The overwhelming majority of street crime, knife crime, gun crime, robbery and crimes of sexual violence in London is carried out by young men from the African-Caribbean community. Of course, in return, we have rap music, goat curry and a far more vibrant and diverse understanding of cultures which were once alien to us. For which, many thanks.
Charlotte links to Statistics on Race and the Criminal Justice System to show that more white people are involved in the criminal justice system to take care of that. It was good enough for me, at first.
Then, a commenter over at Pickled Politics pointed out that Liddle only accused young black men of being guilty of committing more of certain types of crime than anyone else. "Ah," I thought, "perhaps Liddle wasn't just making a crass, sweeping racist statement designed to make his readers think that black people commit most of the crime in London. Perhaps he was making a considered point based on reason and evidence pertaining to certain types of crime that only looked like old school racism."
But, of course, he wasn't. Quite apart from the fact that Liddle included no data to support his assertion, I happen to know that in the three months to July 2008 black people under the age of 29 made up 239 of 741 people proceeded against for offences involving knives in London. Take that back to under 18, and you get 124. Not really most, huh? Looks like Liddle just repeated crap racist clichés about black people being responsible for most of the crime in London after all (until of course, he produces the evidence he based his assumptions on. I look forward to seeing how he worked out the ethnicity of those responsible for 'street crime').
Bizarrely, my source for the stats about black people not being the biggest group proceeded against knife crime in London comes from a Freedom of Information request. Carried out by the Daily Mail.
The figures come from 'Over half of young knife suspects are black, Scotland Yard figures reveal'. Of course, given the way the Mail presented the figures, the story could also be the source of Liddle's assertion that the majority of knife crime was carried out by 'young men from the African-Caribbean community'. The whole point of the story was to emphasise the amount of knife crime black people were responsible for, so it's understandable that readers would walk away with the wrong impression. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if this article informed Rod's. It certainly informed another person who wanted to blame knife crime on black people.
Okay, I know Richard Barnbrook turns up a lot in this blog for someone so insignificant but he's going to have to make another appearance. Back when he started his blog, Barnbrook kicked things off with a post titled 'Blame the immigrants'. He's deleted it now, but you can see a version via the magic of the WayBack Machine. In that post, he had to settle for saying 'immigrants', and in an earlier version that was edited - probably to remove paranoid references to the 'ethnic block vote' - 'immigrants and the sons of immigrants' when everyone knew he meant black people. Not because we all know the truth instinctively and we don't need no statistics to show us what we can see with our own eyes - but because it's been a very common racist stereotype for years.
A few months later, and Barnbrook was confident enough to say:
On the last few occasions I've pushed the knife crime issue very hard indeed and like to think that the fact that the ethnic discrepancy between white victims and African Caribbean assailants has now become public knowledge is in some way down to my efforts.And call for the banning of the Notting Hill Carnival:
until the African Caribbean community learns to control its violent and aggressive young men.In a post titled 'Smile, we've all just been mugged' (mugged by black people, get it? Because black people are muggers - hur hur).
What had happened in between was that the Mail published 'Over half young knife suspects are black...', which Barnbrook hadn't missed, cutting and pasting the only table from the Mail article (with the data from the only age group that showed black people committing more knife crime than white people of the same age group - natch) and removing what little context the Mail had given.
Even Barnbrook, though, didn't openly claim that young black men were responsible for most knife crime in London. Sure, he implied it with his 'immigrants and the sons of immigrants' schtick, and his reproducing of the Daily Mail's table without context - but the only claim he made about the involvement of 'the Afro-Caribbean community' in violent crime was that the 'Afro-Caribbean community' was responsible for '42% of all violence against the person crimes in London involving an offensive weapon'.
For unsupported wild claims about how young black men are responsible for most 'street crime, knife crime, gun crime, robbery and crimes of sexual violence in London', and claims that two murderers described as 'human filth' are not an anomaly in connection with young black men you have to turn away from the BNP and toward a mainstream columnist.
Another mainstream publication gave the BNP the confidence to move from vague euphemisms to targeting black people specifically. Did it contribute to Liddle's racist nugget? Who knows?
What we do know is that Rod Liddle is more overtly racist about the criminality of young black men than the BNP. Seriously - all he misses out from his litany of dodgy racist stereotypes are drug-dealers, pimps and wattymelon.