This is an older article of mine with an update or two. Considering some discussions that have been held recently on Citizens Against Hate I thought I would revive it and present it anew.
Crime And Racists Pundits II
By Nicole Nichols
Black on white crime is a favorite theme among white supremacists and neo-Nazi's. They labor long and hard to find evidence of atrocities committed by blacks against whites and they laboriously accumulate and amass examples of heinous acts. This has become almost laughably evident across the internet and interspersed throughout their propagandist literature. They embrace acts of black on white cruelty and scour the headlines for fresh "evidence" that blacks are animalistic and indiscriminately violent. Virtually every discussion held with a racist will eventually lead to black on white crime, and the lamentation that these acts are rarely ever given hate crime status.
We must first, in any discussion of "Hate Crimes," determine what the parameters of such a crime might be. In general terms, a hate crime is a criminal act perpetrated against an individual solely because of race, ethnic origin, religion or sexual orientation. Implicit within that definition is the idea that the perpetrator is racist, anti-Semitic, religion-intolerant or homophobic and that the act was committed out of hate. The definition is, in and of itself, problematic in that it requires knowledge of the perpetrator's ideology as well as mind-set at the time of the crime.
With the definition being stated, we must note that the vast majority of hate crimes committed are 1) not against persons but against property; and 2) committed by whites against people of color, differing ethnicities, differing religions or differing sexual preferences. Generally speaking, the perpetrators are self-avowed racists or otherwise intolerants.
Couched within the black on white crime rhetoric espoused by the right-wing extremists are statistical data which is proffered as proof positive that whites are under siege by the black population and that blacks are far more apt to commit violence against whites than the other way around. After all, numbers don't lie. However, those eager and devoted to furthering a "white agenda" often utilize figures to achieve that end regardless of how skewed or out of context those figures might be.
When looking at criminal behavior, the white supremacist will usually use the total number of violent crimes committed by black then invoke the rationale that this is disproportionate to the population of blacks. What they never do is spew statistics for black on white crime vs white on black even though their premise demands that they do so.
The United States of America holds the distinction of being the most domestically violent nation on the face of the Earth. To extrapolate from our crime statistics, however, that one group of people is far more violent than another is quite a gigantic leap even for the most zealous advocate of any cause. The fact that there are so many in mainstream America who are able to make such a leap is simply demonstrative of how easy it is for racist propaganda to be internalized. Even if the statistics presented were pristine and without compilation biases and variables, one would have to look at the picture in its' entirety from a sociological and macrocosmic perspective.
The continued and dogmatic assertions of the supremacist that violent crimes are melanin specific meet their demise when presented with the violence of a Timothy McVeigh, a Buford Furrow, a Richard Baumhammers or a Benjamin Smith. However, most rational individuals, when confronted with the racist rhetoric, refuse to engage in a tit-for-tat exchange of comparison. Often what transpires is a process of rationalization and an attempt to refute their statements with a broader look at the causes of such criminal activities. The upshot is that neither side ever capitulates and the argument deteriorates into an exercise of obvious futility.
In actuality, questioning whether blacks are more violent than whites or why most serial killers and pedophiles are Caucasian, while being an intrinsically and perhaps challenging psychological journey, does not in the end provide us with closure or anything more definitive than mere speculation. And even if the "whethers" and the "whys" were to be answered we would still be left with the unanswered and over-riding question - "What difference does it make?"
Throughout all of the verbiage and discourse that surrounds the discussions of black on white crime or white on black crime, the central crux of the problem is absent thereby rendering all of those discussions circular and non-productive. As discussions of crime have become increasingly racialized we, as a society, have been engaged in the age-old practice of scapegoating. Our obsession with laying blame has served no other purpose than to marginalize the greater issue of American crime and its solution. Even then, the looming question in all of this remains "Why do we even engage in such statistical breakdowns?" If a person is gunned down in their driveway is he/she any more or less deceased if the shooter is of a different race? Is the family any more or less traumatized? Should the crime be any more or less punishable based upon the ethnicity of those involved?
The issue is crime. The statistical machinations and divisions of crime along racial lines is the outcropping of a government and its entities born in colonialism and steeped in white privilege. The only basis that it serves is to provide extremists with yet another vehicle to further their dogma. Their utilization of such figures is simply another attempt at justifying their unjustifiable agenda of white separation and ethnic cleansing. Any discussion along the lines of crime and race merely provides them with another forum from which to spew their venom and serves to perpetuate their convoluted and vitriolic version of "the truth."
Once a veteran in racist dialogue you quickly realize that the issues being brought to the forefront are generally those which the "movement" has been able to spin in a racist direction - and there are few issues which remain untouched by the spin doctors of hatred. The color of crime is probably the most over-used tool within the racist arsenal. Repetition is an integral part of the art of propaganda and the racist factions have mastered this well. Consequently, the discussion has found its way into mainstream America and will continue to be a point of contention for right-wingers who are scrambling for the conservative vote. All of this delineates the dangers of the propagation of racist maneuverings and the proliferation of racist ideology.