White-on-Black Homicides Are More Likely to Be Ruled Justifiable. Here’s Why. | National Review

Source: White-on-Black Homicides Are More Likely to Be Ruled Justifiable. Here’s Why. | National Review

The New York Times and the Marshall Project report that homicides are much more likely to be ruled justifiable when a black man is killed by a white person. Racial disparities in self-defense is a topic I’ve spent a fair amount of time thinking about, because in 2013 I had a challenging and rewarding back-and-forth about it with John K. Roman and Shebani Rao of the Urban Institute. (Roman’s study, my response, their reply, my final comment.) There may be some bias in these decisions, but I don’t think this kind of statistic is very helpful when it comes to studying it.

Basically, when a member of one group attacks a member of another group, two things can happen that will affect homicide statistics: The aggressor can kill the victim, or the victim can kill the aggressor. The former act should be charged as a crime, the latter ruled justifiable (assuming the victim reasonably feared for life or limb). Therefore, more acts of aggression by members of a group translate to more unjustifiable homicides for that group and more justifiable homicides for the other group. As a result, if one group commits more violent crime, we’d expect that group’s homicides to be justified a lower percentage of the time.

You can follow the links above for more details on the math, but using a victimization survey by the Justice Department (which avoids the issue of racial bias in arrest statistics), a rough estimate is that there are 767,000 acts of black-on-white violence and 128,000 violent acts where the races were flipped in the U.S. annually. As I explained, if 2 percent of all victims of violence defend themselves,

128,000 acts of white-on-black violence inspire 2,500 acts of justified violence by blacks. And 767,000 acts of black-on-white violence inspire 15,000 acts of justifiable violence by whites. . . . As a result, 10 percent of white-on-black violence is justified, and only 0.3 percent of black-on-white violence is. This corresponds closely to the actual disparity from the FBI figures [regarding homicides ruled justifiable]: 11.41 percent to 1.2 percent.

I also pointed out that most justifiable homicides involve guns, and that whites report owning guns at about twice the rate of blacks.

The NYT/Marshall analysis does adjust the data to account for numerous factors, such as the relationship between the parties, the killer’s sex, the broad type of confrontation, and the weapon used, and finds that the disparity falls from to eight times to 4.7 times. But they don’t have a way of figuring out which party was actually the aggressor, and therefore they can’t tell whether prosecutors make the wrong decisions, letting off whites and/or prosecuting blacks in cases where they’d have done differently if the races were reversed. (I also find it frustrating that in most of their statistics they compare overall rates with rates for black men, combining sex and race so it’s hard to tell the role of each factor. Anyone want to guess whether man-on-woman or woman-on-man homicides are more likely to be self-defense?)

Again, I’m not claiming there’s zero bias at play here; the data are murky enough that we can’t know for sure. But the disparity documented in the report isn’t evidence of bias. It’s exactly what we’d expect to see when one group offends at a higher rate than another.

No, We Shouldn’t Remove Confederate Memorials From The Public Square

“The future is fixed. The past is always changing.”

Will Ricciardella writes:


What I’m having a hard time understanding is the left’s desire to scrub everything they find unseemly from the history books.  As a history major, I was always under the impression that we should learn from history rather than delete it.  And yet, everywhere you turn, the left is trying to pretend the Civil War never happened.

I keep seeing really smart people who I admire deeply like Rich Lowry saying that it’s time to listen to liberals and relegate all the Confederate memorials to museums.  I couldn’t disagree more with that if for no other reason than not being able to answer the question of where does it end? If we start scrubbing things we don’t like from our history who will decide when it stops? Antifa? MSNBC?

Thomas Jefferson and George Washington owned slaves.  Do we remove those names and statues? Tear down the Washington Monument? Democrats elected racist presidents in the 20th century like Woodrow Wilson and LBJ.  Are we scrubbing them from history?  FDR threw American citizens in prison camps simply because of their skin color.  Do we remove him from the history books?  The war in Vietnam wasn’t a good idea. Should we delete every politician involved in that? It was very mean to let all those people die after all.  The Democrat Party created and sponsored the KKK for decades.  Are we really going to let children attend a high school named after a Democrat? Tear it down!


Confederate generals like Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson weren’t foreign crusaders from the other side of the world.  They were born in America, studied at West Point, and the generals that survived the war were Americans when they returned home.  In the case of Robert E. Lee, he was arguably one of the most brilliant military strategists in history and he personally detested the idea of slavery.  And we are worried about his statue at a park because what? Slavery hurts our feelings?

It seems like a much better solution to always remember how far we have come since those days and make sure that in 100 years, no one ever forgets the sacrifices made on both sides that ultimately ended slavery in this country.

Really, 1984 is not supposed to be an instruction book.

Neither is Fahrenheit 451.


Conflicting Visions – Walter E. Williams

Source: Conflicting Visions – Walter E. Williams

Let’s look at a policy pushed by advocacy groups, politicians and poorly trained, perhaps dishonest, economists — mandated increases in the minimum wage. Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman claimed in a 2014 interview with Business Insider that there is actually not much risk of significantly higher wages hurting workers. He argued that low-wage workers are in non-tradable industries for which production cannot be moved overseas and are in industries in which labor cannot be easily replaced by technology. Krugman’s vision is one that my George Mason University colleagues and I try to correct.

Those who argue that the price of something can be raised without people having a response to it have what economists call a zero-elasticity vision of the world. For them, labor prices can rise and employers will employ just as much labor after the price increase as before. There is no evidence anywhere that people have no response to the change in price of anything. Plus, the longer a price change remains in effect the greater the response to it.

Let’s examine Krugman’s assertion that low-skilled labor cannot be easily replaced by technology. Momentum Machines has built a robot that can “slice toppings like tomatoes and pickles immediately before it places the slice onto your burger, giving you the freshest burger possible.” The robot is “more consistent, more sanitary, and can produce about 360 hamburgers per hour.” Let’s Pizza is a pizza-making vending machine from Europe that can make four different kinds of pizza in about 2 1/2 minutes.

Kay S. Hymowitz’s recent article “The Mother of All Disruptions,” in a special issue of City Journal, gives numerous examples of jobs loss through technology. According to The New York Times, 89,000 workers in general merchandise lost their jobs between the beginning of November 2016 and the end of March. And it’s not just the U.S. where robots are replacing labor. Foxconn’s iPhone-making facility in China has replaced 60,000 workers with robots.

The economic phenomenon that people who call for higher minimum wages ignore is that when the price of anything rises, people seek substitutes. We see it with anything. When the price of oil rose, people sought ways to use less of it through purchasing more insulation for their homes and fuel-efficient cars. When the price of beef rose, people sought cheaper substitutes such as pork and chicken. The substitution effect of price changes is omnipresent, but do-gooders and politicians seem to suggest that labor markets are an exception. It’s bad enough when do-gooders and politicians have that vision, but it is utterly disgusting and inexcusable for a trained economist to buy into that zero-elasticity vision.

Democrats Don’t Actually Believe in Democracy – Kurt Schlichter

Again, a lot of the Trump vote can be explained as “I’ll give you something to cry about”.  (Either that or, “Oh yeah? Well deplore this!”)

Democrats Don’t Actually Believe in Democracy – Kurt Schlichter

See, what makes the constitutional system work is that the losing side accepts the loss and complies with the duly enacted law. But if one side chooses not to honor this principle, then that side can’t ever lose. That’s a problem. The designated perpetual loser is eventually going to get woke, and then you end up with a President Trump and (I so hope) a Senator Kid Rock.

Democrats, how is that working out for you? You were all excited about pens and phones, but hey – look who’s dialing and scribbling now.

I warned you that you’d hate the new rules.

See, Americans are fussy about that whole democracy thing – again, I know we’re a republic as opposed to a People’s Republic, but you know what I mean. We are not going to tolerate being disenfranchised. So much of everything that’s gone wrong for the liberals lately has been because they simply ignore the desires of a large bunch of citizens in order to impose their will. And there are consequences.

You want to know why you got Trump? This is why you got Trump. He was the only nominee not telling normal Americans “You’re stupid, so shut up and do what you’re told.


This is about whether all American citizens have an equal say in their own governance. That can only be true when we enforce the law. You either abide by the law, or there is no law. And if there is no law, then there’s only power. Since you elitists probably never stooped to serving in the military, and since you almost certainly are neither armed nor proficient in weapons like we are, which makes us extremely dangerous to aspiring oppressors, you may want to rethink the whole “rule of power” thing.

But of course you won’t – instead, you’re doubling down by trying to nullify the results of the election because you don’t like the fact that you’ve been rejected and that you’re out of power. Except we’re not going to simply shrug and go back to letting you dictate how we live.

Donald Trump is a warning. Trump is the best case scenario. If you somehow depose him via your smarmy shenanigans, what comes along next is really going to upset you. You need to understand something.

Trump is not our last chance. He’s your last chance.

Patterico’s Pontifications » Memo To Employees From Google’s CEO Seems A Bit Inconsistent

Source: Patterico’s Pontifications » Memo To Employees From Google’s CEO Seems A Bit Inconsistent

1. Google claims to strongly support the rights of employees to express themselves. And yet when one employee exercised those Google-given rights to express himself, he was fired.
2. How does the CEO know that the vast majority of employees disagree with Damore’s memo? Would they actually want to go on record agreeing and supporting Damore after seeing him be fired for exercising his Google-given rights?
3. It’s fair to debate what is in the memo per the CEO, and yet when Damore brought up what was fair to debate, he was fired.
4. It allegedly crossed the line by promoting harmful gender stereotypes, except that Damore simply suggested that innate differences between the sexes, to some degree, contribute to the low representation of women in tech, and then he provided options to work with that possibility to increase, or at least encourage a greater participation of women. He didn’t ridicule or threaten or harass anyone. This is what an intellectual challenge looks like.
5. James Damore, in exercising his Google-given rights to express himself, was directly attempting to “do his utmost to create a workplace culture that is free of harassment, intimidation, bias and unlawful discrimination”. He was attempting to open discussion, honestly and seemingly without fear of reprisal directly because of the words and assurances in Google’s own Code of Conduct.
6. In as much as some employees feel hurt and judged as a gender, it appeared that Damore was also feeling judged and possibly hurt for his non-leftist views and resistance to conforming to the prescribed political positions held by Google – even before he wrote the memo. Because his feelings of being judged were the result of the company’s political biases, and were in the minority, does that make them invalid?
7. While the CEO does not want employees to have to worry about opening their mouths, in retrospect, shouldn’t Damore have worried about opening his own mouth via a memo? Does that freedom from concern really extend to every employee and the positions and views they value and stand upon?
8. If employees holding minority views question whether they can really freely express their views (without fear of reprisal) because they already feel under threat, and they’ve just witnessed an employee holding similar minority views be fired for doing that very thing, why on earth would any concerned employees sharing similar views believe his claims?

The “author had a right express their views on those topics—we encourage an environment in which people can do this and it remains our policy to not take action against anyone for prompting these discussions,” AND YET WE JUST TOOK MAJOR ACTION AGAINST AN EMPLOYEE FOR EXERCISING THOSE RIGHTS WHEN HE EXPRESSED HIS VIEWS.

Belgian Study: Victimhood Sets Groups Against Each Other

Source: Belgian Study: Victimhood Sets Groups Against Each Other

Racial minorities engage in “competitive victimhood” in a quest for recognition of past sufferings such as slavery and colonialism, according to a new research study published by Belgian professors.


Recognition of victimhood status is especially important because it can be weaponized for the benefit of the minority group in question, Guissmé and Licata write:

The victim status is highly coveted because it tends to empower victimized groups, which are perceived as morally superior, entitled to sympathy, consideration, and protection against criticism.

Conversely, the lack of victimhood status poses a problem to minorities, since it reduces their ability to garner attention, protection, and even financial rewards (reparations, for example). This explains why the denial of victimhood status can be so troubling: denial of victimhood recognition can lend credence to a denial of help and assistance.

Back in the last millennium, I wrote a piece titled “That Treasured Victim Status”. It’s nice to see academia catching up.