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The left tends to view allegations of interracial crime through the prism of a “guilty white oppressor / innocent black victim” model. An infamous example of this syndrome was the rush to judgment against Duke University lacrosse players in 2006, when a black stripper accused three white members of the team of having beaten, raped and sodomized her during an off-campus party.

Jesse Jackson immediately decried the allegedly long “history of white men and black women and rape and assault.” Al Sharpton claimed that “this case parallels Abner Louima, [a black man] who was raped and sodomized in a bathroom [by a white New York City police officer] like this girl has alleged she was.” Duke English professor Houston Baker condemned the “white male privilege” that had permitted the accused perpetrators of “this horrific, racist incident” to remain “safe under the cover of silent whiteness” which had given them “license to rape, maraud, deploy hate speech and feel proud of themselves in the bargain” -- while Duke administrators turned a “blind ey[e]” to the young men's transgressions. Baker and 87 fellow Duke University professors signed and published a full-page statement lamenting “the anger and fear of many students who know themselves to be objects of racism and sexism, who see illuminated in this moment's extraordinary spotlight what they live with every day.” When it later became evident that the plaintiff's claims had been entirely fabricated, and all charges against the defendants were dropped, those who had rushed to judgment generally did not express contrition for having done so.

Viewing America as a hotbed of racism, leftist civil-rights leaders and academics routinely promote the notion that white-on-black violence is a major scourge plaguing the black community. Al Sharpton once said that such violence had reached “epidemic proportions.” Professor Cornel West characterizes African Americans as our country's “exemplary targets of racial hatred.” Robert Staples, a former professor of sociology at a University of California medical school, has spoken of “a sort of genocide, targeting young black males.” Mary Frances Berry, former chair of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission, says that “the primary explanation for racially motivated violence against blacks has been the need of a segment of the white population to preserve [its] belief in the inferiority of blacks, and to maintain the social and political subordination of an historically outcast group by any means, including violence.”[1]

But in fact, white-on-black crime is a statistical rarity. According to data from the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), an estimated 320,082 whites were victims of black violence in 2010, while 62,593 blacks were victims of white violence. That same year, according to the Census Bureau, the white and black populations in the U.S. were 196,817,552 and 37,685,848, respectively. Whites therefore committed acts of interracial violence at a rate of 32 per 100,000, while the black rate was 849 per 100,000. In other words, the “average” black was statistically 26.5 times more likely to commit criminal violence against a white, than vice versa. Moreover, blacks who committed violent crimes chose white victims 47.7% of the time, whereas whites who committed violent crimes targeted black victims only 3.9% of the time.

For many years and for a wide variety of crimes, this pattern has been among the most consistent findings of criminal-justice research. Nationwide in 2010, there were approximately 67,755 black-on-white aggravated asaults, as compared to just 1,748 white-on-black crimes of the same description. Thus, blacks committed acts of interracial aggravated assault at a rate of 181 per 100,000—fully 201 times higher than the white rate of 0.9 per 100,000. Moreover, blacks guilty of aggravated assault chose white victims 44.1% of the time, while whites who committed aggravated assault selected black victims only six-tenths of 1% of the time.

Also in 2010, there were approximately 13,463 black-on-white rapes and 38,744 black-on-white robberies. Blacks guilty of rape chose white victims 50.2% of the time, and blacks who committed robbery chose white victims 48% of the time. By contrast, the number of white-on-black rapes and robberies reported in the NCVS surveys were so infinitesimal, that in each case whites were estimated to have accounted for 0.0% of all rapes and robberies committed against black victims in the United States.


[1] Crime and the Black Community (Albany: The Governor's Advisory Committee for Black Affairs, December 1987), p. 29.




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