3 Stats from the Department of Justice Disprove Racist Talking Points on Crime

By Sameer Rao Oct 23, 2017

President Donald Trump and his supporters who are White supremacists rely on rhetoric that accuses people of color—especially Blacks and Latinx—of disproportionately committing violent crimes against White targets. Those allegations guide the Trump administration’s calls to strengthen the force used by law enforcement agencies in cities and along the U.S.-Mexico border. But a recent report from the Trump administration’s own tough-on-crime Department of Justice (DOJ) rejects that premise. 

The DOJ’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) numerically disproved people of color’s alleged criminality in "Race and Hispanic Origin of Victims and Offenders, 2012-15," which it released last Thursday (October 19). Using data from its National Crime Victimization Survey, the BJS puts a serious dent in race-baiting anti-crime arguments. The following three takeaways, among others, contradict the recurring claims about who actually assaults, murders or otherwise threatens White people: 

1) White violent criminals disproportionately attack White victims. 
"Among White victims, a higher percentage of victimizations were committed by white offenders (57 percent) than offenders of any other race. White victims perceived the offender to be Black in 15 percent of violent victimizations and Hispanic in 11 percent."

2) White-on-White crime exceeds Latinx-on-Latinx crime rates, as well as those for crimes committed across races. 
"During 2012-15, the rate of White-on-White violent crime (12.0 per 1,000 White persons) was about four times higher than Black-on-White violent crime (3.1 per 1,000). The rate of Black-on-Black violent crime (16.5 per 1,000 Black persons) was more than five times higher than White-on-Black violent crime (2.8 per 1,000). The rate of Hispanic-on-Hispanic violent crime (8.3 per 1,000 Hispanic persons) was about double the rate of White-on-Hispanic (4.1 per 1,000) and Black-on-Hispanic (4.2 per 1,000) violent crime. As with violent crime, the rates of serious violent crime and simple assault were higher for intraracial victimizations than interracial victimizations."

3) White offenders are the group most likely to assault Black strangers.
"The percentage of violence committed against a Black victim by a white offender who was a stranger (50 percent) was higher than the percentage committed by a Black offender who was a stranger (38 percent)."

Read the full report here, and its summary here