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Ignoring the Demographics of Murder Is Dangerous
PAJAMAS MEDIA ^ | June 17, 2008 | Jack Dunphy

Posted on 06/20/2008 3:25:48 PM PDT by radar101

The FBI released its [1] preliminary crime figures for 2007 last week, and as is sometimes the case there was both good and bad news to be found in the report. Violent crime in the U.S. fell by 1.4 percent last year, a modest decline to be sure but a decline nonetheless after increases of 1.9 percent in 2006 and 2.3 percent in 2005. This nationwide trend is largely attributable to the even more dramatic drop in crime seen in America’s largest cities: there was a 9.8 percent drop in murders in cities with populations of greater than one million. New York, for example, saw a 17 percent drop, Houston was down 6.6 percent, and even Philadelphia, where in some neighborhoods homicide is seen as a municipal pastime, saw a decrease of 3.4 percent.

But the news was not so encouraging elsewhere. Murders increased by 7.1 percent in Washington, DC, and by 12.6 percent in Cleveland. And those wondering if New Orleans will ever return to pre-Katrina conditions will probably not be heartened by one indicator that things are indeed getting back to normal: murders were up by 29 percent in the Crescent City in 2007.

And the picture is also alarming in America’s less-populous cities. In cities with populations between 50,000 and 100,000, murders were up 3.7 percent last year. Smaller towns, i.e., those between 10,000 and 25,000, saw murders rise by 1.9 percent, and in what the FBI calls “non-metropolitan counties,” murders were up by 1.8 percent.

This is an expectation-defying trend, one that has sent sociologists, criminologists, and demographers to their drawing boards in search for an explanation. And in one city the picture that emerged, oddly, was that of a bunny rabbit.

Writing in this month’s Atlantic, Hanna Rosin describes how two researchers stumbled upon a pattern that surely will cause much wailing and gnashing of teeth in the halls of government and academia. In “[2] American Murder Mystery,” Rosin recounts the discovery made by Richard Janikowski, a criminologist at the University of Memphis, who was trying to explain the shifts seen in that city’s crime patterns since the mid-1990s. Violent crime, Janikowski observed, was on the decline in Memphis’s inner city but rising along two corridors north and west of the city (the rabbit’s ears) and another to the southeast (the tail).

As luck would have it, Janikowski is married to Phyllis Betts, a housing expert at the University of Memphis. Betts had been measuring the impact made by the razing of Memphis’s public housing projects, which began in 1997, and part of her research entailed keeping track of where the projects’ former residents, supplied with “Section 8″ government housing vouchers, had gone. When she and Janikowski merged their data maps, what followed was what one suspects was an “ah ha” moment: the dots represented by Betts’s transplanted project dwellers corresponded perfectly with the crime spikes on Janikowski’s map.

But “ah ha” soon gave way to “uh oh.” Rosin writes:

Betts remembers her discomfort as she looked at the map. The couple had been musing about the connection for months, but they were amazed — and deflated — to see how perfectly the two data sets fit together. She knew right away that this would be a “hard thing to say or write.” Nobody in the antipoverty community and nobody in city leadership was going to welcome the news that the noble experiment that they’d been engaged in for the past decade had been bringing the city down, in ways they’d never expected. But the connection was too obvious to ignore.

Alas, where government is concerned, when it comes to issues of race and crime there is nothing too obvious to ignore. When Betts presented her findings to city officials in Memphis, the reception she got was a cool one. Rosin describes the meeting:

Earlier this year, Betts presented her findings to city leaders, including Robert Lipscomb, the head of the Memphis Housing Authority. From what Lipscomb said to me, he’s still not moved. “You’ve already marginalized people and told them they have to move out,” he told me irritably, just as he’s told Betts. “Now you’re saying they moved somewhere else and created all these problems? That’s a really, really unfair assessment. You’re putting a big burden on people who have been too burdened already, and to me that’s, quote-unquote, criminal.” To Lipscomb, what matters is sending people who lived in public housing the message that “they can be successful, they can go to work and have kids who go to school. They can be self-sufficient and reach for the middle class.”

And there you have it: The truth, even when it’s measured in dead bodies, must not obscure the all-important “message.”

Here in Los Angeles, a similar war of words has broken out over a similarly volatile issue. The city’s two top cops, LAPD Chief William Bratton and L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca, are offering divergent assessments on the extent to which tensions between black and Latino residents are affecting crime. On Thursday, the Los Angeles Times ran an op-ed piece by Baca with the provocative headline “[3] In L.A., Race Kills.” And the piece itself was no less provocative. “So let me be very clear about one thing,” Baca wrote, “we have a serious interracial violence problem in this county involving blacks and Latinos.”

Do we really? As Bratton and other LAPD leaders have pointed out, the raw statistics do not bear out the sheriff’s stark appraisal. The L.A. Times [4] analyzed 562 Los Angeles County homicides from last year in which a black or a Latino was killed and the race of the suspect was known. In nine out of ten of those murders the victim and suspect were of the same race, which would seem to undercut Sheriff Baca’s assertion. But the city has seen a handful of high-profile killings in which race was surely a factor, including the murders of a 14-year-old black girl last year and a 17-year-old black boy this year. Both of their alleged killers were Latino gang members, and the crimes reinforced a belief held by many in Los Angeles that some Latino gangs were out to “racially cleanse” whole neighborhoods in the city.

So who is right, Baca or Bratton?

Each is right in [5] his own way, says L.A. Times columnist Tim Rutten. Writing in Saturday’s edition, Rutten says Bratton is underplaying the race angle while Baca is overplaying it. Bratton’s initial denial — to the point of publicly upbraiding a reporter who dared raise the question — of any racial component in the city’s violent crime problem was “politically tone deaf,” Rutten says, but he adds that it is reckless for Baca to suggest that incidents of interracial violence are more numerous than they really are.

In one sense, Baca enjoys more credibility on the matter than does Bratton. For his part, Baca says he has learned of the racial tensions through conversations with, among others, cops on the beat, which immediately sets him apart from his LAPD counterpart. I’m guessing Bratton hasn’t had an honest dialog with a street cop in years. There certainly weren’t any with him as he dined at Le Cirque in Manhattan on Friday night. Indeed, one of the many criticisms LAPD rank-and-file officers have of Bratton is that he spends too much time hobnobbing with the swells in New York and not enough time talking with his own cops here in Los Angeles.

But like the city officials who turned a blind eye to the demographic reality of crime in Memphis, what neither Bratton nor Baca — nor almost anyone else, for that matter — seems willing to recognize is that violent crime in Los Angeles is largely confined to blacks and Latinos. Of the 352 homicide victims in Los Angeles County [6] reported as of June 9, 199 were Latino and 104 were black. The Times has been criticized in some quarters for publicizing these figures, but facts, as John Adams said, are stubborn things.

As long as the two groups keep their disputes — and their bullets — among themselves, very little attention, either from the media or from government, will be focused on the problem. As Atlantic writer Hanna Rosin discovered in Memphis, one must be careful of sending the wrong message.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Article printed from Pajamas Media: http://pajamasmedia.com

URL to article: http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/ignoring-the-demographics-of-murder-is-dangerous/

URLs in this post: [1] preliminary crime figures for 2007: http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/2007prelim/ [2] American Murder Mystery: http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200807/memphis-crime [3] In L.A., Race Kills: http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-baca12-2008jun12,0,1236080.story [4] analyzed: http://www.latimes.com/news/la-me-race13-2008jun13,0,2997113.story [5] his own way: http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-rutten14-2008jun14,0,3598916.column [6] reported as of June 9: http://www.latimes.com/news/local/crime/homicidemap/


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: armedcitizen; banglist; fbi; gangs; govwatch; homiciderates; ratcrime; rathate

1 posted on 06/20/2008 3:27:05 PM PDT by radar101
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To: radar101

Liberals are in such denial. The reality is, they know the truth, but they can’t fathom having to admit it.

Section 8 housing is an absolute disaster. It ruins the neighborhoods, the commercial areas, and the schools. This notion that you can change people merely by changing their environment is one of the most basic of liberalism’s flaws (of which there are many).


2 posted on 06/20/2008 3:32:33 PM PDT by A_Former_Democrat
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To: A_Former_Democrat

“This notion that you can change people merely by changing their environment is one of the most basic of liberalism’s flaws (of which there are many).”

My town leveled an old 60’s brick one story apartment type public housing project and replaced it with nice, trendy, architecturally appealing townhouses. The crime rate hasn’t changed a bit.


3 posted on 06/20/2008 3:36:31 PM PDT by Rebelbase
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To: A_Former_Democrat

Unfortunately political correctness doesn’t allow us to discuss this problem accurately.

We’re not supposed to notice or care if certain groups of people perpetrate crime. We’re not supposed to talk about subject such as fatherless children getting in trouble with the law, or family upbringing, because then that hurts somebody’s feelings, and then it’s also pointed out that not everyone growing up in difficult circumstances turn out to be a criminal.


4 posted on 06/20/2008 3:40:14 PM PDT by Dilbert San Diego
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To: radar101

Paul LaRosa, a CBS producer, is keeping tabs on the reported murders in New York City. The scenario is the same, most murders are of Blacks and Hispanics.

http://tacomaconfidential.typepad.com/the_murder_book_2008/


5 posted on 06/20/2008 3:41:21 PM PDT by diefree
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To: radar101

I live in Memphis just down the street from a housing project that was closed. The area improved immediately from what it was. Its still a ‘hood’ but nowhere near as bad.

Anyone with half a brain SHOULD have been able to figure out that the criminals weren’t going to stop. You just spread them around the city. Its better for me, but I know the problem didn’t end. Just like the New Orleans “Katrina” people spread all around the country!


6 posted on 06/20/2008 3:49:43 PM PDT by packrat35 (If mccain is the answer-it must have been a REALLY stupid question)
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To: radar101
No number of facts or dead bodies will make a difference to the international socialists.

Its their utopian Potemkin Village, we just live (& die) in it.

7 posted on 06/20/2008 3:51:11 PM PDT by skeeter
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To: radar101

The findings of this study are patently obvious and have been for a long time. Its just that the truth must not be spoken for it gets in the way of leftist social engineering.


8 posted on 06/20/2008 3:53:16 PM PDT by festus (Tagline removed.)
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To: radar101
Even Obama just announced that lack of responsible fathers in minority neighborhoods needs to change, as there are 70% of illegitimate birth and 20% to girls under 15.
No fathers is followed into lack of education, then comes gang involvement and aspirations to be the slickest drug dealer in the neighborhood.
We are on the way towards a permanent underclass with this fatherless society in minority neighborhoods, regardless of relocations.
9 posted on 06/20/2008 3:53:19 PM PDT by hermgem (Will Olmr)
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To: radar101

bump


10 posted on 06/20/2008 3:53:30 PM PDT by VOA
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To: diefree

...and most of them probably black on black or Hispanic on Hispanic crimes. One of the casualties of the left’s unwillingness to recognize reality is the safety of the very populations they claim to be helping.


11 posted on 06/20/2008 3:55:26 PM PDT by ArmstedFragg
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To: Rebelbase
“This notion that you can change people merely by changing their environment is one of the most basic of liberalism’s flaws

...you are correct, but I'm still in favor of changing their environment...to one surrounded by prison walls...

12 posted on 06/20/2008 4:02:59 PM PDT by ghost of nixon
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To: diefree

“The scenario is the same, most murders are of Blacks and Hispanics.”

most murderers are blacks and hispanics.


13 posted on 06/20/2008 4:21:41 PM PDT by Fireone (Will the next Ronald Reagan please stand up!)
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To: radar101

Does anyone know where the raw FBI data can be viewed, or do they hide it?


14 posted on 06/20/2008 4:21:46 PM PDT by SampleMan (We are a free and industrious people, socialist nannies do not become us.)
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To: hermgem

I wonder if Obama also put blame on the women who get pregnant by these men? The blame is on both.


15 posted on 06/20/2008 4:31:32 PM PDT by snippy_about_it (The FReeper Foxhole. America's history, America's soul.)
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To: Dilbert San Diego

Wouldn’t you love to hear Ms. Betts say to Mr. Lipscomb, in a similarly irritated voice, “You aren’t the boss of me.”

Piehole, Lipscomb, shut your piehole.


16 posted on 06/20/2008 4:32:51 PM PDT by healy61
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To: SampleMan

http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/ucr.htm

scroll down the page


17 posted on 06/20/2008 4:33:34 PM PDT by snippy_about_it (The FReeper Foxhole. America's history, America's soul.)
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To: Rebelbase
“My town leveled an old 60’s brick one story apartment type public housing project and replaced it with nice, trendy, architecturally appealing townhouses. The crime rate hasn’t changed a bit.”

That's because there is a fundamental difference between being “poor” and being “low class” —moral values.

18 posted on 06/20/2008 4:37:46 PM PDT by Towed_Jumper (Stephen Hopkins: Founding Father who had Cerebral Palsy.."My hand trembles, my heart does not.")
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To: radar101

Solution: hire unemployed blacks to guard the border.


19 posted on 06/20/2008 5:10:08 PM PDT by mamelukesabre
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To: radar101
We American residents, have been dealing with this demographic Emperor's New Clothes phenomenon for generations now.
But the dots that even this article fails to connect is that we (through our government bureaucracies) are literally financing this criminal underclass, "Section 8" being the most common means.

So what's the problem?
I'm not sure...

20 posted on 06/20/2008 5:10:54 PM PDT by Publius6961 (You're Government, it's not your money, and you never have to show a profit.)
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To: diefree

Paul LaRosa, a CBS producer, is keeping tabs on the reported murders in New York City

Why?


21 posted on 06/20/2008 5:18:11 PM PDT by angcat (Indian name "She who yells too much")
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To: radar101
Nobody in the antipoverty community and nobody in city leadership was going to welcome the news that the noble experiment that they’d been engaged in for the past decade had been bringing the city down, in ways they’d never expected. But the connection was too obvious to ignore.

Nonsense. In true Marxist fashion, when reality goes counter to The Cause, it is perfectly acceptable to simply lie. Fabricate. Make something up. Truth is just another bourgeois construct, after all.

22 posted on 06/20/2008 5:25:16 PM PDT by IronJack (=)
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To: radar101

Thank you for posting this article. It’s good to see reality in print.


23 posted on 06/20/2008 5:39:32 PM PDT by Alia
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To: radar101
do I really have to say it???

24 posted on 06/20/2008 6:01:12 PM PDT by Chode (American Hedonist ©® - CTHULHU/SHOGGOTH '08 = Nothing LESS!!!)
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To: Alia

And don’t forget -Illegal immigrants kill more Americans EVERY YEAR than died on 9/11


25 posted on 06/20/2008 6:01:56 PM PDT by Wil H
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To: A_Former_Democrat

As a former Democrat, you must know the inside rationalization. What do they say in their heart of hearts?


26 posted on 06/20/2008 6:33:47 PM PDT by WorkingClassFilth (Don't cheer for Obama too hard - the krinton syndicate is moving back into the WH.)
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To: A_Former_Democrat; radar101
Here is a good example of the kind of thinking that leads to high murder reates in the Hood.

“Hey man you dissed me. Bang, bang. “

VASJ wrestling star accused of killing classmate over transvestite gossip

27 posted on 06/20/2008 6:49:13 PM PDT by Pontiac (Your message here.)
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To: radar101
And there you have it: The truth, even when it’s measured in dead bodies, must not obscure the all-important “message.”

I disagree it is not the message it is an article of faith.

It is one of the Liberals’ articles of faith that the poor are not responsible for their actions. The poor receive dispensation for their crimes by the sanctifying burden of their circumstances which are not their fault but the fault of the oppressive capitalist system.

Simply read it in the quote in the article

From what Lipscomb said to me, he’s still not moved. “You’ve already marginalized people and told them they have to move out,” he told me irritably, just as he’s told Betts. “Now you’re saying they moved somewhere else and created all these problems? That’s a really, really unfair assessment. You’re putting a big burden on people who have been too burdened already, and to me that’s, quote-unquote, criminal.”

As you can see this man is a Liberal who has absolved the people moved. The fact that these people brought their problems with them when they moved can not shake this mans faith.

He will continue to believe that the system is keeping these people in their circumstances even all of the available evidence is clearly indicating that these people are responsible for their own problems.

28 posted on 06/20/2008 7:03:23 PM PDT by Pontiac (Your message here.)
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To: radar101
Bookmark these maps because they show where the majority of violent homicides in the US are originating from.

_______________________________________________________________

These maps are from the article titled "Anti-gun Promo Blackfires"

I think perhaps it should have been entitled, "The African Americans are slaughtering each other in our US Cities"

Baltimore, PROPER, which is reflected on the map has 64.34% Black or African American, 31.63% White.

_______________________________________________________________

This Baltimore Sun map shows a terrible problem, but does not clarify who the murderers are.

Baltimore Sun map of PEOPLE murdered, 2007:

_______________________________________________________________

Baltimore Sun map of BLACKS murdered, 2007: (264)

_______________________________________________________________

Baltimore Sun map of WHITES murdered, 2007: (12)

Of the 12, 6 were killed *downtown* probably while buying drugs. _______________________________________________________________

That's right a small percentage of people, generally gangs and drug dealers, in our large cities are causing the majority of the gun related homicides in the US. Do not allow this data to be covered up or hidden. Do not allow the gun control nutcases to take away your self defense weapons.

SOURCE: http://essentials.baltimoresun.com/micro_sun/homicides/
Baltimore, PROPER, Population 651,154
Baltimore, greater metropolitan area, Population 5.1 Million

29 posted on 06/20/2008 7:13:22 PM PDT by B4Ranch (Having custody of a loaded weapon does not arm you. The skill to use the weapon is what arms a man.)
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To: diefree

Posted by Shabba Rommel 09:08 AM, 06/18/2008
Like Franknstein and Bill Cosby said, where is all the discipline in the Black Community? Where is Al Sharpton & Jesse Jackson when their “community” really needs them? From teenage gangs killing innocent victims in Septa terminals to this, many in the Black community are simply out of control. Fortunately (or unfortunately for them) a majority of their victims are their own. The media perpetuates this by glorifying hiphop and the “gangsta” lifestyle. Blacks are the only minority specifically protected by law and many STILL can’t get their act together in society. All other minorities, including Asian and Latino (and even now with the success of the Native Americans) manage to provide for themselves and their families and successfully integrate into the American society. Slavery isn’t an excuse anymore…that died about 100 yrs ago…that is just an excuse for the desperate and frankly Native American’s had it 1000x worse. There are Black leaders all across the county in business and government and now there is one who is successfully running for President, the only racism that exists is that which a minority brings upon itself.
http://www.philly.com/philly/hp/news_update/20080618_GRADUATION___GUNFIRE.html?viewAll=Y&text=#comments


30 posted on 06/20/2008 7:16:41 PM PDT by B4Ranch (Having custody of a loaded weapon does not arm you. The skill to use the weapon is what arms a man.)
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To: radar101

http://www.dailynews.com/search/ci_9621327?IADID=Search-www.dailynews.com-www.dailynews.com


31 posted on 06/20/2008 8:25:53 PM PDT by radar101
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To: SampleMan

Check out your neighbors.

http://www.felonspy.com/


32 posted on 06/23/2008 7:03:35 AM PDT by sweetiepiezer
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