Ghettoside: High Homicide Environments

7Jill Leovy wrote her 2015 book Ghettoside after spending years embedded in the homicide division of a police department in LA and observing the detectives working in areas of LA with the highest murder rates. She comments that male black Americans make up only 6% of the population, but are 40% of the murder victims.[1] In nearly all cases, the murderer is another black man. In LA County, the conviction rate for black murders is 36%.[2] This means too few black killers are convicted and imprisoned.  Leovy comments that black residents complain of police mistreatment but also want more policing to protect them from other black people. A Swedish social scientist, Gunnar Myrdal, studied the black South in the 1940s and recorded that the same complaints were made then.[3]  Many activists and journalists claim that black Americans do not really commit more crime, they just get prosecuted more. The dead bodies of the murdered, and the damaged bodies of the maimed, however, are rather hard to attribute to over-zealous prosecution.[4] For each murder victim, many more are maimed, four to five per murder,[5] who, for instance, end up in wheelchairs for life. Blacks are murdered between two and four times as much as Hispanics in LA, even when they live in the same neighborhoods.[6] Activists tend to want to minimize black on black crime because they are embarrassed by it and presumably because it is not politically expedient. Najee Ali, a prominent activist, compared it to the shame of incest.[7] Some even want to ban the phrase “black on black” crime, as though not talking about it would help anyone. A coroner in LA, inundated with black murder victims, commented that he is disturbed less by the dead bodies than by the grief of the survivors. One mother vomited.  Another shook her little boy’s dead body trying to wake him up.[8]

While Ghettoside is interesting and well-written and gives an insight into the life of homicide detectives in a way that television shows do not, it offers no plausible solutions to the problems it describes. Leovy comments that black communities are under-policed and more homicide convictions are needed, but the situation she describes shows why this is unlikely to happen and why they are under-policed in the first place. It is all very well to point out a problem, particularly one that is being actively suppressed from view by journalists and activists, but what is to be done? to quote the title of a pernicious nineteenth century Russian book by Chernyshevsky, a title that Lenin later stole, said to have contributed to the Russian Revolution. Of the one thousand assailants police shoot each year, a total of around 250 are black. Most of the one thousand killed were actively attacking and trying to kill or injure the police. Around 25 blacks killed each year are misleadingly described as “unarmed,” implying that they were harmless, though when this claim is examined more closely it usually means that some other method of attempting to kill police was being used, such as using a car to ram officers against a wall, dragging them along the road while trapped in a half-open car door, etc., or the person was beating a prone officer with his fists and shattering his facial bones while straddling his chest, or using the police officer’s own tools against him, such as beating him with his radio or handcuffs. Of the 25 black men killed, around eight or nine are probably unjustified or the results of mistakes.[9] This single digit number can be contrasted with the literally thousands (around 6000) of black men killed by other black men each year. If there is ever to be a solution, describing the problem accurately at least would be a necessary condition, and Ghettoside at least does that. Some uninformed people, like Joe Rogan on this topic, express impatience and say, approximately, that the US is a big country with lots of money, we just need to spend more resources and make more of an effort, and prioritize, fixing the problem. What follows should disabuse anyone that any of that makes any sense. It is not a question that money or resources can solve.

The homicide death rate for the US, in 1992 when it was at its peak was over 900 per 100,000.[10] Blacks died at 6 times the rate of whites. The 1993 rate for black men in LA County was similar to the per capita death rate of US soldiers deployed to Iraq in the 2003 invasion.[11] Black murders, however, are rarely reported in the media. And if they are, it is more on TV than in newspapers. Many families of murdered black men look in vain for some kind of mention of it. Leovy writes that when a bomb in Beirut killed six people there was a banner headline in the LA Times, though there were nine murders in LA that weekend and not one made the paper.

Factors that tend to feature in high-homicide environments include being a minority enclave, one with disputed territories, and with widespread distrust of the legal authorities. Watts and South Central LA meet this description. The more immediate, proximate, causes of killings arise from arguments; some are spontaneous, and some involve long-running feuds.[12] Often, murders are the result of women quarreling in the projects. An anthropologist studying a Mayan village in Mexico wrote “Women work through men by agitating them to homicide,” and the same applies in these areas. Leovy writes: “The smallest Ghettoside spat seemed to escalate to violence, as if, absent the law, there was no other way to bring a dispute to a close.”[13] This is in fact the situation of all cultures before the rise of public justice. The problem of violence and how to contain it is basic to human societies. Our tendency to imitate each other spreads hatred and violence like a contagion. We mirror our enemy’s posture of venom and aggression right back at him, and if one member of our group gets enraged and wants vengeance, then we tend to imitate that too. We tend to be conscious of ingroup imitation, but are loathe to admit that we are imitating our enemies precisely because we despise them. We often become the double of the hated one. He raises a fist, or a gun, and we raise one right back at him – as though looking at our reflection in a mirror. We become twins. Public justice, on the other hand, minimizes these tendencies. Reasons for killing include:

  1. Debts
  2. Competition over goods
  3. Competition over women, especially
  4. Insults
  5. Snitching
  6. Drunken antics
  7. Unwanted party guests, especially
  8. Grudges with explosive potential, erupting when protagonists meet by chance.
  9. Vengeance – with retaliatory murder being considered mandatory. People discuss it openly with its merits being discussed from the pulpit at funerals at times.
  10. Loose talk and rumors are particular aggravators.

Poverty per se does not seem to be relevant either to creating a high homicide environment nor as a proximate cause. Eric Monkkonen notes in Murder in New York City, published in 2001, that some of New York City’s most economically miserable periods had low murder rates. There was no homicide spike during the Great Depression[14]and poverty rates among black Americans had been steadily declining during the 1950s only to see a massive uptick in crime in the 1960s.

In order to solve homicide cases in places like South Central LA “detectives had to be schooled in folkways.” They needed to know about;

  1. Secret slang
  2. Symbolic affronts
  3. Endless nicknames and aliases
  4. The fear of being called “snitches.”
  5. Homeys, fiancés, baby daddies, and road dogs.

Leovy notes that witnesses lied, recanted, and disappeared. Stories were usually inconsistent. Successful cases often came from intersecting points of corroboration.[15] For many murders detectives would be told “everybody knows,” and yet witnesses would either refuse to testify or there would be different accounts of what “everybody knows.” Often murders would be performed in broad daylight with a multitude of witnesses precisely to intimidate and control people. Graffiti taking credit for murders is often spread around the neighborhood, though the viewer/reader has to be in the know to understand it, as part of the so-called Ghetto Information Network, or GIN. Not surprisingly, residents of such places are likely to have an ambivalent attitude towards police, seeing them as useless. But, they are made relatively useless by the unwritten rules against snitches. Yet, at the same time, local residents are likely to complain about over-policing. Stop and frisk policies, there to remove illegal guns from the streets, become sources of resentment. Legally, police must have a reason to stop anyone. The telltale sign of a gun in a waistband pulling down trousers is one such reason.

In a lawless environment, notions of honor and respect become prominent. This reflects the Red level in Clare Graves’ hierarchy of value development. Red is associated with a warrior ethic that respects honor and strength. Gods are “power gods,” better than man because stronger. Without a well-functioning government, countries can descend into Red, or just never develop beyond this level, having warlords who rule over particular areas using fear.

Factors that tend to keep people from leaving high-homicide enclaves are poverty, few noncriminal job skills, welfare dependency, a poor work ethic, lack of credentials, drug addiction, and most importantly perhaps, having friends and family members who live there.  At one point in Ghettoside, Leovy describes a young woman who had only worked at strip joints, and as a prostitute, and struggled to do anything else. She seemed to instinctively want to please men and was used to doing what male gang members said. She was needed as a witness to a murder. Detectives helped to move her away from the area but friends, boyfriends, family, and “work” would draw her back and potentially get her killed as a way to stop her from testifying.

Perhaps, the most obvious reason for black violence and vigilantism, is criminality; engaging in illegal drug buying and selling, theft, muggings, extortion, burglary, etc. When someone reneges on a drug deal, it is not possible to call the police or take someone to court because the entire activity is illegal. In a black market, and an underground economy, public justice is just not an option. Leovy recounts a scene she witnessed where a drug dealer wanted to ask a homicide detective to redress the fact that his buyer welched on payment. This naïve and humorous scene reflects a distinctly unfunny reality. This one fact would be enough to explain black on black violence. A public justice system has multiple remedies at its disposal, from a warning, to community service, to probation, to short or longer prison sentences. Private justice and vigilantism, on the other hand, is largely restricted to murder, intimidation, or severe beatings. It is a blunt tool. Self-policing in these high homicide environments ends up excluding public policing and the police end up just having to accommodate themselves to this fact. Leovy notes that calling out “One time” is a stock insult directed at police patrols coming to high crime black neighborhoods once a day, seemingly with no real intent to stop crime.[16] If a white person is murdered, this violates the self-policing status quo and sentencing will often be heavier as a result.

Young men in Watts spoke of policing themselves and adjudicating their own disputes. “Other people call the police, we call homeboys.”[17] Many in these communities see street justice as ethically superior to involving the police. If someone snitches to the police, the victim families have no opportunity to strike back, in the manner of an eye for an eye; reciprocal violence. An inability to retaliate is viewed as a moral problem. Another motive for not testifying as a witness is if the victim is a stranger, or was obnoxious – implying that people take a “who cares?” attitude in those cases. One exception is the killing of children. Gang members can be willing to turn in their own in that case, since that is considered “out of bounds.” In these vigilante circumstances, the homicide detectives trying to get people to testify tend to see themselves as involved in “sales,” “selling ice cubes to Eskimos.”[18] The better ones exude confidence and conviction, making people feel like they can handle their burdens. One detective mentions that even suspects actually seemed to be relieved when the truth came out. Even so, many of the 36% convicted include the category “cleared other,” which refers to the murderer himself getting shot and killed in a revenge killing, which, of course, is very common. It means there is no need to find the suspect or put him on trial, and yet the case can be regarded as “solved.”

James Whitemore, the legal historian, comments that in the early days of European law, medieval villages were the same. Murders often were the result of feuds and “unanimous jury verdicts began as efforts to coax cooperation providing safety and moral comfort to people who did not want to testify and feared retaliation.” In a 12th century village, fama, “rumors” in Latin, had already named a suspect. GIN knew. The state had to confirm what “everybody knows.” Leovy comments that this is not a job for Sherlock Holmes, but a job for a counselor or a prince.[19]

It is interesting to note, incidentally, that homicide detectives are surprisingly low status among their fellow police officers. Other officers are more often first responders, are much more in the line of fire and likely to get hurt or killed; and they play a much larger role in crime prevention. Homicide detectives come along after the fact, too late to change the outcome, though catching murderers is obviously important for crime prevention in the long run, and are usually in no real danger themselves. Often, officers wanting prestige and promotion actually have to leave the homicide division. This is in stark contrast to their depiction on TV shows where they are the bigshots seemingly for whom everyone else works – from forensics to the pathologist, with uniformed police doing their bidding at every turn.

Violent criminality and drugs often go together. Crack cocaine dealers use firearms to defend their turf and to punish anyone seen as intruding on it. Edwin Delattre, in Character and Cops, notes that legalizing drugs is unlikely to solve the problem for multiple reasons. One is that even after legalization, certain drugs will probably be deemed too dangerous to legalize (fentanyl comes to mind), so their illegal sale will continue, or drug dealers will undercut the price of legally available drugs, and they will sell to populations to whom it is illegal to sell, such as the underaged. There is evidence that in states that legalize marijuana, taxes push the price to the consumer up so much that black-market marijuana remains popular. The marijuana industry in California is doing so poorly, there are plans for a 100-million-dollar bailout,[20]and it is not because marijuana is unpopular. If other taxes are used to subsidize drug prices to try to minimize undercutting the price of legal drugs, then the community will literally be facilitating drug use which seems like paying for your own destruction, and using money that could be spent more productively elsewhere. Legalizing drugs will not and cannot mean literally having an anything goes policy.

The other thing to remember is that the numbers of drug offenders who are in prison just for drug offenses is tiny. Many journalists love to claim that the numbers are huge and significant, and that drug legalization or the non-prosecution of drug crimes would radically reduce prison populations. However, this is not true. The trick they use relies on ignoring the difference between state and federal prisons. Most prisoners are in state prisons; very few in federal prisons.  There are 1.4 million in state and federal prisons, about one hundred thousand being female. “At the end of the fiscal-year 2019, 46% of sentenced federal prisoners were serving time for a drug offense (99% for drug trafficking).”[21] While this may seem alarming, in 2019 there were only 175,116 federal prisoners. 46% of 175,116 is 80,500. 80,500 as a percentage of 1.3 million male prisoners is around 6%. Thus, eliminating all imprisonment for drug trafficking at the federal level would have a negligible effect on the total number of prisoners. Yet, journalists and activists continue to regard drug legalization, and releasing drug offenders, as some kind of panacea. [22]


Not imprisoning people means more violent criminals on the streets, which means more violent crime. The fact is that 1960s and the 1970s saw some of the most lenient responses to violent crime in the world as the result of a huge push for lowering prison populations and for promoting defendants’ rights. “In the mid-1970s, only one-third of convicted homicide perpetrators were still in prison after seven years.”[23] The result was an enormous spike in violent crime, reaching its peak around 1990, which did not go down again until prosecution and imprisonment rates went up. Something similar is happening now where places like California have effectively legalized theft and muggings involving items worth less than 1000 dollars – treating them as minor misdemeanors and not usually prosecuting them. Walgreens in San Francisco have closed down ten stores due to egregious levels of unpoliced shoplifting.[24] Once store owners realize that reporting shoplifting does nothing, the reporting of such crimes diminishes, because it is pointless. Some journalists, indistinguishable from activists, then erroneously claim that shoplifting rates are much less than they really are. Similar failures to report will exist with people whose cars have been broken into to steal items inside, or the victims of muggings and burglaries, involving less than 1000 dollars. Thanks to the failure to prosecute crime and the demoralization of police, murder rates in New York City are up 27% and gang violence 52% in 2020.[25] This lack of prosecution, popular among liberal prosecutors at the moment, especially for rioting and looting “for a good cause,” is inevitably going to have dire consequences. Mark Kleiman’s When Brute Force Fails suggests that there is good evidence that it is not the harshness of punishment that has the most deterrent effect on crime. Rather, it is the swiftness and certainty of punishment that has the best results.[26] Various studies support this claim.

One theory Leovy mentions that attempts to explain why Watts and South Central LA are so violent, is that some black communities in Southern states in the past were left to fend for themselves in terms of policing, though it makes sense to wonder if the reason for this was the same as now – an unwillingness of the residents to cooperate with police investigations. These behaviors were then transported to new locales like LA in the process of in-migration – the movement of Southern blacks to the Northern states. In Under Sentence of Death by W. Fitzhugh Brundage, Brundage comments that black southerners brought with them high homicide rates to LA.  As early as 1941, 21% of homicide victims were black though blacks were only 5% of the population and all but one victim was killed by a black suspect. In 1952, Newton Division in LA, originally “South Central,” which is mostly black, had a homicide rate of 80 in 100,000, higher than the citywide rate in the 2000s.[27]

Another suggested factor is that highly egalitarian societies, like hunter gatherers, have high homicide rates. They tend to operate by consensus with no head man, such as the traditional Gebusi people[28] and black culture in the Deep South was notable for its lack of class distinctions, as pointed out by Bruce M Knauft in Reconsidering Violence. Hierarchies reduce conflict because rivalry and contention is highest among equals, e.g., it is higher between siblings than between parents and children. In this situation of chaotic equality, black people lynched each other.[29] This lack of class divisions was commented on in “Deep South: A Social Anthropological Study of Caste and Class” (1941, reprint 2009) by Allison Davis, Burleigh B Gardner, Mary K Gardner.

America is not alone in having a minority who are involved in high rates of homicide, other violent crime, and robbery many times the rate of the rest of the local population. New Zealand Maori men are around 8%[30] of the population but make up 52.7% of prison inmates. [31]


For this reason, the U.S. has the highest imprisonment rate per capita of any country on Earth and New Zealand has the second highest. Both countries would have around half the prison inmate populations they currently have without these minority groups.[32] Countries like Sweden and France, through their immigration policies, now have groups of immigrants and their descendants who have made those countries more violent too. Stockholm, at least at one point, was having monthly grenade bombings generated by rival Muslim gangs and Sweden was being described as the rape capital of the world, due to immigrants raping local women. One Somali man was found raping the dead body of a woman. He claimed that she was dead when he found her. He was not deported. France had violent riots in Clichy sous Bois in 2005 from Muslim populations from Africa and the Middle East who have not thrived in France, and of course, terrorist acts such as the recent beheading of a school teacher,[33] the killing of a priest, pedestrians being run over by a van, the November 2015 terrorist attacks[34] directed at attendees at a music venue, sports stadium, bars and restaurants, killing 90 people, and other atrocities.


Maori culture was a Stone Age, tribal, cannibalistic, slave-owning, preliterate, warrior culture which, by definition, emphasizes honor and respect, a feature of high homicide environments. Warriors rule by strength and fear, not through legal niceties. The movie The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance explored this difference, with John Wayne playing the manly hero who uses a gun, and Jimmy Stewart, the gun-averse lawyer who, aided by law books he has brought with him, hopes to establish a public justice system and represent the area in Congress. Maori custom included “utu,” meaning “revenge, vengeance, retaliation, payback” including for gifts, “retribution, cost, price, wage, fee, payment, salary, reciprocity or retaliation;” i.e., self-policing. This is consistent with “gang warfare,” and Maori gangs are common, just as gangs in violent cities in the US are. So, Maori criminality might be seen as a form of vigilantism and thus represent a degree of cultural continuity from pre-European times.

10Maori and black Americans also have in common a high representation among the poor, and poorly educated, neither of which make someone homicidal, but it does represent an additional problem for these communities. Maori and black Americans, and the white working-class living in housing estates in the UK, as groups, exhibit similar counterproductive attitudes towards education. The general attitude tends to be anti-education. It is regarded as uncool to be too interested in schoolwork or to work too hard. For this reason, various studies have shown that blacks are better off being entirely isolated from other black students in a classroom. Black students of an IQ of 100 tend to perform at the same rate as white students of an IQ of 90. Chinese Americans, on the other hand, of IQ 100 tend, on average, to perform at the same rates as whites of IQ 120 and Japanese Americans as whites of IQ 110. It is not a question of money. More money, on average, is spent on black students in the US than white students, and yet in Baltimore, for instance, one third of high schools had zero percent of black students proficient in mathematics. “Nine out of ten black boys in Baltimore City are not reading at grade level,” said Jack Pannell, the founder of Baltimore Collegiate School for Boys.[35] Scholarly black students can expect to be bullied and ostracized. “When black Americans physically attack and ostracize black classmates who study “too hard” or take academic work too seriously and say they are “acting white,” then this is counterproductive. High IQ blacks describe their childhoods as “extremely unhappy” more often than other blacks.[36] White working-class youths in England do the same thing to their classmates who try to work hard at school.”[37]

Daniel T Willingham points to research suggesting that where over 50% of high school students are highly interested in learning this brings up the performance of the less interested. If the percentage falls below 50, then the performance of even the more motivated students suffers. This suggests that busing underperforming students, regardless of race, to better performing high schools, so long as the percentage remains low, is likely to have beneficial effects. It is not directly or obviously related to the total amount of money spent on students, classroom size, or the quality of the teachers except as those are related to student attitudes to learning. Educators are painfully aware of the adage that you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink. My wife, for instance, marvels at the poor quality of German language textbooks from the 1950s compared to now. The modern textbook is incomparably more attractive with color photographs and is pedagogically well-designed. If, however, a student is not actually interested in learning German, these improvements are irrelevant.

The same factors will apply to New Zealand Maoris. High schools with high percentages of Maori and Pacific Islanders will precisely for that reason tend to be lower performing. New Zealand schools are not directly funded by the local tax base. However, the children of high IQ, socially, educationally, and economically, high-performing parents will exist in higher numbers in more prosperous parts of town. The funding for the school in the fancier region will be similar to the schools in the poorer parts of town, but the performance of the students will inevitably be better. All this suggests that the most important factor in all this is mimesis (imitation), both how pro-education the parents are, and also how pro-education the students around you are. Very smart children with an eagerness to learn could easily cope with ten-year-old textbooks or similar handicaps. And putting students with behavioral issues and poor attitudes in the fanciest possible schools, but one where such students are the majority, or can exert enough influence on other black or Maori students, is a waste of time. One can imagine the difference between an environment where a student says something rude, disrespectful, and uncooperative to the teacher, and is met with cheers and guffaws, and one where the other students react with horrified silence and tacit disapproval. It is also true that the better the homelife is culturally, the less important school is.

Much of what gets described as “black” culture is really US Southern culture. Illiteracy and rough manners were high among both blacks and whites in the US South. In-migration from South to North caused all sorts of problems, as described in Intellectuals and Race. Northern blacks had been doing well and many were horrified by the new immigrants and feared that their situation would be worse. They were right. Northern blacks had significantly higher IQs than Southern blacks and whites prior to this in-migration. They were well-integrated into white communities, had low unemployment and high marriage rates. This “Southern” culture was related to its origins in a poorly performing segment of British culture, in which white working-class children still live.  The common Maori lack of love for book learning is consistent with their tribal oral culture past.

Pouring money into inner cities has not achieved much. Twenty trillion dollars has been spent on social programs since the 1960s. Brookings found that, on average, poor and minority students receive between 1-2 percent more resources than non-poor or white students in their districts, equivalent to about $65 per pupil.”[38] They added “Because districts vary in how much resources they can raise locally, we expected to see more inequality across districts than within them. Yet, we were surprised to see that average levels and variation in spending inequality between districts is nearly identical to the within-district inequalities.” Other findings included:

  • In richer districts, poor and Hispanic students receive more school resources, relative to their non-poor and white peers in the same districts.
  • Districts with more school segregation—whether socioeconomic or racial—tend to spend more on poor and minority students relative to non-poor and white students.
  • Black and Hispanic students receive relatively fewer resources in districts where black or Hispanic family income is more equal to (or even higher than) white family income.[39]

Hans Laven writes: “Poverty has long been ruled out as a major causal factor in crime. Poorer people are about as likely as richer people to maintain high standards of interpersonal morals and responsibility. Commonly assumed factors such as poor education and unemployment are not major at all. Factors employed by the NZ Dept of Corrections that have been shown through adequate research to be highly related to criminal behaviour include, in the previous 6 months or so, drug and alcohol abuse, gambling, mixing with criminal associates, relationship problems, poor lifestyle balance, violence propensity, experiencing risk-taking arousal, holding cognitions and emotions supportive of offending, experiencing offence-related sexual arousal, suffering from psychiatric or organic brain disorder. Childhood factors are much less relevant in differentiating between offenders and non-offenders. However, there are childhood factors that are mildly correlated with adult offending and these include parental substance abuse, parental psychiatric illness, incompetent parenting, highly restrictive or punitive parenting, parental divorce, adoption. Fatherlessness has not been researched sufficiently to draw confident conclusions.[40] Research results are conflicting concerning the impact of sole parenthood.”[41]

Thomas Sowell blames the huge surge in crime in the 1960s in part to white and black intellectuals who sought to defend the antisocial behavior of those living in poverty. And, indeed, life on housing estates which had been relatively clean and safe, went to hell during this period. It would be nice to see some studies comparing black American and Maori criminality because their general situations seem remarkably similar, namely, their percentage of the population and their percentage as inmates in the prison system, particularly for violent offending. It would seem worthwhile to be initially skeptical of explanations that are completely different between the groups. Also, on a more positive note anything that worked particularly well for NZ Maori might work great for black Americans too, and vice versa.

[1] p. 6, Ghettoside.

[2] p. 9, ibid.

[3] p. 50, ibid.

[4] Blacks tend to be charged with drug possession crimes at a higher rate than whites because they are more likely to be involved with potentially violent drug dealing involving illegal guns. To get a conviction and avoid trials, defendants will often be offered a reduced sentence for pleading to a lesser crime, especially mere drug possession. When comparing black and white sentencing differences, it is also important that previous convictions are taken into account, which it often is not. Having a history of criminal activity is likely to mean heavier sentences, generally speaking.

[5] p. 49, Ghettoside.

[6] p. 10, ibid.

[7] Ibid.

[8] p. 87, ibid.


[10] p. 34, Ghettoside.

[11] Ibid.

[12] p. 39, ibid.

[13] p. 40, ibid.

[14] p. 358, ibid.

[15] p. 42, ibid.

[16] p. 83, ibid.

[17] p. 79, ibid.

[18] p. 85, ibid.

[19] Ibid.




[23] p. 156, Ghettoside.



[26] p. 349, Ghettoside.

[27] p. 156, ibid.

[28] p. 345, ibid.

[29] Ibid.



[32] A criminologist, Charis Kubrin, was asked on Sean Carroll’s Mindscape podcast why the incarceration rate in the US was so high. She replied that she did not know. We do know. The question is, what can be done about it?

[33] October 16, 2020.



[36] Edelbert G. Rogers, The Relationship of Certain Measurable Factors in the Personal and Educational Backgrounds of Two Groups of Baltimore Negroes, Identified as Superior and Average in Intelligence as Fourth-Grade Children, to their Educational, Social and Economic Achievement in Adulthood (Unpublished Doctoral Dissertation, New York University, 1956, University Microfilms, p. 50.

[37] Thomas Sowell in Intellectuals and Race.


[39] Ibid

[40] Violent crime and fatherlessness are very highly correlated, nonetheless.


6 thoughts on “Ghettoside: High Homicide Environments

  1. Before the Watts Riots in 1965, my mother used to take my sister and me to South Los Angeles to buy us shoes and clothes. My father was a fire captain at the time and his district included Watts. Firemen had agreements with shopkeepers, so there was a discount. We were welcome in the shoe salons and clothing stores. The riots burned out those shops; the businesses disappeared; and it became dangerous for white people to travel through the formerly friendly neighborhood. Nowadays the black population has been pushed out of the L.A. city limits by the Mexican influx. According to friends who still live in he Great Basin, you can lunch cheaply on good Mexican food in Watts sans risk. (Wikipedia claims that Watts is now 61% “Hispanic” while blacks are down to 37%.) Those shopkeepers were a link between blacks and whites. The riots destroyed that link as well as burning out those businesses. Race relations have been in a “downhill” mode ever since.

    • It would appear that link was purely transactional. If your dad wasn’t a fire captain, your mom wouldn’t have taken y’all shopping in Watts.

      I don’t think black-white relations have ever been good. We face each other across a 100,000 year genetic chasm, after all.

      • “I don’t think black-white relations have ever been good.”

        They were better once than they are now. If transactions were the cause — all praise to transactions!

  2. The solution for murder is not prison. But Death(Genesis 9:6). And the pollution of murder. That is the bloodshed that pollutes the land cannot be cleansed from the land but by the blood of the person who committed the murder whether male or female(Num 35:33).

    Also prisons are breeding grounds for worse criminals. And Prison Gangs who project their power onto the streets. As well as areas where rape and murder occur behind bars.

    Although when the Medieval’s did it. It began as exterminating highway robbers since the investigation capacity and state strength was not as strong in the beginning:

    • Hi, info: In this particular article I am neither promoting nor criticizing imprisonment, it’s more about rates of offending. With regard to the second post you link to, private justice involving vendettas and feuds is terrible. Once reciprocal violence starts, there is no logical end point and violence escalates. DNA evidence suggests that we have executed, or started the process for executing people who were in fact innocent of any crime and with execution, there are no take-backsies.

  3. Pingback: Flotsam: Snobbery, Revolutions, and the Fourth of July | Serpent's Den


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