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Monday, September 1, 2014

What gets airtime, and what doesn't

There's been a lot written about Ferguson in the past three weeks. You're all familiar with the story, so I won't rehash it.

This is of course part of a larger pattern, of publicizing killings of blacks by whites (whether justified or not), and ignoring their opposite numbers. Which brings me to the point of this post -- numbers.

From The Color of Crime:

Of the nearly 770,000 violent interracial crimes committed every year involving blacks and whites, blacks commit 85 percent and whites commit 15 percent.

Blacks commit more violent crime against whites than against blacks. Forty-five percent of their victims are white, 43 percent are black, and 10 percent are Hispanic. When whites commit violent crime, only three percent of their victims are black.

Blacks are an estimated 39 times more likely to commit a violent crime against a white than vice versa, and 136 times more likely to commit robbery

Yet, to listen to the one-sided coverage of such incidents, one would think that we're still living in the Jim Crow South, with lynchings commonplace.

An equivalent (slightly more extreme) scenario:

As we all know, rape is primarily committed by males against females. It is also committed, not infrequently, by males against males, especially in prison. It is occasionally committed by females against females.

And on rare occasions, it has been committed by females against males, in the non-statutory sense, as Wikipedia explains here:

A study done by the CDC found that 1 in 21 men (4.8%) reported that they had been forced to penetrate someone else, usually a woman; had been the victim of an attempt to force penetration; or had been made to receive oral sex.

Two myths that men are not able to be raped by women include: Men always want sex, so women do not have to force themselves on men, and men must be aroused to have an erection. However, much like female erectile response, male erectile response is involuntary, meaning that a man need not be aroused for his penis to become erect and be placed in a woman's vagina.

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, approximately 1% of those convicted of rape are female. (Of course, this includes female-on-female rape as well as cases of statutory rape).

So, it's safe to say that cases of female-on-male rape are but a tiny minority of forcible sex crimes, and that all the "stereotypes" regarding such crimes are true. Even liberals -- actually, particularly liberals -- would agree that this popular perception is based on fact.

Now imagine for a moment that the media, for whatever reason, decided to only focus on female-on-male cases of forcible rape. Whenever such occurred -- and there probably are several such instances every year -- the media would descend on whatever town it occurred in, put it on the front pages for a few weeks running, write anguished editorials about the epidemic of female-on-male violence.

Meanwhile, the national media could just ignore the vast majority of cases where males are the perpetrators and females the victims.

After years of such coverage, some women might object. But every time a female complained publicly about the biased media, they could just be called sexist and shouted down.

Such coverage, and such perceptions, could rightly be termed intrinsically dishonest, could they not?


Steven said...

A large majority of black homicides are against other blacks.

victim white black
black offender 448 2,447

FBI, 2011.

This stands to reason so I wonder about the veracity of your info on violent crimes.

Gilbert Ratchet said...

Points taken, but surely the issue with Ferguson is that the *police* were involved? I.e. we have entrusted these people with the deadly use of force, so they'd damned well better use it with integrity. Whether they actually did or not is what's at issue. "Who will guard the guardians" is a fundamental problem of civilization, and we need to hold Officer Wilson accountable IF he really did just kill an "unarmed black teenager who was in the process of surrendering" as some people claim. (Of course, that story might be completely bogus, but it's not as though the cops have never made stuff up to cover their asses.)

John Craig said...

Steven --
The majority of homicides, for both races, are intra-racial. But that wasn't the statistic I quoted. I quoted one about violent crimes in general. There are four major categories of violent crime: murder, assault and battery, robbery, and rape. And of those, murder is the least frequent.

So those two sets of figures do not conflict with each other.

I've actually spoken to the author of The Color of Crime, we discussed murder rates one time, and he is well aware that most murders are not inter-racial.

John Craig said...

Gilbert --
No question about it: if the cop just committed an unjustified murder, he should fry. And the investigation is far from complete, the jury is far from in. And my attitude at the beginning of the incident was the same as yours: let's wait for the facts to be sorted out. (And yes, I'm well aware that cops sometimes lie.)

But as time went on, the story gradually changed. At first, the media quoted eyewitnesses who claimed either that Michael Brown was shot in the back as he was running away, or that he was shot when his arms were upraised. However, the autopsy commissioned by the Brown family themselves found that he had been shot from in front, not in back. One of the original eyewitnesses (Brown's partner in that convenience store robbery) turned out to have a previous conviction for filing a false police report. And more than a dozen new witnesses have evidently come forward to say that the police account was correct, that Brown had reached into the police car to punch Officer Wilson, then walked away, then turned back to charge him.

My guess, the officer -- who by all accounts was a relatively meek, well-mannered guy and not some steroided-up cowboy -- was justified. But, we won't know for sure until all the facts come in.

In any case, that isn't the point of the post. The point is that white-on-black killings are given far more publicity than the average black-on-white killings. Just two days after Brown was shot, a black police officer in Salt Lake City shot and killed a white guy because the white guy did not get on the ground when he was told to. Have you heard of that killing? (Again, there we should wait to see what the evidence is before we rush to judgment.) But why is it that that killing got next to no national publicity ad the Brown killing was front page news for weeks?

Glen Filthie said...

Which is why they can no longer sell newspapers and subscriptions.

Ordinarily I feel bad to see somebody lose a job or see people put out of work. But when I see companies like the New York Times or the Globe & Mail announcing layoffs and cut backs - I smile, and I hope it hurts. That karmic wheel goes round and sometimes it runs over the right people.

This kind of coverage is an offense to the intellect if you want to be honest about it. If you want to print crap in an inflammatory opinion column that's fair, I suppose. But there is a difference between reporting and trolling to sell copy - and our media needs to be reminded of that.

And as far as that goes, there are a few race baiters that should get a swift boot up the arse too. Black families and communities are collapsing and that is NOT Whitey's fault.

Steven said...


I just thought other violent crimes would probably follow the same pattern.

Are there any racial stats for police shootings? Gilbert is right that this is about the police using force and how those with power act and whether they are racist. So its the stats for that which need to be considered most of all.

I think there is a strong awareness in the US that black crime rates are a lot higher, though not the stuff about interracial violence. I do share your sense of unfairness that it isn't mentioned that most interracial violence is black on white. It would be nice if somebody mentioned that right in the middle of the tv coverage on a live interview...but also the issue of police violence should be looked at on its own.

John Craig said...

Glen --
Amen. I have to admit, I get a strong feeling of schadenfreude when I hear about certain print publications losing readership and even going belly up too.

John Craig said...

Steven --
I haven't seen any racial stats on police shootings, but my guess is that a disproportionate percentage would be white-on-black. (That of course begs the question of whether they were justified.)

Steven said...

Yes. I realised there would be that difficulty.

The common belief is that there are a lot of shootings of black people by white police that are unjustified and wouldn't happen if the assailant was white. That sincere belief is obviously a big part of why the black people react as they do initially. Then the looters just loot for sport and opportunity to get goods.

BarryCuda said...

Why don't you crunch the numbers for violents crimes against blacks by whites and vice versa to determine the validity of the truism that male negroes are more dangerous than white males?

Or, just answer this question: would you rather live in Camarillo, CA or Baldwin Hills, CA?

John Craig said...

Barry Cuda --
I have seen the numbers, and they speak for themselves. what you prefer to call a "truism" is factually-based. In fact some of the statistics are listed in this post.

I'm not familiar with Camarillo, though I've driven through there; and when I just looked up Baldwin Hills on Wikipedia, I see that it's described as "being among the wealthiest majority black communities in the United States." is this a cherry-picked example or what? Why not pick East St. Louis, Detroit, Washington DC, or Oakland, all perennial contenders for murder capital of the US?