Blogs > Liberty and Power > The Murder Rate Among Blacks Can be Reduced

Aug 25, 2007 12:34 pm

The Murder Rate Among Blacks Can be Reduced

Economist Walter Williams has written a column in which he discusses the high murder rate within the black community. He offers the statistics that although Blacks make up only 13% of the population they account for 52 % of America’s homicides and they constitute 46% of the homicide victims. Williams then waxes nostalgic when he writes that, “During the 1940s and '50s, I grew up in North Philadelphia where many of today's murders occur. It was a time when blacks were much poorer, there was far more racial discrimination, and fewer employment opportunities and other opportunities for upward socioeconomic mobility were available. There was nowhere near the level of crime and wanton destruction that exists today. Behavior accepted today wasn't accepted then by either black adults or policemen.”

In the next paragraph Williams does indirectly acknowledge that the difference between then and now is a far larger and much more lucrative mayhem inducing inner city drug trade. However, he does not take this train of thought to its logical conclusion; that the most effective step that could possibly be taken to lower the murder rate among black people would be to legalize drugs thereby ending the violence generated by this black market.

Instead, Williams suggests a possible solution from the example of the Mayfair neighborhood in Washington D.C. where Black Muslims began to patrol causing a subsequent drop in gang activity and drug dealing. There is no doubt that violence in this area of the city did decline after the Black Muslim began their activity there. There is also little doubt that drug sales increased in other District neighborhoods at about the same and that the overall level of violence in that city was probably greater than it would have been without the relocation of the illegal trade and its inevitable often deadly struggle for control of new turf.

Cross posted on The Trebach Report

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