The Color of Money and Crime at Cornell
October 10, 2005

On September 18, 2005, a great controversy erupted on the campus of Cornell University in Ithaca, New York when The Cornell American published an article, The Color of Cornell's Crime - Unmasking the Face of Ithacompton by Chris Menzel.

The article provoked an almost hysterical reaction from some members of the university's administration. Read the FrontPage article Cornell Censorship by Joseph J. Sabia for more info.

Part of the university's response consisted of a letter to The Cornell Daily Sun from Robert L. Harris, the "Vice Provost for Diversity and Faculty Development." The letter was printed under the heading "Cornell American story invokes unfounded stereotypes."

The Chris Menzel article is a frank discussion of inter-racial violence. The simple fact is, black people are much more prone to violence against white people than white people are prone to violence against black people. Menzel illustrates that fact with a few recent alerts of crimes being investigated by the Ithaca Police Department. He also quotes from the book The Color of Crime: Race, Crime and Justice in America published by American Renaissance.

It would be nice if racial differences in crime were only of interest to criminologists, police departments and other persons and institutions concerned with public safety. The rest of us could avoid mentioning that sort of thing in our polite conversations. Unfortunately, the mainstream media are continuously subjecting white people to a major racial guilt trip.

For example, the top-of-the-fold headline on Friday's Detroit Free Press was "Why can't we all get along?" with a sub-headline of "Racial tensions seem to be rising, but some are working to bridge the divide." Although it did manage to reference a few deplorable incidents against black people and it also mentioned a bit of exuberant race-baiting on the part of Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, it was basically a typical extended whine about how "segregated" we are here in the metro Detroit area.

That "segregation" has an interesting history. Briefly, the forced integration of neighborhoods led to de-facto segregation at the city level. Detroit is about 85% black. Nearby Livonia is almost all white. White people did not, for the most part, leave because they were "prejudiced." They were driven out by black crime. When this sort of thing happens in any part of the world other then the U.S.A., we call it "ethnic cleansing." That is the stark answer to the inane question, "Why can't we all get along?" Whenever anyone complains about "segregation," differences in crime rate must be mentioned.

They must also be mentioned because, sometimes, on college and university campuses, relatively minor, or even fabricated, racially motivated offenses against blacks or other minorities are used as pretexts for massive institutional changes. Consider a recent incident in Ann Arbor. One or two University of Michigan students standing on a balcony urinated on two Asian students walking below "while insulting their Asian heritage." (Coleman condemns urinating incident, Karl Stampfl, The Michigan Daily, September 23, 2005.) The article does not give the names or races of the persons doing the urinating, but, in response to the incident, "the faculty of the Asian-Pacific Islander American Studies program have . . . sent an open letter to top-level University leadership calling on it to 'honor its commitment to valuing diversity, by taking a public stand against racially motivated bias and attacks, and to marshall the necessary resources to ensure that the wider university community can collaborate collectively to end such race-based bias and intimidation.'" One of those faculty is even advocating changes in curriculum.

Another major over-reaction is underway at the University of Virginia over "racist" incidents which might very well have been staged for political purposes:

Just a few weeks into the school year, U-Va. has had at least nine racist incidents -- slurs shouted from cars, ugly words written on message boards, a racist threat scrawled on a bathroom wall. And students, parents and alumni are demanding change.

Racist Incidents Unnerve U-Va (Susan Kinzie, Staff Writer, Washington Post, September 17, 2005; Page B01).

Here are some details:
The incidents at U.Va. began the first week of school. Phil Jackson, a black student from Pennsylvania, arrived at his room on the Lawn to find a racial epithet written on a dry-erase board by his door. In another case, four black female students found a racially offensive message posted on their apartment door. A black student found a note with racial slurs left on his car. In four other incidents, racial slurs were yelled at black students from passing vehicles driving on or near campus. All the incidents have been reported to the U.Va. Police Department.

U.Va. reaction to racism is 'mixed' (Carlos Santos, staff writer, Richmond Times-Dispatch, Sep. 18, 2005)

We must pause for a moment and contrast the events at Cornell with events at the University of Virginia. The Chris Menzel article broght together reports of three crimes, all of which apparently involved black people assaulting and robbing white people. Menzel then presented information, taken from the book The Color of Crime and based on publicly available government crime statistics, which illustrated the stark differences in criminal tendencies between the black and white populations of the U.S.A. The response of the Cornell administration was to criticize and harass Menzel for having written the article. To my knowledge, the Cornell administration has not criticized the perpetrators of the crimes.

The crimes at the University of Virginia, if they were really crimes and not staged events, were much less serious than the assaults at Cornell. One campus is in an uproar over minor, possibly staged crimes against black people. Another campus is in an uproar over the fact that someone wrote about serious crimes committed by black people against white people.

Unfortunately, there is a huge body of persons in the U.S.A. whose income and prestige depends on the maintenance of the illusion that whites and blacks commit crimes at about the same rate, or that black people are more likely to be victimized by white people rather than the other way around. That is why the mere mention of a book like The Color of Crime is so threatening, that is why relatively trivial crimes against minorities are sometimes blown totally out of proportion. The issue isn't tolerance or progress or public safety. The real issue is money.

Copyright © 2005

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