A recent yahoo!news article by Senior Editor Ben Adler unabashedly carries the tendentious title “Republican-controlled states have higher murder rates than Democratic ones: study.” The unwary reader would probably interpret the gist of the title to mean that because said states are “Republican-controlled,” it must be Republicans who are responsible for the higher murder rates. But what if it turns out to be the case that in reality Democrats are committing a disproportionately large number of murders in those Republican-controlled states? In my “Crime 2020” article, I noted that black people committed 50 percent of the nation’s murders while making up only 13.6 percent of the population. Black people also tend to vote Democrat, 92 percent of black voters opting for Biden in the last election. It would appear, then, that being black is a pretty good proxy for being Democrat. (And yes, there are black Republicans, but it’s probably not black Republicans who are running around with stolen 9mm Glocks in their waistbands ready to shoot anyone who dares disrespect them.)
The substance of Adler’s article was based on a new study by the center-left think tank Third Way, “The Red State Murder Problem,” authored by Kylie Murdock and Jim Kessler. All through the piece, the authors skirt the issue of just exactly who it is who is doing the murdering in the Republican-controlled states. At one point, however, they failed to cover their tracks. This occurred when they applied their methodology at the city level, comparing a city with a Republican mayor in a Red state with a city having a Democrat mayor in a Blue state:
Now 17 percent of Florida’s population is black compared with 6.5 percent for California, and 31 percent of Jacksonville’s population is black compared with 5.1 for San Francisco. Do you see where this is going? But it gets better. The authors put a link in the quoted sentence that takes the reader to an article about crime in Jacksonville, and here’s a quote from that article:
Police made murder arrests in at least 42 cases. Of the 50 suspects, there were 35 Black males, six Black females, five white males, two Asian males, one Hispanic male and one white female.
So out of 50 arrested suspects, 41—or 82 percent—were black. This is a sufficiently large enough sample to probably be reflective of the remaining body of suspects who were still at large. So it is somehow the fault of Jacksonville citizens who voted for a Republican mayor that people from a group making up 31 percent of the population who didn’t vote for the Republican mayor went out and committed 82 percent of the murders in the city? Give me a break.
There was also a link to an article about crime in San Francisco but no breakdown by race. With a little internet searching, though, I was able to find a table of information from 2020 on homicide arrests by race in the state of California. According to the table (Table 31 on page 38), there were 1,597 homicide arrests in the state, 462—or 29 percent—of them committed by black people. And again, this is a sufficiently large enough sample to probably be reflective of the remaining body of suspects who were still at large. Since black people make up only 6.5 percent of the state’s population, they are overrepresented in homicide arrests by a factor of about 29 ÷ 6.5 = 4.5. They are probably similarly overrepresented in whatever the San Francisco city stats may be.
Curious about the murder arrest stats in the state of Florida, I came across 2019 figures (Arrests by Jurisdiction, Offense Type, and Race) that showed a total of 787 arrests of which 447—almost 57 per cent—were of black suspects. And yet again, this is a sufficiently large enough sample to probably be reflective of the remaining body of suspects who were still at large. Now since black people make up about 17 percent of the state’s population but account for about 57 percent of murder arrests, it means that about 40 percent of those arrests are due to one little group committing way more murders than they should. The Third Way study gives the 2020 Florida murder rate as 5.97 per 100,000; reduce that rate by 40 percent, and you get a much lower rate of 2.38.
Murdock and Kessler need to perform this kind of analysis for every single state to see what percentage of murders can be attributed to black offenders and by how much that percentage exceeds the percentage of the black population of the state. The issue is whether blacks/Democrats commit a disproportionately high enough number of murders in Republican-controlled states to push the rates significantly above what they should be.