Melbourne, Australia has a problem with gangs of young African men committing violent crimes. It’s been occurring for a while now, this example is from just under a year ago and there plenty more similar reports in the media.
The relative size of the problem can be debated and crime statistics are available to point to this particular ethnic group’s contribution to the total number of incidents and, indeed, the ratio of that group who are arrested and/or convicted of violent crime compared to other ethnicities.
On this basis, the Australian Race Commissioner, Tim Soutphommasane, has called for less “panic, more perspective” over the issue, going on to claim that perhaps there are mitigating excuses for the crimes, such as “social and economic disadvantage”. He urges us to not reduce the issue to race and ethnicity.
We’ll address the debunked Cultural Marxist theory that poverty produces crime shortly. His request that we shouldn’t reduce the issue to race and ethnicity piques our interest primarily.
The chutzpah of Tim’s request is admirable; this from a department and a Commissioner with a recent track record of Identity Politics. Tim, for example, rushes to the assumption of racism for anyone who struggles to pronounce an unfamiliar 4 syllable name. It’s an overused sentiment but really, this kind of hectoring and haste to label everything as racist and everyone as bigots “is why we got Trump“.
Tim requests that we don’t revert to labeling these crimes by the ethnicity of the perpetrators. He has a point, justice should indeed be blind. People in fear of being physically attacked are usually not blind, however, so is there perhaps some rationality to their response?
Consider the fact that people of an African appearance (no, not this type of African) are extremely rare in Australia, 92% of the population is European in origin, is it surprising that an uptick in crime from an easily identifiable ethnic group receives more attention than say a crime wave where the perpetrators are from a Scottish or French ethnic background?
In fact, does it not make logical sense that, if there’s a set of identifiable features (for example; males, between the ages of 15 and 25, African appearance, congregated in a group of 3 or more) linking a series of crimes that the police have a duty to focus their investigations on those sharing these features (without diluting the legal duties such as the presumption of innocence)?
In the same way that we would condemn the counter terrorism agencies for allocating resources to investigating potential violent Buddhists and Jihadists in equal measure, why would anyone question profiling groups of young African men if there have been multiple recent cases of violence reported at the hands of that demographic?
It’s not racist to report that there have been violent crimes committed by gangs of young men of South Sudanese origin. It’s also not racist for the police to focus on that demographic during their investigations and efforts to prevent further such crimes. It makes perfect sense and the police would be in derogation of their duties, in fact.
Lastly, poverty does not result in crime; crime results in poverty. If the South Sudanese have a culture which tolerates criminal behaviour, that culture will trump most efforts to integrate them into a law-abiding culture.
By the way, Australian taxpayers, you are paying Tim Soutphommasane’s salary for him to tell you how awful you are. If that’s not the definition of an abusive relationship, I’d be interested in hearing what is.