There's been a spate of reports of trumped up and/or ludicrously trivial white-on-black "hate crimes" lately, including the latest instance of that old stand-by, the noose-hanging non-incident - this time at the University of California, San Diego. It seems that no matter how many times these stories turn out to be hoaxes, the powers that be in academia and the press are always eager to promote the next one. Presumably this is because the conventional wisdom on the left has it that these are, at worst, noble lies: lies that reveal a deeper truth. In an oft reprinted article for Imagine 2050, Eric Ward sums up this conventional wisdom in his headline: "The Real Pandemic in America is Hate Crimes Targeting Blacks." Ward goes on to claim that "since 1995, when hate crime statistics were first collected at the national level, one thing remains clear: Blacks are more likely to be victims of hate crime than any other identity group."
In support of this claim, he cites the FBI's "Hate Crime Statistics" - which in 2007 reported (see Table 5) 1771 anti-black hate crimes committed by whites, compared to only 394 anti-white hate crimes committed by blacks. So any given encounter between whites and blacks was more than four times more likely to lead to an anti-black than to an anti-white hate-crime.
One might object that, compared to the overall level of crime in America, these numbers aren't all that impressive. The FBI's comprehensive "Crime in the United States 2007" reported 11,251,818 incidents. So white-on-black hate crimes accounted for only about .016% of the total - i.e., fewer than one in six thousand. But Mr. Ward is ready for this objection. He goes on to observe that "hate crimes are notoriously undercounted," and then refers us to this interesting report from the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) - which deserves to be quoted at some length:
The real number of hate crimes in the United States is more than 15 times higher than FBI statistics reflect, according to a stunning new government report.
Hate crime statistics published by the FBI since 1992...have shown annual totals of about 6,000 to 10,000.... But the new report...found an average annual total of 191,000 hate crimes. That means the real level...runs between 19 and 31 times higher than the numbers that have been officially reported...
It's an astounding report,' said Jack Levin, a leading hate crime expert at Northeastern University. 'It's not necessarily completely accurate, but I would trust these data before I trusted the voluntary law enforcement reports to the FBI.
The revealing new report...was based on an analysis of three and a half years of detailed survey data from the biannual National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS)...the most accurate crime survey extant...
For once, the SPLC gets several things right. The NCVS did, indeed, produce in 2005 a "special report" on "Hate Crime Reported by Victims and Police." And, sure enough, when you ask the victims of crime rather than our law enforcement agencies, the number of hate crimes skyrockets. Where the FBI consistently reported fewer than 10,000 incidents anually, the NCVS claimed "an annual average of 210,000 hate crime victimizations," and estimated the percentage of violent hate crimes at about 3% of all violent crimes - a far cry from one in six thousand. Moreover, I, too, "would trust these data before I trusted the voluntary law enforcement reports to the FBI." And I also entirely agree with the SPLC that the NCVS is "the most accurate crime survey extant," and that this "special report" is very, very "revealing." But what, exactly, does it reveal?
At this point I must part company with the SPLC - because I, unlike them, made it past the first page of the report. And it really is "astounding" - but not for the reasons they say. In fact, what it reveals, with a little digging, is the precise opposite of what they say.
It's true that the NCVS report indicates a higher level of white-on-black hate crime. Table 8 on page 6 informs us that the per capita annual rate of hate-crime victimization for blacks was 0.7 per thousand (0.5 per thousand for violent crimes), and, according to another table on the same page, 50.9% of black hate-crime victimization was motivated by race. Given the FBI's report that whites commit about 95% of anti-black hate crimes, and given the 2000 Census count of 34,658,190 blacks in the U.S., this works out to about 12,000 racially motivated white-on-black victimizations per year, about 8500 of which were violent - more than six times the FBI's figure. In fairness to them, this is not entirely their fault, since fewer than half of all hate crimes ever get reported to the police. (See Table 4.) Still, it seems that only about a third of reported white-on-black hate crimes get counted as hate crimes by American law enforcement.
So it looks like the SPLC has a point. Or does it? Now let's look at black-on-white hate crime.
Referring back to all the same pages and tables, we find the following: per capita annual rate of hate-crime victimization for whites: 0.9 per thousand (0.8 per thousand for violent crimes). Percentage motivated by race: 54.7%. Percentage committed by blacks: 70%. Number of whites in the U.S. in 2000: 211,460,626. Which all works out to about 73,000 racially motivated black-on-white victimizations per year, about 65,000 of which were violent.
So, in stark contrast to the FBI's "Hate Crimes Statistics," the NCVS's "Hate Crime Reported by Victims and Police" suggests that any given encounter between whites and blacks is about six times more likely to lead to an anti-white hate crime than an anti-black one - and about eight times more likely to lead to a violent anti-white hate crime.
Moreover, it seems that only about 1% of reported black-on-white hate crimes get counted as hate crimes by law enforcement - from which we may conclude that they are about thirty times more likely to accept reports of white-on-black than of black-on-white hate crimes.
What's worse, these numbers still underestimate the gross disproportion of black-on-white to white-on-black hate crime, because the FBI lumps in many Hispanics with whites when identifying the perpetrators of hate crimes by race. So their figure for the number of anti-black hate crimes committed by a single offender of known race committed by whites includes a lot of Hispanic-on-black hate crimes. For example, the notorious "ethnic cleansing" of formerly black neigborhoods in Los Angeles carried out in recent years by L.A.'s burgeoning Hispanic population might show up as so much white-on-black hate crime in the FBI's "Hate Crime Statistics." How big is this effect? Well, who knows? But I'll venture a guess. If you run the same numbers for black-on-Hispanic hate crime that I ran above for the white-on-black and black-on-white flavors, you'll find that there were about 6,000 ethnically motivated black-on-Hispanic hate crimes per year, of which about 5,000 were violent crimes. Supposing that Hispanics give about as good as they get in their inter-ethnic/racial strife with blacks, they must account for several thousand of those 12,000 racially motivated white-on-black hate crimes per year.
Defenders of the conventional wisdom may object that the above result is simply a product of the fact that American whites out-number American blacks by a factor of six to one - so of course white victims of anything can be expected to outnumber black victims by some such factor. But potential white aggressors outnumber potential black aggressors by exactly the same factor - which would lead one to expect fewer white and more black victims. I think that the key point is that the number of white encounters with blacks is, necessarily, identical to the number of black encounters with whites. So if each group were equally aggressive and equally disposed to hate the other, then one would expect such encounters to be equally likely to lead to white-on-black as to black-on-white hate crimes. Indeed, if anything, one would expect the smaller, weaker, and allegedly "oppressed" group to be intimidated and thrown on the defensive by the larger, stronger, and allegedly "oppressive" group. Instead, one finds exactly the opposite.
But perhaps the most remarkable, and disturbing, aspect of all this is what it reveals about the systematic institutional racism of American law-enforcement - against whites. While they do not accept all reports of racially motivated white-on-black victimization, they at least take the problem seriously. But when it comes to racially motivated black-on-white victimization, they just look the other way. It seems that, when it comes to race, they are every bit as PC-whipped as academia and the press.