White-on-White Crime

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Oct. 30 1999 3:30 AM

White-on-White Crime

It's time to end the conspiracy of silence.

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"Even if racism were to disappear overnight, this would do nothing to improve black test scores, increase black entrepreneurship, strengthen black families, or reduce black-on-black crime. These problems have taken on a cultural existence of their own and need to be confronted in their own terms." --Dinesh D'Souza in the Weekly Standard

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A group of African-American intellectuals is mounting a behind-the-scenes campaign to persuade Republican presidential front-runner George W. Bush to speak out on what one sociologist has called "the unspoken domestic crisis of the next millennium": White criminals preying on white people.

These thinkers note that white sociopaths most often prey on people of their own race, citing the Columbine High School shootings in Littleton, Colo.; the Fort Worth, Texas, church massacre; and Donald Trump's presidential candidacy as examples.

"It's white people who are suffering disproportionately yet no white politicians want to talk about it," said Herman Pepper, a professor at the Eldridge Cleaver School of Law in Oakland, Calif., who has written extensively on the roots of white crime. "A generation of kids is growing up in fear and the traditional white leadership seems out of touch."

Pepper's arguments, while controversial, are based on a mixture of sociological data and political calculation that even his critics do not entirely dismiss. A 1998 Justice Department study of crime in 12 American cities found that 58 percent of white crime victims were victimized by fellow whites. And while crime has been decreasing, Pepper notes that it is falling most slowly among whites. The 1998 National Crime Victimization Survey reports that while the number of violent crime victimizations per 1,000 people fell from 49 to 42 among blacks, it only fell from 38 to 36 among whites.

Pepper is passionate that the issue must be addressed.

"Fifteen people died at the Columbine High shootings, all but one of them white," the genial, bearded academic said in a recent interview. "Liberals want to blame guns. Traditional conservatives blame a decline in moral standards, which is more on the mark. But guns and bad values don't kill white people. White people kill white people. "

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I n a compilation of 22 prominent violent incidents between 1994 and 1999, Frank Blanco, a criminal justice policy analyst at the Institute for Reactionary Reform, a Washington think tank, noted that virtually all of the victims were white.

"From the Oklahoma City bombing to the Atlanta day trader's rampage, the pattern is clear," Blanco wrote in a recent article for the Wall Street Journal editorial page. "The new cohort of amoral middle-class white male predators has a cultural existence of its own. It must be confronted in its own terms. But virtually no one in the political class will admit it. That vacuum creates an opportunity for real leadership."

Pepper and Blanco have conferred with Bush campaign officials in Austin twice since mid-August to discuss their ideas, according to sources on the campaign. While a Bush spokesman declined to comment, Pepper said that he and his colleague used the meetings to advance two ideas.

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