Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Hate Crimes: A Northern Monopoly

Well, not exactly a monopoly, but damn! These facts are interesting:

For some time now the FBI has been tracking hate crimes. These are broken down by state and type of offense. If we look at racially-motivated hate crimes, we see something, well, that goes against the conventional wisdom.

According to the 2004 statistics, the top four states for race-based hate crimes are:

New Jersey
Michigan
Montana
Minnesota

That is a bit of a surprise, isn’t it? Let’s look at the bottom four states for race-based hate crimes. They are:

Louisiana
Georgia
Mississippi
Alabama

There's more:

...when you compare state to state, per capita, hate crimes are FIFTY TIMES more likely in Minnesota than in Alabama! Texas has 1/6th the race-based hate crime rate of Michigan, racial hate crimes are more than twice as likely in Massachusetts as opposed to West Virginia, and North Carolina has 1/3rd the incidence of racially-motivated hate crime of California.

This goes a ways towards explaining the Kos HatePosts--which originate largely in Blue States.

HT: Grim's Hall

6 comments:

jp said...

Were the crimes reported in a consistent manner?

Dad29 said...

I dunno. FBI stats, not mine...

David said...

And this surprises anyone???? The bussing riots in the north (especially Boston) makes anything down south look tame. The KKK has always been stronger in the north (especially IL and IN) than in the south.

jp said...

Is it probable fewer real hate crimes are reported in the south than in the north?
One should be very careful using simple statistics to draw important conclusions.
Statistics can point us in the direction for further study.

Dad29 said...

Yah.

This is not a Think-Tank. I don't massage stats. This is editorializing and entertainment.

You want stats? Follow the links in the post, all the way through.

Then YOU can personally interview the FBI clerk who put the stats up, and determine for yourself whether their methodology is legitimate.

Report back to me in 10 days.

Grim said...

I can report back to you now.

I've dealt with FBI crime statistics before, professionally as well as in blogging. The FBI has a consistent methodology, but it leaves the application to the local governments. As a result, there is wide variance in how statistics are reported.

An example: The Savannah, GA, police department began recording all burglary investigations as "trespassing" unless the burglar was caught, in which case it was reclassified. Burglary is tracked by the FBI, whereas trespass is not. As a result, Savannah's official crime rate took a nose dive.

Actual crime rate? The same -- I got ahold of the numbers, and you could plot a graph where the rate of "trespass" writeups by police rose at precisely the same rate as the burglary rate dropped. This was some years ago, but it serves as an example.

On the other hand -- as I said at GH -- we're talking about a huge statstical variance here. Fifty times greater means that, even if you factor in all the bad methodology you want, you still end up with "Well, maybe only ten times greater." Or maybe they have gamed the system outright, and it's really only double the rate.

The point is, you still end up with a sea change from what people think is true. People think the South is the home of racists and gay-bashers; in fact, the South's rate is lower for those things. Maybe it is, and maybe it isn't, fifty times lower -- but it's hard to massage the numbers so that it isn't really lower.