Amren recently had a story on murder victims in the L.A. area categorized by race, age, gender and location. With a few clicks, I found an interesting explanation why the L.A. Times includes the race of murder victims:
Why does the Homicide Report give the race of victims and suspects?
The Homicide Report includes information on race or ethnicity of each homicide victim, as well as the name, gender and age and the time, place and manner of death. A number of readers have asked why race is included. Some have criticized the practice.
Racial information was once routinely included in news stories about crimes, but in recent decades, newspapers and other media outlets stopped mentioning suspects’ or victims’ race or ethnicity because of public criticism. Newspapers came to embrace the idea that such information is irrelevant to the reporting of crimes and may unfairly stigmatize racial groups.
The Homicide Report departs from this rule in the interest of presenting the most complete and accurate demographic picture of who is dying in homicides in Los Angeles County.
Race and ethnicity, like age and gender, are stark predictors of homicide risk. Blacks are much more likely to die from homicide than whites, and Latinos somewhat more likely. Black men, in particular, are extraordinarily vulnerable: They are less than 9% of the county’s population, but they represented nearly a third of homicide victims over the three years of data in the Homicide Report. That means one in a 1,000 blacks became homicide victims over those three years, more than 10 times the rate for whites and nearly four times the rate for Latinos.
The Homicide Report recognizes the peril of turning victims into statistics by reducing their lives and deaths to a few facts — particularly racial designations that provide only the roughest markers of ancestry and history. But given the magnitude of difference in homicide risk along racial and ethnic lines – -and the suffering homicide inflicts on subsets of the population — we opt to present the racial and ethnic contours of the problem so conspicuous in the coroner’s data.
In making racial and ethnic distinctions, The Times relies largely on the coroner’s designation. Occasionally, additional reporting from law enforcement officials or the victim’s family may lead us to make changes.
While it is wonderful that the L.A. Times is not covering up the racial aspects of murder, it is still amazing that presumably sane people can make statements such as “Black men, in particular, are extraordinarily vulnerable” with a straight face. Just who then, do they think is killing those black men? When discussing pit bulls, trained to fight each other to the death, we do not usually describe them as “vulnerable”. Instead, they are described as “dangerous” and put to sleep. Obviously, not every black male victim was dangerous or deserving of death – but as a group, these are the most dangerous humans on the face of the planet.
Tragic as it is that some innocent black men are murdered by other black men, whites should be concerned first and foremost with their own well-being. Segregation is the best answer.