"America does not have a crime problem; inner-city America does." That's what Princeton's professor of political science, John J. DiIulio, says, and he's just about right. If we ignored inner-city violent crime, mostly committed by blacks and Hispanics, America would be a fairly civilized place. "There you go again, Williams," you say, "giving aid and comfort to America's racists." Let's look at it.

DiIulio's article, "The Question of Black Crime," appearing in the Public Interest (fall 1994), reports that blacks are 20 percent of the general population of the nation's 75 most populous urban counties. However, they are 54 percent of murder victims and 62 percent of all murder defendants. In Washington, D.C., between 1985 and 1988, three-quarters of all murders were by blacks against blacks. In Pennsylvania, 42 percent of the state's violent crimes occur in Philadelphia, which contains only 14 percent of the state's population, most of them occurring in several predominantly black neighborhoods. In 1990, nearly 49 percent of state prisoners and 31 percent of federal prisoners were black. Compared with white prisoners, they were more likely to have committed a violent crime.In 1960, there were 783 people in prison for every 1,000 violent crimes. By 1980, it was 227 per 1,000 violent crimes, a drop of 69 percent. Nationally, within three years of sentencing, while on probation, about half of all probationers are arrested for a new crime or abscond. About three-quarters of all convicted criminals are not incarcerated, and where are they? Callous courts, prosecutors and parole boards have set them free to prey on and "imprison" law-abiding citizens.

The victims of liberal harebrained schemes on how to treat criminals are mostly poor blacks and Hispanics. They can't afford to move to a safer environment, and police do not protect them. Boston University Professor Glenn Loury, pointing to the murder of Polly Klaas by a violent repeat criminal, suggests there is a muting of outrage in the black community: "If the degree of energy and organizational skill invested in campaigns against racially motivated violence or against police brutality or against the death penalty, were instead expended voicing demands that bad men be kept behind bars, these demands would become irresistible." Black ambivalence toward and identification with black criminals explains the difference between the celebrity status of Polly Klaas and the anonymity of countless young black victims.

There's no denying that poor, law-abiding blacks and Hispanics are overwhelmingly the primary victims of crime. They live in fear and terror. They are the people whose neighborhoods have been turned into mini-Beiruts. Politicians and liberals, who live on the outskirts of town, respond to their plight by searching for "original causes" and proposals for midnight basketball. Blacks and Hispanics must ignore the criminal nonsense of their "leaders" and elected officials and say, "We've had enough. And we're not going to take it anymore!"