Numbers finally include Hispanics as an offender category.
Heather Mac Donald of the Manhattan Institute has just published a table of statistics on race and violent crime that she received from the Department of Justice. For the first time in figures of this kind, DOJ has treated Hispanics as a separate category rather than lumping them in with whites. These data cover all violent crimes except murder, but the number of murders is tiny compared to other violent crimes.
This table can be used for a number of interesting calculations. First, we find that during the 2012/2013 period, blacks committed an average of 560,600 violent crimes against whites, whereas whites committed only 99,403 such crimes against blacks. This means blacks were the attackers in 84.9 percent of the violent crimes involving blacks and whites. This figure is consistent with reports from 2008, the last year DOJ released similar statistics. Perhaps not coincidentally, that was the year Mr. Obama was elected president.
Interestingly, we find that violent interracial crime involving blacks and Hispanics occurs in almost exactly the same proportions as black/white crime: Blacks are the attackers 82.5 percent of the time, while Hispanics are attackers only 17.5 percent of the time.
Some observers argue that what causes the overwhelming preponderance of black-on-white over white-on-black violence is “chance of encounter,” due to the fact that there are five times as many whites as blacks in the American population. However, there are only about 30 percent more Hispanics than blacks, yet black-on-Hispanic violence is almost as lopsided as black-on-white violence. This suggests blacks may be deliberately targeting both whites and Hispanics.
Using figures for the 2013 racial mix of the population–62.2 percent white, 17.1 percent Hispanic, 13.2 percent black–we can calculate the average likelihood of a person of each race attacking the other. A black is 27 times more likely to attack a white and 8 times more likely to attack a Hispanic than the other way around. A Hispanic is eight times more likely to attack a white than vice versa.
We can also calculate how often criminals of each group choose victims of other races. As indicated below, when whites commit violence they choose fellow whites as victims 82.4 percent of the time, and almost never attack blacks. Blacks attack whites almost as often as they attack blacks, and Hispanics attack whites more often than they attack any other group, including their own.
There is much media agonizing over black-on-black violence, but these figures show that only 40.1 percent of the victims of black violence are black, while people of other races account for nearly 60 percent of the victims of black violence.
The change in DOJ reporting to consider Hispanics a separate category is long overdue. DOJ has long counted Hispanics as a victim category in its hate crime reports. We look forward to their inclusion as a perpetrator category.
[Editor’s Note: For a comprehensive analysis of race and crime in the United States, see our 2016 report: “The Color of Crime.”]