July 16, 2013

In D.C., blacks imprisoned 56X whites

Of relevance to the next post, back in 2001, I wrote for UPI a re-analysis of data in a new report on imprisonment rates in 1997:
The National Center on Institutions and Alternatives (www.NCIAnet.org), a liberal think tank advocating less imprisonment, has released a new report, "Masking the Divide," that argues that, "The overuse of incarceration is causing severe and potentially irreparable divisions in society."  
... Nationwide in 1997, non-Hispanic whites comprised 34.8 percent of the prisoners, African-Americans 46.9 percent, Hispanics 16.0 percent, and others 2.3 percent. Overall, the study found that 2.6 percent of the African-American adult population was imprisoned in 1997, compared to 1.1 percent of Hispanics, and 0.3 percent of non-Hispanic whites. The report does not break out imprisonment rates for Asian-Americans, but most experts believe Asians tend to be imprisoned the least of all major groups. ....
Interestingly, crunching the data in the report's appendices sheds light on a number of fascinating topics that did not particularly interest the report's sponsors.  
For example, "The Sopranos" television drama has revived New Jersey's reputation as a hotbed of white criminals. Yet, to the extent that a tendency to be law-abiding can be estimated from imprisonment rates, that much-maligned state appears in fact to have the second most law-abiding non-Hispanic white people in America. According to a new report that breaks down imprisonment rates by race and ethnicity, white New Jerseyites trail only the notoriously nice white folks of Minnesota in staying out of prison. 
Some findings confirm common sense -- for example, whites in fast-living Nevada are more than twice as likely to be in prison as whites in the mostly Mormon neighboring state of Utah. 
In contrast, some of the data undermine common myths. Besides polishing the tarnished image of New Jersey's whites, the numbers also reveal the surprising news that politically liberal states, not conservative ones, are likely to have the largest gap between the imprisonment rates of blacks and whites. 
These ratios varied significantly from state to state. While one might expect that the highest proportion of black-to-white imprisonment would occur in politically conservative states, the opposite was true. It was in Democratic-leaning states where blacks had the highest rates of imprisonment relative to whites. 
For instance, the racial gap in the highly liberal, black-dominated District of Columbia was found to be off the charts. In D.C., a black person is 56 times more likely than a white person to be in prison. The next-largest racial disparities were found in liberal mainstays Minnesota (a 31-times higher rate of blacks being in prison) and Wisconsin (22 times higher), followed by New Jersey, Iowa, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Illinois. All of these states voted for Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore in 2000. 
Of course, it's not uncommon for regions that are highly liberal in terms of national politics to vote for conservatives in local elections. For example, the Democratic Party's liberal bastions of New York City and Los Angeles each elected law-and-order Republican mayors in the mid-1990s, following the crack epidemic crime wave that began in the late 1980s. 
The smallest difference in the black-to-white imprisonment rate was found in liberal Hawaii (only 2.9 to 1). This may have something to do with many members of Hawaii's small African-American community being active or retired members of the U.S. armed forces. 
After Hawaii, though, the next 10 states closest to black-white racial equality in imprisonment rates were all Southern or Western states that voted for George W. Bush. For example, highly conservative Mississippi and South Carolina each imprisoned blacks only six times more often than whites per person, compared to the national average of nine times more often. 
Eighteen of the 20 states with the least disparity between blacks and whites voted for Bush in 2000. These below-average racial ratios are driven in part by the tendency of whites in Republican states to get themselves thrown in prison more often than whites in Democratic states. The highest white imprisonment rates tend to be in old frontier states of the Wild West. 
The most often locked up whites are in Alaska, followed by Oklahoma, Nevada, Arizona and Texas.

Here's La Griffe du Lion in 2006 offering another elegantly reductionist way to explain this pattern.


MC said...

Sometimes I find it impossible to believe that Steve Sailer worked for a major wire service within my adult lifetime.

Unknown said...

Hard to judge without looking at fluctuations in the white imprisonment rate

Anonymous said...

Blacks tend to aggregate in liberal earning states which coincidentally are the worst states to commit crime in terms of punishment severity and # of police relative to population. if the gangbangers in CA & NY were smart they would move to the midwest or NW

Gene Berman said...

The matter of the disproportionate
rates of imprisonment in liberal vs. conservative states is completely explained in one of
LaGriffe's essays--toward the end of the bunch.

Incidentally, the same rationale is explicative of the difficulties encountered in the public-schools' disciplinary policies provoking widespread outrage of supposedly differential treatment of black vs. other students.

Anonymous said...

John's Creek in Georgia is a wealthy suburb with a lot of Asians more so than blacks. It was the only city in Georgia in the low crime list. Plano and Sugarland will show up but both don't have high black populations or Hispanics populations and are different from the large cities in Texas. Its like Irvine and Mission Viejo in California that show up for the low crime cities, almost no blacks and Hispanic populations under 20.

Anonymous said...

"In contrast, some of the data undermine common myths. Besides polishing the tarnished image of New Jersey's whites, the numbers also reveal the surprising news that politically liberal states, not conservative ones, are likely to have the largest gap between the imprisonment rates of blacks and whites."

The ineptitude of liberals at their own recommended practice of CrimeStop is news only to you,pal.

Anonymous said...

La Griffe du Lion explained all this in 2006. I believe he wrote his essay in response to your column. Anyway, I think you should give him some recognition. His explanation of threshold effects is an enormously useful way of thinking about things like this.


Steve Sailer said...

Not that major.

Anonymous said...

Consider that Job Corzine isn't going to see any prison time and then consider the various ways that well-connected white people might stay out of prison without necessarily being law-abiding.

Zoink said...

"non-Hispanic whites comprised 34.8 percent of the prisoners, African-Americans 46.9 percent, Hispanics 16.0 percent."

Despite this 2:1 ratio in prison, among the general population NS whites outnumber hispanics by 4:1.

How does this square with RKU's theory hispanic crime is the same level as whites? Why are they imprisoned at twice the rate? Shouldn't their imprisonment rate be considerably lower since many are denied entry because of a criminal past, or expelled after committing a crime, and others still have only been here for a short time?

Anonymous said...

So Steve is basically saying that the Black-White incarceration ratio says more about White people than it does about Black people. It seems that Black Americans, no matter which state they live in, are as criminal or more criminal than their White peers. However, there is a huge spectrum in the behaviour of White Americans depending on state. DC/Tri State Area/New England White Americans are the most SWPL and most well behaved. On the other hand, Deep South/Appalachia/Far West (excluding Utah) White Americans are almost as insufferable as Black Americans. My conclusion is that even if all Black people disappeared from the United States tomorrow, we would still have a huge contingent of criminally inclined people...they would just be White instead of Black. Goddamnit I hate prole Whites.

David Davenport said...

On the other hand, Deep South/Appalachia/Far West (excluding Utah) White Americans are almost as insufferable as Black Americans.

You're a quotation-marks-in-the-air Scots-Irishman, aren't you?

Anonymous said...

David, I am not a Scots-Irishman. I am a proud SWPL. My family is the epitome of East Coast UMC and I love it. I don't care to bash Blacks/Hispanics because they don't live near me and they couldn't afford to if they tried. However, prole Whites, who live in some towns adjacent to my own, are just despicable because I have to drive through their neighbourhoods to go shopping, to get into the city, etc. Furthermore, I occasionally have to deal with them on a personal level. Their stupidity, vapid topics of conversation, and depressing life histories disgust me.

Anonymous said...

"if the gangbangers in CA & NY were smart they would move to the midwest or NW" - They commit crimes in places that a)have money, and b)don't have pissed off and armed crackers.

David Davenport said...

Did Abolitionist Hatred of the South Cause the Civil War?

A Conversation with Thomas Fleming, historian and author of A Disease in the Public Mind: A New Understanding of Why We Fought the Civil War.

by DAVID FORSMARK July 5, 2013

FORSMARK: Slavery was basically ended in the Western World in the 19th Century. It was a worldwide practice and there were vested interests involved everywhere. Why was the United States the only country in the world that fought a civil war to end slavery?

FLEMING: That’s the question that made me write this book. All the countries of South America, even Brazil, which had three million slaves – almost as many as America’s four million – ended the evil institution peacefully. The British freed almost a million slaves in the West Indies without bloodshed. Revolutionary France ended slavery in their colonies with a decree from Paris.

FORSMARK: So why did the United States have to do in in a way that killed a million young men?

FLEMING: Because both North and South suffered from diseases in the public mind. I came upon the phrase while writing an article about John Brown’s 1859 raid on Harpers Ferry, Virginia. At that point, most of my history books had been about the era of the American Revolution. Brown was new historical territory for me. I was startled to discover that this greybearded 59 year old planned to take command of an army of slaves equipped with the 100,000 rifles in the federal arsenal at “the Ferry,” as the town was called. In Brown’s luggage were carefully drawn maps identifying the counties of the South where blacks outnumbered whites. These were his targets.


FLEMING: The best people of the North showered praise on a fanatic who believed that “without the emission of blood, there is no forgiveness for sin.” In Kansas a few years earlier, Brown had murdered six unarmed southerners before the horrified eyes of their wives and children, and ordered his sons to hack up their bodies with swords.

After Brown’s execution, America’s best-known writer, Ralph Waldo Emerson, declared him the equal of Jesus Christ. Another Massachusetts man told Emerson that compared to John Brown, Christ was a “dead failure.” He had ignored three decades of northern prayers begging him to end slavery.

FORSMARK: Some of the Abolitionists openly expressed contempt for the blacks their crusade was supposed to be designed to help. Was slavery really the whole story in the full out hatred of the South, or was something else at work in a particular corner of the Yankee mind?

FLEMING: Here we get into the peculiarities of the New England mind. They had a natural tendency to look down on the rest of the country. They saw themselves as the real founders, and were infuriated that the leadership had passed to Jefferson and other southern president. Jefferson’s embargo, which was an economic disaster for New England, was the trigger that made them see the South as enemies. Then they focused on the South’s moral flaw — the continuance — and the growth — of slavery, and the two arguments fused into Abolitionism, a creed proclaimed in their souls by God.

In Britain, one of the ways the situation was diffused was to compensate the slaveholders. Reasonable voices—Abraham Lincoln for example—proposed that here, but the Abolitionists in Congress never backed his bill. The abolitionists’ goal was not persuasion of southerners. It was to shame them into submission, confess their guilt and free the slaves.

Mr. Anon said...

"Anonymous said...

Goddamnit I hate prole Whites."

They probably hate you too. So probably would I.