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Five Myths About Crime in Black America—and the Statistical Truths (Participation)

April 13, 2012

Five Myths About Crime in Black America—and the Statistical Truths

by Hatty Lee, Shani O. Hilton ShareThis | Print | Comment (0)

Friday, April 13 2012, 8:47 AM EST Tags: Black on Black Crime, Guns, infographic, Trayvon Martin


In the wake of Trayvon Martin’s death, we’ve seen a lot of discussion of the larger societal issues that play into how and when people are perceived as criminals. There were hoodies, there were marches, and there were frank talks from parent to child about how to minimize the danger of being a young person of color. On the other side, there were justifications of George Zimmerman’s actions: a smear campaign against Martin’s character, and plenty of writers explaining that statistically, blacks are simply more dangerous to be around.

That framing ignores the realities behind the numbers. Here are five myths about crime and people of color.

—Shani O. Hilton



From → Participation

  1. Alex Clark permalink

    I’m glad these myths could be proven wrong. These statistics seem to be for the most part very accurate. I especially liked the fact about the suspect usually being a personal friend. Most people imagine some “big” and “scary” person when they think of a rapist or murderer. Unfortunately, most murders and rapes (as this article said) are committed by a close family friend or family member. This makes victims much more susceptible to attacks as they never see this crime coming. Moreover, this makes coming out(in the case of rape or sexual assault) extremely difficult as many victims feel guilty and do not want to ruin relationships between family and friends.

  2. Megan Grichel permalink

    I think seeing actual statistics on these myths is needed for people who believe these things to think otherwise. Most of these myths seem to be related to many common stereotypes. Hopefully seeing information like this will help get rid of stereotypes.
    Also, I found it interesting how even crime is segregated at myth 1 states. Yet myth 4 shows that blacks are more likely to be referred to law enforcement for the same crime as a white person.

  3. Tucker Creek permalink

    It is good that people are actually researching these facts to prove that these myths/stereotypes are not true. Especially the myth about crime being prevalent in black communities where they see a group of black kids walking around and assume they are a gang when in reality it is just a group of friends. Also, the fact that blacks are more harshly punished in schools is ridiculous and goes to show that these myths need to be shown that, that is what they are MYTHS. Hopefully, knowledge will be spread so we can stop assuming all these ridiculous theories, and we can go back to the saying of to not judge a book by its cover.

  4. Julia Balaban permalink

    After reading through the myths and statistics it makes is so much more real that yes, this does happen, but it happens in BOTH races not just one. It is good to prove a high stereotype wrong when that seems to be a majority of the populations views. For example, on black drug abusers was 13% while the arrests were up to 35%. That other 22% had to come from some race, right? I agree with Tucker on that its good people are researching these facts to prove them wrong and as he said you will not be able to “judge a book by its cover”.

    • Remember these stereotypes impact all communities so push beyond black/white binary

  5. Kyla Chappell permalink

    I’m really happy that these myths have been brought to the surface, and especially happy that they could be proven wrong. I think these myths are among ones that are mostly thought about in our society. Having taken many criminal justice courses, I knew from the beginning that most of these were false because this racial profiling is taught throughout the criminal justice system. Although, what needs more work is attempting to fix these racist beliefs.

  6. Victoria Kolytiris permalink

    I am so happy these myths are gone because they need to have been proven wrong. This is the most stereotyped in communities and they are definately wrong. I knew that these were false because of my experiences. This happens with both races and not just one which I am glad was addressed.

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