06 January 2012

Correlation


Blacks are 23 percent of New York City’s population, yet in the first half of 2009 they committed 80 percent of all shootings. Whites, who are 35 percent of the population, committed 1.8 percent of the shootings. So the Times recently ran an extremely long story over two pages about a young black who whined about how the police tend to profile him when he walks around his neighborhood at night. That the cops failed to profile all white people for the tiny minority of whites who commit shootings is deemed an outrage and proof of police racism.

I think it’s safe to say that blacks are more likely than whites to murder someone.  I don’t know if there is a direct or indirect causal factor between criminality and skin color, nor do I care.  Correlation is what it is, and the simple fact of the matter is that, at least in modern-day New York City, blacks are considerably more homicidal than whites. And it is not racist to point this out.

Nor is it racist (except by the most pedantic meaning of the word) to profile people accordingly.  It is, in a manner of speaking, relatively expensive to ascertain whether a given black person, or, more specifically, a young black male, has homicidal tendencies.  As such, it is extremely prudent to presume that any random young black male you see is likely inclined to murder, and act accordingly.  The costs of seeing if the assumption is wrong are fairly high (you could end up injured or dead), and so it is cheaper to play the odds and avoid trouble.

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