Thursday, May 01, 2008

Most racially motivated crimes don't show up in hate crime statistics

The Inductivist Ron Guhname looks at the '04 NCVS, one of the two primary ways the FBI goes about compiling national crime statistics (the other being the UCR), and finds that the official hate crime statistics do not accurately represent the racial distribution of crimes motivated by hate:
Percent of all racial hate crime offenders

White 21.0
Black 53.3
Other 13.3
Don't know 1.9
Residue 10.5

So, the majority of crimes committed out of racial hatred are perpetrated by blacks, but even this does not show the magnitude of the difference since the U.S. population is only 13% black. Doing the calculations, a black person is 13.3 times more likely than a white to commit this type of crime.
The FBI's most recent report on hate crimes in the US shows blacks to only be 2.2 times more likely to commit a hate crime than whites* are. Since there is more political pressure for prosecutors to designate crimes perpetrated against non-whites (especially blacks) by whites as hate crimes than when the race of the victim and perpetrator are reversed, hate crimes (which might be better dubbed "crimes with hateful motivations") inflate the perception of white nastiness while downplaying the perception of non-white aggressiveness.

Actually surveying victims of criminal activity is a more sound way of approaching the issue. The official 'hate crime' designation obfuscates the actual level and direction of 'hate'-motivated criminality in the US. The way it is reported on demonstrates this to the point of absurdity: The putatively most hateful states report the fewest hate crimes, an increase in hate crimes is seen as an improvement in racial relations or acceptance of alternative lifestyles, and a steep rise in the number of black perpetrators of hate crimes is seen as reason enough for black leaders to decry the rise in total hate crimes as indicative of the increased hate directed at (rather than dispensed by) black America.

The FBI estimates that only 44% of 'hate crimes' are actually reported to law enforcement agencies. There were 7,722 total hate crime incidents reported, of which 51.8% were racially motivated and another 12% motivated by ethnicity or nationality. However, the jurisdictions participating in data collection covered 85.2% of the nation's population. Assuming those motivated by race, sexual orientation, religion, etc are equally likely to go unreported by type and by jurisdictions not reporting, this leads to an estimate of 13,142 for the actual number of racially motivated (I'm including those motivated by ethnicity or nationality in this figure as well) hate crimes annually occuring nationwide. This suggests one racially motivated hate crime is committed for every 22,827 people in the US** each year.

The data Ron uses inquire about the previous six-month period, in which 105 of those interviewed had been a victim of racially motivated crime. To get an annual estimate, double the number to 210. The NCVS interviewed a total of 149,000 individuals. Going this route, we get one racially motivated hate crime committed for every 727 people in the US on an annual basis.

The above suggests that there are 31 times as many people who report to have been a victim of a racially motivated crime than the FBI believes there are crimes taking place that should be designated as racially motivated hate crimes.

There are several informed assumptions in the calculations above that make the specific magnitude of the difference a ballpark estimate. But clearly most victims who believe they've been victimized due to racial hostility are not included in official hate crimes statistics. That the survey method shows blacks to be more than 13 times as likely to commit racially motivated crimes as whites are, while official statistics only show blacks to be a little more than twice as likely to do so suggests that racially motivated crimes targeting whites are much less likely to be included in official hate crimes figures as crimes targeting blacks are.

Hate crime numbers are used to try and bolster the narrative that the US is a dangerous place for non-whites, who are constantly being preyed upon by the white majority (although even these selective numbers, which count most Hispanics as white, still show Native Americans and blacks as more likely to commit hate crimes than whites are). They tell us little about the actual state of racial relations on the street.

* One particularly overt absurdity of hate crimes stat-keeping is that Hispanics are not counted separately as perpetrators but they are counted separately as victims. Thus most Hispanic perpetrators are included in the white perpetrator figures, but are not included in the tally of white victims. This artificially inflates the perceived level of white aggression by boosting the number of white perpetrators relative to the number of white victims.

** I describe it that way instead of saying one out of every 28,000 people are the victims of a racially motivated hate crime, as some crimes involve multiple victims and it is possible that some people are victims of more than one hate crime in the course of a year.


fromwembley said...

Really good post.

I believe blacks-on-White crime is a hate crime. Blacks target Whites, it's that simple. It's not because Whites have more to steal, and it's not because there are no suitable black victims. Instead, blacks target Whites because blacks hate Whites and blacks feel justified in attacking Whites.

The statistics this blog pointed out and the underlying message the government sends out both work to blacks' advantage. The pickup trucks full of Klansmen lynching blacks are a memory of 50 years ago. The armed young black male raping and killing a White college girl for her car and ATM card are a weekly reality today.

I don't know why this happens, but I am glad more and more Whites are waking up to the truth.

Audacious Epigone said...


Determining motivation can be tricky business, but the survey data Ron points to are gathered from the responses of victims themselves. If the crimes were driven by wealth envy, presumably a racial motivation wouldn't have been detected in so many (relatively) white victims, who are certainly not trained the victomology schtick like NAM communities are.

toto said...

How about, you know, trying to get the data and check things for yourself? All you need is an email address.

The "hate crime information data" is in the "incident-level" category. The exact question is: "Do you suspect the offender(s) targeted you because of your race?"

244 answered "yes". 204 answered "no". 7 said "don't know". 162,262 were registered as "Out of universe", whatever that means.

That should tell you all you need to know about the representativity of these figures - unless you really believe that 50+% of all crimes in the US are "hate crimes".

Furthermore, when you tabulate against the victim's race, you find that both among blacks and whites, more than half (50.4% / 50.6%) believe that they were targeted because of their race. So, blacks and whites seem to be just as "whiney" as each other.

I may have thoroughly misunderstood the system, so feel free to go check the data and enlighten me :)

Audacious Epigone said...

Something doesn't add up in those figures, or out of universe includes lots of crime victims (maybe those who don't respond to the racially motivated question at all?). 455 out of 162,717 comes to a rate of less than 3 per 1,000, but the '04 NCVS data shows a rate of over 20 per 1,000 for violent crimes and theft. What's going on here?

My broader point is that labelling something a "hate crime" is unnecessary. Why distinguish this small, selective sliver from the rest of the criminal universe and then highlight it over and over?