Thursday, April 19, 2012

It's The Culture - Stupid!

Race doesn't predispose communities to crime. Culture does.
For the record, I concur with Mark Steyn, who in his discussion of the Taki’s Magazine piece that got John Derbyshire expelled from National Review, pointed to culture rather than racial determinism as explaining socioeconomic differences between groups of people.  “Why is Haiti Haiti and Barbados Barbados?” Steyn asks.  “Why is India India and Pakistan Pakistan?  Skin color and biological determinism don’t get you very far on that.”

A similar comparison – with similarly stark results – can be made in Los Angeles.  The Los Angeles Times maintains a database of statistical information on cities and neighborhoods across L.A. County.  The communities of View Park-Windsor Hills and Baldwin Hills-Crenshaw are adjacent to one another in an area four to five miles northeast of Los Angeles International Airport.  The concentration of black residents in View Park-Windsor Hills, at 86.5 percent, is the highest of any area measured in the L.A. Times database.  The Baldwin Hills-Crenshaw neighborhood, just to the north, is home to the county’s fifth-highest concentration of blacks, at 71.3 percent.

One subscribing to the notion that any such solidly black neighborhoods must perforce be plagued by violent crime would be surprised to learn that since January 1, 2007, there has been but one homicide in View Park-Windsor Hills, this occurring on the very fringe of the neighborhood where it abuts one known for higher crime.  By contrast, over the same period there have been 32 homicides in Baldwin Hills-Crenshaw.  How to explain the difference?

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