USA Today Tries to Fact-Check Viral Meme on Black on White Crime, Inadvertently Proves the Meme Correct

USA Today Tries to Fact-Check Viral Meme on Black on White Crime, Inadvertently Proves the Meme Correct by Paul Kersey for UNZ Review

Yes, The USA Today is now fact-checking memes detailing black on white crime, to try and downplay the reality of just how bad black on white crime is in America. [Fact check: Rates of white-on-white and Black-on-Black crime are similar, USA Today, September 30, 2020]:
A viral meme purports to list homicide statistics by race in the United States, as follows:

  • Whites killing Blacks — 2%

  • Police killing whites — 3%

  • Whites killing whites — 16%

  • Blacks killing whites — 81%

  • Police killing Blacks — 1%

  • Blacks killing Blacks — 97%

The page behind one viral version of the post, I Support Law Enforcement Officers, had over 611 shares on its post. USA TODAY has reached out to the page for comment.

Some versions of the meme include this line: “America does have a problem. But it’s not what the media tells you it is.”

Rates of white-on-white and Black-on-Black homicide are similar, at around 80% and 90%

Overall, most homicides in the United States are intraracial, and the rates of white-on-white and Black-on-Black killings are similar, both long term and in individual years.

Between 1980-2008, the U.S. Department of Justice found that 84% of white victims were killed by white offenders and 93% of Black victims were killed by Black offenders.

In 2018, the Federal Bureau of Investigation reported that 81% of white victims were killed by white offenders, and 89% of Black victims were killed by Black offenders.

In 2017, the FBI reported almost identical figures — 80% of white victims were killed by white offenders, and 88% of Black victims were killed by Black offenders.

Though the numbers differ year-to-year, the stark difference that the viral post attempts to portray between the rates of white-on-white and Black-on-Black homicide — which it puts at 16% and 97%, respectively — is inaccurate.

Both numbers tend to hover between 80% and 90% and remain within 10 percentage points of each other.

Rates of Black-on-white and white-on-Black homicide also within 8 points

Likewise, the post attempts to portray a gulf in the rate of Black-on-white and white-on-Black homicide — which it lists at 81% and 2%, respectively.

Statistics from the FBI in 2018 and 2017 contradict that claim.

In 2018, 16% of white victims were killed by Black offenders, while 8% of Black victims were killed by white offenders.

Similarly, in 2017, 16% of white victims were killed by Black offenders, while 9% of Black victims were killed by white offenders.

In both years, the numbers remained within eight percentage points, a much smaller gap than the 79% alleged in the viral post.

Black on white crime isn’t as bad as white people believe it to be on social media, when they share viral memes, but as The USA Today admits, it’s still pretty bad.

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For decades I have spent a couple of hours every morning carefully reading The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and several other major newspapers. But although such a detailed study of the American mainstream media is a necessary condition for remaining informed about our world, it is not sufficient. With the rise of the Internet and the alternative media, every thinking individual has increasingly recognized that there exist enormous lacunae in what our media tells us and disturbing patterns in what is regularly ignored or concealed. In April 2013 I published “Our American Pravda,” a major article highlighting some of the most disturbing omissions of our national media in issues of the greatest national importance. The considerable attention it attracted from The Atlantic, Forbes, and a New York Times economics columnist demonstrated that the mainstream journalists themselves were often all too aware of these problems, but perhaps found them too difficult to address within the confining structure of large media organizations. This reinforced my belief in the reality of the serious condition I had diagnosed.