There is now a cottage industry dedicated to correcting president candidate Donald Trump’s overt misstatements of fact.
There is such a pattern of fabrications and deceptions that we almost become desensitized to them, but the one he retweeted from the non-existent San Francisco Crime Statistics Bureau caught our eye. It included a list of alleged data points about murder, including this one: 81% of whites who are murdered are killed by African Americans.
We have become almost inured to The Donald’s pandering to the worst instincts of his followers and to code words – and now distorted data – that are dog whistles for racists and bigots. After all, in this instance, its purpose is clearly to play into white prejudices that date back to the founding of the country – the hyper-criminality among African Americans and to suggest that the free-floating fears by Caucasians are rooted in reality.
As research has shown, urban crime is traced more clearly to disadvantaged neighborhoods with an interconnected set of structural challenges that is divorced from racial categorization (of course there is the fact that disadvantaged neighborhoods are populated with minorities who have little choice about their neighborhoods (think also of the Trump vilification of Mexicans immigrants) and the fact that the concentrated poverty in these neighborhoods speaks to the institutional barriers that remain.
While these latest “statistics” by the Republican presidential frontrunner have been roundly refuted, we wondered what a comparison between national homicides data and local data would show, so here they are, using most recent local and U.S. data:
United States Homicides:
85.7% – Both offender and victim are same race
14.7% – Victim was Caucasian and offender was African American
7.7% – Victim was African American and offender was Caucasian
89.4% – Both offender and victim are same race
1.0% – Victim was Caucasian and offender was African American
1.0% – Victim was African American and offender was Caucasian
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