Monthly Archives: July 2015

Is Dylann Roof “White Like Me”?: In Conclusion (pt. 4)

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(Part 1, … Part 2, … Part 3, … Part 4)

In an August 25, 2013 post titled Nazi’s Can’t Do MathReflections on Racism, Crime and the Illiteracy of Right-Wing Statistical Analysis, Tim Wise attempts to counter claims of the sort which I’ve substantiated in the last entry in this series, and in the process demonstrates some innumeracy (which is the proper term for an inability to read statistics, not illiteracy—although it may be a form of illiteracy to fail to understand the difference between the meanings of the words illiteracy and innumeracy) of his own.

First, he rightly notes that the data “suggest that only a ridiculously small percentage of African Americans will kill anyone in a given year.” I’ll quote the whole paragraph, because at least on this point he’s correct, and this point is important (even though Wise would prove himself to be an inconsistent hypocrite were someone else to emphasize the same point with regards to rates of police shootings of minorities): “In 2010, since there were 42 million African Americans in the population, for there to have been 8,384 black murderers (and even if we assumed that each of these were separate and unique persons — i.e., there were no repeat offenders, which is unlikely), this would mean that at most, about 2 one–hundreths of one percent of all blacks committed homicide that year. So to fear black people generally, given numbers like these, is truly absurd.” Of course, as we will see, the rate of police shootings of minorities is even smaller than this—and if you’re familiar at all with Tim Wise, you know that there’s no chance in Hell he would apply the same reasoning towards the question of whether it’s absurd or not for minorities to fear police. So however he may apply the point hypocritically, at least right here, he’s correct.

However, he goes on to try to address the relative rates of interracial violence—and here’s where it gets truly absurd. He observes that “one could argue … that these figures clearly indicate that blacks are much more homicidal than whites. So, while the per capita homicide offending rate for blacks may be only 0.02 percent, the rate for whites is much smaller: only about 0.003 percent, or 3 one–thousandths of one percent (5,953 white murderers as a percentage of 196.8 million whites). This means that the homicide offending rate for blacks is about 6.8 times higher than the rate for whites.” He’s exactly right—that figure is clearly correct.

His counter–argument for why that’s supposedly invalid, however, is a great example of why we invented the phrase “lies, damn lies, and statistics”. He writes: “704 whites killed by blacks, as a percentage of the white population in 2010 (196.8 million) was a whopping 0.00036% of all whites who were killed by a black person that year. This comes out to about 1 white person out of every 277,000 who were killed by a black person in 2010. … 413 blacks killed by whites, as a percentage of the black population in 2010 (42 million) was 0.001% of all blacks who were killed by a white person that year. This equates to about 1 black person out of every 100,000 who were killed by a white person in 2010. In other words, although interracial homicides are incredibly rare in either direction, any given black person in the United States is about 2.8 times more likely to be killed by a white person than any given white person is to be murdered by a black person.”

This sounds like a shocking number. Blacks are more likely to be murdered by whites than vice versa!

But how could that possibly be so, when we have already established that: (1) blacks commit a greater proportion of the total violent crime in the United States (about 50% of it); and (2) they choose white victims approximately 50% of the time for most crimes, whereas white criminals choose black victims only about 4% of the time? The most obvious answer is that this statistic doesn’t reflect who is killing whom how often at all; all that it actually reflects is that the black population is smaller, so killing one white individual kills a smaller percentage of the total white population than killing one black individual kills of the total black population. As I’ll show, you’ll expect this number to be larger for blacks even if blacks both kill more in general and very frequently target whites as victims intentionally. And it will turn out that once we plug in the actual numbers, the number we would expect to show up in this formula if there is no deliberate selection of white victims is much larger than the one Wise actually finds when he plugs in these numbers from the real world. To understand that, you’ll have to compare what Wise finds with the real numbers to what we would expect to find in a hypothetical scenario where crime rates are equal across racial groups.

So to put this number back in consonance with the rest of the figures we’ve looked at now, we’ll have to pull our calculators back out again. John Derbyshire explains exactly what is wrong with Tim Wise’s supposedly shocking number—I’ll be plugging my own numbers and words into his explanation to present it in a way I consider much clearer. So, let’s suppose a population of 150,000 people (N) has 125,000 whites(W) and 25,000 blacks (B). Suppose both blacks and whites kill at a rate of 1 per 1000 (M).

The total number of black murders of white victims will then be the black potential–killer population divided by 1000, multiplied by the white potential–victim percentage of the population, which is (25,000/1000) × (125,000/150,000). This comes out to 25 × 0.833…, resulting in the final number of black–on–white murders: 20.833. Likewise, the total number of white murders of black victims will be the white potential–killer population divided by 1000, multiplied by the black potential–victim percentage of the population, which is (125,000/1000) × (25,000/150,000). This comes out to 125 × 0.166…, resulting in a final number of white–on–black murders: 20.833. Can you see what just happened? The number in both cases is the same. That’s because both (W/M) × (B/N) and (B/M) × (W/N) are the same thing as (B×W) / (M×N).

But because this same number of murders are committed by very different relative proportions of the population, the relative risks of being victimized by white or black killers are not equivalent. On the assumption of equal murder rates, one in 1200 (from 25,000 ÷ 20.833) blacks will be murdered by whites, whereas one in 6000 (from 125,000 ÷ 20.833) whites will be murdered by blacks. One in 1200 blacks being murdered by whites can be expressed as five in 6000 blacks being murdered by whites, so look what that means: if one in 6000 whites will be murdered by blacks, while five in 6000 blacks will be murdered by whites, that means that on perfectly neutral assumptions, any given black person should be expected to be five times more likely to be killed by a white murderer than any given white person is to be killed by a black murder. The fact that Tim Wise finds that, in reality, the actual statistic is “less than three times more likely” sounds meaningful if you don’t know what you’re supposed to be comparing it to in order to make sense of it. But the number he finds is actually less than the assumption that people are equally likely to murder any given individual they encounter would lead us to expect. That point doesn’t work in his favor; it works against it.

There is a very basic underlying concept that is being glossed over here.

Let’s take a given black person named Jamal. One question we could ask is whether Jamal is more likely to be die by being killed by a white murderer or a black one. A different question is what the risk is that Jamal is going to be killed by any given, particular black or white individual he encounters. Wise makes the absolutely elementary mistake of focusing on the first question while misleading us into thinking the answers holds any relevance for the second one.

I’m now going to use a terrible, no good, very bad analogy to illustrate my point—understand that I’m exaggerating here for effect to make the point as vivid as possible (and for God’s sake, I’m not saying encountering an African–American is exactly like encountering a bear). The risk that your life is going to end in a car accident is much higher than the risk that you’re going to be mauled to death by a bear, in the specific sense that far more people die annually in the United States in car accidents than they do in bear attacks. And yet, that simply has no bearing whatsoever on the question of whether any given encounter with a bear is more or less likely to kill you than any given ride in an automobile—if you’re being approached by a bear and you have the option of driving away in a vehicle, the fact that more people die annually in car accidents in no way, shape, or form makes it more rational for you to choose to sit next to the bear instead of driving away. Again, black people aren’t as dangerous as bears and most certainly all white people aren’t as safe as a car ride, but that’s still the essence of exactly the fallacy Wise is committing—he’s telling us that car rides are more dangerous than bears because more people die in them annually, and acting as if that overrides the fact that a lot more encounters with bears kill people than car rides do (compared to the number of times each happens).

The other argument Wise makes is even more clearly absurd. He argues that it’s “precisely because the black homicide offending rate is so much higher than the rate for whites (as noted above, 6.8 times higher) [that] we should expect the black–on–white homicide numbers to be much higher than they were, relative to the white–on–black numbers.”

As we saw in the last entry, we actually can in fact control for that—and we have, and a significant degree of very probably racial targeting of white victims by black criminals still remains. But even still, if a given white person is asking whether a given black or white individual he encounters next is more likely to kill him, it doesn’t matter how many black people that black individual likely kills. That’s like saying I shouldn’t drive away from the bear because, hey, he kills a lot more fish and maybe even other bears than he does people, after all, so he’s not relatively that dangerous to me—no; how many fish he kills just doesn’t bear any relevance whatsoever to how likely he is to kill me. The second problem should be fairly obvious in light of the rest of the discussion held here: murder is the one crime for which a wide majority of perpetration is within–race. Black murderers kill white victims only about 15% of the time, but black rapists choose white victims around 50% of the time. If we’re wondering whether black criminals intentionally target white victims, murder is the one crime we have the least possible reason to ask that about—so it isn’t actually a test of the hypothesis at hand at all. I’ve presented more serious reasoning in part 3 to show that a significant amount of deliberate targeting of white victims in black crime is extremely probable—and the numbers suggest that this is so for rape several times more than it is even for robbery. 

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Amongst the cases reported by the Council of Conservative Citizens—which, for the most part, merely links to reports elsewhere, as you can see in the following link—is this case in 2014 in which three black men raped a white woman in public after a rap concert in Indiana. “A witness and relative of the victim reported that she came out of the hotel and observed four black males around the victim’s vehicle and a crowd of people, further from the vehicle, laughing and observing the incident. She could hear the victim in the car screaming and telling her assailants “no.” The witness stated she attempted to help, but another male placed a gun to her ribs and told her to “shut up and watch”.

Is the CCC responsible for Dylann Roof’s actions because they reported this incident? Which is the bigger problem here: an act of gang rape, or the fact that the CCC reported it?

Despite the fact that the rate of black–on–white rape outstrips the reverse so significantly, white concern about black–on–white rape is considered intrinsically racist even though black concern about white–on–black rape is condoned to the point that even after then 15–year–old Tawana Brawley’s claims of having been raped by a gang of white men were determined conclusively to have been a hoax she invented by scribbling the words “nigger” and “KKK” onto her own legs in order to avoid punishment by her parents for staying away from home for too many days, figures like Al Sharpton and disbarred black attorney Alton Maddox (who, amongst other things, filed a demonstrably false complaint of racial bias when two white lawyers were chosen to represent a particular defendant over himself—in fact, it turned out that they had applied for the role and Maddox had not)  “still believe her” and can continue to hold forth this case as evidence of how the deck is stacked on rape for whites and against black Americans. Black upset about a blatant hoax is acceptable; white upset about reality is ‘racist’.

And so the Council of Conservative Citizens is now considered to deserve blame for Roof’s actions simply because they reported the facts that he seized upon and became angry about. Another role reversal is in order to demonstrate the hypocrisy: in late 2014, during the protests surrounding events that had recently taken place in Ferguson, 28–year–old Ismaaiyl Brinsley took to Twitter to declare:  “I’m Putting Wings On Pigs Today. They Take 1 Of Ours….. Let’s Take 2 Of Theirs …  #RIPMikeBrown … ” before shooting two arbitrarily chosen NYPD officers he had located through the traffic app Waze through their car window, execution–style. If the CoCC is responsible for Roof’s actions merely because they reported the facts which angered him, are the liberals who organized and participated in the Ferguson protests considered responsible for Ismaaiyl Brinsley?

Apparently not.

Apparently not even when the claims those protesters’ anger was centered around were finally confirmed by the U.S. Department of Justice itself to have been outright, blatant lies and it turned out to be the case that Officer Darren Wilson had in fact been defending himself from a Michael Brown who first robbed a convenience store, then jaywalked in the middle of the highway, then assaulted Wilson through his car window and attempted to take his gun when Wilson pulled up to simply ask Brown to move to the sidewalk, and finally turned and charged at Wilson after Wilson pursued to arrest a subject who was now guilty of assault and most likely even attempted murder. Once again, black outrage is condoned even when directed towards blatant hoaxes; whites who are concerned about the possibility that black criminals target white victims for acts such as rape are in the words of Tim Wise “Nazis” who should “starve themselves” and die.

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Statistics on rape like these expose curious tensions within “intersectionalist” feminism—the viewpoint, roughly, that racial and gender–based oppressions overlap to make black women the most unidimensionally oppressed members of American society and white men the most unidimensionally “privileged.”

In general, the tendency of “intersectionalist” viewpoints is to excuse minority crime as a byproduct of “oppression.” In late 2014, a Georgetown University senior was mugged at gunpoint, and in response he wrote an opinion piece for the University’s newspaper title “I Was Mugged, and I Understand Why.” In it, he wrote: “When I walk around at 2 a.m., nobody looks at me suspiciously, and police don’t ask me any questions. I wonder if our attackers could say the same. Who am I to stand from my perch of privilege … [and] condemn these young men … ?”

According to Paul Sperry at the New York Post, in Portland, “after a black high–school boy repeatedly punched his teacher in the face, sending her to the emergency room, the teacher, who is white, was advised by the assistant principal not to press charges. The administrator lectured her about how hard it is for young black men to overcome a criminal record. Worse, she was told she should examine what role she, “as a white woman” holding unconscious racial biases, played in the attack, according to the Willamette (Oregon) Week.” But it can go without saying that this kind of rationalization would not be used to excuse an assault or mugging performed by some low–life redneck piece of white trash—no matter how poor.

If a white boy from a trailer park assaulted his female teacher, smashing his fist into her face until he sent her to the emergency room, the message would still be all about male entitlement and misogyny—nevermind if that boy is effectively just as “structurally” disadvantaged as the black boy in almost every relevant way. Liberals wouldn’t do it, because he’s white and therefore not “structurally” oppressed no matter what the personal conditions of his life were actually like—conservatives wouldn’t do it, because conservatives generally don’t buy those kinds of excuses.

When we’re talking about men qua men committing crime, suddenly all the rules that just applied to minority crime change.

In most cases, when a given demographic disproportionately commits a certain crime, this is really a mere symptom of some underlying disease which society, and not the perpetrator, is responsible for; disproportionate crime rates are not something we should treat as a problem that the criminal group is responsible for, but an indication that society is failing the group in question in some significant way, allowing crime to fester by consequence. At least, this is the rule for minorities. But now, when men rape it is male culture that is the problem—even though this is exactly what no one is allowed to even consider possible about black violence.

Rape happens because “Cis male entitlement is embedded in everything in society … pop culture, media … Even while taking public transportation, you’ll always run into men spreading their legs and taking up much more room than they need.”

But when rap contains lines like “I’ll cut your face off, and wear it while I’m fucking your mother” (Black Vikings, Immortal Technique), the liberal response is that suggesting that this kind of content might play any sort of role in the black culture of violence is something only the most ignorant troglodyte could possibly consider. This writer tells us: “[Rap is simply] artistic expression … Yes, rap can be violent and angry, but that’s the nature of art.” Perhaps you think he’s right. Fine—but how the hell can anyone think he’s right and think that the feminists are right about rape being the result of nothing other than men being given ‘cultural messages of entitlement’ which need to end at the same time?! You can’t. (Actually, Immortal Technique is so popular amongst leftists that Jill Stein even talked about asking him to ber her running mate during the 2016 Green Party Presidential run: “I love Immortal Technique. He has great ideas—we need to hear from more people like him.”

Because black perpetrators commit disproportionate amounts of rape just as they do for all other crimes, these two tendencies within anti–racist, and feminist, worldviews speed towards head–on collision. Black culture has nothing to do with black rates of violence—and it’s offensive and disgusting to even consider the possibility. Yet, male culture has everything to do with male rates of rape—and it’s offensive and disgusting to even consider otherwise. But black males commit disproportionate amounts of rape. How can all three of these statements simultaneously be true? When men commit rape, it doesn’t happen (by my lights or by the lights of the feminist) because men are disadvantaged, or powerless, or deprived of and desperate for acceptance or affection and—like the black robbers that Oliver Friedfeld “understood”—after enough pain and humiliation they decide to obtain by violent force the basic human needs that weren’t given fairly to them.

Yet, when non–whites commit disproportionate amounts of violent or property crimes, the reasons just rejected in the case of rape are, by the lights of the feminist, exactly the reasons why they do so. But this way of looking at things does a terrible job of explaining why black criminals commit acts of rape just as disproportionately as they commit acts of robbery—and it does a terrible job of explaining why they choose white victims for those acts of rape more often than they choose white victims for acts of robbery—especially if we include the massive number of racially motivated black–on–white prison rapes in that analysis. How can male “culture” explain male rape even while black “culture” does not explain black rape, while poverty and oppression “explain” black robbery but not black rape? Even the most adamant liberal isn’t going to want to say that poverty causes people to rape, and thereby absolves them of moral responsibility for committing it; that it’s societyfault, and not the rapist’s. They may consider saying that for robbery—but certainly not for rape. In fact, this is exactly what they call “victim blaming” in any other circumstance. But if “black culture” explains rape, why could it not explain other crimes? And if only “male culture” but not “black culture” explains rape, why do black males commit such greater amounts of rape? This haphazardness should make it abundantly clear that the explanations that are officially designated as the requried responses to these questions are motivated by the raw self–interest of identity politics, and not any consistent desire for truth.

This isn’t half as much of a reach as it might sound to you. In 2014, a high school football team in Sayreville, New Jersey was caught in a process of hazing that looked a lot more like sexual assault: “It would start with a howling noise from a senior football player at Sayreville War Memorial High School, and then the locker room lights were abruptly shut off … In the darkness, a freshman football player would be pinned to the locker–room floor, his arms and feet held down by multiple upperclassmen. Then, the victim would be lifted to his feet while a finger was forced into his rectum. Sometimes, the same finger was then shoved into the freshman player’s mouth.” Writing at the far–left outlet CounterPunch, Judith Levine says: “If it’s true that all seven of the football players arrested for hazing in the Sayreville, New Jersey, War Memorial High School locker room are students of color, that is one more reason not to prosecute them as sexual felons. I don’t mean not to prosecute them in adult court. I mean not to prosecute them at all. … Sex offenders are harassed … do we need to lock up more black and brown kids?”

Or consider the response of Amanda Kijera, the liberal activist who wrote of her rape in Haiti: “Two weeks ago, on a Monday morning, I started to write what I thought was a very clever editorial about violence against women in Haiti. The case, I believed, was being overstated by women’s organizations in need of additional resources. Ever committed to preserving the dignity of Black men in a world which constantly stereotypes them as violent savages, I viewed this writing as yet one more opportunity to fight “the man” on behalf of my brothers. That night, before I could finish the piece, I was held on a rooftop in Haiti and raped repeatedly by one of the very men who I had spent the bulk of my life advocating for.

… I pleaded with him to honor my commitment to Haiti, to him as a brother in the mutual struggle for an end to our common oppression, but to no avail. He didn’t care that I was a Malcolm X scholar. He told me to shut up, and then slapped me in the face. Overpowered, I gave up fighting halfway through the night. … Not once did I envision myself becoming a receptacle [!] for a Black man’s rage at the white world, but that is what I became. While I take issue with my brother’s behavior, I’m grateful for the experience. … Black men have every right to the anger they feel in response to their position in the global hierarchy, but … women are not the source of their oppression; … the as–yet unaddressed white patriarchy which still dominates the global stage [is].”

So it’s hardly a stretch to imagine fault lines forming between feminists who think anti–racists aren’t being feminist enough when they fail to “profile” black men as rapists and patronizingly treat them as if they just need to be “taught” that rape is wrong, and anti–racists who think feminists aren’t being anti–racist enough when they fail to excuse black men for violent crimes when and only when those violent acts happen to be directed against women.

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It’s worth making a comparison of the relative rates of police brutality and black–on–white violence in the United States to try to put things in perspective. According to the FBI, there were an average of 14,545 murders per year across the years of  2011–2013. which comes out to an average just shy of 40 murders per day. Since African–Americans commit approximately half of those, and pick white victims about 1/5th of the time, that means there are about four black–on–white murders every day in the United States. White perpetrators commit the other half of murders in the United States, but only choose black victims about 2.4% of the time—which means there is slightly less than one white–on–black murder in the United States every two days.

According to data that does not take statistics reported by police departments for granted, but in fact calls them into question, based on data from the early months of 2015, police kill approximately 2.6 subjects per day—approximately half of which are black, which brings the number down to 1.3 police shootings of black suspects per day.

Of this number, it is unclear how many are justified or unjustified.

According to the FBI, in 2013 police were attacked by someone carrying a weapon roughly 10,000 times—2,200 of those times with a firearm. If police kill 2.6 suspects per day every day for a year, that’s still less than 1000 total killings at the end of the year. Some liberal readers may point to gaps in the data (call it the “racism of the gaps” strategy) and insist on disagreeing, but if police are killing suspects far less frequently than they’re being attacked by them, it seems safe to me to bet that the vast majority of those killings are probably justified.

However, even if we assume that every single one of them was unjustified, combining the number of police shootings of black suspects per day (1.3) with the number of white murders of black victims per day (0.48) would still give us a smaller number (~1.8) than the number of black murders of white victims every day in the United States (~4). More than twice as many black murderers are choosing white victims as the number of white murderers choosing black victims and the number of police shooting black suspects (justified or not) combined. (Meanwhile, there are 16 black murders of black victims every single day across the United States—more than eight times the number of white civilian murders and justified or unjustified police shootings of black victims combined.)

However, both of these statistics really still need to be taken account of in terms of the wider context that murder only accounts for 0.6% of the deaths in the United States in general. While there are approximately 40 murders, 4 of which are black–on–white, on a typical day in the United States, on the same day 90 Americans will die in car crashes, 110 will commit suicide, 120 will overdose on drugs, 256 will die in accidental falls or other accidents, 1580 will die of cancer and more than 1600 will die of heart attacks. If Roof is concerned about “saving the white race,” then Burger King, cigarettes, drunk driving, wobbly ladders and clinical depression are far more formidable foes than black criminals. But what goes for Roof’s underlying logic goes for “#blacklivesmatter,” too. Tim Wise is right that it’s only a tiny fraction of the black population who commits an act of violence in any given year—the only problem with that is the hypocritical inconsistency we can well know to expect should anyone say the same about racist attacks against black Americans, whether committed by civilians or police, which even combined are still yet only half the size of the fraction of black citizens committing acts of violence Wise himself has just called “tiny.” Whatever goes for the relative insignificance of disproportionate black–on–white violence goes at least twice as much for both white–on–black and police–on–black violence combined.

And it goes even more so for hysteria about mass shootings, which make up only 0.2% of that 0.6% of deaths in America. Furthermore, whites are not disproportionately likely to be the perpetrators; in fact, as with most other crimes, the case is once again in the opposite direction: non–whites are somewhat more likely to perpetrate mass shootings, relative to the population rate. Of the last 22 attacks (from early June of 2009 to the Charleston attack), 10 were perpetrated by non–whites—45% of the total, which surpasses non–whites’ 37% representation of the population across this period of time. If we go back all the way to 1982, the non–white representation of the population from 1982–present is about 28.5%—yet the non–white representation amongst serial killers is 25 out of 70, or 35.7%. The black rate, in particular, is 11 out of 70, or 15.7% (whereas the population as a whole has been roughly 12.2% black across the same period of time).

In that same chart—compiled by the left–wing Mother Jones—you can also see a compilation of statements about the perpetrators’ mental health. And it is obvious that there is a higher incidence of mental illness here than across the general population: Wiliam Cruse in 1987 “suffered from paranoid delusions. A judge found that he suffered from ‘extreme mental illness.’” Colin Ferguson in 1993 “suffered from racial paranoia and was obsessed with nonexistent conspiracies. His landlord said he had ‘delusions of grandeur.’” Nathan Gale in 2004 “was discharged from the military because he was a paranoid schizophrenic.” Jennifer Sanmarco in 2006 “was placed on retirement disability for psychological reasons. Fellow employees described her behavior as increasingly bizarre. She believed the Postal Service employees were conspiring against her.” Maurice Clemmons in 2009 “had a history of erratic, bizarre behavior. He once asked his family to get naked for 5 minutes on Sunday; he said he thought the world would end and that he was Jesus.” Eduardo Sencion in 2011 “was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia as a teenager and feared demons were out to get him.”

The association between mental illness and mass shootings isn’t a “lie”—nevermind one we only entertain for white suspects. The hypocrites who make this accusation suddenly decide that concern about mental illness is a disingenuous way to disregard a perpetrator’s words, whenever we actually do that, and then they turn around and tell us that it’s a disingenuous way to humanize and try to provoke empathy for evil white men when we do it for cases involving them. When writers like those at Jezebel speculate about “Why Most Serial Killers Are Privileged White Men”, the actual answer to that is that they aren’t—and they never have been. A better question would be to ask exactly what bias Jezebel is demonstrating when it incorrectly thinks they are and misinforms its readers into believing the same falsehood.

In any case, when Roof says “You’re raping our women”, I could perhaps consider supporting his actions had he actually been in a room full of rapists (regardless of their race)—say, had he burst onto a scene of ‘To Catch a Predator’ before opening fire. But his response was racism of the most crudely idiotic form: it is extremely unlikely that any of the three men he killed (nevermind the six women) were actually rapists, just as none of the 3000 people who died in the World Trade Center had any kind of direct responsibility for U.S. military policy. As with bin Laden, the only thing Roof “achieved” is to help to lend support to the impression that anyone who doesn’t rush to demand that all media reporting any of the facts that were involved in his transformation be shut down is inherently dangerous because they are deaf to that same distinction (even though such suspicion never spills over, in the same way, to the actions of people like Christopher Dorner, even when he has thousands of openly enthusiastic admirers).

One of the many reasons why Roof’s actions were vile and idiotic is exactly the same reason why we should all agree that if anti–American terrorism is motivated by grievances towards the brutality of U.S. military policy, it is an idiotic response to those concerns: Osama bin Laden’s actions didn’t led to Noam Chomsky being elected head of the Department of Defense or to a worldwide withdrawal of American military bases from all foreign soil; they led to the mindless reflexive jingoism of the War on Terror and an even more dramatic backlash against Islam itself, and to anyone who saw anything plausible in the suggestions of people like Chomsky at all being immediately labeled “anti–American.” There’s no more reason to demand that everyone who opposes that think every single thing Roof’s mind latched onto was illegitimate in order to oppose that than there is to demand that anyone who opposes Floyd Corkins’ attempted mass shooting repudiate the concept of gay marriage, or anyone who opposes Ismaaiyl Brinsley’s cop executions to repudiate #BlackLivesMatter. A very small subset of the American population will commit acts of violence in the name of apparently almost any ideology. And no, it’s far from clear that these people are always sane—regardless what particular ideology they might’ve happened to have latched on to.

_______ ~.::[༒]::.~ _______

Only now can I finally arrive at the point I set out to make in the very beginning of this series.

After the introduction, the rest of Dylann Roof’s manifesto is racism of the most obviously, blatantly crude form. “Many veterans believe we owe them something for “protecting our way of life” or “protecting our freedom”. But im not sure what way of life they are talking about. How about we protect the White race and stop fighting for the jews.” But what shifted Roof towards this perspective?

As M.G. at Those Who Can See points out, ideology might be a red herring—any time ideology seems to be what motivated someone, there almost always turns out to be something much more personal involved. Lee Boyd Malvo gave a jailhouse interview in which he explained how “Muhammad snapped when he lost custody of his children and wanted to get back at his ex–wife.” His ex–wife, Mildred Muhammad, wrote a book titled ‘Scared Silent’ in which she explained how John Allan Muhammad ”began plotting against her after she won custody of their young son and two daughters in 2001. … [She] says her ex-husband thought if she were killed by a crazed gunman, he would regain custody of their children and collect compensation owed them as crime victims. “His end–game scenario was to come in as the grieving father,” she says.”

Similarly, Colin Ferguson’s life “was littered with dysfunction and disappointment. Son of a wealthy Jamaican family, he lost both his parents at age 20 and migrated to the U.S. where menial jobs and his marriage’s failure in 1988 sent him into a tailspin. After a work injury, he took time off to attend junior college, where his outbursts troubled peers….”

Likewise, it turns out that Dylann Roof might have gone over the edge when a black man won his girl—Scott Roof, Dylann’s cousin, told The Intercept that “He kind of went over the edge when a girl he liked starting dating a black guy two years back.”

This may or may not render my suggestion irrelevant—it may have been that, after Roof lost the girl he wanted, impotent and resentful rage would have found some form to explode in no matter what. But if it does render my suggestion irrelevant, then it renders all the leftist analysis irrelevant too, because it was this personal incident and not any true ideological cause which turned Roof into what he ultimately became.

On the other hand, the manner in which the George Zimmerman trial was distorted by the media to fit a predetermined racial lens was absolutely egregious. And it is striking that across 2008–2012, black criminals perpetrated 40% of crimes but were portrayed in the media as perpetrators only 20% of the time—that substantially more black–on–white than white–on–black crime was taking place across this period of time—including black–on–white rape—and none of these incidents got half as much coverage as the faulty narrative of the Zimmerman case did.

Yet, that faulty narrative did inspire many black–on–white revenge attacks, including a case of a man in Alabama put in critical care after being attacked with baseball bats by a group of assailants, one of whom was heard by a witness yelling: “Now that’s justice for Trayvon;”  a case where a 50 year old white man who stopped at a store in Midtown, a 94% black neighborhood on the east side of Sanford, was dragged from his car and beaten with hammers while Al Sharpton spoke on the Trayvon Martin case nearby (the author of the original Orlando Sentinel articles admitted to censoring the race of the victim on purpose, yet direct ties were found between one perpetrator and the Yahweh Bin Yahweh black power cult); a case of a group of up to thirty “teenagers” who assaulted five people returning to their cars after a Red Hot Chili Peppers concert, in which one of the perpetrators was found bragging about the attack as revenge for Trayvon on Twitter; a case of a group in Gainesville, Florida who assaulted a man who stopped a purse thief while shouting “Trayvon”; a case of two teenagers in Chicago who were charged with hate crimes after directly telling police that their attack on a random white man was revenge for Trayvon … and several more.

How many white–onblack “revenge for O. J. Simpson” violent assaults do you think there were in 1995? I searched Google for “white on black assault revenge for O. J. Simpson” and got exactly four results—the top result was from “American Conservatives of Color” where the search picked up the phrase, “the real fact of the matter is that white-on-black assault/murder is NOT an epidemic in this nation.” Interesting.

In any case, even if this doesn’t hold true for Dylann Roof, it’s true in general: what slanted media coverage of this sort does, when it ignores facts like these, is play straight into the hands of the vile sort of racism that motivated Dylann Roof. What happens is this: if you don’t talk about these facts openly, someone will. And people who want to know about those facts will then listen to those people. If decent people don’t talk about it, then people who have an agenda to seize on will be the ones who get it. And then you give those sources a fact to lead out with that is verifiable for everyone to see. You increase their plausibility. You give people valid reasons to listen to them that they otherwise would not have had. And people learn that those sources are telling them the truth about facts that you won’t. And that arms them with extra opportunities to persuade people of their agenda.

And if your response to this is to condemn all talk about those facts because only people who have agendas talk about them, you only more deeply entrench that problem even further. So, when I say that Dylann Roof was right when he said that “The event that truly awakened me was the Trayvon Martin case.… It was obvious that Zimmerman was in the right. But more importantly this prompted me to type in the words “black on White crime” into Google …There were pages upon pages of these brutal black on White murders. … How could the news be blowing up the Trayvon Martin case while hundreds of these black on White murders got ignored?” I am no more making a defense of his actions than it is a defense of the 2001 World Trade Center attacks to observe that Osama Bin Laden was correct when he said that the United States supplies a substantial amount of economic and military aid to Israel. My point is to damn the media’s coverage of these events, because you played into Roof’s perceptions by being so illegitimate in your coverage of these incidents that you legitimized the racist sources that people like Roof turned to in consequence. And it should scare you that you handed the truth over to a mass murderer by dropping it out of your own hands by handling it so pathetically ineptly.

If there is an ideological lesson to draw from this attack, it is that. If the mass media handles race–related issues this pathetically, it will thereby legitimize alternative sources. And you might not like the agenda that those alternative sources latch on to the facts you ignore or distort to try to advance—but the fact that people pushing those agendas will now be leading with what is demonstrably the truth will legitimize them in the eyes of previously impartial listeners and discredit you.

And if you don’t want to create that dynamic, and you want people to respect you therefore listen to you instead and therefore give sources with those kinds of agendas fewer opportunities to push them, then you’ll have to do a hell of a better job than that at covering the basic facts. When the only lesson the media can draw from this—this, an incident whose original spark was created by the media’s own absolute ineptitude and failure in covering the George Zimmerman case, taking skewed information directly from the defense and its propaganda team without the slightest caution or qualification or mention to readers that these were the original source—is that white peoples’ everyday beliefs are what caused Dylann Roof’s actions, in articles with titles like “White America Is Complicit” or essays that tell white people to “take responsibility” for the fact that Dylann Roof is “white like [them]”, they only further alienate everyone who can plainly see that that is all bullshit. And in doing so, they continue increasing the likelihood that the growing numbers of ordinary everyday white people who at the very least hold no conscious hatred for anyone, and who are continually, increasingly alienated by all this, will be prone to listen to alternative sources who speak to what is, to everyone who doesn’t see the world through those particular blinders, the plain and obvious truth—and then, once they have hooked the listeners you’ve alienated and abandoned with the bits of truth you’ve thrown away and allowed them to scavenge—may go on to push and develop an agenda you probably won’t like very much at all.

Mainstream and left–leaning media, if you don’t want that to happen, you need to clean your act the hell up. Simply calling the sources that pick up on the facts you’ve failed to properly address “racist” just makes you look even more like this  than you already did:

(Part 1, … Part 2, … Part 3, … Part 4)

Is Dylann Roof “White Like Me”?: Is There Evidence for Racial Targeting in Black–on–White Rape? (pt. 3)

_______ ~.::[༒]::.~ _______

(Part 1, … Part 2, … Part 3, …  Part 4).

The other racially charged comment made by Dylann Roof which has received scrutiny, just before opening fire: “You rape our women….” This comment led Jamelle Bouie at Slate to conclude that “[While] it’s tempting to treat Dylann Storm Roof as a Southern problem, the violent collision of neo-Confederate ideology and a permissive gun culture. The truth … is that his fear … of black sexuality … belongs to America as much as it does the South.”

Bouie’s suggestion that some intrinsic “fear … of black sexuality” lies at the root of less than positive attitudes towards black citizens is a distant echo of the disgusting black supremacist armchair psychoanalysis of “academics” like Dr. Frances Cress Welsing, who defends the so–called “melanin theory” which says that white people are the genetically defective descendants of albino mutants of the original African race, and posits that “white supremacy” therefore results from white peoples’ attempts to overcompensate for their subconsciously acknowledged genetic and sexual inferiority.

Amongst many other things, Welsing has written the following: “On both St. Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day, the white male gives gifts of chocolate candy with nuts…. If his sweetheart ingests ‘chocolate with nuts’, the white male can fantasize that he is genetically equal to the Black male…. Is it not also curious that when white males are young and vigorous, they attempt to master the large brown balls, but as they become older and wiser, they psychologically resign themselves to their inability to master the large brown balls? Their focus then shifts masochistically to hitting the tiny white golf balls in disgust and resignation — in full final realization of white genetic recessiveness. … I have said all of the above to state that, yes, there is envy in the white supremacy culture, but it began with the white male’s envy of the genetic power residing in the Black male’s testicles and phallus. Perhaps there was also envy of the comparatively longer length of the Black phallus.”

“Fear” of Black sexuality, Bouie? Curiously, there exists in the United States today no “fear” of Asian male sexuality. In fact, the predominant Asian male stereotype is emasculate and asexual—an article at Adios Barbie titled “Every Day Racism and You” takes women to task for their convictions in this stereotype. It opens with the story of a Korean woman’s response to the author asking her why she had never dated a Korean man: “Because I’d feel like I was dating my brother.” The author then explains that she “was led to look deeply into [her] white privilege and challenge [her] own bias as [she] realized [she] didn’t find Asian men attractive.” And she confesses that “this acknowledgment was mortifying….”

What explanation would Bouie give us for this discrepancy, if he wouldn’t endorse an answer like Welsing’s? Is it really just a coincidence that the white supremacists attempting to brainwash us all through deliberately inaccurate stereotypes in the mainstream media chose to take exactly the opposite strategy towards Asian males that they take towards Black males? Why this inconsistency? Are we really supposed to believe that white supremacists mind–controlling our culture just arbitrarily chose one strategy for no damn reason at all in the first case, and then arbitrarily chose precisely the opposite strategy for no damn reason at all in the second case? [1] The only alternative option is that this pattern is explained by differences in the patterns of black and Asian male behavior. 

Is there evidence that concerns about black–on–white rape are justified in any sense, or is there evidence that these concerns simply result from some sort of Freudian “fear … of black sexuality?” Let’s try something Bouie doesn’t appear to have done: actually ask what the data says. Under Jamelle Bouie’s scrutiny, black–on–white rape is just something “racists [use] … to defend their worst racist violence.” What Bouie has less interest in asking is how often black–on–white rape itself might, in fact, be a horrible act of racist violence. So, what does the data say?

_______ ~.::[༒]::.~ _______

As I explained in a previous post, we actually have very good evidence that police arrest rates are not racially biased: the Bureau of Justice Statistics keeps information on the reports of victims and witnesses in a data collection known as the National Crime Victimization Survey. And when victims and witnesses report the race of their assailants, not only do they provide us with racial percentages that dovetail closely with those found in arrest rates, but when and where the racial breakdown in victim and witness reports differ from those found in arrest rates, victims and witnesses actually identify a higher black percentage of criminals than we find amongst police arrests, strongly suggesting that if anything, police actually arrest black criminals less frequently than their rate of commission of crimes would justify.

We can use the NCVS data to analyze interracial violence, as well.

First, before digging into all the interpretive issues and asking what it means, let’s perform the most basic calculation: what are the basic rates of black–on–white and white–on–black violence?

To listen to the mainstream media tell the story, we might expect that white–on–minority violence would be one of the most prominent categories. But in fact, we find nothing of the sort.

In 2010, the white and black populations in the United States were 196,817,552 and 37,685,848, respectively. According to the NCVS’ victim and witness reports, an estimated 320,082 whites were victims of violence from blacks, whereas approximately 62,593 blacks were victims of violence from whites.

From this, we can derive a few different baseline numbers to start our analysis out with.

Dividing the white population by the number of white on black attacks, whites committed acts of interracial violence at a rate of 32 per 100,000, whereas blacks committed acts of interracial violence at a rate of 849 per 100,000. Dividing the black rate of interacial violence by the white rate (849/32), this means that the “average” black individual in 2010 was 26.5 times more likely to attack a white victim than vice versa.

We also find it confirmed in this data that blacks, though only 12% of the population, are responsible for around 50% of all the violent crimes committed annually in the United States. Yet, not only are black perpetrators committing more violent crime to begin with, they also choose white victims for those crimes at drastically higher rates: black perpetrators of violent crimes chose white victims 47.7% of the time, whereas white perpetrators chose black victims a mere 3.9% of the time.

For rape, in particular? Of the 13,463 reported rapes committed by black perpetrators in 2010, 50.2% of these were committed against white victims—and “by contrast, the number of white–on–black rapes … reported in the NCVS surveys were so infinitesimal, that in each case whites were estimated to have accounted for 0.0% of all rapes … committed against black victims in the United States.” (Source) Of course, this shouldn’t be taken to mean that there was not a single white–on–black rape in 2010; and it isn’t supposed to. But it does imply that the numbers are extremely low—lower than 0.01%, and most certainly drastically lower than the black–on–white rate of rape.

_______ ~.::[༒]::.~ _______

Now to approach a further interesting question: do we find evidence in this data that black criminals are intentionally targeting white victims? Obviously, intentional targeting isn’t the sole factor influence the relative rates of interracial violence. The population rate and therefore encounter rate (that is, the likelihood that any given white individual will encounter a potential black victim, and vice versa) is one thing we have to account for. The other thing we have to account for is the crime rate itself. One possibility is that when these are added together, they will account for the raw disparity between BOW and WOB crime completely, and the greater likelihood of black–on–white violence over white–on–black violence will disappear. The other possibility is that these factors will not eliminate the disparity—which will suggest that black criminals are in fact deliberately choosing a disproportionate number of white victims.

To see how the population rate would impact this calculation, consider a society of 100,000 people containing 85,000 whites and 15,000 blacks. In this hypothetical society, everyone commits exactly one crime with a perfectly randomized victim, so both races commit crimes at exactly identical rates without any concern for race. Whites would therefore commit 85,000 crimes, of which the victims would be 85% white and 15% black, resulting in 72,250 white–on–white crimes and 12,750 white–on–black crimes; whereas blacks would commit 15,000 crimes, of which the victims would once again be 85% white and 15% black, resulting in 12,750 black–on–black crimes and 2,250 black–on–white crimes.

So how do we control for the population rate? The most basic way is to compare the ratio of black and white members of the general population to the ratio of black victims of white violent crime to white victims of black violent crime. For our hypothetical scenario, dividing 85,000 whites by 15,000 blacks gives us the result that there are 5.6 times more whites than blacks in our population. Likewise, dividing 12,750 WOB crimes by 2,250 BOW crimes gives us the result that there are 5.6 times more WOB attacks than BOW attacks. These ratios both equal 5.6, so there is no disparity left to account for: the population rate in this hypothetical scenario fully accounts for the disparity in interracial crime that exists.

Now plugging in the real numbers: If we divide 196,817,552 by 37,685,848, there were about 5.2 times more white than black individuals within the United States population in 2010. So, nationally and on average, any given black individual is 5.2 times more likely to encounter a white individual than any given white individual is to encounter a black individual—which, at least so far, clearly is not sufficient to account for the fact that any given black individual is 26.5 times more likely to attack a white victim than vice versa.

American Rennaisance’s Color of Crime report actually commits an interesting error here. It writes, in footnote 42: “ … although blacks and whites are not perfectly integrated, and segregation varies considerably by neighborhood, the same figure [that any black person is 5.2 times more likely to encounter a white person than a white person is to encounter a black person] … applies everywhere. This is because segregation decreases blacks’ contact with whites, but it also decreases whites’ contact with blacks by exactly the same amount. Segregation, whatever its degree, therefore does not change the relative likelihood of blacks encountering whites and vice versa.”

The suggestion here is supposed to be that the relative ratio of black–encounters–white to white–encounters–black will always be 5.2, no matter what numbers are plugged in the ratio between them will always stay the same, because removing any one black individual from ‘circulation’ simply takes one black out of contact with whites, and takes the same number of whites out of contact with blacks. But the problem is that this sophomorically ignores the fact that the ratio of blacks to whites in varying areas will be different, as well—we aren’t taking a homogenous national population and then removing a single person from national circulation at a time. We aren’t shaking up a homogenous M&M’s, where we’re taking one M&M at a time out of the bag; we’re dealing with neighborhoods with varying racial compositions. So to see very clearly why what AmRen says here is false, all we have to do is consider how it would apply to a city with a black majority: in 2010, the population of Detroit contained around 588,244 black individuals, and around 123,054 white individuals. Therefore, in Detroit in 2010, a white individual on average was about 4.78 times more likely to encounter a black individual than to encounter another white individual. Obviously, black individuals will not be 5.2 times more likely to encounter white individuals than whites are to encounter blacks when blacks are the majority. And the relative percentage of blacks and whites in local populations will vary significantly across the United States—and thus so, too, will the ratio of encounters.

 However, this probably doesn’t weaken the case that encounter rates fail to account for the greater likelihood that a black criminal will target a white victim than vice versa. In fact, it probably strengthens it—and probably strengthens it dramatically, making interracial crime even more disproportionately tilted towards the black–on–white direction than the AR report’s already large estimates claim. What we really want to know or at least try to estimate is what the encounter rate is amongst the particular individuals who are committing the actual crime. And if black violence is more likely to take place in highly segregated areas in which blacks make up a greater percentage of the local population than they do of the national population (as in Detroit, where blacks make up 82.7% of the population, compared to about 12% nationally), then the issue is not that the greater likelihood that a given black will encounter a white than vice versa (which averages 5.2 nationally) is insufficient to encounter for the greater likelihood that a black perpetrator will attack a white victim than vice versa (26.5)—but that the particular blacks who are committing the violent crime—a minority of the overall black population—are more likely to attack whites even though they are less likely to encounter them than vice versa, given that criminal blacks are most highly concentrated in black–majority areas.

And it turns out that this is exactly what we see. The most violent parts of the United States are in areas with black majorities—in fact, four of them make the list of the top 50 most violent cities in the entire world: New Orleans, which is 60.2% black; Baltimore, Maryland, which is 63.3% black; St. Louis, Missouri, which is 46.9% black; and Detroit, Michigan which is 82.7% black. The top ten most dangerous cities in the U.S., with exception for these four, are Milwaukee, Wisconsin (40% black in 2010); Atlanta, Georgia (54% black); Cleveland, Ohio (53% black); Birmingham, Alabama (73.4% black); Memphis, Tennessee (62.6% black).

One of the only cities making this list in which blacks do not constitute a plurality is Oakland, California, where blacks and immigrants still compose a plurality together—Oakland is 28% black, and 25% Hispanic—and most homicides still occur in black neighborhoods; in 2006, the five year average for homicide suspects were 64.7% black, 8.6% Hispanic—and only 0.2% white, according to a report from the Urban Strategies Council. What else makes Oakland unique? “Despite its high crime rate, Oakland has fewer police officers than many other major cities”; approximately half of official estimates for what would be needed to adequately patrol a city with Oakland’s crime rate. (“A November 2011 study by the Rand Corporation found that, on average, every 10 percent increase in the size of a city’s police force led to a decrease in the homicide rate by 9 percent, robbery by 6 percent and car theft by 4 percent.”)

It would be a monumentally complex task, well beyond the length of even a series like this one, to calculate and then average the encounter rate for specific black and white criminals—probably well beyond the potential of statistical data–based analysis to even pinpoint, since we can’t actually know who any particular individual actually runs into on any given day, which depends at the very least on what stores he typically visits, what time of day he typically visits them at, who his friends and friends of friends are, and so on. But the average 5.2 figure overestimates the relative likelihood of any given black person encountering a white person than vice versa significantly.

Across the United States population as a whole, the average black person in 2010 lived in a neighborhood that was 45% black. If we use this to perform a rough estimate, then the average population of 100,000 containing notable numbers of blacks would consist of 45,000 blacks and 55,000 whites. In that case, any given black individual would on average be only 1.2 times more likely to encounter a white than a white is to encounter a black, not 5.2. And if the most violent crime is likely to occur in areas which are the most segregated, that means most violent black crime is taking place in areas where the likelihood of black–encountering–white is only 1.2 times larger than the likelihood of white–encountering–black, or less (as in the case of Detroit, where the probability shifts in the opposite direction) . The gap from there to explaining a 26.5 times higher probability of black–attacking–white than white–attacking–black is therefore even larger than the Color of Crime report suggests.

All numbers past this point will therefore be an underestimation of the full extent of black–on–white violence unless stated otherwise, as I will keep my calculations highly conservative by retaining the larger figure which we know to be an overestimation of the disparity in encounter rates between blacks and whites for all the reasons given above.

_______ ~.::[༒]::.~ _______

The next question we have to ask in order to identify the extent to which the deliberate choice of white victims by black perpetrators might be responsible for disparities in interracial crime is whether the higher rates of violence amongst black suspects in general could account for it.

To see how this would work, consider a population of 15,000 blacks and 85,000 whites—and assume that blacks commit murder at a rate of 200 per 1000 while whites commit murder at a rate of 50 per 1000 (in other words, blacks commit murder at a rate 4 times higher than whites do). In a given year, there would then be 3000 black acts of murder and 4250 white acts of murder. There are 5.6 times more whites than blacks in our population, so if encounters are perfectly randomized, any member of this population is 5.6 times more likely to encounter a white than a black. Assuming that everyone is equally likely to attack any given individual they encounter (let’s call this the “no racial targeting” assumption), 638 of the white murders (15% of the total) would be against black victims (and notice that the remaining 3612 white murders of white victims needed to make up our total of 4,250 white murders is a number 5.6 times larger than the 638 white murders of black victims) while 2,550 of the black murders (85% of the total) would be against white victims (and notice that 2,250 is a number 5.6 times larger than the 450 black murders of black victims).

Thus, even though there is no deliberate targeting of white victims taking place, dividing 2550 by 638, any given white would be 4 times more likely to be killed by a black murderer than vice versa,simply because murderers make up a proportionally larger percentage of the total black population, without any deliberate targeting of white victims by black murderers. So to take these numbers, how would we control for the population rate and the crime rate together to rule out racial targeting? This scenario tells us what numbers we should find if there is, in fact, “no racial targeting.” First, the raw rate of probability that a black would murder a white instead of a white murdering a black in this scenario—the number we want to apply our controls to—would be the ratio arrived at by dividing the white population (85,000) by the number of white–on–black murders (638)—and then dividing this by the ratio arrived at by dividing the black population (15,000) by the number of black–on–white murders (2,250). This gives us 133.23 divided by 5.88, or 22.66.

We can now apply controls to this number for both racial crime rates and the interracial encounter rateto test the “no racial targeting” assumption. There are 5.6 times more whites than blacks in our population, so any given criminal on any given day is 5.6 times more likely to encounter a white than a black. And there are 4 times more black than white crimes per year. Now, when we multiply 5.6 times 4, what number do we get? 22.66. Another way of putting this is that after dividing the raw interracial crime disparity by the rate of difference in racial crime rates and then the interracial encounter rate, dividing 22.66 by the first number (4) should give us 5.6, and dividing that number by the second number (5.6) should give us exactly 1.

We now understand how to test the “no racial targeting” assumption. We need only three numbers: the “raw” rate of difference between black–on–white and white–on–black crimes, the rate of difference between the black and white crime rates, and the encounter rate (how many more whites than blacks there are in a given population, or how much more likely a black is to encounter a white than a white is to encounter a black). When we divide the first number by the second two, if there is no racial targeting, then this number should equal exactly 1. But the larger this number is than 1, the greater the likelihood is that a black perpetrator will choose a white victim even once the greater number of potential white victims and the higher likelihood that a black individual will commit a violent crime to begin with is taken account of—and the more likely it is that racial targeting accounts for much of the remaining difference. 

Now, when we plug in the numbers for 2001–2003, we arrive at the following chart: Figure 18 shows the “raw” probability that a white is more likely to be victimized by a black perpetrator than vice versa (the counterpart to our hypothetical scenario’s 22.66). In figure 19, the black bar titled “interracial crime multiple” adjusts this for the number of potential victims (in our above scenario, that would be dividing by 5.6). The grey bar, titled “overall black/white crime multiple”, represents the rate at which blacks are more likely to commit the crime in question than whites in general (in our above scenario, that would be dividing by 4); and the white bar, “their ratios”, adjusts the interracial crime multiple by the overall black/white crime multiple to finally arrive at the relative likelihood that a black perpetrator will choose to attack a white victim instead of a white perpetrator attacking a black victim, with all else held equal.

So what do we see when we plug in the real numbers? For aggravated assault, the result is barely over one, which suggests that blacks might deliberately target white victims for aggravated assault in only a minority of cases—almost all of the raw disparity is accounted for by the difference in racial rates of violence combined with the greater number of possible white victims. But for robbery, the ratio is 1.66. It will be easy for liberals to write robbery in particular off due to the fact that whites are more likely to own property to begin with—so while there is a deliberate targeting of white victims for acts of robbery, there isn’t necessarily any reason to think that this targeting is racially motivated, per se.

The chart reveals something quite troubling for the case that relative poverty is the best explanation for why violent blacks choose white victims more often than vice versa, however: the ratio of black criminals choosing white over black victims is much larger in the case of rape than it is in the case of other crimes—the number still left over after accounting for everything in the case of rape is 7.4. This is more than four times larger than the 1.66 number found remaining for robbery. In other words, black criminals are more than seven times more likely to choose a white victim over a black one even after controlling for the greater number of possible white victims contained in the population—and that’s by an estimate that likely overestimates the average criminal black person’s white encounter rate drastically—which means black criminals are at least four times more likely to deliberately target a white victim over a black one for an act of rape than they are to target a white victim over a black one for a robbery. Let that sink in: black perpetrators choose white victims over black ones for acts of rape more frequently than they choose white victims over black ones for acts of robbery.

The greater propensity of black perpetrators to choose white victims for acts of robbery actually turns out to be largely explained by the fact that blacks commit acts of robbery more frequently to begin with—which is not the case for violent acts of rape. Therefore, unless poverty is more likely to “cause” someone to commit an act of rape than it is to “cause” them to commit an act of robbery, “poverty” is no explanation for the disparity in interracial rates of crime.

_______ ~.::[]::.~ _______

Could the disparity in interracial rates of rape be accounted for by disparities in interracial relationships—the fact that black men are more likely to date white women than white men are to date black women?

Even if so, it couldn’t possibly account for anywhere close to the total racial disparity in rape. Although black men who marry only marry white women 4.6% of the time, the NCVS data tells us that black men who rape chose white victims a staggering 50.2% of the time. The rate of interracial dating could be larger than the rate of interracial marriage, in theory, if black men are much more likely to marry the black women they date than they are to marry the white women they date, or if the particular black men who date the most white women are both unlikely to commit to marriage and much more likely to commit rape—but surely this number would still come nowhere close to accounting for that whopping 50%. And there is absolutely no reason to think either of these assumptions are true, anyway.

Approaching it from another angle, we can see that in 2009, there were 354,000 marriages of black men to white women, and 196,000 marriages of black women to white men. In other words, there are only about 1.8 times more marriages of black men to white women than there are marriages of black women to white men—but there are undeniably far more than 1.8 times more rapes of white women by black men in the United States each year than there are rapes of black women by white men. In fact, there are at least 839 times more. And while 26% of rapes are committed by a current or former partner, a combined 64% are committed by friends, acquaintances, or strangers.

Furthermore, somewhere between 15 to 25% of violent rapes committed in the United States are gang rapes, and as a Bureau of Justice Statistics report observes, “Strangers accounted for nearly 20% of the victimizations involving a single offender but 76% of the victimizations involving multiple offenders (a polite euphemism for gang rapes).” We find in another BJS report that in 2008, black offenders were responsible for 52.4% of all “multiple–offender sexual assaults” (see Table 48).  However, no federal database keeps statistics on the race of victims of “multiple–offender sexual assaults”—even though they do tell us that “strangers” are selected more often, suggesting a reasonable possibility that the preference of black gang rapists for white victims could very well be even larger than the preference for white victims is for black rapists in general (obviously, the white:black ratio of strangers will almost always be larger for any given black individual in the United States than the white:black ratio of known acquaintances—in other words, any given black individual will almost always have more than 13% black friends and aquaintances). Is there a reason why race is reported for the offenders and victims in other cases, yet the statistics on gang rapes tell us the race of offenders but not victims? The race of victims of gang rape appears to be the only category here in which data on race is completely left out of the federal reports (unless I’ve overlooked it buried somewhere amongst all that data).

Until very recently, the federal crime reports classified Hispanics as “white” when they were the perpetrators of crimes—even though whites and Hispanics by the reports when they looked at victims. This policy was changed for the first time just this year (in 2015), and we now know that in 2012–2013, whites committed approximately 14 crimes per 1000 persons, while Hispanics committed approximately 18 crimes per 1000 persons. Not only was this skewing interracial crime statistics through the consequence that one Hispanic immigrant killing another became a “white”–on–minority crime, it was also inflating the actual “white” rate of violent crime. It doesn’t seem unreasonable to suspect that this may have been an intentional means of partially obscuring the gap between black and white criminality (by averaging in with whites a group with slightly higher average criminality), as well as the gap between white–on–black and black–on–white crimes (by inventing a whole new imaginary set of interracial crimes to dilute the total with). And so, it doesn’t seem unreasonable to suspect that something similar might be at play with the lack of race reporting in the single case of the demographics of victims of gang rapes (even though we know that they’re far more likely to be “strangers,” who as a rule are far more likely on principle to be non–black).

_______ ~.::[༒]::.~ _______

The evidence that a significant number of black rapists are deliberately targeting white victims is strong. And black rapists openly confessing to deliberately choosing to target white victims from racial motivation are hardly unheard of. Leroy Elridge Cleaver, who went on to become one of the most prominent members of the Black Panther Party (and later, a Republican), wrote a book in 1968 that was praised by the New York Times at the time as “brilliant and revealing”. In the fourth thematic section, titled “White Woman, Black Man”, he wrote: “[W]hen I considered myself ready enough, I crossed the tracks and sought out white prey. I did this consciously, deliberately, willfully, methodically … Rape was an insurrectionary act. It delighted me that I was defying and trampling upon the white man’s law, upon his system of values, and that I was defiling his women … I felt I was getting revenge. From the site of the act of rape, consternation spread outwardly in concentric circles. I wanted to send waves of consternation throughout the white race.”

There is yet another approach we can take to try to answer this question. Research on prisons finds that prison rape is in fact largely an act of black–on–white racial revenge—thus making prison rape an “institutional” form of suffering of which both whites, and men, are disproportionately likely to be the victims: “The fact remains that blacks continually and almost exclusively rape whites in prison. The evidence is based on studies conducted over the last 40 years (Davis 1968; Nacci 1978; Lookwood 1980; Starchild 1990). Why does this white victim preference prevail? Whites continue to be raped more severely and frequently and at a disproportionate rate than any other racial or ethnic group (in Gones 1967; Bowker 1980; Lookwood 9180). This racial inequality may be the largest in any violent crime committed in the United States. Rape in prison is rarely a sexual act, but one of violence, politics, and acting out power roles (Rideau and Wikberg 1992, p. 75). The act of rape in the ultra masculine world in prison constitutes the ultimate humiliation visited upon a male by forcing him to assume the role of a woman.

In American prisons, studies by sociologists suggest that more than 90% of rapes are inter-racial and may be motivated more by a need for sexual dominance over another race than by sexual passions (Starchild 1990, p. 145). Many rapes are by blacks on whites, suggesting that it is gives the lower–class black, who has felt trod upon all his life, his one chance to dominate a white person (Starchild 1990, p. 145). Consequently, the victims are almost always young white prisoners. Scacco (1982, p. 91) has also noted a disproportionate number of black aggressors and white victims in studies of sexual assaults in jails and prisons. Even if the minority of prisoners are black, the minority of victims are white (Sacco 1982, p. 91). When Lookwood (1980, p. 28) asked ‘targets’ to identify their aggressors at the time of their rape, most were black (80%), some were Hispanic (14%), and a few were white (6%).

Once again, it is clear here that population rates do not account for the disparity. “Although many causation factors have been suggested for prison rape, they are all overshadowed by the racial categories of the victims and the rapists. Prison rape has been shown throughout this study to be racially motivated by predominantly black inmates specifically against white inmates who in turn are the victims. Although more studies need to be conducted to confirm this theory, racial hatred of whites by blacks appears to be the main force driving prison rape. In fact, the US Department of Justice (1991, p. 15) noted that black (57%) and Hispanic (51%) violent inmates were at least four times more likely than white (11%) violent inmates to have victimized someone of a different race or ethnic group.

And this is true in prisons even though racial representation in the prison population comes far closer to parity than it does in the general population. When blacks are a minority of the general population, this is used to explain why black criminals end up with a disproportionate number of white victims. Yet, when blacks are a majority of the prison population, this, too is used to explain why black prison rapists end up with a disproportionate number of white victims. You can’t have it both ways. Deliberate targeting of white victims is very clearly a dramatic factor in interracial rates of rape. And why should the psychological factors confirmed to exist in the dynamics of rape inside prisons be any different when those same criminals are outside prison walls?

This, by the way, is an extremely significant finding of a form of suffering which is “institutional” in pattern which “anti–racists” don’t talk about. They advocate the idea that blacks can’t be racist, because “racism” means “prejudice plus power”—and blacks don’t have any power—as if the ability to shove your cock inside of a guy’s asshole and dominate and humiliate him isn’t a form of “power.” And as if all of that “white privilege” means shit on the inside of a cell.

(Part 1, … Part 2, … Part 3, …  Part 4).

_______ ~.::[༒]::.~ _______

[1] There is, however, perfectly reasonable evidence that biology just might in fact be relevant. A 1986 study from Ross, et al. titled “Serum testosterone levels in healthy young black and white men” found that the “twofold difference in prostate cancer risk” between black and white men could be explained by the “15% higher testosterone level” in Black men found after applying controls to the originally found 19% higher level for “age, weight, alcohol use, cigarette smoking, and use of prescription drugs”.

But circulating levels of testosterone are not the only variable of interest. Many other factors, including enzyme activity and hormone exposure in utero, influence the impact of circulating hormones as well—and on these measures, too, we find generally consistent patterns in which Black subjects have the most androgenic hormone profile while East Asian subjects have least, with White subjects somewhere inbetween. A study from Ross, et al. in 1992, “5-apha-reductase activity and risk of prostate cancer among Japanese and US white and black males”, found that “white and black men had significantly higher values of 3 alpha, 17 beta androstanediol glucuronide (31% and 25% higher, respectively) and androsterone glucuronide (50% and 41% higher, respectively) than Japanese subjects”—these being enzymes that convert testosterone into the more physiologically active hormone DHT. Other studies, such as “Racial variation in umbilical cord blood sex steroid hormones and the insulin-like growth factor axis in African-American and white female neonates”, confirm that Black children are exposed to higher hormone levels in utero—this one found “higher testosterone (1.82 vs. 1.47 ng/mL, p=0.006) and the molar ratio of testosterone to SHBG (0.42 vs. 0.30, p=0.03) in African–American compared to white female neonates”.

And we know that hormone exposure in the womb has drastic impacts on future behavior: Girls who are born after congenital adrenal hyperplasia, a condition that only briefly spikes the level of hormones a developing girl is exposed to, have significantly more masculine behavioral traits despite the fact that there is no evidence that parents treat them any differently, or that there is anything different about them or the way they are “socialized” other than excess prenatal male hormone exposure. As found in a 2003 study of “Prenatal androgens and gender-typed behavior”, girls with CAH “were more interested in masculine toys and less interested in feminine toys and were more likely to report having male playmates and to wish for masculine careers. Parents of girls with CAH rated their daughters’ behaviors as more boylike than did parents of unaffected girls. A relation was found between disease severity and behavior indicating that more severely affected CAH girls were more interested in masculine toys and careers. No parental influence could be demonstrated on play behavior, nor did the comparison of parents’ ratings of wished for behavior versus perceived behavior in their daughters indicate an effect of parental expectations. The results are interpreted as supporting a biological contribution to differences in play behavior between girls with and without CAH.”

Even further, It Is Not Just About Testosterone tells us that: “Vasopressin synthesis and the aromatization into estradiol both serve to facilitate testosterone’s effects.” And “Variation in the expression of monoamine oxidase A regulates the levels of neurotransmitters responsible for impulse control, potentially suppressing testosterone’s influence over behavior.” So, guess what? “Vasopressin secretion in normotensive black and white men and women on normal and low sodium diets” found that “24-h urinary excretion of vasopressin was significantly (P<0·05) higher in men than in women and higher (P<0·05) in black than in white subjects.” Meanwhile, the version of the MAOA gene associated with extreme impulsivity is found in “5.5% of Black men, 0.1% of Caucasian men, and 0.00067% of Asian men….” And a 2010 study from Kevin Beaver, a researcher in the field of biosocial criminology, titled “Genetic risk, parent-child relations, and antisocial phenotypes in a sample of African-American males,” even found that “a crude genetic index of [five] genes predicted adult violence and criminality more accurately than a detailed measure of the men’s childhood relationships with their mothers.”

The hypothesis that hormone exposure, particularly in the womb, can influence complex human behavioral traits, including the very traits that make up our “identities” over the long–term course of our lives, is entirely politically acceptable just so long as it is used to debunk the claim that homosexuality is a choice and show instead that homosexuality probably has a “hardwired” component. It’s even politically tolerable, most of the time, when used to explain behavioral differences between men and women. It only makes the transition from “this is a plausible hypothesis, and it might even be true” to “any bigot who even considers the possibility that this might be true should burn in Hell, and doesn’t even deserve a careful argument explaining why this is wrong” when the same precise logic it’s perfectly safe and acceptable to apply anywhere else is applied to race. And that should make it abundantly clear that this is more about politics than it is about truth.

Is Dylann Roof “White Like Me”?: What Inspired Dylann Roof? (pt. 2)

_______ ~.::[༒]::.~ _______

(Part 1, … Part 2, … Part 3, … Part 4)

Some writers have theorized that Roof’s action was the result of an undercurrent of racism so endemic to American society that one just can’t help internalizing it—and if someone takes it seriously enough, they’re almost inevitably going to take up arms and try to join the white supremacist race war America has been inspiring white males to wage for centuries.

In an article titled “White America Is Complicit”, a writer at Salon opines: “If you are shocked by any aspect of Roof’s story so far—including that he is being described in news outlets as “quiet and soft–spoken” instead of as a terrorist—you are not only willingly obtuse but complicit in his crime. There is a single conclusion to draw in this moment, and it is that we are here again, because this is exactly who we are. … Roof adorned his car with the same Confederate flag that once flew over slaveholding states and today waves over the South Carolina statehouse. America may be unwilling to face its history, despite a mounting pile of black bodies that forces African Americans to reckon with it daily. But Roof is more honest than those—and there are so many—whose complicity lies in looking the other way…”

Other headlines tell us how “White America Must Answer For” the Charleston shooting, or call him “The Product of a System that Has Bred Racist Hate for Centuries” and tell us that the shooting “is simultaneously representative and starkly indicative of the rampant racism structurally embedded in America, the responsibility for which, it might be argued, bears no exemption for any American, especially white Americans….” This is bullshit.

There is a far better way to address the ideological roots of Roof’s statements, and what actually inspired him.

But we’d have to acknowledge something many people are going to find quite unsavory in order to do it. To put it plainly, that fact is that Roof’s understanding of the original issue which became the grievance that motivated the development of his preoccupation with race was correct. To a degree worth exploring in detail, Roof was absolutely right about something—and it turned out to be the something that lied at the core of his entire transformation—at least as he describes it in his “manifesto.”

Those are statements that seem harsh on first glance, and I will inevitably take blowback for them (from people who write and appreciate absurd articles like those mentioned above, no doubt). But I take refuge in the fact that this article more than adequately details the facts that prove me right. Understanding the point I am actually making, and not just making recourse to turning me into some easily dispensed–with caricature, will take a little careful listening. There’s no easy way to make the point I need to make here—but it needs to be made, because it is true. And if you can calm your patellar reflexes, you just might actually learn something.

We are simply not really going to have any grasp on what could have been done about it, or what could be done to deter similar incidents, unless and until we recognize, understand, and admit that. And this no more implies sympathy for Roof’s abhorrent acts of violence than it implies sympathy for the 2001 World Trade Center attacks to acknowledge that some of the grievances against U.S. foreign policy which fueled Osama Bin Laden may in fact have been valid grievances—in fact, while it is leftists who will have the strongest taboo against the statements I have just made in the last paragraph, they have been the ones telling us all along that it is self–defeating blindness to think that Islamic terrorists merely hate us “for our freedoms”—writers like Noam Chomsky write that “They don’t hate us for our democracy, they hate us because we … have devastated the civilian society of Iraq …  they know, even if we pretend not to, that there has been a brutal military occupation, now going into its 35th year, which has relied crucially on U.S. support — diplomatic support, military support, economic support [in Israel–Palestine] … And many people may notice something else: the U.S. has criminals, internally… major criminals. Other countries are asking for their extradition, want them handed over, and the U.S. won’t do it….” Noam Chomsky says things like this, and Bin Laden reads his books, and that’s perfectly fine.  Many leftists are careful to demand we recognize that appreciating Chomsky’s points is still not a justification for Bin Laden’s actions (not even if Bin Laden himself seems to think so); but simply something we must understand if we want any chance of stopping him (and others who will be inspired by the same grievances which motivated him unless these are addressed).

That brings us to Dylann Roof.

The key paragraph of Roof’s racist manifesto explaining his transformation from someone who “was not raised in a racist home or environment” into what he became was this: “The event that truly awakened me was the Trayvon Martin case.  I read the Wikipedia article and … It was obvious that Zimmerman was in the right. … this prompted me to type in the words “black on White crime” into Google, and I have never been the same since that day. …  I was in disbelief. At this moment I realized that something was very wrong. How could the news be blowing up the Trayvon Martin case while hundreds of these black on White murders got ignored?”

In articles like Alternet’s “Dylann Roof is Not Alone”, written by Chauncey Devega of ‘We Are Respectable Negroes’, we read that: “Black America is disgusted by how media will, as it always does, depict Dylann Roof as a lone shooter with mental health issues, as they humanize him in order to put the murderous violence in some type of context. By comparison, the American corporate news media is not neutral in how it depicts white criminals as compared to blacks, Latinos, Asians, First Nations Peoples, Arabs, or Muslims.”

We’ve already taken a close look at Devega’s first sentence’s claim in the first part of this series.

Now regarding his second: in fact, a study published in early 2015 found that across the years of 2008–2012, whereas 40% of the perpetrators of all violent crimes committed were black, across 146 episodes of breaking news on MSNBC, FOX, CNN, CBS, PBS, NBC, and Univision, only 20% of the crimes reported on had black perpetrators. Black–perpetrated crimes across several recent years were in fact not overreported, but underreported.

Of course, the authors of that study inevitably try to find a moral to draw that supports the pre–existing liberal narrative which their very own data obviously undermines. They argue that it’s a problem that blacks are “invisible” on TV news because not only are they underrepresented as perpetrators of violent crimes, they’re also underrepresented as victims—Table 3 on page 32 shows that despite being 48% of the victims of violent crimes across this period of time, they were represented as victims only 22% of the time. So even though this very same author had argued just a few years earlier that black overrepresentation was a dire problem, not it’s black underrepresentation that is the problem. (I’ll eventually have more to say about the ways in which the battle for social justice is a struggle that just can’t ever be won: if minorities are overrepresented amongst military recruits, then that’s because America is using them as cheap fodder for war because we consider them expendable. If minorities are underrepresented amongst military recruits, then that’s because America doesn’t consider them good enough to fight for our country just like everyone else.)

Nevermind that this “underrepresentation” of African–Americans as victims is a consequence precisely of the combination of two facts put together: first, that African–Americans commit a disproportionate amount of the crime in the United States to begin with; and second, that so many of the victims they choose are African–American. Blacks are responsible for approximately half of almost all of the violent crimes committed in the United States. In the case of murder, approximately 85% of the victims they choose are black; for most other crimes, the number is closer to 50%. Meanwhile, only a very small percentage of crimes perpetrated by whites involve black victims (I spell out these statistics in much more detail shortly and elsewhere). Cut black murderers in half in the statistics, and blacks will actually then be fewer than 22% of the victims of murder—making black victims overrepresented here given the underreporting on cases with black perpetrators.

I may also have more to say about this study and the way its results were portrayed in the future, but for now suffice it to say that white–on–black crimes are so rare, and black–on–black crimes such a large fraction of total crime, that these numbers inevitably mean crimes with black victims were still very disproportionately likely to be displayed at least in the proportionally rare occasions that they didn’t have black perpetrators: blacks victims of violent crime became invisible when black perpetrators of violent crime did precisely because there are proportionally so few non–black acts of violence against blacks to begin with.

In any case, the George Zimmerman / Trayvon Martin case Dylann Roof’s manifesto talks about was partially responsible for that disparity in news coverage across this period of time (the case originally surfaced in late 2012, the ending of the study’s time frame)—so it’s time to take a refresher course on what actually happened in that case, and the abusively slanted way the media originally portrayed it, the consequences of which still last to this day.

_______ ~.::[༒]::.~ _______

For a random sample of the general impression many hold of the Zimmerman/Martin case, Breaking Brown speaks about “Zimmerman’s history of calling 911 to report mostly suspicious black males.” This was a very prevalent belief, especially throughout the early stages of the story—Zimmerman is a wannabe cop, and he’s playing out his action hero fantasies on black people. But what does Zimmerman’s record actually show? Zimmerman made a total of 44 calls in the 8 years leading up to the Trayvon Martin incident. And just 6 of that total involved black suspects. Meanwhile, 2 of those 6 were in regards to the home invasion of Olivia Beltaran—and it was Beltaran who, while hiding in her bedroom, called 911 and described the perpetrators as two black men. Zimmerman brought Beltaran a new deadlock because hers wasn’t working, and later on two separate occasion saw the same two suspects matching Beltaran’s description. And there is evidence that Zimmerman actually had, in fact, identified the correct suspects.

In another one of those cases, “the male appeared to him to be casing Frank Taafe’s house, located at the shortcut from the main road. Zimmerman said the guy kept walking up to Taafe’s house and away from it, and he knew the guy didn’t live there. By the time police arrived, the male had left. Taaffe was out of town.” Zimmerman reported the suspect’s race in this case because “I know the resident, he’s Caucasian”—so the suspect clearly can’t be the home’s owner. Once again, race had a perfectly valid reason for being relevant. Zimmerman wasn’t obsessed with black suspects. The calls he did make about black suspects were perfectly proportionate to the number of black suspects actually committing crimes at Twin Peaks.

The media widely spread the myth that Zimmerman used the phrase “fucking coons” during his 911 call. But, “In the end, Tuchman, the audio expert and special guest host Wolf Blitzer — who was filling in for Anderson Cooper — all agreed that the word in question was “cold,” not the racial slur. … the reason some say that would be relevant, is because it was unseasonably cold in Florida that night and raining….” This also makes a hell of a lot more sense of the “it’s” that can faintly be heard preceding the sentence: “It’s fucking cold” is a much more plausible sentence than “It’s fucking coons.” It turned out that while Zimmerman never used a racial slur towards Martin, Martin did use one towards Zimmerman—and regardless of the comparative offensiveness of anti–white and anti–black racial slurs, if these would have told us something about Zimmerman’s state of mind, so they should tell us something about Martin’s.

Even more egregiously, when Zimmerman calls 911, he isn’t sure about Martin’s race—he has that famous hoodie on, after all, and it’s raining and dark and Zimmerman is somewhere behind the hoodie’d Martin in a vehicle. At 0:08, Zimmerman simply describes Martin as “a real suspicious guy.” At 0:27, the dispatcher asks: “Okay, and this guy, is he black, white, or Hispanic?” Zimmerman responds with a very clear note of uncertainty: “He LOOKS black,” in a tone that implies a following “BUT I’m not entirely sure.”  My interpretation of Zimmerman’s tone at this point is bolstered by the fact that when Martin turns back in Zimmerman’s direction and starts scoping him out at 1:00, allowing Zimmerman the first chance at getting a closer, and more head–on look, Zimmerman takes the first opportunity to (at 1:10) confirm, “And he’s a black male.”

When NBC first presented this audio, they literally edited the tape to give the very overwhelming—and overwhelmingly misleading—impression that Zimmerman brought up Martin’s race both immediately and unprompted, opening the call by saying: “He looks up to no good. He LOOKS black.” (See this YouTube video for a comparison, and skip to 1:28 to NBC’s edit first.)

Lost in all this hysteria were details like the fact that two years earlier, in 2010, Zimmerman had protested, passed out fliers to black churches, and even spoke at an NAACP meeting agitating to bring repercussions to a cop who punched a homeless black man and failed to be charged or punished for the incident despite video evidence. (“Collison turned himself in … on Jan. 3, 2011 [and] agreed to pay for Ware’s medical bills and make donations to nonprofit organizations, including the NAACP.”)

When the Zimmerman/Martin case first broke, those who were paying attention in 2012 will remember that the media heavily relied on these two photos of George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin, in presenting the case:


Who could possibly believe there was any plausibility to Zimmerman’s version of events—on which it was Martin who doubled back after Zimmerman to tackle him to the ground—with these images flashing at them every time the case was discussed? Without question, what we saw was a systematic pattern of lies and distortions during the early period of reporting about this case. Had the bias ran in the other direction, it would have looked like this, and few would have failed to recognize how offensively and manipulatively distorted the images were:


In fact, this comparison would have been more accurate than the photos that were actually used (though still unreasonable—photos shouldn’t be chosen to sway opinion in either direction), as both of the above photos were much more recent than the ones that were used. Suddenly, Zimmerman’s version of events would have appeared far more plausible and worth taking seriously—it might not have seemed so obvious to the public that Zimmerman must have stalked Martin straight down and shot him in cold blood.

An even more recent and realistic comparison less biased to either side might have looked something like:


_______ ~.::[༒]::.~ _______

In general, the most central complaint about Zimmerman’s actions is the supposition that he followed Martin, directly provoking the final confrontation by cornering Martin down a dark road or alleyway even if he didn’t throw the first punch. Frequently, this complaint adds that Zimmerman did this against police orders that he stay in his car, which Zimmerman deliberately obeyed. So let’s take a listen to the actual 911 call and see what answers we can determine about that. From 0:00 to 1:35, Zimmerman gives his complaint that “it looks like [this guy is] on drugs or something. It’s raining, and he’s just walking around looking about … just staring … and now he’s staring at me!” In response to questions, he gives description to the dispatcher of Martin’s appearance and location.

Notably, the dispatcher never says anything about whether or not Zimmerman can, or should, get out of his car. At 1:35, we hear movement: the sound of the chime of a car with an open door, followed by Zimmerman’s car door shutting. He sighs and says with a tone of passive resignation, “Ahhh, they always get away…” At 1:45, Zimmerman is only now doing what could possibly be called “following” Martin—we can very clearly hear the sound of wind rushing through Zimmerman’s phone.

And the dispatcher continues asking questions about Martin’s location—while getting out of his car, Zimmerman says: “He’s down towards the, uh, the entrance of the neighborhood.” The dispatcher asks: “Okay. Which entrance is that that he’s heading towards?” And Zimmerman responds: “The back entrance.” Only now, presumably in response to the unmistakable sound of wind rushing through the speakers for the last ten seconds, the dispatcher at 1:54 asks, “Are you following him?” And Zimmerman responds, “Yeah.” The dispatcher replies again: “Okay. We don’t need you to do that.” And at 2:00, Zimmerman calmly says, “Okay.”

Nevermind that, as the dispatcher himself testified, this was just a “suggestion” in the first place—not so much any kind of command as a ‘we don’t need you to do that’—‘that isn’t a requirement for our purposes.’ An actual quote from the testimony: “We’re directly liable if we give a direct order … We always try to give general basic … not commands, just suggestions.” So, “We don’t need you to do that” is different than a more direct “Don’t do that.”

At 2:05–2:10, the dispatcher asks: “Alright, sir, what is your name?” And Zimmerman responds: “George.” After a slight pause, he adds: “ … He ran.” And at this point, the sound of wind rushing through the phone stops entirely. So, assuming that the wind only rushed through Zimmerman’s speakers while he was speed–walking in the direction Martin was running, and never simply when the breeze blew Zimmerman’s way, the total evidence we have for Zimmerman “stalking” Martin is a maximum 25 seconds, the full duration for which Martin was either nearly or completely out of Zimmerman’s sight. And Zimmerman actually does stop after the dispatcher informs him that following Martin isn’t necessary, even though this was not an order, nor even a request that he stop—merely letting Zimmerman know that the dispatchers don’t require him to do it. Zimmerman does in fact stop, at this point, anyway.

A far cry from the suggestion that Zimmerman compelled Martin to fight back by stalking him down into a corner.

And these distortions were not a coincidence. A report from Ernhardt Graeff, Matt Stempeck, and Ethan Zuckerman titled “The battle for ‘Trayvon Martin’: Mapping a media controversy online and off–line” investigated the “phases” of reporting on the case. After a first “act” that consisted solely of local reporting within Florida, “The second “act” of the story begins on 7–8 March, ten days after Martin’s death, when the story received a new wave of media attention from two of the national media’s largest outlets … This resurgence in interest was the direct result of efforts to publicize the story. Martin’s family was able to enlist the legal services of civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump on a pro bono basis. Crump had taken on a previous civil rights case and failed to convict, which he attributed to an inadequate media strategy prior to the trial itself (Caputo, 2012). Crump brought on local lawyer Natalie Jackson, who enlisted the pro bono services of publicist Ryan Julison. … Within a day of joining the effort, Julison attracted significant media coverage. He began reaching out to the largest national media sources (as measured by audience reach) and worked his way down until he found interest from Reuters and CBS This Morning. … Huffington Post, … an important early amplifier…, misreported that Zimmerman was white….” They conclude that “broadcast media … is susceptible to media activists working through participatory media to co–create the news and influence the framing of major controversies. … Benjamin Crump’s strategy to focus PR efforts on broadcast media with national reach was astute.

It is this kind of media network dedicated solely to bringing attention and outrage to (supposed) black victims that is lacking in cases like Dillon Taylor’s which lead to disproportionate awareness of black and white victims of police brutality (and interracial civilian violence) as a whole. Even more background on the story of how the same lawyer who later took over the Michael Brown case and invested his defense in the “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot!” lie worked with a PR company (with a history of sleights of truth of its own) to spin their narrative fast to the mainstream media to create the distortions of truth that marked the early stages of awareness of the Zimmerman/Martin case can be found (albeit with more partisan polemic than I’d have preferred) at The Conservative Treehouse.

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So, what happened after the end of the phone call?

Zimmerman ended his phone call with police at 7:15pm.

The first officer arrived to find Zimmerman with a bloodied face next to an unresponsive Trayvon Martin at 7:17pm.

That leaves hardly two minutes for Zimmerman and Martin to encounter each other, and for the entire fight to run its course, for which we don’t have direct observational evidence. However, what we do have are very straightforward lines of surrounding evidence that make an account of what actually happened in this two minutes very clear.

One of the most relevant details produced by the prosecution’s key witness, Rachel Jeantel, was this: “I asked [Trayvon Martin] where he at. He told me he at the back of his daddy fiancee house like in the area where his daddy fiancee — by his daddy fiancee house. I said, you better keep running. He said, no, he lost him.”

We can combine that with the addresses of known locations to create a geographical timeline of events.


1 is the first location which Zimmerman gives the dispatcher immediately after beginning his phone call to 911 (1111 Retreat View Circle; the clubhouse). 2 is the approximate location at which Zimmerman parked his car, though it may have been closer to than this. (“If they come in through the gate, tell them to go straight past the club house, and uh, straight past the club house and make a left, and then they go past the mailboxes, that’s my truck”). 3 is the location at which Zimmerman ended his phone call to 911—in the 25 seconds during which Zimmerman “follows” Martin before stopping in response to the dispatcher’s statement, the distance he travels is from 2 to 3. 4 is the location of Brandy Latreca Green (Martin’s “daddy’s fiancee”)’s home, where Martin was staying. (Per the NYT). 5 is where the police arrived to find Zimmerman bloodied and Martin unresponsive.

Now, the autopsy found that the only injuries on Trayvon’s body apart from the gunshot were those on his own knuckles. The responding officer observed that the back of Zimmerman’s jacket was wet and covered in grass, consistent with Zimmerman’s account that Martin had pinned him to the ground. There were lacerations to the back of his head exactly consistent with his account that Martin was shoving his head into the concrete—call Zimmerman’s injuries minor all you want; but if his injuries were minor, he was lucky. Anyone who doesn’t think this is a perfectly valid situation in which to become afraid for your life is an idiot: it takes almost nothing (warning: violent video) to take someone out this way—a single lucky hit this way can easily kill you, render you unconscious long enough to allow an assailant to kill you by some other means, or simply leave you alive with traumatic brain injury for the rest of your life.

More importantly, Zimmerman consistently stated that he didn’t know where Trayvon Martin was, right up until the very end of the phone call at (3) when he declines to tell the dispatcher his address for that reason—and Rachel Jeantel testified that he had made it back to the back yard of his daddy’s fiancee’s house (4) when the call dropped. This means the final showdown could not have happened unless Martin doubled back after Zimmerman. The known evidence therefore does not even allow for the interpretation that Zimmerman approached Martin first. While the skin on Martin’s knuckles was broken, Zimmerman had no injuries consistent with aggressive violence. Together, all these facts make it clear that it could only have been Zimmerman’s voice screaming for help on the ensuing neighborhood 911 calls.

 All of this backs the complaint against Zimmerman up all the way back to “he shouldn’t have called the cops at all.” People who use this critique have probably never lived in a gated community. Every single entrance to Twin Lakes features the following sign, making it perfectly clear to every visitor what rules apply once inside: “We report all suspicious persons….” You consent to those rules once you walk inside.


(Part 1, … Part 2, … Part 3, … Part 4)

Is Dylann Roof “White Like Me?”: Leftist Hypocrisy in the Wake of the Charleston Shooting (pt. 1)


(Part 1, … Part 2, … Part 3, … Part 4)

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According to Vox, we should “Stop asking Muslims to condemn terrorism. It’s bigoted and Islamophobic.”

There’s a certain ritual that each and every one of the world’s billion–plus Muslims, especially those living in Western countries, is expected to go through immediately following any incident of violence involving a Muslim perpetrator. … Here is what Muslims and Muslim organizations are expected to say: “As a Muslim, I condemn this attack and terrorism in any form.” This expectation we place on Muslims, to be absolutely clear, is Islamophobic and bigoted. The denunciation is a form of apology: an apology for Islam and for Muslims. The implication is that every Muslim is under suspicion of being sympathetic to terrorism unless he or she explicitly says otherwise. … This sort of thinking — blaming an entire group for the actions of a few individuals, assuming the worst about a person just because of their identity — is the very definition of bigotry. … we should treat the assumptions that compel this ritual — that Muslims bear collective responsibility … as flatly bigoted ideas with no place in our society. There is no legitimate reason for Muslim groups to need to condemn the monsters who attacked Charlie Hebdo….

A Muslimah at the Peace and Collaborative Development Network, in an article titled I’m Sorry I Won’t Internalize Collective Responsibility,  concurs:

While politicians and Islamophobes alike continue to pressure the Muslim community into nonsensical apologies based on a homogenized identity, many Muslims have, unfortunately, internalized the narrative of collective responsibility, leading them to issue condemnations of acts of violence and terrorism based only on the fact that we share one piece of our identity.  Coupled with the ever present voice of those calling for Muslims to speak out against Muslim terrorists, those who have stepped up to this plate, have not presented a counter–narrative as they purport, but rather an internalization of the dominant narrative where Muslims are guilty until proven innocent.

Nevermind if polling frequently finds legitimate reason for concern—nevermind if 2007 Pew research finds that amongst American Muslims under the age of 30, 26% believe that suicide bombings can be justified, while 27% “decline to express an opinion” when asked how they view al–Qaeda (with an additional 5% viewing them somewhat, or very, favorably). Nevermind if in the UK, 78% of Muslims think anyone who publishes cartoons of Muhammad should be prosecuted and 62% explicitly oppose the very principle of freedom of speech.

In the most recent Pew research of worldwide Muslim support for suicide bombings, Jay Michaelson writes that: “There are approximately 1,083,021,825 Muslims in the 21 countries they polled—68% of the global total. Based on the country–by–country percentages in the Pew report, that means about 133 million support the suicide bombing or other forms of violence against civilians. Extrapolating the data—which is probably inaccurate since American and European Muslims probably support violence significantly less, while Iranian Muslims may support it more—that means about 195 million Muslims worldwide support suicide bombing and other acts of violence against civilians.”

Despite every bit of this, the default position of the left is that to even expect mainstream Muslims to denounce violence is bigotryA tolerated and respected position along that spectrum is that it caves in to that bigotry even for well–meaning Muslims to denounce violence with sincere intentions, and this should stop. Most leftists would say that a far more pressing concern when it comes to our response to acts of terrorism committed by Muslims should be to see to it that acts or even mere attitudes of retaliation do not form against other innocent Muslims in response.

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I’m not trying to raise alarmist panic about Islam; but here’s the point: if we replace al–Qaeda with Stormfront, and we replace Muslims with white people, what above represents the “anti–racist” orthodoxy becomes something we would not expect to read anywhere outside of white supremacy circles. What we’re morally required to say about violent Muslim is what we’re morally prohibited from saying about violent whites, and what we’re morally required to say about violent whites is what we’re morally prohibited from saying about Muslims.

Imagine how the results would be reported if a full 26% of young white Americans polled believed that knowingly killing innocent black civilians in the process of responding to black criminal violence could sometimes be justified—say, by police deliberately bombing an entire housing project to take out a black killer instead of doing their best to apprehend the perpetrator alone—could sometimes be justified. Imagine how the results would be reported if a full 27% “declined to express an opinion” about major neo–Nazi groups, with a further 5% having somewhat or very favorable views. Would the media be praising the tolerance of white Americans in contrast to, say, white South Africans if it was found that 81% of white Americans said that attacks on innocent civilians in defense of Christianity were never justified—whereas nearly 1 in 5 failed, for one reason or another, to agree with this—in contrast to only 72% of white South Africans?

If you were to see someone making the following statement, who would you peg them to be? What would you assume to be the ideological position they were arguing from?: “Many white people have, unfortunately, internalized the narrative of white America’s collective responsibility for acts like those committed by Dylann Roof, leading them to issue condemnations of acts of violence and terrorism based only on the fact that we share one piece of our identity. There’s a certain ritual of apology that white people are expected to go through immediately following any incident of racist violence against black victims involving a white perpetrator. … This expectation we place on white people, to be absolutely clear, is anti–white bigotry. The denunciation is a form of apology: an apology for being white. The implication is that every white person is under suspicion of being sympathetic to racist violence unless he or she explicitly says otherwise.” Where would you expect to see comments like these supported and condoned? Stormfront? American Rennaisance? Rush Limbaugh, at the very least?

But even the conservatives at had no difficulty calling Dylann Roof “pure evil.

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Yet, in contrast to all this, a simple search for the words “white responsibility Dylann Roof” gives me as a top result the following article from Psychology Today: “To admit that I’m white like Roof is to feel guilty …. But guilt is not enough. Nor are apologies. … Perhaps most painfully, it means doing the hard work of taking responsibility for Dylann Roof’s whiteness because he is white like me.” An article posted at Salon and Alternet sends a similar message—the opening words of the article’s title: White America is Complicit. The article begins: “In so many ways, the story of Dylann Roof, the shooting suspect who allegedly killed nine people in an historic South Carolina black church, is a parallel to the story of America itself.”

What would we call it if someone said, “The story of [pick any Muslim terrorist] is a parallel to the violent story of how Muhammad founded the religion of Islam itself?” Oh, right—that would be Islamophobia. Much less if that same writer continued—as the author of the Alternet piece does—to say: “But [the Islamic terrorist] is more honest than those—and there are so many—whose complicity lies in looking the other way, in denying [the history of Islam], in pretending that each new [Islamic act of violence] is an isolated anomaly.” That would be Islamophobia to the extreme.

With a nod to Aurelius Pundit, this image captures the hypocrisy rather succinctly:

Salon Tweets

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That Alternet article addresses a prevalent sentiment when it complains that “the cops were careful to take him alive, which even the most innocent of black folks cannot count on.” Not only that—but they even gave him a bulletproof vest.


And the claims generated on the witch hunt to find “white privilege” keep getting worse: this photo made the rounds on Twitter, with the caption: “white privilege is murdering 9 people and then having the police give you a bullet proof vest but not handcuffs.


Nevermind the fact that it’s clearly the left arm of the man behind Dylann in the top–left photo hanging free, not Dylann’s, apparently giving anyone the impression that his hands were free. Nevermind that in the thirty seconds it takes to load Google and type in Dylann’s name, any photo that gives you a view of his side, back, or legs would show clearly that he was both handcuffed and cuffed around the ankles:

History lesson: in October of 2002, 42–year old convicted murderer and Nation of Islam member John Allen Muhammad and his 17–year–old partner Lee Boyd Malvo planned to kill six white people per day “to terrorize the nation”, including plans to bomb school buses and children’s hospitals: “He wanted to kill a policeman, then set off a bomb at his funeral.” Over the course of three weeks, ten people were killed and three more were critically injured.

Guess what it looked like when Lee Boyd Malvo was captured by police:


No heads are cracking and no guns are being pointed at anyone in this picture.

That white thing? Yeah, that’s a bulletproof vest.

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One of the more pernicious myths—pernicious because it tries to discredit a really serious issue through its dishonesty in trying to make the issue all about race—is that we only talk about mental illness when a killer is white. This article from Alternet, for example, was titled: “It’s Not About Mental Illness: The Big Lie That Always Follows Mass Shootings By White Males.” Always—nevermind that the article doesn’t quote a single person who claimed Dylann Roof was mentally ill so we can judge what they actually said for ourselves. For my part, I can’t actually remember hearing this claim happen once until I heard sources like Mr. Chu here raving about how we “always” do it. And after asking around, I can’t find anyone else I know, even amongst my many politically oriented friends, who heard anyone dismiss Roof as “mentally ill” either. Let’s just push that to the side—I’m sure somebody said it. (Right? Sure. Whatever.)

Alright, … well, it’s time for a few more history lessons.

In 1993, Nathan Dunlap gunned down 5 people in a Chuck E. Cheese’s in Colorado to “get even” after he was fired for declining to work extra hours. The Colorado Observer tells us that “In their clemency petition, they contend that Dunlap … had undiagnosed bipolar disorder and was experiencing his first mania episode the night of Dec. 14, 1993 … ” when he opened fire. A CBS News article on “Mass Shootings and Mental Illness” discusses “Colin Ferguson [who, in 1993] killed six commuters on a New York Train.” In 2009, Maurice Clemmons murdered four police officers and continued to evade capture for two further days—“the largest number of law enforcement officers killed by one man in a single incident in U.S. history”. The Huffington Post published an article titled: “Maurice Clemmons: Mental Illness Does Cause Violence”.

At The Washington Post, we see that “Muhammad’s [the DC sniper’s] attorneys had argued that the sniper is mentally ill and that he should have been granted a competency hearing before his trial, at which he represented himself briefly.” And The Associated Press published the following headline about his accomplice: “Psychologist: Malvo Has Mental Disease.” In fact, Malvo was spared the death penalty for his part in the racist rampage because of that presumed mental disease (dissociative disorder from brainwashing). Lest I sound wholly unsympathetic to that judgment, I note that even after conviction, Malvo continued expressing what appeared to be genuine remorse for the impact that Muhammad had had on him, making genuine calls to and letters for his past victims—so it appears this may well have been the right call.

Most telling of all, the argument here is really that white racists only want to talk about mental illness when a killer is white—as a disingenuous way of humanizing them, simply because of sympathy due to the fact that they’re white—so take a look at what the white conservatives at The American Thinker did here. Guess what? When a black guy published a manifesto and went out killing, they talked about the impacts of mental illness and the consequences of psychotropic drugs! So much for that racial double standard. Even the white conservative troglodytes you’d expect to be its worst offenders aren’t guilty of it.

You may remember the rampage that began in February of 2013 when a black ex–cop, Christopher Dorner, declared “unconventional and asymmetric warfare” on the LAPD in response to his firing from the department. As one of his first actions, he shot Monica Quan and her fiancé Keith Lawrence in the parking garage of their condominium simply because Monica was the daughter of Randal Quan, who had represented him at the hearing where he reported Theresa Evans for an alleged case of excessive force—even though Randal had opposed his firing. Large numbers of leftists found this “kind of exciting,” as did the Distinguished Professor of African American Studies at Columbia University, Marc Lamont Hill, when he said “he’s been like a real–life superhero to many people. … many people aren’t rooting for him to kill innocent people; they’re rooting for someone who was wronged to get a kind of revenge against the system. It’s almost like watching ‘Django Unchained’ in real life.”

Nevermind that Dorner’s ex–girlfriend described him as “twisted” and “super paranoid” in a posting at “,” to which Dorner unsuccessfully tried to file a restraining order against her, or that the female officer Dorner claimed had used excessive force had submitted a performance review stating he needed improvement the literal day before he made the charge of excessive force, or that none of the three hotel employees who witnessed most of the event saw Evans kick the suspect in question, as Dorner had claimed—the evidence here was, at the very least, ambiguous.

It’s not as if Hill was alone in his sentiment. A number of much larger pages were shut down on Facebook in February 2013—for example, see the broken link in the third paragraph of this 2013 article—but one of the largest ones still has over 17,000 fans. The I Support Christopher Dorner page, with more than 14,000 fans, was started by someone who, according to The Huffington Post, wanted to steer the conversation away from Dorner’s mental health: “I knew that the media was going to turn this into just another ‘He’s a psycho ex–cop ex–military that went insane’ story… There is a huge underlying story of police corruption and the plight of a man that tried his best to do good and was relentlessly punished for it.”

So, talking about mental illness is a despicable way to humanize white killers, and only white killers, by making us sympathize with their plight and personal struggles, and we only do this for white killers because we’re racists who only humanize whites—except when we do it for  non–white killers, in which case we’re simply dismissing non–white killers’ valid grievances … because we are, once again, racists no matter what.

Incidentally, the word “terrorism” wasn’t applied to Dorner’s spree until it had gone a full ten days in. Similarly, when Muslim U.S. Army psychiatrist Nidal Hassan, who opposed our involvement in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, killed 13 people and injured 30 more after extended contact with Anwar al–Awlaki, the U.S. government classified this not as “terrorism” but instead as an act of “workplace violence.” Perhaps there are reasons other than race that explain why some acts of violence are called “terrorism” and not others?

In 2010, a 43–year–old Asian man named James Lee entered the Discovery Channel building and proceeded to take hostages, carrying a handgun and wearing what he wanted observers to believe was an explosive device. His motives were revealed in a manifesto originally posted at “The Discovery Channel and it’s affiliate channels MUST have daily television programs at prime time slots … on how people can live WITHOUT giving birth to more filthy human children since those new additions continue pollution and are pollution. … Broadcast this message until the pollution in the planet is reversed and the human population goes down! This is your obligation. If you think it isn’t, then get hell off the planet! Breathe Oil! … Find solutions so that people stop breeding as well as stopping using Oil in order to REVERSE Global warming and the destruction of the planet! … Saving the Planet means saving what’s left of the non-human Wildlife by decreasing the Human population. … For every human born, ACRES of wildlife forests must be turned into farmland in order to feed that new addition over the course of 60 to 100 YEARS of that new human’s lifespan! THIS IS AT THE EXPENSE OF THE FOREST CREATURES!!!! All human procreation and farming must cease!”

Despite the obvious ideology of Lee’s manifesto, it’s safe to say no one should hold their breath waiting on the mainstream media, or Alternet or Salon, to pin even any partial blame for Lee’s action on people like Al Gore, or extreme predictions like his 2007 statement that the polar icecaps would be completely melted by 2013, a prediction which “if anything … is already too conservative.” (In fact, that prediction that was “proven to be off… by 920,000 square miles”; 2013 blew away the record for icecap growth). Suddenly, the same people raving that talking about mental illness is just a disingenuous “way to avoid saying other terms like ‘toxic masculinity’” will realize that it’s perfectly sensible to think Lee might have been both mentally unstable and influenced by environmentalist rhetoric to go to this extreme because he was hearing and interpreting all of it through a mental state that was imbalanced to begin with.

Sane people, they may perfectly well suddenly see the sensibility of telling us, don’t think holding hostages in a Discovery Channel office is a proper way to deal with global warming, pollution, and wildlife extinction, even if everything Lee said about them was correct. Suddenly, someone taking extreme actions in part due to mental illness, and latching on to a political ideology at the same time, don’t seem so mutually exclusive. The vast majority of people who care about wildlife extinction or consider pollution a serious issue still don’t go holding hostages at news stations. The vast majority of people who believe the trial against George Zimmerman was a politically motivated farce or believe double standards are expressed when the media spends months on end searching and distorting every possible aspect of this case for racism that turned out to be nonexistent (see below) while downplaying or ignoring countless more cases of black–on–white violence[1] over the same period of time still don’t think trying to initiate an all–out “race war” is a good idea. What makes the people who do these things, in either case, different? Mental illness is one perfectly reasonable possibility.

On February 10, 2015, a white man in Chapel Hill, North Carolina walked into the home of three Syrian– and Jordanian–Americans, killing them execution–style. A few early reports claimed in haste that the man, Craig Stephen Hicks, was a “Christian terrorist.” In fact, Hicks turned out to be not only an atheist whose Facebook profile photo was the LGBT–themed “Atheists for Equality” and whose Facebook cover photo pronounced in bold letters his “ANTI–THEISM,” but a long–standing fan of progressive causes ranging from “HuffPost Black Voices” to “Forward Progressives” to “The Atheist Empathy Campaign,” to Rachel Maddow and the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Craig Hicks Facebook Page 1

How did the writers at Alternet respond? By stating that, that while many have “portrayed Hicks as a liberal, by reporting his Facebook likes included Rachel Maddow, gay marriage groups, Neil deGrasse Tyson and others … that relabeling is absurd on many levels, because Hicks appears to fit the psychological profile of violent extremists—regardless of their ideological stripes….” Once again: suddenly the fact that violent extremists might fit a certain psychological profile regardless of their ideological stripes isn’t so foreign to progressives.

Meanwhile, searching Google for the words “Craig Stephen Hicks mental illness” returns a mere fourteen pages of results, most of which note that Hicks’ ex–wife believed he had a mental illness (video) and add that his current wife’s divorce attorney observed that it’s obviously “not within the range of normal behavior for someone to shoot three people over parking issues,” and the rest of which either pick the terms up across unrelated articles or catch comments like one Sheikh Muhammad Arslan’s at Buzzfeed: “This douche–bag can’t get away with it because he has a “’mental illness”’ and “’issues in his oh-so-difficult life” etc.” Where in God’s name is this epidemic of white people justifying white violence by excusing it as mental illness?! 

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As happens so often, the author of the Salon piece’s interest in race isn’t merely misguided, it becomes so narrowly overemphasized that it overshadows the truth about other, highly important questions. The author writes: ““The real issue is mental illness” is a goddamn cop–out. I almost never hear it from actual mental health professionals, or advocates working in the mental health sphere, or anyone who actually has any kind of informed opinion on mental health….”

If Arthur Chu thinks mental illness is “a goddamn cop–out,” then Arthur Chu doesn’t know what he’s goddamn talking about. He worries that “the stigma of people who suffer from mental illness as scary, dangerous potential murderers hurts people every single day….” When most of us worry about mental illness in an event like this, we aren’t worrying about a diagnosis of dysthymia or social anxiety; we’re worried about extreme cases of things like psychosis and schizophrenia. And do you know who else hurts people every single day? Psychotics and schizophrenics.

A 2009 meta–analysis, “Psychosis as a risk factor for violence to others”, found that “compared with individuals with no mental disorders, people with psychosis seem to be at a substantially elevated risk for violence … [Psychosis is] significantly associated with a 49%–68% increase in the odds of violence.” A 2007 study, “Major Mental Disorders and Violence”, states that “recent longitudinal investigations reported … community violence related to [major medical disorders] … reaching 15% to 20%.” A 2010 study in Sweden, “Bipolar disorder and violent crime”, found that among 3700 individuals diagnosed with bipolar disorder, 8.4% had committed at least one act of violence, compared to 3.5% of the general population. A 2009 study in the same area, “Schizophrenia, substance abuse, and violent crime”, found that the number for schizophrenics was 13.2% (although concurrent use of drugs accounted for some of this increase).

But a 2011 study, “Mental disorder and violence: is there a relationship beyond substance use?”, confirmed that “those with [serious mental illnesses], irrespective of substance abuse status, were significantly more likely to be violent than those with no mental or substance use disorders.” A British study published in 1998, “A ten-year follow-up of criminality in Stockholm mental patients”, found that 40% of people discharged from mental hospitals had a criminal record, compared to 10% of the general population. At the same time in Finland, “Schizophrenia, alcohol abuse, and violent behavior: a 26-year follow-up study of an unselected birth cohort” was published, finding that of over 11,000 men with schizophrenia followed for 26 years, those without alcoholism were 3.6 times more likely to commit a violent crime than a member of the general population, whereas schizophrenic alcoholics were a whopping 25.2 times more likely.

The relationship of mental illness to homicide” found that 10% of all homicides that occurred in Contra Costa County in California between 1978–1980 had a diagnosis of schizophrenia. Another study, “Violence by people discharged from acute psychiatric inpatient facilities and by others in the same neighborhoods”, found that 17.4% of patients were violent in the 10 weeks prior to treatment, compared to 8.9% for the following 50 weeks after treatment. Do I still need to keep going? Are you wondering who these people are with “informed opinions on mental health” Arthur Chu apparently has so many conversations with yet?

Mental illness is a serious issue, and it does have a relationship with violence. Regardless whether it even bears any relevance to Roof’s particular case (and again, I haven’t seen even a single person seriously suggest that it did to begin with),  that’s worth being aware of, and it’s worth keeping in mind, and it’s worth looking for evidence for. The “real problems” Chu thinks it distracts us away from are, of course, rooted in Chu’s own blinkered, partisan worldview which spins cosmological narratives out of the actions of Eliot Rodgers and Dylann Roof while conveniently forgetting about those of people like James Lee, Floyd Corkins, Karl Pierson, or the DC snipers—or even 44–year–old female Professor Amy Bishop who shot and killed six colleagues execution–style after she was denied tenure at the University of Alabama for erratic behavior and inadequate research (it later turned out that an incident previously ruled to have been an accident wasn’t: it turned out she had killed her 18–year–old brother with a shotgun when she was 21).  Again, as Alternet itself knows, killers tend to fall into a particular “psychological profile … regardless of their ideological stripes … .”

Even Hugo Schwyzer, writing incorrectly about “Why Most Serial Killers Are Privileged White Men” (as I discuss later, in fact they are not), complains that “After Seung–Hui Cho killed 32 people in Blacksburg [at Virginia Tech], media attention focused on the likelihood that a Korean culture unwilling to acknowledge mental illness helped drive the young man to commit the worst mass murder in U.S. history.” Once again, when we do wonder about how mental illness impacted non–white killers, that’s because we’re racists who want to put them down, just like when we wonder about how mental illness impacted white killers, it’s because we’re racists who want to raise them up. Nevermind that the source Hugo references in the hyperlink in that sentence quotes … who’s that, again? “Dong Woo Seo, a physician at Han Byul Mental Hospital in Seoul”. Surely Hugo’s intention was to try to say something about white racial blindness, and not about what Korean physicians who treat mental illness think about how Korean culture treats mental illness?!

As the authors at The American Thinker wrote while discussing the rampage of the renegade black cop Christopher Dorner, “I’ve found that once you’ve restored your patients’ brains to healthy and normal functioning by following the diagnostic and treatment method outlined above, your patients will be doing very well without the psychobabble. People with healthy brains almost invariably find they no longer need to discuss their “issues.” It’s called the indomitable human spirit, and it’s present in every human I’ve ever treated whose brain function has been restored to normalcy….” Chu complains that “When you call someone “mentally ill” in this culture it’s a way to admonish people not to listen to them, to ignore what they say about their own actions and motivations …,” but isn’t that exactly what we should do if someone shoots up a government building and says they did it because the CIA has been following them and listening in through their microwave? Should we necessarily do that any less just because the conspiracy someone latches onto is (as in Chu’s example of John Nash) “International Jewry” instead of the CIA?

More troubling than the association between mental illness and violence is the association between mass shootings and specific psychopharmaceutical drugs—mostly the SSRIs prescribed to handle depression. As this article explains, “Moore and his collaborators extracted all serious events reports from the FDA’s database from 2004 through September 2009, and then identified 484 drugs that had triggered at least 200 case reports of serious adverse events (of any type) during that 69–month period. They then investigated to see if any of these 484 drugs had a “disproportionate” association with violence. They identified 31 such drugs, out of the 484, that met this criteria … [including] 11 antidepressants, 6 hypnotic/sedatives, and 3 drugs for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Antidepressants were responsible for 572 case reports of violence toward others; the three ADHD drugs for 108; and the hypnotic/sedatives for 97.” The fact that some antidepressants, and not others, are associated with these adverse effects even while all produce relapse from depression renders highly implausible that the correlation happens just because people with violent intentions become more capable of acting them out once the drugs restore them to a higher level of functioning: the correlation is not between relapse from depression and violence, but between violence and particular drugs, regardless of how frequently they produce relapse from depression.

Of course, both mental illness and the adverse effects of pharmaceuticals may very well be irrelevant in the case of Dylann Roof. Maybe they aren’t: he was found with suboxone, and while links between suboxone and violent behavior haven’t (to my knowledge) even been studied, a number of anecdotal reports do suggest the possibility. More importantly, even if it is irrelevant in this particular case, granting that holding concern is a racist cop–out will blind us to one very real approach that really could actually save lives in other cases. If mental illness isn’t relevant to this particular case, then say it isn’t relevant to this particular case—but if you endorse the idiotic rule that even considering it is racist, then the next time mental illness actually is entirely relevant, we won’t notice, and we’ll fail to do something about it when it actually just might have saved a few damn lives, because we’ll be too busy censoring the supposed bigotry that it would represent had we kept an eye out for it.

(Part 1, … Part 2, … Part 3, … Part 4)


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