Always striving to please, the consummate professional Republican Eric Holcomb is pushing for hate-crime legislation. This seemingly is to demonstrate to corporate chiefs that reprobate Indiana finally “gets it” regarding shifting cultural norms. But for Indiana’s black communities such postured sensitivity merely distracts from real problems and real solutions.
The killing last month in Houston of a seven-year-old black girl gave us a glimpse of the strange justice you tempt by subdividing crimes between those with a racial, religious or sexual components and those that are merely homicidal.
Outrage and demands for a hate-crime investigation were hardly dampened by revelation that the killers were black and not white as first reported. We were left to puzzle out the distinction on the hate scale between a fantasized white man gunning down a little girl and two black gangsters in fact shooting her in attempting to kill members of a rival gang.
Heather Mac Donald of the Manhattan Institute ticks off by name and date the black children killed in inner-city violence, all without so much as peep from the anti-hate groups.
She points to Bureau of Justice Statistics reports that between 2012 and 2015 there were 631,830 violent interracial victimizations, excluding homicide, between blacks and whites. Mac Donald notes that blacks, who make up 13 percent of the U.S. population, committed 85.5 percent of those victimizations, or 540,360 felonious assaults on whites, while whites, 61 percent of the population, committed 14.4 percent, or 91,470 felonious assaults on blacks. Regarding threats to blacks from the police, Mac Donald says a police officer is 18.5 times more likely to be killed by a black male than an unarmed black male is to be killed by a police officer.
And according to our Dr. Richard McGown, data from a 2013 FBI uniform crime report suggests this is not a new situation.
“Of the 2,491 black homicide victims, 189 were killed by a white offender, or 7.7 percent,” he says. “Over 90 percent of black victims were slain by a black offender. Of the 3,005 white homicide victims, 409 were killed by a black offender, or 13.6 percent. Of the 5,723 homicides, 2,654 were committed by a black offender. Therefore, if blacks represent 13 percent of the population, then that 13 percent disproportionately committed 46 percent of the homicides.”
This string of inconvenient facts shows our governor to be purblind at best. Would he have government continually measure who hates whom the most and adjust the laws accordingly?
“If (hate-crime proponents) really want to save black children from the trauma of urban violence, they should put their efforts into rebuilding inner-city culture — above all, by revalorizing a married father as the best gift a mother can give her child,” Mac Donald concludes.
That is not a message, however, that fits the public relations strategy; it might portray Indiana as insensitive, even backward.
Craig Ladwig is editor of the quarterly Indiana Policy Review. Send comments to [email protected]