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About David Sirota’s “70 Percent of Mass Shooters are White Men”

Posted By Daniel Greenfield On April 6, 2013 @ 2:59 pm In The Point | 17 Comments

A lot of people have been taking David Sirota to task for his stupidity, but let’s start with the simple things. Sirota’s routine has depended on brandishing the statement, “70 percent of mass shooters have been white men in a country where only 30 percent of the population is white men.”

The statistical fallacy in that is obvious. Men are far more likely to be mass shooters than women. Men are more violent than women. Even in the deeply flawed Mother Jones report on mass shooters that Sirota persistently links to, 40 of its mass shooters are men, only one is a woman. Using a statistical picture that that emphasizes whiteness, when the statistical distortion is created by wrongly including gender is dishonest.

Break it down by race, without the meaningless distraction of gender and the illusion collapses.

Overall, 43 of the 61 shooters in mass killings since 1982 have been white, which is only a little higher than the proportion of whites in the general population.

Actually, it’s a little lower. 43 out of 61 is 70 percent. White people form 72.4 percent of the U.S. population, as per the last census.

Sirota’s dishonesty speaks to a larger point which is that racism directed at white people is fashionable. It gets you invited on CNN to broadcast your bigotry.

And it leads to highly deceptive reporting. Nidal Hasan, the Muslim Fort Hood killer, is described as a “white man” and that data set is then folded into essays about privileged white men carrying out most of the killings.

Hasan was an acolyte of Anwar Al-Awlaki, Al Qaeda’s man in Yemen. Trying to put him into the same category as Adam Lanza is dishonest even for someone who doesn’t believe there’s a terrorism problem.

if Nidal Hasan had been a victim, then he would be an official minority. But as a perpetrator, he’s put back in the white box. The same thing took place with George Zimmerman.

George Zimmerman would have been considered Hispanic if he had been unfairly stopped by the police. But he became white when he shot a black man.

If Nidal Hasan had been suing over discrimination, then he would be a victim of the white man. But since he shot a bunch of people, he gets assigned to the white category to pad the numbers.

There is no better testament to the overt racial hostility and contempt for white people than this sort of statistical racial sleight-of-hand in which men are moved from one box to the other depending on their morals, rather than on any external facts.


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