Does Trayvon Martin Killing Reveal Epidemic of Racial Violence?
Crime and numbers — beyond the headlines.
March 23, 2012 - 1:56 pm
The present media wave about the tragic death of Trayvon Martin is for me, an outsider, a fascinating lesson in race, politics, and media perversity in America.
The impression is being generated that young black men are continuously hunted by white men, and killed.
So I wanted to know the exact figures. The most recent, those of 2009, I could find are on the site of the Department of Justice.
About 13% of the population is black. About 80% is white (this number includes Hispanics).
In 2009, 2,963 white individuals were killed by white offenders. White offenders killed 209 black individuals.
In that same year, 2,604 black individuals were killed by black offenders. And 454 white individuals were killed by black offenders.
As we see, there is cross-racial deadly violence, but offenders mainly cause victims within their own race; it is so-called intra-racial.
What about recent decades? Murders surveyed between 1974 and 2004 show that 52% of the offenders were black, 48% were white. Of the victims, 51% were white, 47% were black.
In that period, 86% of white murders had whites offenders, and 94% of black murders had black offenders.
There may be a hunt by white vigilantes for innocent young black men in Florida — if it exists, the figures show this is a limited phenomenon. Trayvon Martin’s death should be thoroughly investigated and the vigilante should be brought to trial in case he broke the law. But such a crime is an exception.
The main problem for young black men is not violent white men chasing them. It is black on black violence.
The number of net cross-racial violence in 2009 shows that blacks killed more whites than whites killed blacks. To be exact: 245 more.