This comment was by WellOkayThen on the post “Why Are So Many Black Males Being Murdered in Chicago?“
I kept waiting for the article above to make the obvious point about MEN being the overwhelming vast majority of murder victims in this case, but it never quite got there.
If a poor black man is more likely to be a murder victim than anyone else, it is not just because of poverty and racism. It is also just as much because he is MALE. Look at the victim percentages any way you want, the biggest inequality is in gender. Being male is probably the biggest factor in being likely to get murdered in our society, not being black or poor. If it were primarily about race, one would expect there to be comparable numbers of black women murdered, but that is probably not the case.
Being a “black man” means that you are “black” and also that you are a “man.” Our society shoots at BOTH of those attributes. Being a black man is a double whammy, not a single whammy. Each of those characteristics puts a bull’s eye on your back.
On a separate note, it would be important to factor out differences in population density, especially when it comes to residential neighborhoods. The business district didn’t have murders, but maybe relatively few people live there anyway. The poorer neighborhoods have more people crammed into them, so mathematically they are bound to have slightly more murders than elsewhere, just because they have more people. “Half of the police districts” does not necessarily mean half of the population. (Maybe the precincts are supposed to serve an eqal number of people? I don’t know.) The distribution may be more even than it looks.
photo: mrbill / flickr