04 December 2011

Our Crimes, Ourselves, Part II



As we have seen, white people's criminality has varied greatly over time and space.  W.A. Bonger in the 1940s walked us through Jewish, Mediterranean, Alpine, Nordic, Ugro-Finn, and Dinaric (Slavic) crime rates from his time period.  Such differences, we've argued, are nothing to wring one's hands over, but a simple reality for policy-makers to take into account.

Similarly, for as long as Africans and Europeans have co-existed on North American soil, these two admittedly large and diverse groups have, in the aggregate, shown markedly different criminal tendencies.  The differences seem to be getting more and more marked, and it has become conservative dogma that post-1960s Great Society programs are to blame.

This is true to a point.  As we've seen, any human can be incentivized to be parasitic, be he the son of West Africans or Albion's seed.

But long before public welfare handouts were even a twinkle in LBJ's eye, Afros and Euros committed crime differently in America.  How differently?





Dutch sociologist W.A. Bonger gives us a snapshot of the situation in 1910:


PRISONERS AND YOUTHFUL DELINQUENTS, U.S.: 1910


Total per Jan. 1 Sentenced during 1910
Race Number Per 100,000
pop.
Number Per 100,000 
pop.






Whites 93,841 114.8 382,052 467.4






Negroes 41,729 424.6 108,268 1,107.7






Other colored 902 218.6 3,614 876.0






Total 136,472 148.4 493,943 537.0



       
E.B. Reuter provides us a regional breakdown of the same year:


PERCENTAGE OF NEGROES IN U.S. PRISON POPULATION: 1910
            
                        
              In Total Population               Among Prisoners

                                                                        (Enumerated       (Committed
                                                                                                Jan. 1, 1910)        During Year)

United States                          10.7                             30.6                 21.9
The South                               29.8                             70.1                 58.9
South Atlantic                        33.7                             72.0                 61.6
East South Central                 31.5                             73.1                 63.6
West South Central                22.6                             62.4                 46.0
The North                                1.8                               13.1                   9.6
New England                          1.0                                4.6                   2.6
Middle Atlantic                        2.2                               12.8                  9.4
East North Central                  1.6                               14.7                 11.0
West North Central                 2.1                              20.8                 14.4
The West                                  0.7                                5.9                   3.2
Mountain                                 0.8                               7.8                   4.4
Pacific                                      0.7                                4.6                  2.5
U.S. Penitentiaries                  –                                  31.3                 24.6




Bonger then shows us the numbers for the inter-war years, for both male and female:



TERMS BEGUN IN U.S. STATE AND FEDERAL PRISONS (PER 100,000 POPULATION OF 15 YEARS AND OVER), 1929-1935
                    

                               Men                                             Women
      
Years           Whites         Negroes                    Whites             Negroes


1929            113.4          385.1                           6.5               30.7

1930            124.0           416.3                         5.8                25.2

1931             136.2          478.8                          5.8               26.7

1932            128.0          483.8                          5.6                27.2

1933            117.0          447.0                              ?                 ?

1934            107.1           436.4                          5.3                25.6

1935            113.4           473.5                          5.4                28.9




Bonger provides a brief breakdown of specific crimes for this period as well:


SURVEY OF MEN IN PRISONS, PER 100,000 U.S. POPULATION:
AVERAGE FOR THE YEARS 1926-34


Crimes                                   Whites                     Negroes

Manslaughter
(both homicide
and by negligence)                     3.9                      32.8

Felonious assault                        2.7                      28.9

Rape                                            3.1                       6.2

Theft (including
that of autos)                             24.9                     64.1

Burglary                                     20.5                     76.1

Robbery                                     12.0                      31.2




Back into the 19th century, comparative studies at the city level exist.  W.E.B. Dubois's The Philadelphia Negro gives the most detailed such compilation known:


"Some actual figures will give us an idea of this, the worst period of Negro crime ever experienced in the city. The Eastern Penitentiary [Philadelphia] was opened in 1829 near the close of the year. The total number of persons received here for the most serious crimes is given in the next table [for 1829-1854].  This includes prisoners from the Eastern counties of the State, but a large proportion were from Philadelphia:"


Years
Total
Commit-
ments
Negroes
Per Cent
of
Negroes
Per Cent of
Negroes
of Total
Population
1829-34..........
1835-39..........
1840-44..........
1845-49..........
1850-54..........
339
878
701
633
664
 99
356
209
151
106
29.0
40.5
29.8
23.8
16.0
8.27 ( 1830)
7.39 ( 1840)
7.39 ( 1840)
4.83 ( 1850)
4.83 ( 1850)


"A better measure of the normal criminal tendencies of the group would perhaps be found in the statistics of Moyamensing [Prison, Philadelphia], where ordinary cases of crime and misdemeanor are confined and which contains only county prisoners. The figures for Moyamensing prison [1836-1855] are:"


Years
Total
Commit-
ments
Negroes
Per Cent
of
Negroes
Per Cent of
Negroes
of Total
Population
1836-45..........
1846-55..........
      Total........
1164
1478
2642
 1087
  696
1783
48.29
32.01
...
7.39 ( 1840)
4.83 ( 1850)
.....

 

"The character of the crimes committed by Negroes compared with whites is shown by the following table, which covers the offences of 1359 whites and 718 Negroes committed to the Eastern Penitentiary [Philadelphia], 1829-1846. If we take simply petty larceny we find that 48.8 per cent of the whites and 55 per cent of the Negroes were committed for this offence."


Kinds of Crime
Whites
Negroes
Number
Per Cent
Number
Per Cent
Offences vs. the person.......

Offences vs. property with violence .

Offences vs. property without violence

Malicious offences vs. property...

Offences vs. Currency and forgery..

Miscellaneous...........
166
 

191
 

873
  

 22
 

167
   

40
11.4
 

13.1
 

59.8
  

 1.5
 

11.5
 

27.0
 89
 

165
 

432
  

14
    

 7
   

11
12.4
 

22.9
 

60.2
  

2.0   

1.0
  

1.5

All Offences.........

1359   

718
 
  100

100




On a diverse planet, it is to be expected that our environment pushes us down different behavioral paths, be they for mating, sportcommunication habits, or doing each other harm.  Clear-eyed policy-making on such a planet would have less to do with fretting about what one would like to be the case, and more about dealing effectively with what is the case.




REFERENCES:
Bonger, W.A. Race and Crime. Trans. Margaret Mathews Hordyk. NY: Columbia University Press, 1943.
Reuter, E.B.  The American Race Problem: A Study of the Negro. Ed. Seba Eldridge. NY: Thomas Y. Crowell, 1927.
DuBois, W. E.B. The Philadelphia Negro: A Social Study. Philadelphia: U. of Pennsylvania Press, 1899.    

5 comments:

JayMan said...

First breakdown of the historic crime rate by race that I've come across so far. It'll come in handy, I'm sure. ;)

M.G. said...

Glad it can be of use. I find that it contradicts the tropes of both right and left: Excessive black crime is caused by the post-60s welfare state (Sowell, Limbaugh, etc.), or excessive black crime is caused by racism (the black-white gap has in fact gotten bigger as Jim Crow recedes into the past).

Anonymous said...

I think certain higher trait frequencies were always there - because the more advanced african tribes on the coast raided for slaves among more primitive tribes in the interior - and the welfare underclass environment has since made it worse.

M.G. said...

the more advanced african tribes on the coast raided for slaves among more primitive tribes in the interior

I've always wondered about this, what type of selection process went on with the Africans who were brought to our shores.

I've also wondered, frankly, why Sub-Saharan Africans were the only ones in modern history to kidnap massive numbers of their fellows and sell them off as slave labor to foreigners. Why didn't Europeans have the same experience on the coasts of India, or of Indonesia, or of Indochina?

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