Two Old Codgers

How the World strikes us

LIES, DAMNED LIES AND STATISTICS
Everyone has heard of 'Black Lives Matter' and I am sure most would agree that all lives matter.
Black Lives protest

We have commented before on how we all tend to selectively pick and choose when researching any subject. However carefully we try, the words and statistics we choose will, almost subconsciously, reflect our beliefs and prejudices. Bear this in mind as you read the results of our 'digging' through many pages of facts and figures on the internet.

According to official FBI statistics in 2015, 51% of people arrested in the USA for homicide were African American, even though African American people account only for 13% of the total United States population.

As of 2001, one of every three black boys born in that year could expect to go to prison in his lifetime, compared to one of every seventeen white boys. Imprisonment rates in USA for African-American adults are 6 times the rate for white adults. Nearly half of the 206,000 people serving life prison sentences are African American.

It is all too easy to create stereotypes from these statistics but we should look deeper into the background. From the days of the slave trade, these black Americans have, at best, been second class citizens. Even after so called emancipation they were segregated and denied the rights of white Americans. No wonder they were full of resentment and in many cases attempted to improve themselves by turning to crime.

In 2017, 457 white people were shot to death by police as against 223 black people.
In 2020, 242 white people were shot to death by police as against 123 black people. But once again, check the statistics. Black Americans make up only 13% of the US population.

We wonder what impact the 'Black Live Matter' mass protests have. They are certainly
Violent Protest
large protests. They peaked on June 6, when half a million people turned out in nearly 550 places across the United States. Polls suggest that between 6 and 10% of the population of the US have participated in demonstrations over the death of George Floyd and others in recent weeks. Again we are using statistics but relate these figures to a total population of 331 million. Could it be possible that, rightly or wrongly, a high proportion of the population felt alienated by the mass protests?

If you believe that it is not right to join thousands of others on the streets when windows are broken, shops are looted and burned and police are attacked, then what can you do?

Sad though it sounds, the initiative has to come from within the black community. Not to abandon their culture, rather to take a pride in their roots and background. However, they really do need to tackle their stereotypes. Slowly change the attitudes and image that many of their brothers and sisters present to the world.

Whilst we are on this delicate subject. You will no doubt have opinions about changing history by removing statues and re-naming colleges and other organisations that use the name of men who were involved in slave trading during the 17th and 18th centuries.

Between the 1500s and up until the mid-1800s, hundreds of Cornish families were captured in brutal attacks. Villages around Cornwall were repeatedly invaded by pirates, with men, women and children shipped off to North Africa to be sold as slaves.

It is estimated that, between 1530 and 1780, about 1.25 million people from all over Europe - from Greece to Ireland - were kidnapped by pirates and sold as slaves in North Africa. I very much doubt if there are statues of the North Africans who captured and sold European slaves to African masters. If there are, perhaps they too are being torn down.

Barbary slaves

We would welcome your comments or to hear what YOU think. Let us know by clicking on CONTACT ME
If we publish anything you send, just let us know if we can use your name or if you would prefer to be anonymous.