Rather than demanding that politicians and white people fix a broken culture, American blacks need a Great Awakening that repairs them from the inside out.
A year after requesting Ron Chernow’s Alexander Hamilton from my local library, my copy arrived this morning, and I’ve been reading away. I’ve just reached the point at which Hamilton leaves the West Indies behind for America, so I don’t have any insights on the subject of Hamilton. The book got me thinking, though, about the plight of black Americans, too many of whom suffer from a spiritual sickness that sees them not only dependent on the government for aid but also crudely demanding that “white America” solve the black community’s dysfunction.
I don’t think I’m being racist when I point to problems plaguing American blacks. According to Nate Silver:
From 2010 through 2012, the annual rate of homicide deaths among non-Hispanic white Americans was 2.5 per 100,000 persons, meaning that about one in every 40,000 white Americans is a homicide victim each year. By comparison, the rate of homicide deaths among non-Hispanic black Americans is 19.4 per 100,000 persons, or about 1 in 5,000 people per year.
Black Americans are almost eight times as likely as white ones to be homicide victims, in other words.
Take away black homicides, and America’s homicide rate is in line with Western Europe’s (at least, in line with Western Europe’s before the refugee influx). Moreover, it’s not whites or police who are killing blacks. It’s blacks who are killing blacks.
If you want a real-time sense of these deeply troubling statistics, just look at a weekend in Chicago:
More people were shot in Chicago over the weekend than on any other this year, except for the long July Fourth holiday that stretched four days, according to police and data kept by the Chicago Tribune.
At least 63 people were shot and eight of them were killed, police said. More than half were wounded over 13 hours from Saturday to early Sunday. At least 16 more were shot through the day Sunday, including the four on Madison in South Austin.
While the shootings occurred across the city, two police districts bore the brunt: Calumet on the south, with 12 shootings, and Austin on the west with 11, according to police.
The level of violence exceeded the 52 shot during the three-day Memorial Day weekend, but it fell short of the 102 hit by gunfire over the Fourth of July weekend, according to Tribune data. Despite the bad weekend, fewer people have been shot in Chicago this year than at this time last year: 2,435 compared with 2,710.
Other black statistics in America are equally depressing. For example, in addition to homicide, blacks are committing violent crimes at a rate much higher than other people in America:
Blacks commit violent crimes at 7 to 10 times the rate that whites do. The fact that their victims tend to be of the same race suggests that young black men in the ghetto live in danger of being shot by each other, not cops. Nor is this a function of “over-policing” certain neighborhoods to juice black arrest rates. Research has long shown that the rate at which blacks are arrested is nearly identical to the rate at which crime victims identify blacks as their assailants.
Blacks in America’s inner cities make up a community in crisis, one that sees too many of its members disconnected from a necessary morality that allows communities to grow and thrive.
Reading Chernow’s description of life in the West Indies when Hamilton was a child made me think of these self-destructive black pathologies. My thoughts weren’t actually about the blacks themselves, but about the white behavior towards the blacks. Those Africans shipped into the West Indies were victims, pure and simple, and anything they did in response to the cruelty heaped upon them was justified. It was the whites, were products of our Western culture and living in the century and shadow of the Enlightenment, who committed unspeakable acts of brutality in order to maintain their dominance over blacks: [Read more…]