Whose Fault Is It?

Racism has long been one of the focal points of public discussion. It has existed almost as long as America, being the backbone of the country for its first century. Many people have attempted to fix the country’s inherently racist ideology. Men who are as great as Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King Jr. have only partially succeeded in doing so. It is still a problem today. Fixing this problem starts with finding the culprits. In Yahoo’s web article “Black America’s Real Problem Isn’t White Racism,” the author Patrick Buchanan relies solely on outdated statistical data and a narrow focal point to insinuate that the real problem of racism lies within the black community.

Relying on outdated data is a poor decision when writing an article that is meant to be factual. Communities and the world are moving at a much quicker pace than years past. Major stories from years or even months ago seem obsolete. In his article, Patrick Buchanan uses data that at the time was five years old, saying “[I]n New York from January to June 2008, 83 percent of all gun assailants were black.” This statistic fails to prove much for Buchanan’s argument. His statistics are old and incorrect, being taken from a study that occurred when George Bush was still the President.

According to Whiteoutpress, a study conducted in 2011 states that whites commit forty eight percent of the crimes recorded in America. Blacks are only recorded to have committed fifty two percent of the crimes. This data is taken from a much more recent study, and shows a much more reasonable and equal distribution of crime than Buchanan’s radical stats. In a dynamic and ever-changing topic such as race, statistics can change on a yearly basis, Buchanan’s original statistics were taken before Barack Obama was elected, which changed a great deal for black American’s. The difference of 6 months makes his data outdated and inaccurate. Needless to say, inaccurate and old data is difficult to overcome when attempting to persuade an audience.

Having irrelevant information can severely damage an argument. Patrick Buchanan is focused too much on information irrelevant to his article. His title is “Black America’s Real Problem Isn’t White Racism,” leading one to believe that the adjoined piece is about America as a whole. The article could not be further, with all of the statistics and witnesses being from New York. His interview is with a New York cab driver. These tests show only a fraction of what America is. The Big Apple, while one of the largest cities in the country, is hardly an accurate depiction of the racial problems in America. According to Mainstreet, New York is the 7th most diverse state in the Country. “The state has the second highest proportion of foreign born residents in the country.” In other words, New York has many different people from a variety of different cultures and beliefs.

America itself is extremely diverse, and to take studies from one of the fifty possible states does not accurately depict the views of the majority. According to a study by bjs.gov, forty five percent of criminals were white, compared to fifty two percent being black. This study was taken from the entire United States and dates back to 1980. It shows the more equal distribution that is to be expected in such a diverse country, and how focusing on one state can disproportionately skew the stats.

Personally, I believe that the black community hasn’t created this racist atmosphere. Their actions are a consequence of the poor mistreatment they have experienced for the past 2 centuries. Buchanan is implying that racism has only been around for as long as the black community has been unruly. However this is not the case. America as a whole has been racist since we introduced slavery. Our racism is not a consequence of the actions we have experienced. These actions have only come about because of the racism directed towards blacks.

Fixing the problem of racism in America starts with identifying the true culprits. Patrick Buchanan’s article is attempting to prove that the real problem with racism does not lie within the white community. Rather, he is saying that the black community is the one to blame for the presence of racism in America. Buchanan is ineffective in doing this mainly because the statistics he uses are to focused and it is outdated.

[Photo, Free stock photo of man, person, united states of america by Chandler Erisman, Licensed Under CC0 1.0]

[Photo, Skyline of Times Square by Terabass, Licensed Under CC BY-SA 3.0]

[Photo, Recently bought slaves in Brazil on their way to the farms of the landowners who bought them c. 1830 by Lecen, Licensed under Public Domain]