Saturday, October 01, 2016

Don’t be manipulated by the media

Since the Omnibus Crime Bill was passed in 1994, violent crime has dropped drastically. In New York City in 1990 there were 2,262 murders; in 2015 there were 352. Nationwide, there were over 1.5 million firearm non-fatalities in 1993 compared to about 478,000 in 2011. Researchers argue about the reasons—conservatives tend to site better policing and stiffer sentencing removing serious criminals from neighborhood, and liberals are all over the map with everything from abortions in the 70s and 80s eliminating potential killers to stronger safety net for the poor to better reporting and aging baby boomers who do less crime. Could be all of these, in my opinion.

Because of the bias in research based on political and religious views, it’s difficult to tease out the details, but one thing is for certain, the media distorts reports of violent crime. It can sell more papers, or get more TV revenue or encourage more clicks on line for profit if it involves a black man being killed by a white man, and particularly if police are involved.

Most violent crime is intra-racial. You hear more about black on black crime primarily because there is so much more of it, but homicides of white men also are usually committed by a white men. Homicides of women of any race are more likely to be by an “intimate partner,” or someone they know. Homicides of pregnant women is rarely reported and only marginally researched, but it's out there.

You could easily miss that black women are much more likely to be victims of violent crime than white women—more so than white men--a type of black on black crime that goes unreported and doesn’t cause riots. Overall, black women are murdered at a rate more than three times higher than white women.  The media play up crimes against white women (especially young and pretty) because it sells. The victimization rate for white females was 1.6 per 100,000 persons in 2013. This compares to rates per 100,000 persons of 4.4 for black females, 4.0 for white males and 32.3 for black males.

No comments: