Freedom: a #blacklivesmatter anthem


#1

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#2

Yeah, I’m going to be that asshole.

A point of the video is that while people of color make up only 30%, about 60% of inmates are non-white. But isn’t it logical fallacy presented is that people of color are unfairly targeted by law enforcement?

I concede that people of color are apprehended and prosecuted more than whites, but does that mean that the people of color in jail literally didn’t commit crimes?

I think as a society we conveniently like to forget about the responsibilities that come with the rights of how our government work. You may not like your situation but you make a choice to try to improve yourself legally or not.


#3

Actually it’s interesting because it all feeds back into itself. Because people of color are more likely to be apprehended and prosecuted, that means that there are probably more white people who got away with it because of that. I think I did read somewhere that people of color are more likely to be wrongly convicted as well, so yes, in that sense a larger portion of them probably didn’t commit crimes.


#4

Should driving while black be a crime?

Should being black result in a more severe punishment than you’d get if you were white?

Should the same acts while black give one an increased risk of being arrested and tried for the same crime?


#5

Hey asshole, how about before stomping in here and spewing shit all over the place, you do a little research?

http://newjimcrow.com/praise-for-the-new-jim-crow

tl;dr? Then maybe try this:

Black lower- and working-class lives matter to the U.S. state capitalist system as the critical raw material for the vast new social and spiritual Death Row that is the modern U.S. prison-industrial complex.


#6

So are you suggesting that the sole reason more people of color are in jail is because they’ve simply made poor choices?


#7

Absolutely not. And I’m absolutely certain that in some instances police were overaggressive and forced someone into a situation that they could use to their advantage. And I realize people of color face a more difficult time with law enforcement.

I do appreciate the links and I will review, but do you have data on how often those in jail are actually innocent of their crimes? Because while I see they may be targeted more and have a more difficult time with law enforcement, I’m not seeing the part where the people arrested and sent to jail were actually innocent. That number is estimated to be a single digit, and the Innocence Project points out a ratio of racial exonerees at the same rate as incarceration.

Police get it wrong sometimes, but they seem to do that without racial bias. Maybe it’s more about socio-economics?


#8

Absolutely not. I’m saying people of color are in jail because they broke the law and were apprehended and prosecuted for that. Just the same with white people. I understand there is a bias, but I think you’d want white law-breakers to be prosecuted more, not non-white law-breakers prosecuted less.


#9

Your faith in the the just workings of the criminal justice system is soooooo naive white.


#10

Ideally everyone would face the same treatment under the law. I don’t think an argument is being made in favor of prosecuting any group more or less. The issue is that there are societal imbalances that go beyond the justice system that make it hard for some people to break out of a cycle of poverty and crime.

Saying “You may not like your situation but you make a choice to try to improve yourself legally or not” presumes that everyone has equal opportunities to legally improve themselves.


#11

Other than those who are later found innocent (which would be a tiny subset) how does one generate such data? It’s (by definition) not possible because we don’t have a ‘but he’s also innocent’ flag for those in prison.

That’s why we have meta studies to rely on and statistical analysis done by experts. There are thousands of studies out there on the subject and all point to the same trend. Interestingly when you go international the trend is stronger for ‘minority’ than it is for ‘racial’ but we don’t have as many cultural sub-minorities here.

If you want to see a whole swarm of studies to peruse, just google with the keywords ‘racial punishment disparity scholarly’ or ‘racial punishment disparity study’, that’ll get you in the right direction!

In a nutshell though, people who understand this kind of analysis (I can help with some as somebody in data analytics myself, but some of these guys are using methods that I’m merely a hack with) are consistently identifying severe disparities in treatment of minority individuals on a net level and also on a micro level when the specific scenario gets factored in.

The trend is particularly powerful in meta studies (ones that incorporate multiple elements from other studies and use them as weighting factors) and while the U.S. is an outlier when it comes to imprisonment specifically (we’re kind of prison-happy) the issue with majority-vs-cultural minority seems to be a universal human trend likely stemming from tribalism and not having police that are good at overcoming those instincts.


#12

Wow, that’s an amazing statement. “Some people have no other choice than to live illegally.” Is that true? Can you find me any instance where there is not a myriad of other paths available to someone except to break the law.?


#13

Innocence Project, which I would think of as the leading clearinghouse for that kind of data in the US, estimates between 2-8% of all incarcerations are wrong, and by the same racial spread of about 70-30% non-white/white.

There’s an amazing way to stay out of jail and avoid undo persecution, simply don’t break the law. It impossible to levy harsher sentences if crimes don’t occur in the first place.

When did it become normal to seek evened out punishment between racial groups instead of not committing crime in the first place?


#14

Wow, I never said any such thing. What I said is there are societal imbalances that go beyond the justice system that make it hard for some people to break out of a cycle of poverty and crime*. I did not say “Some people have no other choice than to live illegally.”

Pardon me for making the mistake of thinking you were willing to discuss this honestly.

*Emphasis added, in case you really did miss what I said in my earlier comment.


#15

I can find cases where following the law leaves people marginalized, and yet still repeatedly harassed by police, sometimes even at risk of being charged with something anyway if not shot.

Is that good enough for me not to push all the responsibility onto people who decide, once while young and impulsive, to try something less legal? Especially since the crime is often something minor and frequently forgiven when other people do it, like touching marijuana?

Here’s a suggestion: when you know you are about to be that asshole, consider why, and if it’s actually something that needs doing. Here it isn’t.


#17

The innocence project is one tiny sample of cases that are chosen based upon quite a bit of criteria (including gathered evidence). There are several factors that would statistically skew the sample in one direction or another and they’re not designed as a statistical sample nor do they pretend to be. They are often factored in with respect to metastudies, but that’s a VERY bad example to use if you’re trying to do any kind of statistical analysis.

Have you ever sped? Lots of us white folk do all the time.

Also, remember cases like Sandra Bland, where it’s plenty obvious that the arrest was escalated by the officer in question and where you or I likely would never even have been pulled over, much less given anything other than a ticket or a warning.

It’s always been normal to seek parity. That’s how it’s supposed to be. That’s why we have flexible sentencing and police have always been able to give warnings. I’m not sure why you think this is odd. The side effect of that additional flexibility is more diligence required to overcome human bias.

I gave you several links as well as the keywords needed to find a massive amount of data on your own that focuses on the issues that #blacklivesmatter is focused on. If you do some strong analysis and try to overcome any presumptive biases you’ll see that there are people who have done more due diligence than you or I can even consider doing in this discussion who have concluded that this bias exists.


#18

I am willing to discuss this honestly, but that’s just such a wrong-headed statement I don’t know where to start.

You have to choose to try to make a go of it despite adverse circumstances, just as much as you have to choose to break laws to get ahead. There seems to be this idea that laws don’t really count unless they seem like they’re applied unequally, and then they’re just tools to hurt minorities. Like I’ve said through this thread, non-white people in jail, except for a small fraction, are there because they committed a crime. The white people are there in jail because they committed a crime too. If you are offended about the disparity of white to non-white offenders for similar crimes, you do not advocate for the sentences to be lessened against non-white offenders, but rather increased against white offenders.

If you want the rules to change, you make those in power play by the same rules as those without power. Things would change pretty damn quick then. But don’t advocate for anarchy in the delusion it might rectify some social inequality.There are an amazing amount of people without power or wealth who play by the rules, including me, that think your ideas are even more unfair than what you’re trying to fix.


#19

If you’re willing to discuss this honestly then please don’t misquote me or put words in my mouth. I’ll repeat myself: there are societal imbalances that make it hard for people to break out of a cycle of poverty and crime.

If you think that’s a wrongheaded statement then presumably you’re still interpreting that to mean “Some people have no other choice than to live illegally” which is something I neither said nor implied. I haven’t advocated for anarchy either. If you really are willing to discuss this honestly, as you claim, stop putting words in my mouth.

On the other hand you did say “You may not like your situation but you make a choice to try to improve yourself legally or not”, to which I’ll respond again, not everyone has equal opportunities.

On the subject of responsibility, though, you’ve chosen to be dishonest and to make unnecessary personal attacks (not against me specifically, but others). Why not take some responsibility for that?


#20

Oh, hey! I’ve got to add something that nobody’s brought up (self included) that I don’t think has really been mentioned (it is in some of the studies that you’d find with those keywords! Also: If you want to slip past a paywall add ‘pdf’ to the keyword list, you’d be surprised at how often that bit of google-fu works)

There’s an something similar to an ‘opportunity cost’ when it comes to actually committing a crime. Growing up in a neighborhood in which crime is prevalent and having family members associated with crimes creates a bridge that somebody who grew up in a small town in Minnesota just wouldn’t have.

In addition, simply being in a neighborhood in which (for example) drugs are readily available and considered socially acceptable makes it easier and more likely one will acquire said drugs because it’s just that much easier. It’s not like most of us haven’t been curious (or wanted to escape something mentally traumatic) at one time or another.

These issues cross racial boundaries quite a bit, but are pretty strongly restricted to those of lower socioeconomic classes.

I’m sure there are people out there who would never commit a crime, but when it comes to victimless ones a huge percentage of us are willing to take the risk and dabble (Have you ever known anybody who smoked weed in a non-legalized State? You do now! :wink: ). The fact that those result in imprisonment is a whole other issue, but they are legally crimes and a huge percentage of the population commits them without getting arrested.

So you’ll want to factor that in. There’s no ethical reason to avoid committing a victimless crime after all.


#21

They are often factored in with respect to metastudies, but that’s a VERY bad example to use if you’re trying to do any kind of statistical analysis.

They offer a range of possibilities, and I don’t think 2-8% is either unusual or irrational. If you can provide more details of other studies that might show an overwhelming larger amount, I’d like to see that.

Also, remember cases like Sandra Bland, where it’s plenty obvious that the arrest was escalated by the officer in question and where you or I likely would never even have been pulled over, much less given anything other than a ticket or a warning.

This was a very high-profile unusual case. Are you saying a majority of stops by police of black Americans go this way? In 2008 75% of all black people stopped for traffic violations self-reported their stop was legitimate. In 2015 it’s at 68%. Now forgetting that it’s still a majority understanding that their traffic citation was legitimate, are you saying that in 7 years, that 10% decrease is pure racism? Keep in mind that racial makeup of police forces has stayed flat for some time. If that’s the case, can you please then show me statistics that show an increase in wrongful traffic citations, especially against black motorists?

It’s always been normal to seek parity. That’s how it’s supposed to be. That’s why we have flexible sentencing and police have always been able to give warnings.

Again, am I just not getting why we’re supposed to accept illegality as some everyday occurrence and be upset that one racial group is feeling it harder than another? I’m just flabbergasted at this, that laws somehow don’t matter, and that it’s unequal sentencing that’s holding back black Americans unfairly instead of not committing crimes in the first place.