THE NEGRO CRIME RATE: A FAILURE IN INTEGRATION
From TIME Magazine, April 21st, 1958…
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The article is not attributed to any author. It covers all the exact same issues America faces with Black crime today.
Blacks commit wildly disproportionate amounts of violent crime. They do this consistently across the country.
In 1,551 U.S. cities, according to the FBI tally for 1956, Negroes, making up 10% of the U.S. population, accounted for about 30% of all arrests, and 60% of the arrests for crimes involving violence or threat of bodily harm—murder, non-negligent manslaughter, rape, robbery and aggravated assault. In one city after another, the figures—where they are not hidden or suppressed by politicians—reveal a shocking pattern.
Black leaders allege that Black communities are over-policed. If anything, Black communities are under-policed.
But inequality of treatment by the police may actually tend to shrink rather than inflate the statistics of Negro crime. Says Newsman Wartman in the next breath: “When Negroes violate social morals—sex, drinking, gambling—white cops bypass this as ‘typically Negro.'”
No snitch culture in the Black community hampers police investigations.
Since Negroes, even when they are victims or innocent bystanders, are often wary of calling the police, many offenses of disorder and assault go unreported when committed by Negroes in the depths of a ghetto.
There is a politically motivated agenda to conceal Black crime.
Whether the statistics of Negro crime overstate or understate the reality, they are shrouded from public attention by what a Chicago judge last week called a “conspiracy of concealment.” In many cities, Negro leaders and organizations such as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People put pressure on politicians, city officials and newspapers to play down the subject. Fearing loss of Negro votes, few elected officials dare to resist the pressures.
Abetting the concealment campaign is the feeling shared by many whites that it is unfair, inflammatory and even un-American to talk about Negro crime. This feeling is reflected in the widespread newspaper practice of not mentioning a criminal’s race unless he is at large and the fact would help in identifying him.
Black leaders blame Black crime on poverty. Yet equally poor Whites commit far less crime.
Most often, Negro leaders point to poverty as the No. 1 factor in Negro crime. As Editor Louis Martin of the Chicago Defender sees it, the main cause is poor and crowded housing. But the moderate crime rates among European immigrants, subject to similar stresses of poverty and bad housing, suggest that other factors may be more important.
Crime rates run high in the Negro slums of Harlem and South Side Chicago, but they also run high in the Negro districts of Los Angeles and San Francisco, where the houses are comparatively decent. As many a public-housing official has learned to his dismay, better housing does not automatically bring about the improvement in character and conduct that do-gooders used to predict.
Naturally, TIME magazine had to come up with some other excuse. They disputed the inflammatory myths that over-policing and poverty cause Black crime quite nicely. Yet they push a different inflammatory myth that White people have not been welcoming enough.
TIME states, “standards of personal morality, discipline and responsibility are lower than those in the white world.” The magazine alleges that those views would rise to White standards if White people were more welcoming to Blacks.