Friday, we noted that gun grabbers try their darnedest to keep discussions of murder rates to “western, industrialized” countries – because of course brown people in the third world only matter if you can get them to vote Democrat.
And yesterday, we discussed both the murder rate in America’s 50 cities with the highest murder rates, and how subtracting their population and murders from the US rates drops the US overall murder rate by over a quarter.
Still Smelling The Gunpowder: But cities don’t have a monopoly on criminal pathologies. But they share some reasons.
In the immediate wake of the 2008 elections, a wave of pundits and scholars, including the U of M’s Eric Ostermeier, noted a factoid; states that voted for John McCain had higher crime rates than states that voted for Obama.
In response, I pointed out a couple of things:
- state by state comparisons were meaningless, since the real breaking point in crime numbers occurs when comparing urban, suburban and rural counties
- If you left out the McCain states that were members of the Confederacy, McCain’s states had extremely low murder and violent crime rates.
Let’s look a little further.
Of Trash And Accent: The states that became the Confederacy were most notably marked by the presence of slavery – and African-America still suffers from some of the aftereffects of slavery and post-slavery discrimination – but there was more to it than that.
The Old South brought with it some of the worst features of the post-feudal European society that it sprang from – including a fairly rigid class structure. At the top were the aristocratic, largely British plantationers. At the bottom, of course, were the slaves
Not far up from the slaves were the masses of what in Europe would have been called peasants; white, largely Scots-Irish people, mostly poor, many of whom came to the US under indentured conditions not much better than slavery. They lived, until well after the Civil War, under a caste system that didn’t stress upward mobility, or any of the things – education, civil behavior and the like – that led to it. That, combined with the Scots-Irish heritage of a level of tolerance for violence far above and beyond that of most European transplants, with honor killings, duels, violent family feuds and other shenanigans a part of the background until fairly recently, helped lead to an ambient level of violence far higher than the rest of what became the US, even before there was a US.
You want it spelled out in more detail? See a sociologist specializing in southern Scots-Irish culture.
What it boils doen to is that even today, in the states that made up the Confederacy (I included the former “Border States” of Missouri, Kentucky, West Virginia and Maryland, by the way – they weren’t in the Confederacy, but they kept slaves and had plantation systems, which is what led to the sociological pathologies in the first place), the roughly 113 million residents have an overall murder rate of 5.8 per 100,000. By themselves, the states of the old Confederacy alone had a murder rate of 6.1/100/000.
The Math: So let’s leave the population, and murder rate, of the Old South out of the picture. With their population and murders dropped out of the population, but still including the population and murders of every city outside the Old South, all of the Detroits and Newarks and Oaklands, the US’s murder rate drops to 2.99 per 100,000. That’s a drop of a little over a quarter.
It’s a murder rate comparable with that in Taiwan, or Nepal.
So what happens when we leave America’s two greatest concentrations of violent pathology out of the nation’s murder rate?
We’ll talk about that tomorrow.
- Last Friday: Intro
- Yesterday: The effect urban crime has on America’s murder rate.
- Today: The murder rate in the Deep South.
- Tomorrow: We’ll see what the US’ murder rate would be without its biggest social pathologies..
Where The Numbers Came From: Straight Arithmetic in this case.
- I subtracted the total population of the 14 original slave-holding states from that of the USA as a whole to get the Remaining Population.
- I multiplied the murder rate for each state by (State Population/100,000), same as I did with cities, and added all 14 of ’em up.
- I subtracted the murder total above from the murder total for the US to get the Remaining Murders.
- From there, it was (Remaining population/100,000)/Remaining Murders.