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Author Topic: "The Right’s Race Deafness"
philnotfil
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Lot's of links supporting claims in the text, reading from the article is encouraged [Smile]

theamericanconservative.com
quote:

Many conservatives believe race or racism was never a factor at all in the Brown and Garner cases, or in most of these types of cases. Many insist that the protesters were just making all this stuff up. Who disagrees with this? Black people.

In poll after poll after poll after poll after poll—strong majorities of black Americans have consistently said that race plays a role in how law enforcement is applied and how the justice system is conducted in the United States.

We know that black teenagers are 21 times more likely to be shot by the police than whites. We know that 1 in 3 black men can expect to go to jail in their lifetime. We know that 1 in every 15 black males in the U.S. is currently incarcerated. We know black offenders receive longer sentences than white offenders. We know that despite the same rate of use of marijuana, blacks are 4 times more likely to be arrested.

quote:
But are blacks just misperceiving these circumstances as racism, as many conservatives seem to think? Or have black men and women have observed things in their communities for a very long time that many outside their communities aren’t aware of?

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Pete at Home
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From my observation:

There are cases in which race plays a role and cases in which race only plays a role in the anticipation of racism. Usually, someone will allege race to play a role, whether it did or not prior to racism being called, if the perception of racism can advantage one side or another.

As for whether "blacks" see racism at play, I have had black clients who did not see racism at play until I raised the issue as their attorney. I happen to believe that I was right that the da was being racist, but I doubt my clients were the only black defendants that only perceived racism when their honky attorney told them racism was at play.

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Pyrtolin
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This is a very good read on racism that's baked into the system:

https://www.facebook.com/steveneharris/posts/754984921243109
quote:
Hey Roger. I appreciate your willingness to be a part of the conversation. You sincerely asked me what I think, and I offer the following. As you read, I ask that you simply read it to try and understand it, not to think about arguments against it. I offer my thoughts as an explanation, and I’m afraid it’s a bit lengthy.

During my legal career I went to a variety of courthouses for various things well over 100 times. Every time I went I was wearing a suit and tie. With great regularity, (I’d estimate 75% of the time) I was either asked, “do you have your attorney with you?” or restrained in some way by a bailiff. I would often have to show my bar card to prove that I was allowed to go past “the bar” (the divider) in the courtroom. This happened to none of my white colleagues (yes, I asked them). It was clear that my race made me “defendant” in the eyes of the judicial system. The clear message for me is that my race makes me suspect – that it makes me lesser. I don’t believe that those people set out to target me because I’m black… I believe that their treatment of me is the conditioned response to blacks that this country’s history has instilled in us.

In college I was a “campus host” so 2 or 3 times a month I would spend time guiding a visiting guest around campus. We always had to make small talk, and inevitably, I would get asked if I was on athletic scholarship or what sport I played. I was never asked if I had an academic scholarship. The stereotypes are ingrained in us.

With regularity, I get followed through stores. Last month it was at a Target. I can only assume that the security officers believe that I am the person in the store mostly likely to steal something, solely because of my race, and so they follow me.
I have been stopped a number of times by the police (15-ish or so times). Sometimes it was because I was doing 1 or 2 over the speed limit, sometimes it was because I “seemed to be lost” (in a white neighborhood). In every case when I was stopped for what I believe to be driving while black, there were a couple of things that happened. First, the police officer drove beside me and looked at me before pulling me over, and second, there was a long conversation about something unrelated to the stated reason they pulled me over. The conversations were either about why I was in that neighborhood, or about the nice car I was driving. In each of those instances I put on my “happy negro” face and did absolutely nothing that might get me killed, because in my mind I knew that was a possibility.

When I cross a border into the US in a car, I am nearly always interrogated. Last spring, on my way to Boston I stopped in Detroit to see a dear friend. From Detroit I drove across Canada to Niagara Falls, because it saves about 2 hours on the drive. Coming into the US, I showed my passport, and he asked me where I was going. I debated in my head whether to tell the truth, because I knew where this was going, but I decided to. He asked where I was headed, I told him Boston. He asked why, and I told him I was teaching a class at Harvard. He clearly thought I was lying. He then searched my car. He asked me if I had a letter proving that I was teaching at Harvard, and then started asking questions about my car. I gave him the complete history of my time at Harvard, including my student ID, and after 30 minutes he let me go. I can only assume that had I been white, that would not have happened.

The above examples are just the tip of the iceberg. There have been times when I called to look at apartments that had vacancies, but when I showed up they suddenly did not. I often get ignored in higher end stores when the sales people are gracious and friendly to the white customers. Nearly every time I have bought a car it has been an extremely condescending experience. In most of my graduate school experiences, I have been excluded from study groups, assumed that I was there because of affirmative action, and mistaken for either food service or the custodial crew. I know these things because people told me. “I’m glad you’re here even though you bumped my friend out of a spot in law school…” “We only asked the people we knew would do well to be in the study group.” “Are you going to vacuum in here?”

I could go on and on, but the point is that nearly every day, I have an interaction with someone who says or does something that lets me know that person perceives me as lesser based on the color of my skin. It may be how I am treated by a cashier compared to the white person in front of me, or the looks I get for being in the wrong (meaning white) neighborhood, women clutching their purses or people crossing the street, or locking their car doors when they see me… It may be from hateful stuff that people post on facebook or on twitter… not about me necessarily, but about blacks in general, or calling the president nigger, or monkey, or some other racial slur and using lynching imagery to talk about him. All of these, overt and subtle, day in and day out, serve to send me (and most blacks) the message that to this society, I am not as smart, not as valuable, not as deserving of respect as the white people in this society.

I am as educated as one can get, and I am squarely in the upper middle class, but I know that when I leave the house, in this society I am seen as “lesser”. I have complete control of my temper, and as an attorney, I know exactly where all of the legal lines fall when I do interact with law enforcement, but every time it happens I wonder if this will be the time when I get beat or killed.

Lets just assume for argument’s sake that most black people in America are having the same types of interactions with the larger society that I do. That the interactions they’ve had with the police have been at least as negative as mine, if not moreso. How many times do I have to get stopped for doing nothing before I am allowed to express my anger? (And for the record, I usually get a name and badge number and report it, but as best I can tell it doesn’t make a bit of difference). How often do I have to get searched or harassed, or detained by law enforcement before I have a right to stand up for myself and say, “enough”?

So if I get stopped for “looking like I was lost” and I’ve had enough, and decide not to show the officer my ID, what happens? I get arrested, and maybe beat for being uncooperative, and after the fact, charged with something stupid like “hindering an investigation”, and then resisting arrest, when the officer should not have stopped me in the first place. But, I got stopped because I looked suspicious by virtue of the color of my skin.

Roger, this happens all the time. This happens, in part, because there is an unconscious bias (sometimes conscious) in American culture that blacks are up to no good, and of lesser value. So, when these negative police interactions occur, there are some police officers who are perfectly willing to immediately escalate to full force, even when it is not necessary.

One of the disconnects for many whites is that it is difficult to believe that this may be happening with any regularity, but it is. And if, for argument’s sake that you believe me when I say it happens all the time that police harass, intimidate, and wrongfully arrest black people, especially black men (often because they protest being harassed) then some of the reaction to the Ferguson shooting makes more sense.

There are some who say Michael Brown broke the law as if that excuses the whole interaction. The questions that come up for me are things like, if the officer had more respect for Michael Brown would he have gotten out of the car to address him instead of just yelling at him from his car window. If the officer had actually gotten out of his car to address Michael Brown, would the interaction have gone differently? The issue for me isn’t whether Michael Brown broke the law, I’m perfectly willing to say yes, he did. The issue is whether the police officer could have approached the situation in such a way that Michael Brown would not be dead, and if the police officer had seen Michael Brown as having more value, would he have treated him differently from the beginning of the interaction.

In theory, the police are supposed to protect and serve, and are specifically trained to de-escalate a situation. In the situation with Eric Garner he didn’t attack the police, he didn’t run, he just didn’t want to be arrested, but the officers didn’t try very hard to have a conversation with him, they just jumped him and put a choke hold on him, for allegedly selling cigarettes. That clearly could have been handled differently, but if the police have little regard for a black man, why bother spending time trying to deescalate… simply wrestle him to the ground and don’t concern yourself with whether he can breathe or not.

The above examples are clouded for some by the underlying crime, so I would point to a few other examples that happened recently and were caught on tape. In September Lavar Jones was shot by a police officer. Mr. Jones had stopped at a convenience store and gotten out of his car. The officer followed him into the parking lot and asked him for his ID. When Mr Jones leaned back into his car to get his ID, the officer panicked and shot him.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-XFYTtgZAlE

In August, John Crawford III. went to Walmart to buy a bb gun for his son. While in the store, holding the bb gun he was on the phone. Someone in the store called the police, and when they showed up, they ran in and shot him.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/video/2014/sep/25/ohio-shooting-walmart-video

In both of these cases, I would argue that the police could have approached it differently, but did not in part because of the race of the individuals (which is the larger issue). This is the experience of many black people in America, and the Brown and Garner cases are just extreme examples of what we experience every day.

There are protesters who damaged property – they are wrong. That doesn’t excuse the behavior of the police. There is black on black crime. It is an issue. It doesn’t excuse the behavior of the police. This is a single issue that needs its own attention, and the other issues can be dealt with separately, and they do not justify or excuse this issue.

The Justice department just released the report of a 2 year investigation of the Cleveland Police Department. This is a majority white police department in a majority black city. The report
( https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/1375050-doc.html) documents the pattern and practice of using excessive force.

There are lots and lots of examples that I could cite, and lots and lots of statistics that I could point you to, but ultimately I believe that the issue comes down to stepping outside of ones own experience and trying to understand the experiences of others. If most black people have had the experience of being treated as lesser based on race, then perhaps there is something to it, and it needs to be addressed.

Here is some research on perception data: http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2013/08/22/chapter-1-i-have-a-dream-50-years-later/#treatment-of-blacks-by-the-courts-police-seen-as-less-fair

Here is some research on how bias works in our brains: http://billmoyers.com/2014/12/02/science-cops-shoot-young-black-men/


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Pete at Home
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" During my legal career I went to a variety of courthouses for various things well over 100 times. Every time I went I was wearing a suit and tie. With great regularity, (I’d estimate 75% of the time) I was either asked, “do you have your attorney with you?” or restrained in some way by a bailiff. I would often have to show my bar card to prove that I was allowed to go past “the bar” (the divider) in the courtroom. This happened to none of my white colleagues (yes, I asked them). It was clear that my race made me “defendant” in the eyes of the judicial system. The clear message for me is that my race makes me suspect – that it makes me lesser. I don’t believe that those people set out to target me because I’m black… I believe that their treatment of me is the conditioned response to blacks that this country’s history has instilled in us"

His observations are correct but his theory is stupid. Courts are a bastion of racism, not because of "a conditioned response based on history" (an oxymoron) :roll eyes: but simply the assumptions of a system where blacks make up a disproportionate number of criminal defendants. It's acquired racism based on circumstances. And like i already said, the most problematic circumstance is the underfunded inner city municipality, and the resulting dearth of safety and economic opportunity.


l

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Fenring
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
This is a very good read on racism that's baked into the system:

This post has very little to do with bias 'baked into the system.' Assuming he's telling the truth in his anecdote, the majority of his commentary suggests that he regularly encounters racist individuals, and that's certainly a very sad thing.

If 'the system' allows leeway for individuals with their own bias to have wide discretion, then yes, it means that racists who are in the system will be able to use their discretion to harass minorities. But that's not the same as the system having bias baked into it; that would be different, such as having racist laws (e.g. the War on Drugs), or harsh sentencing for crimes typically attributed to minorities or the poor.

The best solution for the justice and police systems employing racists would be to increase oversight (as mentioned previously in the thread) and to zero in on any untoward behavior. We may not be able to get rid of racists, but we can at least give them cause to fear showing their face in public.

It wouldn't surprise me to learn, though, that customs officers or even city police are trained and instructed by their superiors to not only profile against minorities but also to 'put them in their place' somehow. In this sense the racism could be said to be systemic, insofar as the chain of command absent of oversight can create a racist environment. The solution if this were true would be, similarly, to increase oversight and make transparent exactly how officers are trained. I've seen coaches and role models in a college environment training sexism and misogyny into young men, and while that doesn't make it true that 'college is a sexist system' it does mean that people in positions of influence and power who have disgusting values can harm the greater environment. Sadly it can be hard to stop this kind of thing without devolving into witch hunting any wrong-sounding phrase or cursing those who don't tow the PC party line. It's a very tricky subject to approach with both decency and severity. But law enforcement oversight, at least, is a good place to start.

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Pete at Home
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While I don't like the no child left behind system with regard to schools, I think the principles might be better applied to cities. Detroit, for example, should be declared a failed city, its municipal bureaucracy scrapped and turned over to a state five year program with authority to remake the city from scratch.
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Gaoics79
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quote:
His observations are correct but his theory is stupid. Courts are a bastion of racism, not because of "a conditioned response based on history" (an oxymoron) :roll eyes: but simply the assumptions of a system where blacks make up a disproportionate number of criminal defendants.
That's because blacks are disproportionately criminal. Why that is true could flow from racism I suppose, but frankly the underlying root cause isn't really the issue. There is good reason why many white people walk to the other side of the street when they see a young black male coming toward them and it's not because they hate black people for the colour of their skin.

Guys like Pyrolin will make sure to obfuscate and rationalize this in terms of "systemic racism" and all that foolishness and in polite company most educated people will nod their heads in agreement. Behind closed doors, most people will just acknowledge what's obvious even if they won't speak it out loud. The white privilege crowd can blabber on to their heart's content. That video of Michael Brown robbing that store brings it all crashing down.

Since we've talked for 47 pages about one side of the coin (the system, racism, white privilege) I'll devote a single comment to the other side of the coin. Chris Rock boiled the problem to white people not acting so crazy or something along those lines. In the spirit of honesty, the other side is that young black males wouldn't get shot if they would stop being such criminals and giving the police reason to shoot them. I wish there was a nicer way to say it.

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JoshuaD
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quote:
Jason: That video of Michael Brown robbing that store brings it all crashing down.
This is a really big overstatement.
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JoshuaD
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quote:
jason In the spirit of honesty, the other side is that young black males wouldn't get shot if they would stop being such criminals and giving the police reason to shoot them. I wish there was a nicer way to say it.
There is a nicer way to say it, and the reason the way you said it feels "not nice" is because it's also not entirely accurate.

You make a mistake here when you hold individuals responsible for an arbitrary grouping you've made of them.

Some young black males act like criminals. Some young black males do not act like criminals.

Your advice does absolutely nothing for the many many good black men who aren't criminals. They do everything right but they're stuck with a bad reputation for what some other guy does.

That sucks for them.

If it meant that they got followed around the grocery store a little more often or they were looked at a little more funny by the police, I would regret that, but I'd call it within the bounds of acceptability. We all get a little unlucky one way or another; I don't think we can or should try to make world perfectly flat.

But they're being killed. Men who shouldn't be killed ARE being killed because of a superficial association. Forget Michael Brown; look at Eric Garner. Holding all else equal, if he were fortunate enough to be born white, he probably wouldn't be dead.

Can you see how that sucks? I don't think a simple "oh well" is enough of a response. The guy is dead. If I had done what he did, I probably wouldn't be dead. That's a big difference.

--

You brought up comedians, so let me bring one up. Louis C.K has a bit that hits the truth well:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=87LGmm1M5Is

quote:
Sorry I'm being so negative. I'm a bummer. I don't know--I shouldn't be. I'm a very, you know, lucky guy. I've got a lot going for me: I'm healthy, I'm relatively young, I'm white...which, thank God for that ****, boy. That is a huge leg up. Are you kidding me? Oh, God, I love being white. I really do. Seriously, if you're not white, you're missing out. Because this **** is thoroughly good. Let me be clear, by the way. I'm not saying that white people are better. I'm saying that being white is clearly better. Who could even argue? If it was an option, I would re-up every year.

"Oh, yeah, I'll take 'white' again, absolutely. I've been enjoying that. I'm gonna stick with white, thank you."

I mean, he's right. It's awesome being white. There's a whole bunch of crap I don't have to deal with because I'm white. That's just true. If you say to me "Josh you're going to be born into an american family. Your financial status will be independently chosen at random, but you get to choose your race."

Which do I choose? White. Every time. It's not close. It is awesome being white.

If you also think it's awesome being white, I think you have to start letting that inform the way you think about the situation.

I don't go as far as those on the left on these forums, but I also think the right is missing part of the picture. I think it's important to see that part and give it its appropriate weight.

[ January 02, 2015, 09:56 PM: Message edited by: JoshuaD ]

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Adam Masterman
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quote:
Originally posted by jasonr:
That's because blacks are disproportionately criminal.

I think I said this before, but this is not at all established. What we know is that blacks, particularly black men, get *arrested*, *tried* and *convicted* more. I realize that its easy to assume from that that they commit more crime, but that is not only not necessarily true from those facts, its likely flat out false. We know that, with marijuana use (for example), use rates are nearly identical among blacks and whites; and yet arrests and convictions are far higher for blacks.

The higher rate of criminal proceedings that blacks face is definitely due, to some degree, to racism; in all likelihood most to all of it is (when controlling for socioeconomic class). Which makes it especially pernicious to turn that around and say "it means they commit more crime, which makes the situation their fault." I've yet to see any study that demonstrates that blacks commit more crime than whites (not one that doesn't simply assume that convictions=crime rate), but I can show you scores of studies that confirm that the criminal justice system is racist against people of color. You can state the "flip side of the coin", but it's false.

Also, what Josh said about being held responsible for other members of your race; that's seriously not cool, especially if it makes me responsible for John Ashcroft or Vanilla Ice.

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Gaoics79
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Joshua / Adam: I was addressing Pete's point, which I think is kind of obvious. I don't really think the high rate of criminality among blacks is actually up for debate, nor do I think that anyone seriously can argue that the high rate of involvement of blacks with the criminal justice system is exclusively caused by racism (i.e. false accusations and false arrests by racist cops).

I didn't say it was fair. But if you want to know why people in the criminal justice system (and elsewhere) might have certain prejudices, it is helpful to address reality, which I think guys like Pyrtolin will sadly never do.

Not really my place to tell blacks what to do or how to deal with their internal issues. Just pointing out the elephant in the room.

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Adam Masterman
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quote:
Originally posted by jasonr:
Joshua / Adam: I was addressing Pete's point, which I think is kind of obvious. I don't really think the high rate of criminality among blacks is actually up for debate, nor do I think that anyone seriously can argue that the high rate of involvement of blacks with the criminal justice system is exclusively caused by racism (i.e. false accusations and false arrests by racist cops).


I would say that, absent any proof that its higher (controlled by socio-economic class), then your *assumption* automatically leads to your conclusion. For the record, I dispute that blacks commit crimes at any higher rate, so feel free to offer some sort of proof for this claim.

Also note that "false arrests" is not what is being cited as the reason; its simply a corresponding lack of arrests for whites committing the same crimes. Some blacks commit crimes and get away with it, far more whites do by percentage. Cops arrest more blacks out of racist assumptions, cops then *see* more blacks getting arrested, cops then continue to assume that black people commit more crime. If, instead, black people are somehow more criminal, shouldn't you be able to demonstrate that?

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Fenring
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quote:
Originally posted by Adam Masterman:
quote:
Originally posted by jasonr:
Joshua / Adam: I was addressing Pete's point, which I think is kind of obvious. I don't really think the high rate of criminality among blacks is actually up for debate, nor do I think that anyone seriously can argue that the high rate of involvement of blacks with the criminal justice system is exclusively caused by racism (i.e. false accusations and false arrests by racist cops).


I would say that, absent any proof that its higher (controlled by socio-economic class), then your *assumption* automatically leads to your conclusion. For the record, I dispute that blacks commit crimes at any higher rate, so feel free to offer some sort of proof for this claim.

I'm not going to dispute this claim since I haven't studied the data on this significantly, but I'll point out that some others 'on your side' of this issue, such as Pyrtolin, have made contrary claims to this. For instance, it's been freely pointed out that the system is bogus because blacks are disproportionately poor, and that poverty leads to a higher crime rate, and that therefore crime among black people is merely a symptom of the bogus white man's system. Various kinds of examples of how 'the system' is stacked against minorities have appeared in this thread, this being one that's been repeated frequently. But this type of argument necessarily admits that blacks have poverty and that poverty leads to crime, ergo blacks commit more crime (but that the root cause of the crime is really systemic).

I know you're not Pyrtolin or anyone else here and don't have to answer for their opinions, but apparently others who support the same view you do on racism in the system seem to not agree with you about the black crime rate. This is pertinent because if jasonr is right about the crime rate it would further Pete's point about why the justice system might have a negative view of black people. This brings us back to the 'feedback loop' argument, and away from the 'white privilege' or 'white racism' angle.

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PSRT
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quote:
Not really my place to tell blacks what to do or how to deal with their internal issues. Just pointing out the elephant in the room.
Even IF there is a high rate of criminality amongst blacks, its not an "internal problem." Crime is at least in part a socio-economic phenomena, and there has not been a period in the history of the united states where whites have not had significant structural advantages in wealth distribution. Anytime you find yourself saying that the black community has an internal problem, its really important to start asking "Why did that problem come to be? What are the causes of that problem?" Because almost always you are going to have to start examining how blacks have been treated in this country.

Blacks have a high degree of criminality? Racism played a huge role in distributing wealth to whites and not blacks. Blacks have a family structure problem? Black men are in jail. Blacks need to parent their children better? Even when black men aren't in jail, black parents are more likely to need to hold down two jobs in order to make economic ends meet because wealth has been disproportionaly distributed to whites. Blacks don't trust authority? Authority has a long history of abusing blacks. Black people are more likely to do drugs? Black people live in situations that are more despair inducing than whites because, again, long history of abuse by authority and lack of economic potential. Black people are more likely to be on welfare? Employers are more likely to hire whites than blacks when the resume is equal. And on and on and on and on and on.

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PSRT
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quote:
I know you're not Pyrtolin or anyone else here and don't have to answer for their opinions, but apparently others who support the same view you do on racism in the system seem to not agree with you about the black crime rate. This is pertinent because if jasonr is right about the crime rate it would further Pete's point about why the justice system might have a negative view of black people. This brings us back to the 'feedback loop' argument, and away from the 'white privilege' or 'white racism' angle.
Well, no, it doesn't. Two reasons.

Reason one is that the feedback look mechanism that pete and earlier jason described, is racism. Thats the word for what is being described when the determining factor in who gets worse treatment because of past history is race.

Second reason is, even if blacks do disproportionately commit crimes, because of this feedback loop mechanism, innocent whites have it a lot better than innocent blacks... which is privilege.

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Greg Davidson
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I am on travel at the moment, and just looking in briefly, so please excuse the lack of substantiating data on this comment, but I believe that the evidence will support what I have to say:

Some of the most frequent crimes committed by Americans, if not the most frequent, are use of illegal drugs. My memory of recent studies is that whites use illegal drugs as much as blacks. But arrests for illegal drug use are significantly higher for blacks. So prisons have been filled for decades with a far higher fraction of black criminals than white criminals - except all of those white drug users who were not put in prison don't count as criminals, not in the eyes of many who calculate how many blacks commit crimes vs how many whites.

But the effect of bigotry goes deeper.
At one time we even had laws on the books that made cocaine use in the form more frequently used by blacks (crack) as being ten times as serious as the same amount of cocaine in more expensive forms more typically used by whites. we even made up a largely imaginary problem of "crack babies" that for some reason never occurred in women who used the same amount of cocaine in its more expensive form (there was an article a year or two ago that showed that there never was an epidemic of crack babies, that cocaine in any form does not have an effect like alcohol in fetal alcohol syndrome, and instead the whole crack baby meme was just fear run rampant In lieu of proper epidemiology

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by Greg Davidson:
My memory of recent studies is that whites use illegal drugs as much as blacks. But arrests for illegal drug use are significantly higher for blacks.

Most folks in prison for drugs are not in for USE of drugs, Greg, but for SALE of drugs. So your memory of recent studies, even if correct, is mostly irrelevant.

quote:
So prisons have been filled for decades with a far higher fraction of black criminals than white criminals - except all of those white drug users who were not put in prison don't count as criminals, not in the eyes of many who calculate how many blacks commit crimes vs how many whites. But the effect of bigotry goes deeper.
You think it's "bigotry" to give probation and short jail sentences to addicts for small possession charges and larger sentences to people caught with large quantities of dope, or selling it? Look, there's systemic racism in the system, but you make it harder to address the real problems when you call racism on things that obviously are not.


As for crack versus regular cocaine, crack is MUCH more addictive. I've had clients, black and white, who did each, and the difference was palpable between cokies and crack-heads.

Crack is about as addictive as meth, which is overall a white man and white woman's drug (including a surprising number of white middle class housewives). Guess which one gets you bigger federal sentences? METH.

Look, I used to be on that bandwagon about prosecution of crack being a race thing, but then I spent some time in crim defense, saw some of the damage being done, and realized that crack prosecution is WAY less rigorous than meth.

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by PSRT:

Reason one is that the feedback look mechanism that pete and earlier jason described, is racism. Thats the word for what is being described when the determining factor in who gets worse treatment because of past history is race.

It isn't "the" determining factor. Black WOMEN don't get that treatment in the courts. Black men get the dirty eyeball when they say they are lawyers; black WOMEN do not. Lefties bawl to the skies that black women get the worst of sexism and racism, but look at the number of black women enrolled in US law schools compared to black men.

I never said that racism wasn't "a" factor. But I'm glad that your words recognize that racism isn't all one way; racism includes any racial prejudice based on past history. (Not limited to that, of course; much racism is based on cultural brainwashing, or on a conscious decision to exploit difference for political advantage.)

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by PSRT:
innocent whites have it a lot better than innocent blacks

I'm really sick to death of folks that haven't spent a day watching how an inner city criminal court works. But I guess that's why you specify that racism involves people that make snap racist judgments and generalizations "based on history," as opposed to based on what they were told at a sit in.

[ January 03, 2015, 11:41 AM: Message edited by: Pete at Home ]

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Adam Masterman
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quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:

As for crack versus regular cocaine, crack is MUCH more addictive. I've had clients, black and white, who did each, and the difference was palpable between cokies and crack-heads.


Crack is not "way more addictive" than cocaine.
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PSRT
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quote:
'm really sick to death of folks that haven't spent a day watching how an inner city criminal court works.
Sadly for you, I have. Many of them.

Of course, personal observations are subject to bias, which is why I try to avoid trusting my observations, and trust more the data and statistics, as much as they can be found.

The reality is that, statistically speaking, its way better in this country to be an innocent white than an innocent black. Especially if you are male.

Statistics are subject to being statistics, and so some individuals may come out on the wrong end of the percentages.

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scifibum
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I just want to chime in and say that calling something an "internal problem" for black people is to use the construct of race to separate them from us in a really, really problematic way. jason, what makes this a community problem, but only for a community that you don't belong to? Why is it more an "internal" problem for Mr. Harris the Harvard law guy than for you?
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scifibum
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There's a huge difference between recognizing that race or skin color plays a role in systemic trends and using the same construct to make prescriptive declarations about whose problem it is.
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JoshCrow
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quote:
Originally posted by scifibum:
I just want to chime in and say that calling something an "internal problem" for black people is to use the construct of race to separate them from us in a really, really problematic way. jason, what makes this a community problem, but only for a community that you don't belong to? Why is it more an "internal" problem for Mr. Harris the Harvard law guy than for you?

You are misreading what it means to paint the problem as "internal". It does not suggest that "the problem does not concern non-blacks". Rather, it suggests that "the solution must be generated from within the black community to have any credibility". White people have zero credibility to tell the black community anything. Hence, "internal problem".

Hiring more black officers is actually reflective of an "internal" solution to a specific problem - the perception (and reality in some instances) of racially-motivated policing.

[ January 03, 2015, 05:35 PM: Message edited by: JoshCrow ]

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Mynnion
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I have read this post and the Furguson post with interest. Everyone seems to agree that racism is still an issue in this country. The degree, causes, and outcomes appear to be in question but not the problem itself.

I will admit to having a degree of prejudice against those who are different than myself. To me it falls more along socioeconomic lines than race lines but it is still there no matter how hard I fight it.

I wanted to throw out a couple of thoughts before I go back to lurking.

First we humans tend to rise to the expectations that are placed on us whether they are good or bad. Only the exceptional have the drive and intelligence to push past those expectations. That is why being a reasonably successful law abiding citizen was drilled into me by my parents, the community I grew up in, my teachers, TV, etc. To apply the same set of standards for "success" on someone without a supportive background is unreasonable and naive.

My second point revolves around the police and the legal system. There has been a lot of support for the police and I in general support them. However, being in a position of power comes with certain responsibilities. It is critical that both the police and justice system regard everyone no matter who they are or what they look like as equal. We can argue about the fact that black or Latino men commit more crimes and that is why they are treated differently but neither socio-economics or race are justification for different treatment by the police or courts.

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Aris Katsaris
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quote:
I've yet to see any study that demonstrates that blacks commit more crime than whites (not one that doesn't simply assume that convictions=crime rate)
Can you explain what sort of demonstration would satisfy you?
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
I'm not going to dispute this claim since I haven't studied the data on this significantly, but I'll point out that some others 'on your side' of this issue, such as Pyrtolin, have made contrary claims to this.
Not contrary, complimentary.

Poverty pushes people to being more accommodating of, if not actively engaging in criminal behavior for various survival reasons, whether it's to feed or better themselves, or to avoid being to exist without becoming a target in an environment where illegal activity has been normalized over time.

That directly feeds into blacks being more likely to be prosecuted or whites being more likely to be given a pass, if not completely ignored when they break the law when you compare any two otherwise equal economic and geographic results. It's not one or the other here- poverty begets crime and the fact that one particular race is more likely to be impoverished and another more likely to be wealthy means that the poorer race is becomes disproportionately targeted by law enforcement and more harshly punished across all brackets, an action which then drives more of that race into poverty, and that's not even getting into disproportionate false incidents- where black people can end up getting pulled over, if not arrested for driving too nice a car or wearing clothes that are too expensive, not because of any conscious personal bias, but simply because the statistics tend to justify and give a fig leaf of "rationality" to such racism, just as with jasonr's comments about crossing the street based purely on prejudice rather than treating people as distinct individuals.

The fact that seemingly rational risk analysis ends up disproportionately affecting people based on skin color is a good and clear example of systemic racism- something that can't be corrected by fixing individual attitudes, but has to be fixed at the system level- eg: removing people from poverty, returning to community policing instead of ramping up authoritarianism and militarization, less disruption of families through disproportionate arrests, fines, sentencing, etc...; such that the statistics no longer justify such behavior.

It's impossible and not really desirable to try to forcefully change prejudices on an individual level. You could harangue jansonr all day about how his behavoir is fundamentally prejudiced, but it wouldn't have any good effect- you just put him at a bit more risk in the best case, and ignore the actual roots of the problem- or you can look at the systemic nature of the issue and fix the system so that such prejudices no only get the veneer of orational justification, at which point, they'll lose the ability to teach themselves to new people with time and fade into background noise.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
The reality is that, statistically speaking, its way better in this country to be an innocent white than an innocent black. Especially if you are male
Actually, that's tepid. The statistics show that you've got better odds as a _guilty_ white man than you do as an innocent black, right from the fact that you're less likely to be arrested in the first place, never mind lighter treatment and more chance of mercy and attention to the personal and situational mitigating factors of your case all the way through the system.

A white man who gets a speeding ticket or parking ticket that they deserved has a better chance of being able to argue it down than an equivalent black man who even manages to make it that far into the process whose otherwise identical actions often would communicate a completely different message to the police and judges overseeing the case because they're filtered through their perception of the race of the defendant.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Most folks in prison for drugs are not in for USE of drugs, Greg, but for SALE of drugs. So your memory of recent studies, even if correct, is mostly irrelevant.
That's something that happens when legal employers have a tendency to pass you over based on your race for white candidates, even if you're better qualified or the white candidate has a criminal history when you don't. If the drug dealers are the only market that will reliably hire you, eventually, you're very likely to get pulled in because you have few other options to generate a survivable income.
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Fenring
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
Most folks in prison for drugs are not in for USE of drugs, Greg, but for SALE of drugs. So your memory of recent studies, even if correct, is mostly irrelevant.
That's something that happens when legal employers have a tendency to pass you over based on your race for white candidates, even if you're better qualified or the white candidate has a criminal history when you don't. If the drug dealers are the only market that will reliably hire you, eventually, you're very likely to get pulled in because you have few other options to generate a survivable income.
This is a most curious claim. You're saying that dealing drugs is a job of last resort, like prostitution? I guess it depends on what kind of drug dealing you're talking about. Low-volume dealers frequently work out of normal businesses, often in the service sector, to facilitate meeting clients in a convenient setting. I guess the 'guy in the van' or 'man on the street corner' business model is different, and that would be the dealer's only job.

A chapter in Freakonomics mentioned that gang-type drug dealers tend to make very little money, and their conclusion is that people of that sort are in it more for the society aspect, to be in the gang with hopes of promotion and protection. But for drug dealers who are 'self-employed' (of which I've heard of or met plenty) believe me they make a killing and they aren't doing it because they couldn't get an office job. Not by a longshot. There are also many who deal 'on the side' just to make a few extra bucks.

But to make a blanket statement conflating drug dealing with racism that prevents gainful employment - this is both unspecific and also a short circuit to your beliefs about systemic racism.

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Gaoics79
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quote:
I just want to chime in and say that calling something an "internal problem" for black people is to use the construct of race to separate them from us in a really, really problematic way. jason, what makes this a community problem, but only for a community that you don't belong to? Why is it more an "internal" problem for Mr. Harris the Harvard law guy than for you?
Josh said it correctly. I as a "white person" have no credibility to dictate to black people how to deal with their community problems. Just as I had no hand in creating those problems, I have no hand in remedying them.

All this sanctimonious "white privilege" / racism rubbish will remedy nothing, because it has nothing to do with the cause or the solution. It's essentially irrelevant.

In addition, practically speaking, it is almost always "internal" as well. With rare exceptions, this problem is contained within certain communities. Even in the Ferguson example when anger was directed at an outside oppressor, guess whose businesses and community got burned down in retaliation?

Typically, people outside these communities don't care what happens as long as the problem is contained. The Toronto Boxing Day massacre would be a rare example of "spillover" that captured media attention specifically because it occurred in a large urban shopping centre in the heart of the City and not in some ghetto.

[ January 05, 2015, 03:01 PM: Message edited by: jasonr ]

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Gaoics79
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quote:
Can you explain what sort of demonstration would satisfy you?
None.

In my experience, certain types talk out of both sides of their mouth on this issue.

Out of one side of their mouth, they deny the underlying claim.

Out of the other side of their mouth, they claim that it's caused by racism, systemic oppression, poverty, whatever.

Occasionally they will remember to insert the requisite "if not A" before moving to B. Usually they will just say both things at the same time, as incoherent and self-contradictory as that may be.

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Adam Masterman
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quote:
Originally posted by jasonr:

All this sanctimonious "white privilege" / racism rubbish will remedy nothing, because it has nothing to do with the cause or the solution. It's essentially irrelevant.


At what date did racism end, making any further discussion rubbish?
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Gaoics79
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quote:
At what date did racism end, making any further discussion rubbish?
You can discuss it all you want. You just won't accomplish anything.

The civil rights movement is a spent force. It's remaining champions have no power to change anything.

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Pete at Home
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I agree that the civil rights movement is dead, Jason, but those in possession of its corpse continue to haul it around like El Cid to victory that cynically have nothing to do with civil rights; consider, for example, the redefinition of marriqge.
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