The Emanuel Church Murders and Racial Violence

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APA
Agresti, J. D. (2015, June 26). The Emanuel Church Murders and Racial Violence. Retrieved from https://www.justfactsdaily.com/the-emanuel-church-murders-and-racial-violence/
MLA
Agresti, James D. “The Emanuel Church Murders and Racial Violence.” Just Facts. 26 June 2015. Web. 17 October 2019.<https://www.justfactsdaily.com/the-emanuel-church-murders-and-racial-violence/>.
Chicago (for footnotes)
James D. Agresti, “The Emanuel Church Murders and Racial Violence.” Just Facts. June 26, 2015. https://www.justfactsdaily.com/the-emanuel-church-murders-and-racial-violence/.
Chicago (for bibliographies)
Agresti, James D. “The Emanuel Church Murders and Racial Violence.” Just Facts. June 26, 2015. https://www.justfactsdaily.com/the-emanuel-church-murders-and-racial-violence/.

By James D. Agresti
June 26, 2015

In the wake of the racially motivated murders of three black men and six black women by a young white man, some individuals are using this crime as a platform to claim that America is teeming with racism and that violence against black people is rising.

For example, Karen Attiah of the Washington Post wrote that this attack is a “deeply violent reminder that racism and white supremacy continue to course through America’s veins.”

Likewise, Dr. Patricia Williams Lessane of the College of Charleston wrote in the New York Times that “we African-Americans have no sanctuary,” face “increasing terror” on “a daily basis,” and are “terrorized by those who use Stand Your Ground to cut us down without a second thought.”

Such statements paint a distorted view of reality by drawing broad generalizations from anecdotes. In a nation of 320 million people with about 14,000 murders per year, there are many opportunities to advance false storylines by focusing on a small portion of the big picture.

Contrary to the notion that murders of African Americans are increasing, the latest and most comprehensive data on the race of homicide victims show that the murder rate of black people in America has dropped by more than 50% since the early 1990s:

black_murder_rate_1980-2013Furthermore, the latest and most comprehensive data on interracial murders show that they account for less than 15% of all murders, and that black-on-white murders are about twice as common as white-on-black murders:

interracial_murders_1980-2013This same data also refutes the rhetoric of the Charleston killer, who apparently penned a manifesto in which he railed against “black on White” crime and declared that “segregation was not a bad thing” because it protected whites from “having to interact” with blacks and “being physically harmed” by them.

The truth of the matter is that whites are by far the greatest killers of whites, and blacks are by far the greatest killers of blacks. As detailed in a U.S. Department of Justice study that is the source of most of the data above, from 1980 through 2008, “84% of white victims were killed by whites,” and “93% of black victims were killed by blacks.”

Hence, those who pin blame on any race in America for violence against another race are avoiding the much greater problem, which is people of the same races killing each other. Moreover, individuals who falsely accuse others of racism and violence are sowing the seeds of more hatred and bloodshed.

When people are misled to believe that they are being terrorized, some will inevitably strike back. This should compel all people to make sure they get the facts straight and challenge such slander as it arises.

7 thoughts on “The Emanuel Church Murders and Racial Violence

  1. Pingback: Does America’s Homicides Prove Racism? | Hoosier Econ

  2. You object to Williams’ phrase re ‘face “increasing terror” on “a daily basis,”’ and you distill “increasing” from Attiah’s statement of “continue to course through”.

    “Continue to course through” does not imply “increasing” but instead underlines that racism and notions of white supremacy actually exist.

    Terror is the drip, drip, drip of 4000 lynchings, one or two a week, in the headlines for sixty years. Terror spreads in communities by stories of unprosecuted brutality that finally get traction via incontrovertible video evidence. Terror manifests when the subculture of white hate on the Internet invades sacred bible study and methodically burns churches. Today’s substantive proof of activity that has festered below the surface justifies phrasing like “increasing terror” on “a daily basis.” It’s finally coming to light, eh?

    How about some “just the facts” regarding incidents of voter fraud and how Voter ID swamps far more valid participation in democracy than it prevents subversion of the process? That the facts show it is a targeted campaign to suppress undesirable votes?

    • “Terror is the drip, drip, drip of 4000 lynchings, one or two a week, in the headlines for sixty years. Terror spreads in communities by stories of unprosecuted brutality that finally get traction via incontrovertible video evidence. Terror manifests when the subculture of white hate on the Internet invades sacred bible study and methodically burns churches. Today’s substantive proof of activity that has festered below the surface justifies phrasing like “increasing terror” on “a daily basis.” It’s finally coming to light, eh?”

      This is just the same type of sensationalizing talk that you will find on any other junk media site…

      This article is tackling a very clear point: the media is painting a picture of increased racial tension and violence, but the fact is that things are only getting better and better. This is clearly shown in both graphs.

  3. You are worried about the subculture of white hate invading sacred black churches? It’s bad, too be sure, but I’m more worried about the mainstream cultural narrative pushing the idea that whites are murderring blacks en masse nationwide and that there are large portions of this nation where whites are all hate filled racists. The same mainstream culture avoids reporting on black on white crime, something far more common than white on black crime, as this disturbs their narrative. These sorts of distortion a do much to harm the relationship between races and will lead to more suspicion, mistrust, and bloodshed down the line.

    I also find it odd that you’d request a post on voter id’s and pair it with your own conclusion. Please rethink your stances on these issues and try to step away from the media propaganda and the partisan bias that pervades the conversation on both sides. It’s hard, but we all need to overcome our own shortcomings in order to make the right decisions and make some positive change.

  4. I’d like more information than what is presented here. The first graph stops at the year 2013. Has there been an increase in the last year and a half? Also, some of the recent deaths of young black men in our country have occurred in situations with police officers. Most of these incidents have not been deemed murder, even though the victims were unarmed. These incidents would not raise the murder rate, but do they not raise the rate of violent man-made deaths?
    Having said all that, I truly appreciate this article. I did not realize how bad the violence was against African-Americans in the 1990s! The greater problem that we should be focusing on right now isn’t about racial violence – it’s about violence. I hope that we can all work together to find ways to help people – whether they are mentally ill, addicted to drugs, economically desperate, wayward, or criminally inclined – to stop turning to violence as a solution to their problems.

  5. I have little doubt that demagogs use race in un-constructive ways on both sides of the political spectrum. However, your dismissal of the claims about the racial motivations for murders seem disingenuous and motivated by the conclusion you wished to reach. Most importantly, the overall murder rates, and particularly the far greater likelihood for black on white as opposed to white on black violence does not support the blanket dismissal of the claims that you offer. At a minimum, the analysis needs to control for poverty, which has been shown to drive crime in innumerable studies:

    http://www.psmag.com/business-economics/its-poverty-not-the-teenage-brain-that-causes-the-most-youth-crime

    My guess is that you likely need to control for segregation in work and living patterns. Whites working in inner cities (that they abandon each night for the suburbs) may put them in proximity to (disproportionately African American poverty).

    An alternate approach to answering the question you pose is to focus on hate crimes; this analysis suggests that those who see white on black violence as the bigger threat are correct: From the latest hate crimes report: “Of the reported 3,407 single-bias hate crime offenses that were racially motivated, 66.4 were motivated by anti-black or African-American bias, and 21.4 percent stemmed from anti-white bias.”

    https://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/2014/december/latest-hate-crime-statistics-report-released

    To the extent that the narrative you wish to counter suggests that there has been a sharp increase in hate crimes against African Americans, it is not correct,

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonkblog/wp/2015/06/18/5-charts-show-the-stubborn-persistence-of-american-hate-crime/

    That said, I would guess at least some of the confusion to the fact that these crimes become more visible as more attention is given to them, which is exactly what the Charleston attack did. It is precisely for this reason that the category of hate crime was invented; your attempt to dismiss the issue using overall crime statistics appears to me to be more ideological than factual.

    • Your comment attempts to excuse murder on the basis of relative income. It amounts to saying, “A black on-white murder is not as bad as a white-on-black murder, because black people don’t earn as much money as whites.”

      You’ve also mangled the causes and effects, because many of the character flaws that produce poverty also produce crime. Moreover, crime produces poverty, because it is difficult for people to prosper when beset by theft and violence.

      Hate crime counts are politicized nonsense that make murders seem like less of an offense than racist remarks. For example, during 2013, 12,253 murders were committed, and at least 54% or 6,600 of the perpetrators were black. Yet, the FBI classified absolutely none of these murders as hate crimes. Meanwhile in the same year, the FBI classified 1,153 cases of “intimidation” by whites as hate crimes.

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