Op-ed views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author.
This week, a 16-year-old boy named Ralph Yarl — black — accidentally rang the doorbell of an 84-year-old white man, Andrew Lester. According to reports, Lester then shot Yarl twice through the door, wounding him in the head and the arm. According to Clay County prosecutor Zachary Thompson, “I can tell you there was a racial component.”
This fact pattern immediately sent the salivary glands of the media and the Biden administration into overdrive. Drooling with excitement, the media headlined the Yarl shooting for days; President Joe Biden himself immediately invited Yarl, who survived, to the White House.
The reason for the journalistic and political feeding frenzy is clear: For the political Left, the narrative of white supremacy must be maintained. What’s more, shocking examples of that narrative must be found. Yarl’s shooting fit the bill. Americans are supposed to believe, as Yarl’s attorney put it, that “blackness is under attack.”
This is a lie. Not only is it a lie, it is a blatantly idiotic and devastatingly counterproductive lie. That lie provides the impetus toward undercutting police presence in high-crime areas; it provides the basis for racially discriminatory governmental policies; it provides the foundation for the argument that all disparities between the races are the result of white discrimination.
The truth is far more troubling: In America, while most violent crime is intra-racial (white on white or black on black, for example), in cases in which blacks and whites have violent interaction, blacks are overwhelmingly the perpetrators, not the victims.
In 2019, for example, 3,299 white Americans were murdered; 566, or 17%, were killed by black perpetrators. That same year, 2,906 black Americans were murdered; 246, or 8%, were killed by white perpetrators. Adjusted for population size — there are far more whites in America (235 million) than blacks (47 million) — this means that approximately one out of every million white Americans killed a black person in 2019, while 12 out of every million black Americans killed a white person. Such numbers are reflective of a norm: every year from 2001 on, the number of black-on-white killings has approximately doubled the number of white-on-black killings. When it comes to violent crime generally, the same sad truth applies. In 2019, there were 562,550 reported violent black/white incidents. 472,570 were black on white — 84%.
The media routinely ignore these facts, since they don’t fit the narrative. In fact, the media have a general tendency not to even mention the race of perpetrators of crimes if those perpetrators are black. The people harmed most by this narrative failure are not white Americans, but black Americans, who are predominantly the victims of black crime. According to the Department of Justice, “In 2018, based on data from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program, black people were overrepresented among persons arrested for nonfatal violent crimes (33%) and for serious nonfatal violent crimes (36%) relative to their representation in the U.S. population (13%).” The vast majority of victims were black.
Understanding the facts about interracial crime presents different solutions than the lies we hear about the prevalence of white-on-black violence. Those solutions include encouraging fatherhood in the home. Only 37% of black children are living in a home with their biological parents; 72% of black fathers aren’t married to the mother of their children; and only 4.2% of black children grow up in areas with a poverty rate below 10% and over half of black fathers present in the community.
But such discussions never take place if we focus on a lie: the lie that black victims are disproportionately the victim of white evils. Those who promulgate that lie victimize all Americans, black and white.
Ben Shapiro, 39, is a graduate of UCLA and Harvard Law School, host of “The Ben Shapiro Show,” and co-founder of Daily Wire+. He is a three-time New York Times bestselling author; his latest book is “The Authoritarian Moment: How The Left Weaponized America’s Institutions Against Dissent.”
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