The city that currently has the dubious distinction of being the murder capital of America is Detroit. In 2013, the city recorded a murder rate of 47.5 per 100,000. That’s 36 times the rate of Osaka. But by Detroit standards it was low. In recent years the homicide rate there has been closer to 60.
Why are your cities so much more peaceful than ours? Is it because of America’s cowboy culture? Our affinity for guns?Well, the areas where gun laws are loosest and gun ownership rates the highest tend to have the lowest crime rates. The true explanation for the violence that plagues America’s cities is revealed when we look at the demographic breakdowns for crime commission within each city. Again and again, we see the same pattern emerging. The issue of violent crime in America is an issue of race.
The best predictor of an area’s violent crime rate is not gun ownership or poverty. The best predictor of the violent crime rate of any given neighborhood or city is the proportion of its population that is black. Blacks commit 50% of all homicides in the United States despite being only 13% of the population. In New York City, blacks make up 25% of the population but commit 80% of all shootings. If we could solve the problem of black crime, we could have cities as safe as yours in Japan.
But no one knows how to solve the problem. What we do know is that disproportionately high rates of crime among blacks are a global problem. From the United States, to Brazil, and now to Europe, people of Sub-Saharan African descent consistently bring an elevated proclivity for violence wherever they go. Blacks in London just a couple generations ago existed in such small numbers that they were barely visible. Then, a trickle of immigrants turned into a flood. Today people of African origin comprise 10% of London’s population but account for a more than half of its violent crime.