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September 25, 2005



Be fair

a) it's all a matter of presentation. While it's true that most black people (and brown/white/yellow/burnt umber) don't commit gun crime, according to your figures if someone shoots at you in Lonon it's 2/1 on that they'll be black.

b) whatever prejudice inforems the presentation can work both ways. 'Anti-racist campaigners' will frequently quote figures to the effect that a black/brown person is x times more likely to be the victtim of a racially-motivated attack than a white person. It's true. However, as Trevor Phillips has recently bemoaned, large numbers of white people never see a black person from one week to the next - considerably reducing the chances of being attacked by one. The same figures will also show that a black/brown person is y times more likely than their white counterpart to carry out a racist attack. and both figures are true.

I looked at the difficulty of analysing such statistics at



"The same figures will also show that a black/brown person is y times more likely than their white counterpart to carry out a racist attack. "


Here we have the two types on people in society. CASE IN POINT.

Type one: Stumbling and mumbling.
Tell the truth like it is. This makes a stronger case in this particular point because Chris Dillow is not black.

Type two: Laban.
Somewhat appear to have taken it personally as though to suggest that he/she has an underlying issue in this area of discussion.

Chris is simply talking aloud and YES, he has hit the nail squarely on the head. The reaction by Laban "Be fair" is very misplaced because Chris is being extremenly fair.

Given the above, one would rightfully or wrongfully infer that Laban's idea of fairness would be what Chris (and I on this point) would deem unfair.

I have come across a great many in society of the Laban persuasion. My question is, why do such truths unsettle you so much?


It seems like Glass Half Full vs Glass Half Empty really. One way tries to emphasise how little crime there is, the other how much. One way tries to suggest we are all about the same, the other suggests certain groups of people are more likely to commit certain forms of crime.

100 per cent of the London bombers was Muslim
Yet if there's 1,000,000 Muslims in the UK and only 50 people were involved in the bombing (planning/organising; deployed) then it is true that's 999,950 innocent Muslims.
However, it doesn't chage the fact that 100 per cent of terrorists in England this year have been Muslim.

Another way to present Chris's stat is blacks are 700 per cent more likely to be involved in gun crime than the average Londoner.

As a final note, even blacks recognise the problem with black male youths and gun crime. If we looked at gun crime for just black males from 18-30 I bet the stat would start to look a bit more worrying than 721 in 100,000. How many more carry a gun w/o committing a crime?

Innocent Abroad

Presumably the point of quoting statistics is to bolster a case for public policy and/or individuals' behaviour to go in a particular direction... I look forward to the figures disaggregating Africans from Afro-Caribbeans and among the latter Jamaicans and non-Jamaicans... well, actually I don't because they wouldn't tell me anything useful.

But the media still churn out daft stories, like the one in to-day's Guardian linking breast cancer to lefthandedness. And we all know why.


It's not that I disagree with the point that statistics are misused or misquoted. You just pick a lousy subject with which to illustrate it.

In reality the Times statistics are quite correct. Your real problem is with the supposed effect they will have on the reader. This seems rather arrogant: apparently you alone are blessed with the ability to deconstruct the truth behind the statistics and I doubt you needed to be spoon fed "most black men are not murderers" in order to not become a racist.

Much black on black murder would seem to be the tip of an iceberg containing gang wars, street violence, drug selling and addiction, low educational achievement and fatherless children. We might ask how this comes about. Could some social factor such as ghetto culture play a negative part in this? Alternately we might blame the whole lot on racism. Might be a bit tricky to explain how West Africans tend to do better than whites. Must be those unsophisticated Times readers - too dumb to deconstruct stats but brilliant at creating a nuanced racism that can ensure that Ghanians succeed, while West Indians fail.

And thats what irritates me about the post. You seem to be transforming the very current problem of black on black crime into a largely won problem of racism.

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