When the ACLU report came out in 2017, Dyer told the Fresno Bee the findings of racial disparities were “without merit” but also said that the disproportionate use of force corresponds with high crime populations. At the end of our conversation, Dyer pointed to a printout he brought with him, a list of the department’s “most wanted” people. “We can’t plug in a bunch of white guys,” he said. “You know who’s shooting black people? Black people. It’s black-on-black crime.”
But so-called “black-on-black crime” as an explanation for heightened policing of black communities has been widely debunked. A recent study by the U.S. Department of Justice found that, overwhelmingly, violent crimes are committed by people who are the same race as their victims. “Black-on-black” crime rates, the study found, are comparable to “white-on-white” crime rates. (emphasis mine)
This is a rather amazing semantic sleight-of-hand. The authors of this piece have their own unique definition of "Black-on-Black crime rate." What they mean is the probability that any given black victim was victimized by another black person. That probability is high. It's also high for whites, because criminals, by and large, victimize people in their own community.
What the rest of us mean by "black-on-black crime rate" is the overall rate at which blacks victimize others or the rate at which they are victimized themselves––which, for homicide, has ranged from 6 to 8 times higher than for whites in recent decades. Homicide is the leading cause of death for black boys/men aged 15-19, 20-24, and 25-34, according to the CDC. That fact cannot be said about any other ethnicity/age combination. Blacks only make up 14% of the population. But about half of the murdered bodies that turn up in this country are black bodies (to use a phrase in vogue on the identitarian Left), year in and year out.
The Atlantic piece made this argument in response to a police officer's attempt to justify the fact that his department arrests a higher percentage of blacks than exist in the local population. It is infuriating that such people––who, whatever their flaws, are on the front lines of the homicide problem in the black community––can get so easily tarred as racist in publications like The Atlantic (which I generally enjoy.) It is more infuriating that many people are more worried about "trafficking in stereotypes"––a problem with no death count––than they are about the leading cause of death among black men and boys.
How do you solve a problem that can't be mentioned?