What is “White” Crime?
In Mass Shooting Incidents “Non-Hispanic Whites” are Proportional to their Share of the Population (it’s a common myth that whites exceed it); In Every Other Crime Category, They Are Vastly Underrepresented
David Shuey (the author of this post) notes:
Let me be clear: If you’re a racist or general idiot coming here, go back to your dark hole. This is meant to clear up many misconceptions around crime and statistics. This unfortunately happens far too often, from liberals with good intentions to surly cranks to — sadly — the mainstream media.
I gave a vigorous edit in October 2017, for a final polish of this page — completely with helpful bullet points. The bottom half is completely reworked, and some readers may want to skip to this section: “White Supremacy Has to Die” i.e. White Men. This topic probably deserves it’s own post, as opposed to a reply to Traditional Tradesman above. But he wrote a good post, and I commend him for it. Oh well. Here it sits for data sleuths to find later.
I also updated this page in January and February 2017 to clarify how the category of “whites” sometimes include Hispanic populations. This fact is often forgotten by those making ideological or political points, like CNN’s Sally Kohn does when she says incorrectly, “White men account for 69 percent of those arrested for violent crimes.” This is a common mistake mostly made in arguments coming from the left to argue against race-based correlations on crime; and refuted accurately by some on the right who understand how the government can cause confusion on this matter. It’s interesting how ideological self-interest can sometimes help or hinder people when discovering and revealing grounded facts.
In this rare case, the “right” is right, or correct. Liberals can seemingly get away with making specious points, with the mainstream media in full support screaming headlines such as “WHITE MEN HAVE COMMITTED MORE MASS SHOOTINGS THAN ANY OTHER GROUP” (Newsweek) and “White men have much to discuss about mass shootings” (Washington Post). This is because few push back with a fact-based argument that “blacks commit more crime” across the board, including in mass shootings (16% of total), at a higher rate than their share of the population. Why? Fear of being called racist, I assume. It’s also the truth. So, sure, non-Hispanic whites technically commit more mass shootings than anyone else in the United States — 64% of total, according to Mother Jones-data interpreted by CNN. Or is it 54%, which is according to Mother Jones-data interpreted by Newsweek? The media can never get anything quite right, even with the same dataset.
But whites are also 5 times larger than the black population, 61% compared to 13% respectively. And when it comes to all homicides and shootings, blacks actually DO surpass whites by rate (8 times more) AND sum total (blacks are around 52% of victims, with a slightly higher percentage of offending). But Newsweek and others have learned not to focus on those inconvenient facts in recent years as the Black Lives Matter narrative has taken solid root deep in the media landscape.
And to CNN, Mother Jones, and Newsweek and other media: Please try to get your percentages and facts correct, even when using the same sources.
First, Know Your American Demographics
Things get confusing, but keep these up-to-date demographic percentages in mind as you continue to the next section where I try to explain how to best breakdown FBI statistics:
- In FBI and some government stats, “white” is around 77% because it includes Hispanics/Latinos. (90% of Hispanics are folded into the “white” category of some government statistics. 61% white + around 15-16% Hispanic = 77%. The U.S. census according to Wikipedia counts 72% of the U.S. population as “white” when including Hispanics.) THIS IS OFTEN WHY YOU HEAR A HIGHER PERCENTAGE OF “WHITE” BY MEDIA, BUT THEY ARE MISTAKEN BECAUSE OFTEN THEY DON’T REALIZE THEY’RE INCLUDING HISPANICS.
- In FBI and some government stats, “black” is around 13% of the U.S. population. Note: A very small percentage of Hispanics/Latinos are “black”, but generally it’s safe to say that “12–13%” is the African American percentage of the U.S. population.
- Non-Hispanic whites are around 61% of the population and dropping.
- Hispanics/Latinos are not a racial group, per se. As an ethnic group, Hispanics are around 17% of the U.S. population.
- Americans also largely ignorant of demographic numbers and vastly over-estimate the black and Hispanic population in the United States. For example, they over-estimate the percentage of gay people in the population by more than 400%. According to a 2001 Gallup poll, “On average, Americans say that 33% of the U.S. population is black.” The average American is only off by, um, 250%.
Second, Try This Experiment to Understand FBI’s Data and How to Get an Accurate Figure for Non-Hispanic White Crime
Bottom line: FBI data by race is divided almost entirely between black and white, with less than 3% of crime attributed to three other minority groups. Hispanic/Latino is not a listed racial group. To get the “white” total without having 90% of Hispanics/Latinos added to that number, do the following:
- Go to The FBI data for 2013 and look at “Murders” (“Murder and nonnegligent manslaughter”).
- Scroll down to the bottom of Table 43A. There you will see a left-right scroll bar, and you can scroll to the right (then scroll back up) to view what I assume 99% of people don’t see: Two columns for “Not Hispanic or Latino” and “Hispanic or Latino.” (You can also click on the table, and use arrow keys, too, which is easier.)
- There you can see that 21.7% of murders are by “Hispanic or Latino.”
- At this point calculate 90% of the Hispanic/Latino’s 21.7% share of murders, again found on the far right column. This gives you 19.5%. This is the approximate percentage the FBI “adds” to the “white” column.
- Subtract 19.5% from “white” 45.3%.
- The final calculation: The non-Hispanic white share of murders is close to 26%.
Let’s see if it adds up to 100% based on FBI data for 2013:
- 52.2% black + 25.8% White + 21.7 % Hispanic + 1.3% Indigenous (combined)+ 1.2% Asian = 102.2%.
- 102.2%?! Don’t worry! It’s easy to get to 100%. If we take 90% of the Hispanic total off of FBI’s “white” column, we also need to also take 10% of the Hispanic total off the “black” percentage for the most accurate number. 52.2% minus (10% of 21.7%) = 50.03% black.
- That would bring the breakdown above to exactly 100%!
- See updated percentages for 2017 FBI crime data here.
I would bet a silver dollar with a non-Hispanic white president on it that many people — activists especially, or activist “journalists” like Sally Kohn — see “white” in that column and do NOT factor in that it includes another 16–17% of the population that is Hispanic/Latino. Thus, when looking at FBI Uniform Crime Data, assume that almost 80% of the population that is “white”(again, they include Hispanics) accounts for 68.9% of arrests in 2013.
Here are the accurate arrest breakdowns:
- Hispanics are 18.4% of arrests, so slightly overrepresented compared to their share of the population.
- Non-hispanic whites, once you do the math trick shown above, are underrepresented at around 53–54% of arrests.
- Blacks are overrepresented by more than double per capita at 26.4% of arrests.
That’s a rough way of getting the most accurate percentage of non-Hispanic white persons, which is reasonable given a vast majority of debate over race and crime in the U.S. comes down to these categories: White, Hispanic/Latino, Black, Asian/Pacific Islander and/or Native American.
But does that answer the breakdown question of how Hispanics sometimes get grouped in with non-Hispanic whites sometimes? A good example of where this gets confusing is when The Washington Post and The Guardian separate those two groups when it comes to victims of police shootings, which I parse on other Medium essays. And when you do that, arrest rates almost completely map onto killed-by-police rates.
In short, far too many on the left play politics with crime data, especially when they try to pin criminality on white men. Or they ignore crime data completely when talking about blacks being killed by police.
Side Point: No Racial Bias in Arrests? (added in 2020, based on a working document developed in 2019)
Arrests aren’t racially biased, multiple studies show. Sometimes even whites are arrested more often for crime commission, like assaults or robbery. About the only are where one could argue an anti-black bias is in drug arrests, but they’re less than 1 in 7 arrests.
5 SOURCES INDICATING NO RACIAL BIAS IN ARRESTS:
https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/b44013_23920f7547cc4b019b3aa915cf7e18de.pdf (Excerpt from this supplement of a study showing no racial bias in police shootings: “Blacks are under-arrested given their rate of reported crime.”)
For alcohol-related arrests, all racial groups are proportionally represented (and that’s just about the only category that’s the case): https://ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-u.s/2017/crime-in-the-u.s.-2017/tables/table-43
1% of people in prison are falsely convicted, according to the Innocence Project (thus as many as 99% in prison are guilty of their crimes):
More (lots more) here on this working document:
How 90% of Hispanics/Latinos are Counted as “White” in Census Data? Wikipedia Has the Answer!
White Hispanic and Latino Americans - Wikipedia
Based on the definitions created by the Office of Management and Budget and the U.S. Census Bureau, the concepts of…
In the 2010 United States Census, 50.5 million Americans (16.3% of the total population) listed themselves as ethnically Hispanic or Latino. Of those, 53.0% (26.7 million) self-identified as racially white. The remaining respondents listed their races as: some other race 36.7%, two or more races (multiracial) 6.0%, Black or African American 2.5%, American Indian and Alaska Native 1.4%, Asian 0.4%, and Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander 0.1%.
The respondents in the “some other race” category are reclassified as white by the Census Bureau in its official estimates of race. This means that more than 90% of all Hispanic or Latino Americans are counted as “white” in some statistics of the US government.
Hispanics and Latinos who are native-born and those who are immigrant identify as White in nearly identical percentages: 53.9 and 53.7, respectively, per figures from 2007. The overall Hispanic or Latino ratio was 53.8%.
White Hispanics are widespread, with Florida and Texas being 2 states with some of the highest percentages of Hispanics self identifying as white.
One could possibly also deduct 10% off the “black” category if you want to say non-Hispanic black. But I’ve yet to read if that’s done anywhere. As I wrote at the top, a very small percentage of Hispanics/Latinos are “black”.
It’s true that the non-Hispanic white population (61%) is responsible for only one-quarter of murders (26%) and higher percentages for all other crimes except for robbery (24%). Non-Hispanic whites make up 39% in prison (blacks are 40% and Hispanics are 2% points higher than their share of the population, at 19%). These are are FBI and Wikipedia stats for African Americans: Homicide offender (and victim) rate = 50–55%; Violent crime arrests = 39%; Weapons arrests = 40%; Overall arrests = 28%.
What About Heather Mac Donald’s Breakdown of Disparities of Crime Victimization and Offending by Race?
As a response to Traditional Tradesman post, I started fussing with what Heather Mac Donald argued in a National Review article in 2015, which included a chart (see above) that I spent an hour the other week trying to parse. On the surface, it looked like some American Renaissance data crunching, a far right arguably white supremacist organization that has been accused of bending statistics for racist ends, as well as infiltrating the White House. I went back to it in October 2017, and I can see how simple it is to calculate how 5 times more crime is directed at non-Hispanic whites by blacks than vice versa.
First, note that the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) chart, administered by the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), breaks out Hispanics as their own category. Next, simply deduct 13.7% (black offenders) from about 4 million white victimizations (4,091,971), and then deduct 10.4% (white offenders) from nearly 1 million black victimizations (955,800). Doing this easy calculation gets you the exact numbers that the “War on Cops” writer Mac Donald says the National Review piece below:
In fact, white violence against blacks is dwarfed by black on white violence. In 2012, blacks committed 560,600 acts of violence against whites (excluding homicide), and whites committed 99,403 acts of violence (excluding homicide) against blacks, according to data from the National Crime Victimization Survey provided to the author [so maybe she has inside data]. Blacks, in other words, committed 85 percent of the non-homicide interracial crimes of violence between blacks and whites, even though they are less than 13 percent of the population. Both the absolute number of incidents and the rate of black-on-white violence are therefore magnitudes higher than white-on-black violence. There is no white race war going on.
So based on the numbers presented, Mac Donald’s argument appears to be on-point.
However, one issue I would love to clear up: Mac Donald only links to this one National Crime Victimization Survey source in the article, and that’s from 2008. A chart similar to the 2012–13 graphic she includes with her story (see above) is not listed anywhere in the 2008 PDF under the category of “violent victimizations.” Also, the term “race of offender” from her chart is mentioned eight times on the PDF by BJS, but not broken down with Hispanics thrown into the mix. Nor is it presented in any clear way as to highlight that black-on-white crime is happening far more than white-on-black crime. Perhaps the U.S. government does this on purpose.
At any rate, at this point, I’m assuming Ms. Mac Donald made the chart by calculating the data. In the 2015 National Review piece, Mac Donald writes the following parenthetical thought where she links to the 2008 data:
(The Bureau of Justice Statistics stopped publishing its table on interracial crime after 2008, perhaps not coincidentally, the first year of the Obama presidency. The agency explains its decision on the ground that some of the estimates in particular crime categories, such as sexual assault, are based on sample sizes that are too small to be statistically reliable. But that is no reason not to tabulate data on the crimes for which reliable estimates are available.)
Clearly, BJS are publishing some stats on interracial crime. Maybe just not a “table” itself — one I’ve never seen on any original sources — but the numbers are accurate.
The Southern Poverty Law Center attempted (badly) to shed light on how far right and “race realist” figures are using interracial data in sources such as the Race and Hispanic Origin of Victims and Offenders, 2012–15. While “race realists” at American Renaissance and racists don’t need attention, SPLC’s multiple links to combat racism appear to obfuscate black crime stats, dance around empirical reality, and state the following, “Race, unlike income, has little, if any, predictive value.” But the evidence doesn’t match up with this oft-told sociological “truth.” If that were true, why do blacks violent commit crime at rates 2–3 times higher than Hispanics despite having nearly the same median income and poverty rates?
It’s all so confounding and opaque — and Google really is no help on this. If the government truly isn’t publishing this data, it is presumably because they don’t want crime statistics by race to be misused by racists (and neither does Google). It’s also keeping statistical truth from the public, which would be helpful in debating facts and context around cross-racial violence.
Thus, where Mac Donald got those exact numbers I’d truly like to know. Though, I’ve seen the data used by even black professors like Wilfred Reilly in his book on hoax hate crimes, so I generally trust it. As a reporter, I have faith in Mac Donald’s data — despite all the critiques and protests thrown her way — as I’ve never seen her present glaringly false statements or evidence. Additionally, I’ve often found the same numbers as Mac Donald has on my own, discovering she coincidentally came to the same conclusions around the same time that police homicides constitute 12% of white homicides yet only 4% of black homicides. More on that below.
2019 Update: Heather Mac Donald Shows The Interracial Violence Numbers Have Gotten Even More Lopsided
A Platform of Urban Decline
Democratic accusations that America is endemically racist are becoming ever more frequent and strident. At the last…
Yet key parts of the intersectional narrative are not born out by data. It is now a standard trope, implanted in freshmen summer reading lists through the works of Ta-Nehesi Coates and others, that whites pose a severe, if not mortal, threat to blacks. That may have once been true, but it is no longer so today. Just this month, the Bureau of Justice Statistics released its 2018 survey [again, simply a link to BJS spreadsheets] of criminal victimization. According to the study, there were 593,598 interracial violent victimizations (excluding homicide) between blacks and whites last year, including white-on-black and black-on-white attacks. Blacks committed 537,204 of those interracial felonies, or 90 percent, and whites committed 56,394 of them, or less than 10 percent. That ratio is becoming more skewed, despite the Democratic claim of Trump-inspired white violence. In 2012–13, blacks committed 85 percent of all interracial victimizations between blacks and whites; whites committed 15 percent. From 2015 to 2018, the total number of white victims and the incidence of white victimization have grown as well.
Blacks are also overrepresented among perpetrators of hate crimes — by 50 percent — according to the most recent Justice Department data from 2017; whites are underrepresented by 24 percent. This is particularly true for anti-gay and anti-Semitic hate crimes.
You would never know such facts from the media or from Democratic talking points.
Still, there are other areas clearly showing that violence between races is significantly more likely to come from black folks against white folks. Looking at the 2013 FBI chart on murder by race of victim and offender, one can also see easily see that about 2 times as many homicides are directed at blacks towards whites than vice versa, 409 versus 189. I do wonder how “murder” would be vastly different than all other categories of “violent crime” — which again, appears to be a difference of 5 times, i.e. for every five acts of interracial violence roughly four are committed by blacks against whites. Arrest tabulation (FBI) often points to different results than victim surveys (what Mac Donald is looking at), though there is overlap at times. Also, the FBI Homicide Data Table 6 homicide does not break out Hispanics into their own category, so perhaps combining them with whites leads to a narrower 2:1 ratio.
Likely, “violent crimes” of all categories are committed for vastly different reasons. Thus, my mind is going back to one of the very first shocking facts I learned on Wikipedia entry on race and crime: “Robberies with white victims and black offenders were more than 12 times more common than the reverse.” (Yes, you can trust Wikipedia. I double-checked. That stat comes from a Columbia University study called “Racial Stereotypes and Robbery” published more than a decade ago by Brendan O’Flaherty and Rajiv Sethi.)
However, I’m not sure what a statistician would say when dealing with demographics where non-Hispanic whites are 5 times more of the population than blacks. Here’s what I would assume if all things were equal (everyone treats each other the same; utopia is realized; poverty and crime are equalized among all racial backgrounds): The interracial crime would be 1:1, i.e. no one side of the racial divide would receive more victimizations than the other.
However, that is clearly not the case. White Americans are on the receiving end of interracial crime vastly more than they dole out crime against African Americans.
“White Supremacy Has to Die” i.e. White Men
Yet, these facts stay far out of the purview of a narrative pushed by critical race theory professors who say “some white people will have to die” to carry out justice against “anti-black” forces. There’s many sides to this complex point, and Snopes tends to side with the professor’s arguments, arguing his words are taken out of context. Perhaps. The professor obfuscates the point that “historically” one could say lynchings are a good reason to defend oneself. Yet it’s a contemporary reality that there are basically no lynchings today. Additionally, 43% of cop killers are black, but 25% of the victims of lethal force by police are black, thus making the professor’s argument a logical and irrelevant fallacy.
Today, social and mainstream media erupts from a drunken white man perpetrating a hate crime murder in Kansas against another man from India, while far less attention was paid to a hate crime mass killing in Fresno in 2017 where a black man killed 3 white people. This hate crime murder spree represented almost half of of the average annual hate crime killings. The killer, Kori Ali Muhammad, was motivated by paranoid fears of the white majority threat against blacks, saying from jail to CNN:
“Someone has to fight for all the people who died at the hands of racist white men. I was actually going to go turn myself in, and then I started thinking about the missing black women and children. I started thinking about Flint, Michigan. I started thinking about the crack cocaine epidemic. I started thinking about all the injustice and the atrocities that my people go through. And that’s why I snapped.
“I wasn’t thinking like … I’m going to kill, kill, kill. All I knew was white supremacy has to die and the people who benefit from white supremacy … are white men,”
His actions ended up being listed by New America as a black supremacist terrorist act on American soil.
They say Muhammad is being checked for his mental health, but his sentiments are widespread and often heard on college campuses and social media. Those ideas were a direct motivation to murder 5 police in Dallas by a sniper on a quest to “kill white people, especially white police officers,” as well as in Baton Rouge where 3 cops were killed by a black militant who praised the Dallas shooter. For some reason, like many other assassinations by black supremacists, the Baton Rouge murders are not listed on New America’s database (I wrote about it here). Both murder sprees, just 10 days apart, were in the aftermath of high profile killings of blacks by police officers who were later exonerated by a jury or ruled justified based on physical evidence.
You may know the names of the victims, too: Philando Castile and Alton Sterling. You may have already made up your mind about police and their behavior towards blacks.
That same month, July 2016, a black Harvard economist and MacArthur Fellowship winner showed the world that white people were more likely to be shot and killed by police than black people. Many people didn’t listen.
Final Thought in Bullet Points and Sources
- 7.5% of black homicides are by whites, including Hispanics. (FBI data)
- 13.6% of white homicides, including Hispanics, are by blacks. (FBI data)
- Homicides of blacks by police amount to less than 4% of total black homicides. (Guardian data, CDC homicide totals, and Violence Police Center racial breakdown of homicide)
- Homicides of non-Hispanic whites by police would account for 12% of total white homicides. (Guardian data, CDC homicide totals, and Violence Police Center racial breakdown of homicide)
In the end, the question needs to be asked and understood by all Americans before we move forward together: Who should fear who? (Frankly, rarely the unknown stranger, except if in high-crime areas.)
To state it clearly: With a spike of more than 3000 murders in two years to 17,250 homicides in 2016, and no determinable increase of people shot by police, this is the outlook for two demographic sets of of people walking outside their home:
- For every 1 black person killed by police, there are another 31 blacks killed by a black person. The ratio for blacks killed in total is 34:1.
THE MATH: 17,250 (total murders) x 52% (percentage of black victims) x 91% (intraracial black-on-black) ÷ 266 (blacks killed by police) = 30.7
- For every 1 white person killed by police, there are another 7 whites killed by a white person. The ratio for whites killed in total is 9:1.
THE MATH: 17,250 (total murders) x 30% (percentage of white victims) x 83% (intraracial white-on-white) ÷ 574 (whites killed by police) = 7.4
Thus, when acclaimed writer and “public intellectual” Ta-Nehisi Coates talks about “violence against black bodies” as coming from “oppressors,” I don’t know what the hell he’s talking about.
“In 2016, the estimated number of murders in the nation was 17,250. This was an 8.6% increase from the 2015 estimate, a 16.1% increase from the 2012 figure.”
409 whites killed by blacks in 2013, and 189 blacks killed by whites: https://ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-u.s/2013/crime-in-the-u.s.-2013/offenses-known-to-law-enforcement/expanded-homicide/expanded_homicide_data_table_6_murder_race_and_sex_of_vicitm_by_race_and_sex_of_offender_2013.xls
CDC homicides = 15,872: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/homicide.htm
The white homicide percentage is hard to come by on Google. 30% is likely estimate based on above figure of being 26% of murderers (being murdered slightly more than share of killing themselves), and corroborated by murder victim rate from this VPC.org source. (From Violence Policy Center: The Hispanic homicide victimization rate in 2010 was 5.73 per 100,000; white = 2.52 per 100,000; black = 19.47 per 100,000) http://www.vpc.org/studies/hispanic.pdf
52.3% of homicide victims are black (likely going higher in recent years, as crime spikes are driven in largely black cities): https://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2016-09-29/race-and-homicide-in-america-by-the-numbers
Recent percentage breakdown of intraracial homicide, 83% white-on-white, and 91% black-on-black:
574 (whites killed by police) and 266 (blacks killed by police): https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/ng-interactive/2015/jun/01/the-counted-police-killings-us-database