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An All-Charleston Significant Digits for Friday, June 19, 2015

You’re reading Significant Digits, a daily digest of the telling numbers tucked inside the news. Today we’re focused on the news in Charleston, South Carolina, where nine people were killed by a white man at a historically black church Wednesday night. The alleged shooter was captured Thursday, and his actions are being investigated as a hate crime.


South Carolina is one of the five remaining states without a state-level hate crime law. The other four are Arkansas, Wyoming, Georgia and Michigan. [Think Progress]


In the United States, black Americans are killed at 12 times the rate of people who live in other developed countries. What’s a developed country? The definition includes places such as Argentina, Cuba, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia that have high homicide rates. But for black Americans, the homicide rate is 19.4 deaths per year per 100,000 population. [FiveThirtyEight]

13 mass murders

There have been “13 mass murders at a house of worship since the Birmingham, Ala., bombing in 1963,” according to Sarah Pulliam Bailey at The Washington Post. [The Washington Post]

14 times

The number of times President Obama has had to make a statement about a shooting attack, by CBS White House correspondent Mark Knoller’s reckoning. [@MarkKnoller]

19 hate groups

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, South Carolina was home to 19 of America’s 784 active hate groups in 2014. [SPLC]


The Post and Courier ran an ad for a gun show where “$30 Gets You Everything” on the front page Thursday, alongside coverage of the church killings. The paper has since apologized. [Talking Points Memo]


According to the FBI, there were 51 reported hate crimes in South Carolina in 2013, 33 of which were motivated by race. According to both the FBI’s and the Southern Poverty Law Center’s estimations, South Carolina is below the national average rate for reported hate crimes when you factor in population. My colleague Carl Bialik looked at the complicated nature of hate-crime statistics. [FiveThirtyEight]

49 percent

A survey from the Pew Research Center in 2013 found that 49 percent of whites saw no systemic racism towards black Americans at all. To break it down further, those 49 percent said they did not think blacks were treated less fairly in each of seven categories, including dealing with cops, the court system, jobs, restaurants, schools, health care and elections. [The Washington Post]

193rd anniversary

The Emanuel AME Church has a long history as an important site in the struggle for black Americans’ rights. Tuesday, the day before the killing, was the 193rd anniversary of a planned slave revolt coordinated by one of church’s founders, Denmark Vesey. [NPR]

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Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.