Culture Of Violence: The attorney general worries about protecting his 15-year-old son from supposed white racists like George Zimmerman. But his own office warns that the No. 1 threat to black teens is black teens.
In a speech last week before the NAACP, Eric Holder confided that after Zimmerman fatally shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin last year, "I had to protect my boy ... make him aware of the world he must still confront."
"We must stand our ground," he stressed to the all-black audience gathered in Orlando for the civil-rights group's annual convention.
But less than two years ago, the Justice Department conducted a comprehensive study that found the real concern for African-American parents like Holder isn't the George Zimmermans of the world. It's increasingly violent black youths like Martin, who broke Zimmerman's nose and repeatedly bashed his head on the pavement before being shot through the heart.
The November 2011 study concluded that "young black males were disproportionately involved in homicide compared with their proportion of the population."
This is understating it. The precise data show that even though black men between the ages of 14 and 24 make up only 1 percent of the U.S. population, they represent 27 percent of all the nation's murderers.
This bears repeating: 1 percent of Americans are committing over a quarter of the murders.
Equally alarming, the administration study also found that blacks of any age are eight times more likely to murder than whites.
While blacks make up just 13 percent of the population, they're responsible for more than half - 53 percent - of the country's murders. By comparison, "whites" (Justice includes Hispanics in its "white" category) account for 83 percent of the population but less than half - 45 percent - of homicides.
The 36-page study, which analyzed race-based crime data spanning three decades, found that whites were twice as likely to be murdered by blacks than the other way around, such as in the recent case of 17-year-old De'Marquis Elkins shooting a white baby dead in his stroller while robbing his horrified mother on a Georgia street.
And many white-on-black homicides were "justifiable" along the lines of the Zimmerman case, where an assaulted victim responded with lethal force.
But the most striking trend is black-on-black murders. Justice found that 93 percent of black homicide victims are killed by fellow blacks. This self-imposed genocide can be seen in cities like Chicago, where gang murders are at a record high. In a tragic irony, another four black children were gunned down in Chicago during the Zimmerman trial.
Many African-Americans can sympathize with Zimmerman. According to the report, nearly 40 percent of all justifiable homicides were blacks defending themselves against violent blacks (and that doesn't include all the black cops killing black thugs).
Despite presenting overwhelming evidence of a perilous crisis in the black community, the report was unpublicized by Justice and overlooked by the media. Holder held no press conference to discuss its disturbing findings.
President Obama never brought it up. The NAACP made no issue of it. Nor did the Rev. Al Sharpton or Rev. Jesse Jackson. Or Tavis Smiley.
Instead, these black leaders continue to focus on the isolated incident in Sanford, Fla., as if it represents a rash of white-on-black violence.
Holder says the tragedy "provides yet another opportunity for our nation to speak honestly" about "racial profiling" in America. But the deeper tragedy is the culture of violence plaguing black youth, as illuminated by Holder's own statisticians and researchers. And he won't speak at all about that.
Mike Scott is the sheriff of the Lee County Sheriff's Office.