole.
posted by mikewas (16 comments total)

 
There were 2,030 incidents of white-against-black hate crime, and 524 incidents of black-against-white hate crime, again a grossly disproportionate representation.

Unless one believes that blacks commit proportionately more racially-motivated hate crimes than whites, there's something very wrong with the system.

A PDF file of the FBI report is available.

posted by mikewas at 11:05 AM on February 16, 2001


And what about black-on-black crime? I know who I'm most afraid of when I walk down the street, and it isn't the hostile white separatist nutball with a gun, that's for sure.
posted by Dreama at 11:16 AM on February 16, 2001


It's all in the report.
posted by mikewas at 11:22 AM on February 16, 2001


I think that blacks commit proportionately more crimes than whites or hispanics or asians do. That's the reason for these numbers. Just because a group is 13% of the population doesn't mean that they will commit 13% of the crime. Socio-economic and cultural factors skew these numbers.

For instance, I'll bet that whites commit a proportionately larger percentage of the white collar crimes than other groups. When and if everyone has the same culture and socio-economic stature, then you might be able to link % of population with % of crimes committed.
posted by CRS at 11:25 AM on February 16, 2001


The most telling part of the report is the bias-crime definitions section, which details how ridiculous it is to try and categorize certain crimes as "hate" crimes. [By the way, who gets mugged by people who "love" or even "like" them?] Apparently if I beat you up because you're a "rich bastard", it's not a hate crime. But if I say "rich, white bastard", the police are supposed to log it in as a hate crime.

Not to get off on a rant here (sorry, Dennis) but a crime is a crime. If you murder me, I'm not going to be too focused on your motivation. It's the act that matters, not what's in your head when you commit that act. If you shoot me in the arm, I don't really care if you did so because you think I'm a dorky honky cracker (guilty) or because you're having a bad hair day.

Right-wing whacko Conservatives like to jump all over this because they accuse the government of acting as "thought police." Unfortunately, those who push for hate crime legislation give them plenty of ammo to work with.

Those who burn crosses in lawns, or slash workers in Penn Station as they head to work deserve to be sentenced for their crimes, not their thoughts.
posted by darren at 12:15 PM on February 16, 2001


Uh, Dreama, I'm pretty sure racially motivated black-on-black crime is negligable or non-existent... Seeing anybody about that knee-jerk problem?

mikewas: I don't find it that hard to believe that the average black hates whites twenty-thirteenths as much as the average white hates blacks. We did, you know, enslave them and all.

I for one just find it depressing that my tax dollars are going for data analysis this silly:

"For Hate Crime Data Collection Program
purposes, the term single-bias incident refers to any
hate crime incident in which all offenses involved in the
incident were perpetrated as a result of the same bias
motivation. A multiple-bias incident is any hate
crime incident in which one or more of the offenses
were committed as a result of two or more bias
motivations. Of the 7,876 bias-motivated incidents,
7871 were single-bias incidents and 5 were multiple-bias
incidents." - from the report

"Officer, I hit him because he was black, but I kicked him because he's gay. Then I spat on him, for both reasons." - ignorant and violent but deeply self-perceptive racist homophobe
posted by nicwolff at 12:27 PM on February 16, 2001


We did, you know, enslave them and all.

I didn't.
posted by daveadams at 1:01 PM on February 16, 2001


... Nor I.
posted by darren at 1:10 PM on February 16, 2001


mikewas: Unless one believes that blacks commit proportionately more racially-motivated hate crimes than whites, there's something very wrong with the system.

Well, to learn that, we need to go to the Census Bureau.

There we find out that in 1999, there were 225 million whites, and 35 million blacks in the US.

This means that since there were 524 black-on-white incidents for those 35 million people, there were 66793 blacks per incident. With 2030 incidents of white-on-black offenses, to get 2030 incidents from 225 million people, we need 110837 whites per incident, or 44044 more people per incident than black-on-white.

So blacks were 66% more likely than whites, or whites were 40% less likely than blacks, to beat up on the other, depending on how you want to look at it.

Dreama: And what about black-on-black crime?

87 black-on-black incidents are reported, or 2.5% of the 3542 incidents against blacks.

Also, there were 16 anti-het incidents, of all things.



posted by aurelian at 1:20 PM on February 16, 2001


Here's the right lesson to learn about racial differences in America.
posted by Steven Den Beste at 2:09 PM on February 16, 2001


Right on, Steven. But here it is without most of the ads and the extra nav cells right and left.
posted by nicwolff at 6:26 PM on February 16, 2001


daveadams, darren: Hey, I didn't enslave anyone personally, either. But I knew the last sharecropper who kept geese and a couple of pigs on the farm my mother inherited, out in West Tennessee.

I know you haven't done anything to deserve the hatred of any black man or woman. Hell, what percentage of American blacks living today are the descendants of slaves anyway?

So if you resent my implication that any black person has some right to hate all whites, well, you should - I was generalizing for effect.

But surely you aren't claiming to be surprised that crime statistics bear out this assumption: that, however often racist whites attack blacks, blacks who attack whites for any reason very often have what the FBI would call a "bias motivation" as well?
posted by nicwolff at 6:52 PM on February 16, 2001


I'm pretty sure racially motivated black-on-black crime is negligable or non-existent...

Yes but it is the scourge of the black community -- whether a black man kills another black man because of his race or because he's there is really rather irrelevant to the one who's dead, isn't it?

Bigger point -- we spend a lot of time compiling data and statistics about what category crimes fall into. Why not spend that time, effort and money on preventing crime and catching criminals?


posted by Dreama at 8:38 PM on February 16, 2001


Actually, Dreama, compiling statistics is a useful tool for law enforcement and social agencies to help understand why crimes are occurring. Ideally, this can help them be more pro-active, and target areas for intervention before the crime rate rises. Of course, crime, like poverty, is a social disease, and it's not an easy thing to fight.
posted by Loudmax at 10:33 PM on February 16, 2001


Oh, that report's worthless. If you want to see an insightful, unbiased look at hate crime data, then you should go here.

Then you should go somewhere else, and find that insightful, unbiased study.
posted by Jart at 7:55 AM on February 17, 2001


Dreama: in fact, the revolution in police management that has brought crime down in every part of New York City and is starting to work in Philadelphia is largely based on compiling data and statistics.

Turns out that if you know how many of what kind of crimes are being reported where, you can hold precinct commanders responsible for that number, and run a police department like a business whose product is crime prevention, instead of a works program for cops.
posted by nicwolff at 9:30 AM on February 17, 2001


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