The Southern Poverty Law Center's Heidi Beirich
disapproves of a syndicated column by Pat Buchanan, posted not only here [The Washington Post And The Color Of Crime
August 20, 2007]and on his own website, as she says, but on Townhall.com
, WorldNetDaily, Human Events, Yahoo News,
and the Manchester Union-Leader.
What you get here and not elsewhere is the links, especially to anything he quotes, and to any report he refers to, which in this case included the 2005 Color Of Crime report from American Renaissance, which is the thing that has Heidi upset.
MSNBC commentator and former Reagan aide Pat Buchanan is citing racist sources again â€” and mislabeling them as â€?right-leaning.â€?
In â€?The Color of Crime,â€? an Aug. 21 column posted on his blog and the white nationalist hate site vdare.com, Buchanan attacked The Washington Post for not telling the truth about black criminality in two different stories about race and crime (here and here). Buchanan was incensed that the Post did not say that blacks are more criminal than whites and didnâ€™t mention â€?white victimsâ€? of black crime.
To make his point, Buchanan cited approvingly a report by the white supremacist New Century Foundation, â€?The Color of Crime: Race, Crime and Justice in Americaâ€?, which purportedly proves that blacks are vastly more criminal than others. Buchanan uses this racist â€?researchâ€? to attack blacks, writing, â€?The real repository of racism in America â€” manifest in violent interracial assault, rape and murder â€” is to be found not in the white community, but the African-American community.â€?
As an article in the Intelligence Report pointed out seven years ago, that argument is fundamentally flawed, ignoring decades of real research that shows that poverty is intimately related to crime rates. In fact, race, unlike income, has little, if any, predictive value. The New Century article also conflates interracial crime with interracial hate crime to claim blacks commit vastly more hate crimes than others.
Of course, I'm sure Pat would have been happy to quote a neutral study conducted under the auspices of Harvard University, or a similar study conducted by the Urban Institute—any such study would come to the same conclusions, using the official figures supplied by the FBI and the Department of Justice. But these studies aren't being made. There seems to be no funding for them.
The SPLC's seven-year-old article, (which obviously has no bearing on the 2005 Color Of Crime report) claimed that poverty is "intimately related to crime rates." So it is, in the sense that crime doesn't pay, and a life of crime is almost a guarantee of poverty—not being able to get credit or hold a job, because of incarceration, et cetera.
However, the same habits and attitudes that make people poor are also the ones that make them criminals. And in both categories, African-Americans are overrepresented, in spite of forty years of discrimination in their favor. Japanese-Americans, by contrast, both thrived and refrained from crime even when they were oppressed.
These are facts that are obvious to every taxi driver, and it would be better to try and produce cogent argument against them rather than worrying about "tainted sources."
You can comment at the SPLC's "Hatewatch" blog.