Determining American reality is sometimes difficult due to the flaws of government statistics, with the contentious subject of race and crime being a perfect example.
The FBI publishes a Uniform Crime Report, providing a vast quantity of public data on crime and arrest statistics, including the recorded race of offenders. Anyone interested in learning the crime rates of blacks or Asians may easily do so, these days with merely a few clicks of the mouse on the Internet. However, Hispanics are categorized as an ethnicity rather than a racial group, and are therefore usually aggregated with whites, making it impossible to obtain Hispanic rates of criminality in the same easy manner.
Unsurprisingly, this vacuum of solid official information has frequently been filled with nonsense, as wild rumors of brutal MS-13 gang atrocities and Mexican drug cartel beheadings have influenced public perceptions of an American sub-population now numbering over fifty million, sometimes with unfortunate political consequences.
Given the importance of the topic, a couple of years ago I attempted to correct this confusion in His-Panic: The Myth of Immigrant Crime. I utilized several different analytical techniques to reasonably estimate the true rate of Hispanic crime in America, and all of these converged to the same conclusion, namely that Hispanics have approximately the same crime rates as whites of the same age and gender.
One of my approaches was rather elegant, and I was quite surprised it had not previously been utilized by the academic community. The crime rates for all of America’s major cities are easily found in the FBI data, while the racial composition of these same cities is provided by the U.S. Census. So I simply calculated the weighted correlations between these two data sets across several different crime categories and various different years, running these calculations both for all cities over 250,000 in population and also only those over 500,000 in size. In all these dozens of different cases, the urban crime correlations for white percentage and Hispanic percentage were almost always quite close, strongly implying that these two groups have similar crime rates.
Naturally, this conclusion provoked a tremendous storm of controversy across the Internet, with a vigorous and often highly vituperative debate raging for months, just as in the more recent case of my Race/IQ series. Since 2010 many of my more open-minded critics had gradually acknowledged that I was probably correct, but there remained some notable exceptions.
The debate on the topic has now suddenly been revived, with the exceptions diminished. For the last decade or more, one of the most highly regarded bloggers within the racialist community has been the individual styling himself “La Griffe du Lion,” whose dozens of lengthy quantitative analyses on race, crime, and IQ go back to 1999. Over the years, his degree of analytical detail has led to widespread suspicions that he is actually a prominent mainstream academic, hiding his extremely controversial racial views under a pseudonym. Possible identities have been suggested, one of which has always seemed reasonably plausible to me.
In the past, La Griffe has claimed that Hispanics had a crime rate many times higher than that of whites with rates almost identical to that of blacks, “proving” this with all sorts of complex calculus formulas. When I raised some major doubts about his methodology, he was quite dismissive and insulting in his responses, and charged that I was simply ignoring “the stark facts” that “White and Hispanic criminality distributions differ profoundly,” and by over a full standard deviation. Naturally, he paid no attention at all to my own TAC article on the subject.
But for some reason, La Griffe has now ended several years of hibernation, and published a lengthy analysis concluding that Hispanics and whites have approximately the same crime rates, constituting a total reversal of his previous position. To my mind, the methodology he uses seems eerily similar to that of my own article, namely comparing the crime rates of major cities against their Census-based ethnicities. Perhaps as a nod to my own previous study and in his usual playful style, he presents the analysis in the form of a speech to the Union of Nationalist Zapatistas (UNZ). In any event, I am very pleased to have my 2010 analysis now completely confirmed via a somewhat different calculation by one of the foremost quantitative experts in the racialist firmament of the Internet.
The exciting word of a new La Griffe essay has begun to spread around the racial-blogosphere, with Steve Sailer announcing A New La Griffe essay!, and already attracting well over a hundred comments. Reading through these threads tends to demonstrate the rather unimpressive quality of much typical racialist thought on the Internet, with most of the angry participants denouncing the incompetence of their erstwhile intellectual idol, and several even darkly suggesting that “La Griffe has to be Unz.” Presumably, the fact that prior to his current reversal, his published articles had almost invariably disagreed with mine on virtually every issue is powerful proof that I suffer from severe schizophrenia, and had created an anonymous Internet identity with polar-opposite views and a totally different writing style. Poor La Griffe—the tone of the comments suggests that his column may have put him on the road from racialist icon to forthcoming purge-victim.
Finally, I have a somewhat parallel postscript on my Race/IQ series. In my last column, I had highlighted my discovery that Arthur Jensen and Hans Eysenck decades ago concluded that Mexican-Americans had approximately the same innate intelligence as whites, with their much lower IQs being due to transitory socio-economic deprivation. I suggested that this historical fact might cause considerable consternation in IQ-activist circles, since Jensen and Eysenck ranked as the Marx and Engels of their movement, and purging them would be unthinkable. Nonetheless, the purge seems to have begun, as a racialist blogger calling himself “StatSquatch” not only rejected any notion that Jensen was his intellectual idol, but denounced Jensen’s techniques, claiming that “Jensen’s method of correlated vectors is terrible.” The same blogger had also earlier claimed that the weighted correlation of 0.86 I had found with regard to timewise Irish IQs was probably due to random effects.
Given that I claim no great expertise in IQ matters, while Prof. Jensen—although nearly ninety—is still alive and well and publishing at Berkeley, perhaps his numerous research errors should be brought to his attention. I suspect a certain academic email box is even now being filled with angry notes from “StatSquatch” and his friends.
(cross-posted at www.ronunz.org)