Sunday, January 25, 2015
There is a plague of homicide among black Americans
The murder rate among African-Americans has receded in recent years: In 2010, it was 32 per 100,000 people — half the rate of 1990, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But it remains much higher than for other groups. The homicide mortality rate in 2010 for black men between 25 and 34 was about 15 times the rate for white men of the same age. This racial disparity isn’t new. Historians such as Eric H. Monkkonen of the University of California, Los Angeles, have traced disproportionate black murder rates to the late 19th century, with the gap widening in the 20th. Annual reports by the Los Angeles police from the early 1940s show that even when blacks were just 5% of the city’s population, they accounted for 21% of its homicide victims. There is no mystery in the fact that black people are most likely to be killed by other black people: Homicide tends to occur mostly within groups, no matter the race.