Racial Fairy Tales from the NAACP

Welcome to the single most breathtaking sentence in the history of San Diego journalism.

It comes unchallenged from the lips of Lei-Chala Wilson, president of the San Diego chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

Wilson was explaining to a reporter from the San Diego Union-Tribune why crime rates for black people are so astronomically out of proportion: “The statistics have proven we don’t commit more crimes than anyone else, but we’re more likely to get stopped, detained and arrested,” Wilson said. “The word is getting out and people are more aware of it.”

The story reports how in San Diego County, black people make up 5 percent of the population, but 29 percent of the suspects in violent crime. Which is pretty much the way it is around the rest of the country -- even in cities like New Orleans, Philadelphia, Detroit, Camden, Baltimore, Washington, Wilmington, Kansas City, Newark, Gary, Flint, and others where for decades, black politicians have controlled the police.

If what Wilson says is true, in San Diego alone, tens of thousands of white criminals are getting away with murder, assault, burglary, theft, you name it.

All under the sleepy gaze of the local newspaper that might be expected to notice something like that. A paper that apparently is too somnambulant to ask: “Really? What statistics are you talking about?”

This idea is heard every day in places including MSNBC, New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, AP, you name it. But people seldom talk about the source.

Once you pull on the thread, you find the same study is at the root of all the psuedo-sociologists who claim cops ignore white criminals. And it comes from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Instead of just asking people to fill out a form, the Census Bureau also visits 3000 families and asks them to answer about 45 minutes worth of more detailed questions, including some version of this: Do you smoke pot?

They found black and white people admit to smoking marijuana in about the same amount. That’s it. No testing. Just talking.

They assembled their answers in a report called the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse and Health. Soon the talking heads figured black people were arrested four times more often for apparently committing the same amount of crime: Smoking dope.

And that is how the big ‘everyone commits crime in the same amount but only black people are arrested’ hoax was born.

That is it. That’s all there is. And it is not even close to being true.

The buzz word for this kind of research is “self-reporting.” This research itself is the subject of a lot of research. And scientists have found that self-reporting for drug use is not reliable.

Especially for one particular group of people: African Americans.

Yes, they actually say that. Let’s look at a few quotes:

According to the medical journal Addictive Behaviors, “underreporting of cocaine was documented with urine testing validation as well where African Americans in comparison to Caucasians who were urine positive were about 6 times less likely to report cocaine use when other factors are controlled for.”

At Johns Hopkins, they tested self-reporting of marijuana use among African Americans: “A study of 290 African American men in Baltimore, Maryland undergoing treatment for hypertension showed that self-reporting of illicit drug use is unreliable. Only 48 of the participants reported drug use but urine drug tests revealed that 131 had used drugs.”

Here’s more from the Journal of Addictive Behavior: When testing to see if someone was telling the truth about using cocaine: “Race was the most salient predictor of cocaine disagreement. Even when other factors were controlled for, the self-report and hair test results for African Americans were more discrepant than for non-African Americans, a finding consistent with past studies.”          

And that is how the big lie about the equality of black and white crime rates was born.

Reporters used to live by the dictum: If your mother says she loves you, check it out -- unless your mother is telling your fairy tales about racial discrimination that are easily disproved but, apparently, not easily challenged.

Colin Flaherty is the author of the Amazon #1 Best Seller: White Girl Bleed a Lot: The return of racial violence to America and how the media ignore it. For a free preview chapter of his next book on racial violence, click here.