Perhaps Blinded by Numbers

a comment regarding your article

"Seattle Cops Shooting Black Men"

Your quote: "It's because so many black men are criminals."

You use say that 40% of black men in the United States are criminals. (How did you arrive at that percentage?) You need to take a look at some other statistics before you presume that 40% of black men in America are criminals. Please remember that the system you admit may be racist gets to calculate the numbers.

There is a great disparity between blacks and whites as far as WHO gets arrested for a crime:

61% of all criminals placed in Federal prisons for the first are there for having committed drug related crimes. 32% in State prisons.

12% of all drug abusers in the United States are black. 50% of arrests for drug possession are black. (National Institute on Drug Abuse: The Black and White of Justice, Freedom Magazine, Volume 128).

In six California counties surveyed in 1995, 100% of those individuals sent to trial on drug charges were minorities while the drug using population of those counties was more than 60% white. ( The Black and White of Justice, Freedom Magazine, Volume 128).

Of ALL types of crimes, 76.4% of all individuals admitted to Federal and State prisons are for drug offenses and 56.4% for property offenses. The largest percentages of people put in prison are not for violent crimes. (Department of Justice)

My point is: more black men are arrested and confined (and are thus "criminals") for similar crimes tha white men commit. This leads to the (IMHO) incorrect perception that most crimes in America are committed by black men. Truthfully we will never know what "category of people" commit the most crimes.

—Sherman Sheftall
August 2001

     Numbers Game (Sherm's second response)
JoT's Response