Black people in the American town of Ferguson, Missouri, are rioting because a policeman who shot dead an unarmed black man was released after the grand jury ruled he had no case to answer.
This man's death was very unfortunate, but while people protest about one white man killing a black man, in self-defence the jury evidently thought, why do they not talk about the very large numbers of people murdered by blacks? There are far fewer American blacks killed by whites than vice versa, despite the fact that blacks make up only 13% of the population of the USA.
Nor are blacks killed more often by the police. Interestingly, almost twice as many whites are shot dead by the police than blacks. Between 1999 and 2011 the CDC figures show that
2,151 whites died by being shot by police compared to 1,130 blacks.The following figures date from 2008 but are telling. According to the US Department of Justice, 52.5% of homicides were committed by blacks. The offending rate for blacks was almost 8 times higher than whites and the victim rate 6 times higher. 84% of white homicide victims were murdered by whites and 93% of black victims murdered by blacks.
Many white liberal Americans prefer to blame whites than blacks because sub-consciously they see the latter as Rousseau's noble savages, innately good. This is not true. Savages are not noble and the rioters in Ferguson are not protesting against communism but are looting and destroying. Yet well-off clever people consider rioting romantic. This is the story of the Scarman Report after the Brixton race riots in London in 1981.
Having written this I find that the politician that I admire most in the world, Rudy Giuliani, agrees with me.
It is depressing how many educated, reasonably intelligent people feel they can criticise the jury's decision in the Ferguson trial. Clearly only people who attended the whole court hearing are justified in doing so. It is, in any case, much better an innocent man goes free than a guilty one goes down. Had the policeman not been arraigned, as has happened many times when the police killed unarmed people in the UK, that might indeed have been scandalous but the grand jury (I wish we had not abolished them in England) sat on the case and ruled against a trial. However, the Federal Government may still reopen the case.
An oldster from the American South posted this comment on somebody's Facebook wall yesterday, which is worth thinking about.
There's that lynching thing again. We don't need any self-hating whites any more. We have the true nature of the beast on display right here. It is and always has been a fact that if a black person has been victimized the best place to look is among the blacks. Even during the civil rights days the biggest offender was the black community. The media only showed the atrocities of the very few radical whites. I was there and we did not have black folk swinging from every other tree but it sure was worth your life to walk through the dark side of town being black or white yet a black man might get the looks but he could walk through the white side of town without any injury.What is the solution to all this? I do not think that there is one. The problems are not caused by lack of religious belief or lack of will on the part of the American state to impose, on the one hand, law and order and, on the other, racial equality.
I think it partly comes down to the fact that it is usually difficult for different peoples to live side by side. The more different, the more difficult.
It puts me in mind of something Thomas Jefferson said, which is inscribed on the Jefferson Memorial.
Nothing is more certainly written in the book of fate than that these people shall be free; nor is it less certain that the two races, equally free, cannot live under the same government.Actually, only the first half of this sentence is inscribed on the Memorial.
The early 19th century progressives' solution, the idea of moving American freed slaves to Liberia, turned out to be a bad one. Overwhelmingly the freed American slaves did not want to leave America and the few who settled Liberia did not intermarry with the natives but treated the indigenous inhabitants as coolies and regarded themselves as representatives of a higher civilisation, which, of course, they were. I remember back in the 1970s people wrote about Liberia as the first free black African country, when it was in fact the last colony. The rule of the 'Americo-Liberians', the tiny elite made up of descendants of the black colonists, was only ended in 1980, by a military coup.