Whether or not Bill Bennett’s offhand comment that aborting black babies would reduce the crime rate was racist, it was wrong.
“[Y]ou could abort every black baby in this country and your crime rate would go down,” Bennett said on his radio program “Bill Bennett’s Morning in America.”
“That would be an impossible, ridiculous and morally reprehensible thing to do, but your crime rate would go down,” he said.
According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 910,200 of the men and women behind bars last year were black, 777,500 were white and 395,400 were Hispanic.
In 1997, about 9 percent of the black population in the U.S. was under some form of correctional supervision compared to 2 percent of the white population and over 1 percent of other races.
Blacks were two times more likely than Hispanics and five times more likely than whites to be in jail.
But those numbers count only those who were jailed for a crime. In 2003, more than twice as many whites as blacks were arrested and charged with a crime, according to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports.
Of 9.5 million offenses charged, 6.7 million whites were arrested, compared to 2.5 million blacks.
The most common crimes were drug abuse violations, resulting in arrest of 770,430 whites and 381,006 blacks.
Whites were far more likely to be arrested driving under the influence. Of 998,035 total offenses, 877,810 of those arrested where whites.
Blacks, meanwhile, were more than twice as likely as whites to be arrested for gambling, 5,153 to 1,964.
And while blacks comprise about 13 percent of the population, they were charged with most of the robberies, 40,993 compared to 33,070 for whites, and nearly as many homicides–4,395 black and 4,454 white.
Whites outnumbered blacks about 2-1 in arrests for other crimes, including rape (11,766-6,114), aggravated assault (203,076-103,697), burglary (143,889-103,697) and larcey/theft (556,215-233,806.)
Whites also were most often arrested for motor vehicle theft, arson, other assaults, fraud, embezzlement, dealing in stolen property, vandalism, weapons charges, prostitution, sex offenses, crimes against families and children, liquor laws, drunkenness, disorderly conduct, vagrancy, curfew and loitering, suspicion, as runaways and all other offenses not including traffic.
Bob Allen is managing editor of EthicsDaily.com.