Omar Thornton, the beer-filching delivery man who, upon hearing he was to be fired for his thieving ways, unloaded a Ruger SR9 into ten of his co-workers then himself, has a posthumous website (h/t Crimes of the Times). Created by his mother. Why?
It's hard to swing a cat these days without hitting someone decrying Institutional Racism. It has become the catch-all excuse for Afro under-performance in relation to other ethnic groups...
Top Chicago Cop Links U.S. Gun Laws to Institutional Racism
Failing the Test of Fairness: Institutional Racism and the SAT
DC Million Hoodies March Denounces Institutional Racism
...And so forth.
Like the elusive Yeti, it has to be out there--we've heard stories, terrifying stories, of it ambling hither and yon leaving carnage in its path. Its footprints are visible everywhere. And yet...when pressed, no one seems able to cough up hard proof of its existence.
Just as great footprints in the snow are no proof of the Yeti, the fact that Blacks do not score as highly as Whites on firefighter exams is no proof of Institutional Racism. But the charge is a serious one. It deserves a serious response. Our question is not, however, 'did institutional racism exist in decades past?'--it unquestionably did--but rather, 'does it exist today?' We at Those Who Can See have taken our snowshoes and our rucksack and gone in search of this beast: Down what trail lies the evidence that Institutional Racism continues to harm Afro-Americans in 2012?
Once excluded from both private and public professions, how are Afro-Americans treated by them today?
1) Public Sector
When searching for Institutional Racism, one might start with the biggest institution there is (and the country's largest employer), the U.S. Federal Government. Since the days of Pearl Harbor, commanders-in-chief have demanded that American government contractors end racial exclusion in hiring. Such Executive Orders have been signed (to various degrees of compliance) by Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and Carter.
The OFCCP, Washington's public-sector quota enforcement arm, spends $106 million of your tax dollars each year to make sure enough non-Euros can take their place at the government trough.
As for the civil service, the country's largest single employer for which 2 million of your countrymen currently work...Institutionally racist?
2007 Edition: U.S. Office of Personnel Management Report:
Or, looked at by executive department:
'OPM's 2006 report reveals that among the 18 federal executive departments, only the Department of the Interior failed to achieve its racial hiring goal (quota) for hiring blacks. All of the other 17 federal executive departments exceeded their racial quotas for hiring blacks by a minimum of +14% (Air Force) to an impressive +363% (Housing and Urban Development).'
'These percentages represent the amount by which the agency overhired blacks as compared to the availability of this group in the civilian work force:'
'The five "best" federal executive departments for overhing blacks were HUD (363%), the Dept. of Education (329%), the Dept. of State (231%), the Labor Dept. (176%), and the Veteran's Administration (147%).'
'Most of the bottom five "worst" executive departments for overhiring blacks in FY 2006 still managed to exceed their quota by significant percentages. The exception is the Dept. of the Interior which once again missed their quota by -37%. However, the next "worst" agency for blacks, the Air Force, exceeded their quota for blacks by 14%, the Dept. of Agriculture by 15%, the Navy by 19%, and the U.S. Dept. of Transportation by 22%.'
'The five best independent agencies for overhing blacks in 2006 were Court Services and Offender Services (CSOS) (808%), Government Printing Office (GPO) (503%), the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) at 409%, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) (401%), and the Smithsonian Institution (338%).'
'The five "worst" agencies for blacks still over shot their racial quotas by significant amounts: NASA (49%), the National Credit Union Association (NCUA) at 62%, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) (68%), Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) (97%), and the Securities and Exchange Commission at 113%.'
Looking at these numbers, one can indeed see what appears to be a racial imbalance in government hiring practices--but not quite in the sense we have been led to expect.
2) Private Sector
The EEOC, Washington's private-sector quota enforcement arm, spends $385 million of your tax dollars each year to make sure enough non-Euros are hired by private companies.
The U.S. is home to thousands of businesses large and small, and it is impossible to know the racial make-up of even a fraction of them. No hope, then, of finding out if the EEOC is doing its job of forcing private businesses to hire the correct number of non-Whites?
We have some clues...
The 2010 EEOC Report tells us they used our tax dollars to investigate
- 35,890 charges of racial discrimination;
- 19,283 charges of race, national origin, or religious harassment;
- while securing $404 million in monetary benefits for individuals - 'the highest level of relief obtained through administrative enforcement in the Commission's history.'
We have some other clues:
Afros score lower on IQ tests than non-Afros.
The Supreme Court has prohibited private businesses from giving job applicants IQ tests.
Afros commit felonies at higher rates than non-Afros.
The EEOC has prohibited private companies from refusing to hire job applicants based on a criminal record.
Afros drop out of high school at higher rates than non-Afros.
The EEOC has threatened to prohibit private businesses from requiring job candidates to have a high school diploma.
Afros neglect to pay their bills at higher rates than non-Afros.
The EEOC has threatened to prohibit private businesses from running job applicant credit checks.
Afros score lower on police and fire exams than non-Afros.
The Justice Department has sued fire and police departments until they've agreed to suitably dumb down their tests.
When there's too much data to sift through, an example can be instructive. Au hasard: Boeing Corp., the biggest aerospace company in the U.S., employing 170,000 Americans. An institution to be sure, a company the U.S. can be proud of. Racist?
After being sued for insufficiently flattering the vanity of its minority employees, Boeing has reached deep into its pockets and coughed up:
- $3.7 million for 'equal opportunity and diversity training' initiatives.
- $500 million to 3 minority-owned investment banks who have financial ties to Jackson's Chicago-based Rainbow-PUSH Coalition.
- $1 million to the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) Business Consortium Fund (BCF).
- $225,000 to Rosalind Crenshaw, a supplier diversity specialist, to act as Boeing's liaison to Jesse Jackson's Rainbow/PUSH organization.
- $150,000 for four scholarships annually for owners of minority businesses to attend the J. L. Kellogg School of Business for the Advanced Management Training Program , and two scholarships annually to attend the Minority Business Executive Program at the Tuck Business School.
- $250,000 to Jesse Jackson's Citizenship Education Fund (CEF).
- $100,000 to Jesse Jackson fund raisers, conventions and dinner galas.
- $800 million in contracts and supply orders to minority-owned and women-owned businesses as part of their so-called "Supplier Diversity Program".
- Total: $1.3 billion.
Of what could tentatively be called 'protection money,' paid to private citizens of color in order to fend off the Department of Justice, Department of Labor, and EEOC's lawyers--all this to absolve the company of wrongdoing for which it has never been convicted in a court of law.
You're an alien from another planet--with the facts as presented, which ethnic group in the above scenario would you guess is calling the tune?
Boeing is not alone. Corporate America now rolls out the red carpet for non-Euros. Fortune Magazine publishes yearly its 100 Most Diverse Companies list, where job seekers learn that while at Microsoft you'll rub elbows with 77% Euro-Americans, at Whole Foods that number is only 66%, and at the Four Seasons you'll only be forced to tolerate 37% white people. Fortune 500 companies from soft drink giants to Silicon Valley to top retailers have sprouted giant diversity outreach departments, and now spend millions of dollars convincing non-Whites to join their ranks.
A final clue:
An idea of the time, money, and energy involved in respecting the EEOC's racial quotas can be had from reading this 'simple' audit sheet. Five thousand five hundred twenty words long, it lays out in minute detail the hoops broadcasting businesses must jump through to avoid risking a racial lawsuit. We fervently encourage anyone searching for the Institutional Racism Yeti to take a few minutes and read this whole document, from start to finish.
Once excluded from both private and public educational institutions, how are Afro-Americans treated by them today?
1) Taxpayer contributions
The Head Start program, launched in 1965 as part of LBJ's 'War on Poverty', is a taxpayer-funded special pre-school program that includes free health and dental check-ups. Despite making up only 15% of the pre-school aged population, Blacks use 31% of this program's resources. ($7.2 billion per year total budget) Whites, at 57% of the pre-school aged population, only use 35% of Head Start's resources. (The Hispanic numbers, respectively, are 19% and 33%.)
Despite a 2010 government study showing it makes almost no impact on children's school success, this expensive program which disproportionately benefits Afro-Americans continues to see its budget rise.
The National School Lunch Program, launched in 1946, spends taxpayer dollars on free lunches for low-income schoolchildren. Afros, again 13% of the population, are granted a disproportionately large amount of these resources.
2) Money spent per pupil
Contrary to popular belief, public schools in America do not spend more per pupil on Euro students than on Afros. It is in fact the opposite.
Or, to look at the data graphically:
Black school district failure rates
One way for Afro-Americans to fight against institutional racism is to make sure the institution itself is largely Afro. A good many American school districts have so transformed themselves, but the results of this great experiment in Afro-institutionalization have left something to be desired.
3) Wealth and SAT scores
The theory of 'institutional racism' might predict that the wealthier perform better on standardized tests than the poor. Not necessarily.
The 1995 numbers ,with Asians and Hispanics:
4) College admissions: favored races
Not only are top colleges not excluding Blacks, they are wooing them and admitting them on much lighter criteria than those reserved for other ethnic groups:
To have the same chances of gaining admission [to a top college] as a black student with an SAT score of 1100, an Hispanic student otherwise equally matched in background characteristics would have to have a 1230, a white student a 1410, and an Asian student a 1550.
Further proof that underqualified Afros are being widely admitted to top colleges is found in law school, med school, and professional board exam scores:
Bar exam scores by race:
LSAT scores by race:
Data from the AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) for U.S. Medical School Applicants 2005-2007 (3 years):
- An Asian American with a GPA of 2.8 to 2.99 and a MCAT score of 36 to 38 has a 36.8% chance of being admitted to a U.S. medical school.
- A Euro American with a GPA of 2.8 to 2.99 and a MCAT score of 36 to 38 has a 40.7% chance of being admitted to a U.S. medical school.
- An African American with a GPA of 2.8 to 2.99 and a MCAT score of 36 to 38 has a 100% chance of being admitted to a U.S. medical school.
Once excluded from juries and subjected to extra-judicial violence, how are Afro-Americans treated by the justice system today? The accusations run the gamut, from unfair incarceration to too-harsh sentencing to unfair stop-and-frisks. The facts?
1) Underrepresented in Prison
Blumstein (1993) found that Blacks were underrepresented in prison for homicide compared with their presence in arrest rates. So did the DOJ, from the Color of Crime 2005 report:
'Overall, black offenders were nine percent less likely to be arrested than white and Hispanic (W&H) offenders who committed crimes in the same categories.'
2) Underrepresented in Stop-and-Frisk
Heather MacDonald found that in NYC, Blacks are underrepresented in stop-and-frisks:
'Though blacks, 24 percent of New York City’s population, committed 68.5 percent of all murders, rapes, robberies, and assaults in the city last year , according to victims and witnesses, they were only 55 percent of all stop-and-frisks.'
3) Sentencing differences
'Sampson and Lauritsen reviewed the massive literature on charging and sentencing. They concluded that “large racial differences in criminal offending,” not racism, explained why more blacks were in prison proportionately than whites and for longer terms.'
Among those 'large racial differences in criminal offending', according to the DOJ:
- Blacks are seven times more likely than other races to commit murder.
- Blacks are eight times more likely than other races to commit robbery.
- Blacks are thirty-nine times more likely to commit a crime against a White than vice versa.
A 2004 DOJ study shows that harsher sentences given to Blacks than to Whites do exist, and are attributable to Blacks' greater number of prior offenses, as sentencing law dictates. Color of Crime 2005:
Extremely harsh sentencing laws for crack cocaine do fall largely on black shoulders. But these laws were first put in place during the height of the 1980s 'crack wars,' at the demand of....Chuck Rangel and the Congressional Black Caucus.
(Methamphetamine-trafficking penalties, Heather MacDonald notes, are identical to those for crack: a mandatory minimum five-year sentence for five grams of meth. Those hit by this law are 54% white and 2% black.)
As to the idea that Blacks are disproportionately punished for drug crimes, Color of Crime 2005 finds
'The graph shows that the black share of emergency room admissions for illegal drugs in 2002 was slightly higher than the black share of those arrested for drug offenses. If police were unfairly targeting blacks for drug arrests, their share of arrests would be higher than their share of drug-related trips to the emergency room.'
4) Profiling--for a reason
A major complaint of Afros against Euros, especially recently, is that the latter have no reason to be suspicious around the former. 'Profiling' and avoiding Blacks in the street are a product of institutional racism and are to be condemned. The statistics say otherwise:
Afros also criticize Euros for doing everything in their power to stay out of black neighborhoods. But again, the statistics tell us why:
The number one predictor of violent crime in a given U.S. locale is its population of Blacks and Hispanics. This factor is more predictive than poverty, unemployment, income disparity, high school drop-out rate, and gun ownership combined.
* * *
Put today's intelligent black American in a time machine and send him back one hundred years--in many places, he may be shut out of government, employment, and education entirely. Zip him back to 2012, and these same institutions will be knocking down his door begging him to join them. There is no sense in denying it.
History is often nothing but a series of pendulum swings--a generation of libertines gives way to a generation of prudes, intense piety to irreligion, civic-mindedness to selfishness, urban explosion to rural retrenchment. The cycles seem to go back and forth ad infinitum. Any pendulum that can swing too far one way can swing too far the other. Accusations of institutional racism in 2012 would be best met, not with hand-wringing over what happened generations ago, but with facts and figures about what is true today. Reports of this particular Yeti have been, one can charitably say, wildly exaggerated.