News & Politics

The Staggeringly High—And Shockingly Under-Reported—Rate of White on White Murder

Why doesn't Bill O'Reilly spout off about this epidemic of violence?

Photo Credit: Artem Furman/

Why oh why is no one commenting on the insanely high rate of of white on white murder? Bill O'Reilly? Joe Klein, of Time magazine, who devotes his whole column to write this week on black on black murder, in response to Ferguson? Anybody? Because bringing up the canard of black on black crime whenever a white man kills a black man is just how the right-wing—and apparently the mainstream—media rolls.

Note to smug white racists: Take a look at the real numbers. According to the FBI's most recent homicide statistics, reports, "the United States is in the wake of an epidemic of white-on-white crime. Back in 2011, the most recent year for which data is available, a staggering 83 percent of white murder victims were killed by fellow Caucasians.

83 percent!

As Vox's Matthew Iglesias writes, rather brilliantly: 

This is not to say that white people are inherently prone to violence. Most whites, obviously, manage to get through life without murdering anyone. And there are many countries full of white people — Norway, Iceland, France, Denmark, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom — where white people murder each other at a much lower rate than you see here in the United States. On the other hand, although people often see criminal behavior as a symptom of poverty, the quantity of murder committed by white people specifically in the United States casts some doubt on this. Per capita GDP is considerably higher here than in France — and the white population in America is considerably richer than the national average — and yet we have more white murderers.

Another disturbing and revelatory stat via Vox: 36 percent of those killed by whites are women, a far higher percentage than what you see with murderers who are black.

These alarming, and readily available, numbers seem to merit some more attention. Wonder why they're not getting any.

Per Iglesisas:

The beginning of an answer is to admit that we have a problem. It's striking that President Obama, who's frequently found time to comment on the height of black men's waistlines, seems oblivious to this torrent of white killing. To be fair to the White House, however, it would be uniquely difficult for Obama to address this delicate issue. The real tragedy is that none of Obama's 43 white predecessors have addressed it either. Indeed, looking back on America's political iconography, there are disturbing trends toward the glorification of white violence. Peer inside the US Capitol building, and you'll find a monument to Confederate President Jefferson Davis — the leader of an insurgency that caused an unprecedented quantity of violent white deaths.

All snarkiness aside, wtf is up with this country in denial?

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