Excerpt from The Post-Zimmerman Poison Pill by Heather Mac Donald from the National Review:
The idea that the criminal-justice system discriminates against blacks — and that this bias explains blacks’ disproportionate presence in custody — is a staple of civil-rights activism and of the academic Left. Every effort to prove it empirically, however, has come up short. A 1994 Justice Department survey of felony cases from the country’s 75 largest urban areas discovered that blacks actually had a lower chance of prosecution following a felony than whites did and that they were less likely to be found guilty at trial. Alfred Blumstein has found that blacks are underrepresented in prison for homicide compared with their arrest rates. A meta-analysis of charging and sentencing studies showed that “large racial differences in criminal offending,” not racism, explained why more blacks were in prison proportionately than whites and for longer terms, according to criminologists Robert Sampson and Janet Lauritsen.
Criminal-law professors across the political spectrum agree that the Zimmerman verdict resulted from prosecutorial overkill, not juror bias. The trial was scrupulously fair and presented the prosecution with full opportunity to make its case.
Close on the heels of the “biased justice system” conceit, however, is the preposterous implication that the primary homicide threat faced by young black males comes from honorary whites such as George Zimmerman. “Our children are targeted. Our community is targeted,” Martin Luther King III told the NAACP national convention on Wednesday. Protesters at the Orlando, Fla., courthouse this week held signs proclaiming “Endangered species: young black men and boys.” TheNew York Times ran an article today about the “painful talks” black parents are having with their children about how not to get gunned down by whites. A nurse’s assistant in Missouri told the Times: The whole situation ‘“would just make me skeptical about what crowd of white people I put [my son] around.’”
In fact, if a black parent wants to radically reduce his son’s chance of getting shot, he should live in a white neighborhood. New York’s crime profile is typical of urban-crime disparities across the country. The per capita shooting rate in predominantly black Brownsville, Brooklyn, is 81 times higher than that of predominantly white and Asian Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, according to the New York Police Department. Blacks in 2012 committed about 75 percent of all shootings in New York, and whites a little over 2 percent, though blacks are 23 percent of the city’s population and whites 35 percent. Blacks are 60 percent of the city’s homicide victims. Their killers? They aren’t white.