Sharpton Is Right: Racism Is Rampant

Some astounding numbers regarding interracial crime in America.

The Rev. Al Sharpton-  Washington, DCPerhaps it's time to finally concede that Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and their fellow civil-rights crusaders have apparently been correct all along: There is indeed a whole lot of racism in America that just won't go away. It may be time to admit that Sharpton is justified in so passionately condemning the recent police “execution” of Michael Brown in Missouri—calling it a “defining moment” for our country, a moment where the nation itself, with all its weighty, racist baggage, “is on trial.”

The numbers, after all, don't lie. During the most recent five-year period for which single-offender, interracial crime statistics are available, whites committed, on average, 65,923 assaults annually against black victims.[1] To frame it another way, 33.5 of every 100,000 whites in the U.S. assaulted a black victim at some point during each of those five years.

Oh, sure, the nitpickers will point out that during the same five-year period, blacks in the U.S. committed, on average, some 327,900 assaults annually against whites—meaning that about 898 of every 100,000 blacks nationwide assaulted a white victim at some point each year. In other words, statistically the average black was nearly 27 times more likely to assault a white, than vice versa—898 versus 33.5 (out of every 100,000).

But therein is the heart of the problem, though you may have missed it: The white-on-black assault rate may be low, but it isn't absolute zero. And as our modern-day civil rights leaders dutifully teach us, anything more than zero means, ultimately, that "we still have a long way to go" before we can finally get past our country's "troubled racial past." Any white-on-black incident—however rare it may be—automatically becomes the exception that proves the rule. Get it?

We find similar bountiful evidence of white racism in other statistics as well. During the same five-year period, whites committed, on average, 2,738 robberies annually against black victims. In other words, about 1.4 out of every 100,000 whites in the U.S. robbed a black victim each year.

Meanwhile, 70,302 blacks annually robbed white victims—a rate of 192.4 per 100,000. Statistically the average black was 137 times more likely to rob interracially than the average white—192.4 versus 1.4 (out of every 100,000).[2]

Once again, we must bear in mind that any white-on-black crime total exceeding zero means that the hearts of too many whites still percolate with secret, racist longings to return to "the good-ol' days" of lynchings and Jim Crow. Make sense?

But if you really want your blood to boil, consider the stats on interracial sex crimes. During the same five-year period, black offenders were responsible for about 22,980 actual and threatened sexual assaults annually against white victims. By contrast, the number of white-on-black incidents of the same description were so infinitesimal that, in each of those five years, whites were estimated to have accounted for 0.0% of all sexual assaults—actual or threatened—against black victims in the United States.

Such a statistic, of course, runs the dangerous risk of persuading shallow thinkers to wrongly conclude that maybe America's streets and alleyways aren't filled with hordes of white racists poised to abuse black women whenever they get an opportunity. But thankfully, we have deep thinkers and keen-eyed social critics like Al Sharpton to shine the light of truth on white sex offenders, even where a white-dominated criminal-justice apparatus turns a blind eye.

Remember, for instance, how Sharpton helped us all become aware of Tawana Brawley's brutal gang-rape at the hands of white supremacists in 1987? Oh sure, the nitpickers again will moan that the whole thing was one big lie. But don't ever forget: The only thing that prevented young Tawana from actually being raped by a pack of Klansmen was the fact that … well, no one raped her or even attempted to. But apart from that, everything Sharpton said about the case was true.

We must also thank Mr. Sharpton for having alerted us all to the horrors of the “rich white boys” on the Duke University lacrosse team who gang-raped a black stripper in 2006. Sure, it turned out to be another hoax that dragged several innocent young men through a cesspool of pain and public humiliation—but hey, the noble quest for racial justice is bound to spit out a few collateral victims every now and then. No omelet can be made without breaking an egg or two.

Murder stats likewise bring into stark relief the white racism that continues to infest our nation. In 2012, for example, 6,454 blacks in the U.S. were victims of homicide. Some 91% of those were killed by other blacks, and 9% were killed by everybody else, including whites. It's unlikely that whites were responsible for any more than about 3% of all black deaths by homicide. But these were the most significant and troubling 3%, don't ya know? The other 97% of victims can all rot in their graves, but these—ah, these—were the cream of the crop, just like Michael Brown.

In light of the numbers cited above, perhaps you can find it in your heart to be sympathetic to Al, Jesse, and similar proverbial skunks who are forever seeking out the next picnic where they can show up and spray the potato salad. They have to make the most of Ferguson, you see, because golden opportunities like that just don't come around very often.


[1] All statistics are from Criminal Victimization in the United States, published annually by the Department of Justice Statistics.

[2] These assault and robbery statistics do not necessarily prove that black offenders are specifically targeting white victims. One reason why the multiples are so high (27:1 and 137:1) is because there are 5.4 times as many whites as blacks in the U.S. In other words, blacks, in course of their daily travels, are 5.4 times more likely to encounter whites—and thus, potential white vicims—than to encounter other blacks (and potential black victims). To correct for this difference in the respective sizes of America's white and black populations, we must divide each of the multiples by 5.4. In the case of assaults, the 27:1 ratio becomes 5:1, meaning that the average black offender is 5 times more likely to choose a white victim, than a white offender is likely to choose a black victim. And in the case of robbery, the 137:1 ratio becomes 25.4:1, meaning that the average black offender is 25.4 times more likely to choose a white victim, than a white offender is likely to choose a black victim.

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