21 October 2012

Self-policing and the Afro-American

A young subject struggles with  the infamous marshmallow test.

In the U.S., as we have seen, Afro crime has always and everywhere been higher than Euro crime.  For progressives today, the culprit in this befuddling situation is 'institutional racism.'   As discrimination subsides, so the theory goes, black criminality will converge with white.

The U.S. government began its regular census of prison populations in 1926.  For its first ten years, the ratio of black to white imprisonment rates looked like this:

That is, in 1930, the black imprisonment rate was 2.7 times the white rate. In a blank-slatist world, all other things being equal, this number would always be 1.

If the equalist theory holds true, then, seeing as institutional bigotry has greatly diminished in the past century, this coefficient should have already reached 1 or nearly 1.  As here:

In reality, the last ninety years have looked like this*:

As institutional racism has lessened, relative black criminality has increased.  Could it be that this group's misbehavior is in fact influenced by other factors?

We at Those Who Can See propose that in a Euro society, Afros on average need stronger social controls than other groups in order to conform to behavioral norms.  Where these controls are tightest, such as a slavery system, black criminality will be lowest; where these controls are loosest, black criminality will be very high.  We also hypothesize that when a new freedom or right is obtained by Afros, a statistically significant number of them will respond by 'acting out' in ways that include antisocial and criminal behavior.

We suggest four periods in U.S. history in which to test our hypothesis:

  1.  Reconstruction South in the years after Emancipation
  2.  Northern cities absorbing waves of southern Blacks fleeing Jim Crow during the 'Great Migration' (1910-1950)
  3.  the post Civil Rights-era U.S. of the 1960s and 1970s
  4.  the period following Barack Obama's inauguration as first Afro president of the U.S.

Today we will examine period (3), for which we have the most data at hand.  While we would prefer to see types of crime broken out by ethnic group, the most complete data we have for the 20th century is that of incarceration rates. Starting in 1926, the federal government began collecting data on yearly admissions to state and federal correctional facilities from all state governments (data for 1926-1986, 1990, 1995, 2000, 2005, 2010, also 1979 and 1984).  While an imperfect measure of crime, it can give us a rough idea of the antisocial tendencies of groups.

*       *       *

There are several ways to quantify the question. One of the most common is the number of prisoners per 100,000 of the population.  For example:

In the above graph, in 1926, for every 100,000 white people in the country 63.1 of those Whites will be in prison. For every 100,000 black people in the country, 277 of those Blacks will be in prison.  In a Utopia where no one commits any crimes, this number will of course be 0 for all groups. 

According to blank-slatist theory, as noted above, these numbers should be the same for every ethnic group in a given country (all else being equal), because all groups are behaviorally and cognitively identical.  We should all commit the same types of crimes at the same rates.

In the small graph above, we see that in the 1920s, when Jim Crow raged in the south and de facto segregation in the North, the black crime rate was higher than the white rate by a factor of 2 to 3.  Blank-slatist theory predicts that as legal discrimination falls away, Afros should begin to commit crimes at rates closer to the majority Euro group.  The last century, then, should look something like this:

After the civil rights milestones of the 1950s and 1960s, especially the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the end of restrictive covenants (and thus of de facto segregation) in the North, we should see a slow convergence of black and white crime rates.  As affirmative action begins to spread in the 1970s and 1980s, the two lines on the graph should eventually meld into one.

Does reality gel with this counterfactual example from a blank-slatist parallel universe?

The truth:

Stranger than fiction.

For comparison, here is the same chart with Hispanics added. (Pre-1990 'White' numbers here include Hispanics, post-1990 numbers do not.)

We see that even though Afro crime is higher than Euros' in absolute terms, during the period from the 1920s up until 1964 they seem to stay somewhat 'in sync.'  Here is a blow-up of just those years:

While in the Depression Whites' imprisonment rate went up just a bit while Blacks' spiked, both groups seem to follow a roughly similar course. (Note the strong dip for both during the war years.)

And the second half of the century?

Here is the period from the Civil Rights Act up until today. Precise numbers are shown on the chart to give a clearer idea of the reality:

Since Afros first landed on North American soil some four hundred years ago, they have never known a period of such freedom and civil liberty as the one shown above.  The post-1960s U.S. judiciary has not only overturned every piece of state, federal, and municipal legislation segregating Blacks, but has begun to discriminate in their favor in jobs, education, and the civil service.

Yet Afro criminality has exploded.  The editor of the Bureau of Justice Statistics 1926-1982 report remarks simply, 'A major trend in the admission series is long-term growth in the size of the black prison population....This growth is not explained by general population trends.'  He leaves the question there.

How to explain this reversal of the expected?

Another way to consider the matter is by looking at the ethnic breakdown of the state and federal prison population:

With Hispanics post-1990, to compare:

(Note that in our pre-1990 demographic statistics, 'Whites' includes Hispanics. Post-1990 numbers are 'non-Hispanic Whites' only.)

As we can see, these two streams have not only met but crossed.  In the mid-1980s, for the first time, the percentage of white prisoners fell below that of blacks. A comparison with actual census numbers is helpful:

In blank-slatist theory, the blue solid and blue dotted lines should of course be at exactly the same level, as should the red solid and red dotted lines. For no ethnic group can possess inherent traits which push it to higher or lower criminal activity; only outside forces such as racism can do that.

But the graph shows, paradoxically, that the time of harshest social constraints on Afros is precisely when their crime levels most closely neared demographic parity.  Since then, their prison population has skyrocketed.

Here is the data with Hispanics added for the last twenty years:

Remember that this chart shows pieces of a pie: Post-1990, notice that both Whites' and Blacks' share of the 'crime pie' goes slightly down as Hispanics' begins to go up.

Here is a blow-up of just the last part of the graph:

As we know the ethnic face of America is changing rapidly...

...It will be interesting to see what form the 'crime pie' takes in the years to come.  Our Hispanic newcomers seem to have found a place somewhere between Euros and Afros in terms of absolute criminality:

100 years from now, one can only imagine what these graphs will say.

*       *       *

In 1910, Scottish journalist William Archer travelled through the southern United States to give his read on the famous 'race problem.' A health official he met along the way warned:

"The negro is with you for all time. He is what you will make him, and it is 'up to' the white people to prevent him from becoming a criminal, and to guard him against tuberculosis, syphilis, etc. If he is tainted with disease, you will suffer : if he develops criminal tendencies, you will be affected." (1)

It is no coincidence that observers of the Afro have through history so often compared him to a child. Dutch criminologist Adrien Bonger quotes Von Hentig, who says, "The Negro is ... sensitive to praise, and even more sensitive to blame. The Negro also manifests a juvenile characteristic in his natural frankness and truthfulness."  Bonger adds:

If one would express the general impression of those who know the North American Negro, then one would say: He is childlike. He does not look very far ahead, he is not very accurate, he is fond of bright colors and finery, is easily distracted. These characteristics may, naturally, be inherent, but this is not necessarily so. (2)

Darwin's correspondent Sir John Lubbock said simply, '[The negro] unites with the character of a child the strength and passions of a man.'  Saint Paul, Minnesota's [black] police chief John Harrington said as much recently while describing the typical Afro criminal in his city (where the 10% of Blacks commit 70% of violent crime):

"'It is the behavior of a child who doesn't get their way,' he says. 'But it's being acted out by people who are six feet tall and 240 pounds. So when they have a tantrum, that tantrum ends up with broken bones and closed eyes and split lips, and sometimes ends up with people being buried.'"
Their relatively low impulse control, high aggressivity, and low future orientation--the evolutionary heritage  tropical Africa has left them--has made it hard for Blacks to thrive in Euro countries.  Sub-Saharan Africa had never evolved into dense, urbanized societies, and we argue that its people are still ill-equipped to live in them. This is evidenced by the state of urban Africa today as well as the hardships Afros face in Euro societies.

He who cannot police himself must be policed by others.

With a firm understanding of this reality, policy-makers in criminal justice might take a less panicked approach to black crime (we must bring all races to the same level or else!). Instead, they could follow a more nuanced position such as that taken recently by the Washington, D.C. and Florida school boards, who have this year for the first time published scholastic achievement goals for their students which differ by ethnic group.  It is only by aligning our expectations with what reality has to offer (and not our fantasies) that public policy in the U.S. will hope to begin to accomplish its goals.

[*Some graphs modified 29/10/2012, so as not to confound prison intake data with prison census data.]

(1) Archer, William. Through Afro-America, An English Reading of the Race Problem. London, Chapman&Hall, 1910.     
(2) Bonger, Willem Adriaan. Race and Crime. Trans. Margaret Mathews Hordyk. New York: Columbia University Press, 1943.  
(3) Data sources for graphs: Bureau of Justice Statistics and Bureau of the Census reports 1926-1986, 1979, 1984,   1990, 1995, 2000, 2005, 2010.


Paul Sent Me said...

Brilliant. Damning. Chilling. This post, if placed on a chart of challenging and provocative thinking over previous posts, would be as upward sloping as the incarceration rate of blacks over time.

Thank you for posting.

Johnny Caustic said...

I am so happy to see someone finally go beyond the obvious fact that institutional racism is a mirage, to the deeper truth that American blacks benefit from discipline.

Just as children are better behaved and happier when their parents set standards of behavior and enforce strong boundaries, blacks are better behaved and happier when more disciplined cultures take the paternal role and hold them to a moral standard.

Again, it's not just the whites who benefit; the blacks benefit, perhaps most of all.

And I really do think that American blacks were much happier before the civil rights movement. They don't seem to have had the same burning hatred and defiance toward whites that so many of them have today.

Of course, we don't want to bring back all the trappings of the pre-civil rights era, but whites do need to regain their confidence about setting the standards.

Anonymous said...

The US convention is to use a "." rather than a "," for the decimal point. Your notation might confuse an American audience. Excellent analysis in your piece.

Steve said...

This article on race and social training might interest you:


I do think the concept of an all-black, all-male school is an interesting one. Something like this, if done right, could help blacks improve their behavior a lot - but if they shoot for blacks doing as well as whites, with the same level of work as whites, they'll continue to be disappointed. Blacks have a lower IQ and different instincts and this needs to be admitted and understood in their education. This is where you begin to see how this notion that "we are all the same" is not doing blacks any good either.

M.G. said...

Paul sent me--
Thank you for your kind words, and for reading. It is always a pleasure to hear from a fellow fan of SBPDL. Paul Kersey's work has matured amazingly in the last year and a half; he remains one of my favorites.

M.G. said...

Johnny Caustic--
Agreed on all counts. These are very unpalatable truths to many people today, but they were once common wisdom.

And I really do think that American blacks were much happier before the civil rights movement. They don't seem to have had the same burning hatred and defiance toward whites that so many of them have today.

This is a key point and something I've run into again and again in old books about 'the Negro question.' Many men of that era shared the opinion that Blacks were relatively content with their lot (separation from Whites), but that it was the Mulattoes who stirred up their anger and bitterness. This is from E.B. Reuter, 'The Mulatto in the United States' (1919):

The Negroes have given very little support to the so-called radical movements. A native common sense leads them to a half-conscious recognition of the futility of systematically antagonizing the race upon which they are so largely dependent.

The agitations for social and political rights and privileges, the fulminations against discriminations, the exaggerations of real and fancied wrongs, is not the work of Negroes. It is a small, widely scattered, light-colored and largely deracialized group of mulattoes...

I don't think it's a stretch to say the 'mixed-bloods' have been behind most of the activism of the last half-century. They know that Afros need strong social constraints in order to thrive, but chafe at the idea of submitting to such themselves. It's a conundrum without easy answers, but I agree that recognizing the reality of the situation is a big step towards sanity.

Anonymous said...

In the news...

two (2) disadvantaged teenage black “yutes” kill 12 year old privileged white girl for her bicycle......


eah said...

...It will be interesting to see what form the 'crime pie' takes in the years to come.

It will be even more interesting -- not to mention easier -- to contemplate what will happen to the US economy as the country changes demographically (in a massively unfavorable way, I might add).

Note this graphic giving the proportion of non-white school children in a good many mostly southern states.

Of course the vast majority of these non-white kids are NAMs. Now think about the elevated criminality and low level of academic achievement of NAMs, on average. And ask: How will they ever be able create the wealth needed to maintain a competitive, first world, high value-added economy? Wealth that must be taxed in order to pay the 'entitlements' -- e.g. Social Security and Medicare -- due the enormous number of retiring, overwhelmingly white baby boomers?

To put it simply, it isn't going to happen.

M.G. said...

I do think the concept of an all-black, all-male school is an interesting one.

Thanks for the link. Interesting yes, I'd even say it's a very promising idea. I'm a fan of the single-sex classroom, though I know there's lots of debate about that (here's a recent NPR piece on the subject).

The single-race classroom is, I feel, going to make a strong comeback soon. I did some research not long ago on Afro-American education around the turn of the 20th century vs. now, and I was struck by the KIPP school program. It's a high-discipline, quasi-military approach, and it seems to work well for black boys in particular.

This, from your link:

At 100 Black Men Community School, most of the instructors, administrators and board members are black males.

...is hugely encouraging. These kids from fatherless homes are in desperate need of strong male role models. It also made me think of this article about Leonard Moore, a disciplinarian-style Afro history prof at LSU who deals with lots of student athletes:

Josh Reed, a standout wide receiver who is now with the Buffalo Bills, did poorly, but he thought enough of the experience to send Moore a letter. ''I know I didn't learn much about African-American history,'' said Reed's letter, which Moore keeps in his office, ''but I learned a lot about being a man.''

Without strong male discipline, there's little hope for lots of these children. I think these single-race schools are going to be pushed more and more by the black community... a sort of quiet return to partial segregation.

M.G. said...

The US convention is to use a "." rather than a "," for the decimal point.

I was disappointed in myself, but after wrangling with these numbers for a week, I just didn't have the strength to go spelunking around Excel trying to find how to transfer the system from French to American notation. But it is on my to-do list. Thanks for reading.

Dewey said...


I must say, that above link that "eah" posted is the scariest link I have ever visited.

Dare I be one of Those Who Can See into The Future?

Please spare me M.G. We all need to blink sometime...

M.G. said...

That graphic is like a swift kick in the face. Wake-up call.

The first thing I thought of looking at it was, 'South Africa.' There's a country where Euros at something like 20% held in check 80% Afros/Coloreds, all the while creating a lovely, livable first-world society. It is feasible.

Of course, for that to happen with such a race ratio, you need a full-on segregation system. S. Africa has abandoned hers, and it is no secret to anyone here what that's led (and will ultimately lead) to.

You're dead right that the demographic shift happening now will likely spell the death of Social Security in our or our children's lifetimes. But an 80/20 NAM/Euro ratio does not neccessarily exclude a first world existence for the latter. Will parts of the U.S. eventually come back to an apartheid model? Many say no way, but I think the question is wide open.

sestamibi said...

Agreed on all your major points, but you omit the most chilling aspect of everything you describe:

The "people" of whom you speak don't think they're doing anything wrong! They don't feel they're bound by the white man's law, and pretty soon they'll have to numbers to challenge it completely. They already do so in urban juries who "don't want to see another brother in jail".

Two standards of behavior cannot co-exist in the same space. Eventually the white race will realize this and take matters into its own hands.

JayMan said...

An excellent collection of data that will be useful as a reference for awhile to come, to be sure.

As for the KIPP schools, don't get too excited. The students there are necessarily a select group (those that are interested in trying to apply and hence enter the lottery; that interest in a better outcome says something about the parents—and hence the students). Also, the attrition rate is quite high, though they try to keep this fact quiet.

M.G. said...

As for the KIPP schools, don't get too excited.

Good point about self-selection. You've considered the black dysgenics question in-depth, and it's true that in any group there's a layer that's just so dysfunctional that almost nothing and no one can socialize them properly. You also echo J.A. Tillinghast, who, when considering the Tuskegee and Hampton Institutes' great success, admitted in 1902:

'Opening a catalogue of that institution [Hampton] and examining the terms of admission, we discover that it works only with stringently sifted material. [...] If the youth of the race generally were qualified to enter Hampton on its own terms, the problem would be already half solved. The results attained at Hampton therefore fail to prove that like results could be secured amongst the negroes at large.'

This truly is a question Americans have been puzzling over for generations.

M.G. said...

They don't feel they're bound by the white man's law, and pretty soon they'll have to numbers to challenge it completely.

Yes. A good place to get a feel for just how bad it's gotten is Second City Cop, a blog where Chicago police post anonymously about the craziness they see every day. It's tragicomic. This thread talks at length about the 'no-snitching,' jury-throwing culture of the ghetto. And yes, I agree something is going to crack at some point.