There are two central issues when looking at race and crime. First, whether or not there is a real difference in the rates at which the races commit crime. And secondly, if there is, why?
With regards to the first question the most important single publication on it is “The Color of Crime” . Of course, everyone knows that Hispanics and Blacks are arrested far more, and are in prison far more, than white and Asians. Many times more, in fact. (Less well known is the fact that Asians commit less crime than whites.) However, liberals will often say that this reflects racial prejudice in the criminal justice system rather than an actual difference in crime rates. However, as the color of crime demonstrated, one can compare FBI numbers on conviction rates with massive survey data from crime victims and verify that blacks and Hispanics really do commit far more violent crime (and other sorts of crimes) than Asians and whites.
Even granting this, leftists will claim that the prison population disparities are still not justified. They see that black men have much longer stays in prison than their white counterparts and, once again, claim this is caused by racism. However, this difference has been shown to be due to individual differences between black and white offenders. In particular, the difference disappears if one controls for lifetime violence and IQ .
Clearly then, the conviction rates and duration differences between the races reflect real behavioral differences between the races. The obvious next question to ask is what causes them.
I think the correct answer to this question is that we don’t know have a complete explanation for the gap but we do have good reason to think that genetics plays an important role in it.
First, we know that all of the left’s explanations are wrong. The left likes to blame the crime differences on poverty. However, the racial composition of a city is a better predictor of its crime rates than it’s socio-economic status . The racism of western countries can’t explain the difference either. African countries are more violent than white countries and they hardly have an anti-black culture . Nor can any recent environment change (IE welfare, the breakdown of the black family, ect) be used as a primary explanation. This is because Blacks have been committing more crime than whites for as long as our records go back .
We also have both direct and indirect evidence for the role of genetics.
There are allele’s which are more frequent in non-whites than in whites that are known to increase one’s propensity towards criminality . This has to explain some portion of the crime disparities.
There is also evidence to suggest that the greater levels of melanin possessed by blacks, which is obviously caused by genetic racial differences, explains some degree of the crime gap. It has been shown that melanin levels correlate with aggressiveness (among other things) across 53 species of vertebrae . Further, administering melanin to animals causes them to become more aggressive . Given that melanin seems to cause differences in aggression across the animal kingdom, and we see the exact pattern we would expect to see if it was doing the same in humans, we have a firm justification for positing that this causes part of the gap.
There is also the matter of testosterone. Blacks have more of it than whites and whites have more of it than Asians . It isn’t much of a leap to posit that this, too, would explain part of the crime disparities (which follow the same 3 way pattern).
Of course, most of the genetics of crime is yet to be understood. We will probably learn of new genetic causes of racial crime differences as time goes on. We might discover some environmental causes as well. (Though they will not look like what the left envisions.)
Other fun facts:
A black man is more likely to go to jail than be married or go to college .
Contrary to popular belief, many serial killers have been non white. This includes the worst of them in history .
Blacks commit more hate crime than whites .