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View Diary: Smearing Trayvon Martin: The True Lie that Black Men Commit More Crime than Whites (278 comments)

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  •  I'm wasn't talking about Martin (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WereBear Walker, RickD, starfu

    I was talking about my own fear and the reasons for it.

    And in fact, the diarist was not talking about statistics - on the contrary, he was claiming that the statistics are somehow misleading or wrong. He was also confounding the issue of street crime against victims with other things, like possession of illegal drugs and white collar crime. These are not the types of crimes that make people afraid to leave their houses at night, which is what I am talking about. Yes, Bernie Madoff is many magnitudes more evil than any street thug, and I do fear having my retirement funds stolen by his ilk, but Bernie Madoff is not why I wait until morning to mail a letter rather than go across the street to the mailbox after dark.

    I believe the statistics back up higher rates of street crime by young black men than any other demographic - in fact, I thought it was so well known that I'm surprised to see people question it.

    The diarist has refuted this with an unsupported claim that this is due to large amounts of unreported crime by white perpetrators. If you find this more credible than my anecdotes, please explain why.

    As I pointed out in a previous comment, to believe that crime rates for young black men aren't higher is to believe that poverty, lack of education, trauma, discrimination and massive unemployment rates do not lead to higher crime rates. If this is the latest liberal thinking on the subject, then we are throwing out 60 years of sociology, are we not?

    We decided to move the center farther to the right by starting the whole debate from a far-right position to begin with. - Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay

    by denise b on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 06:29:41 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  didn't (3+ / 0-)

      say that, please attribute my claims properly. and do reread what i wrote about the racialized nature of crime.

      statistics are the result of a process, moreover, that process has certain relationships to power, and authority. are you disputing that there is disparate enforcement of the law in communities of color vs. those that may be more affluent and white?

      my claims are a bit more nuanced than you are giving credit for. please beware the use of strawmen to make your case.

      •  I am well aware (3+ / 0-)

        of disparities in the justice system and I would certainly take them into account in looking at conviction rates and to a lesser degree at arrest rates.

        But I don't think they factor into the reports of the victims themselves. I can't see any credible reason why those would be skewed. I believe the reports of crime in my own neighborhood that I heard about - which is obviously where my own fears spring from - were a reflection of what went on there.

        We decided to move the center farther to the right by starting the whole debate from a far-right position to begin with. - Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay

        by denise b on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 07:08:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  they factor into crime stats when everyone smokes (0+ / 0-)

          but not everyone gets stopped and frisked.  When the white folks come into the city to cop, then turn around and ride back home, and the police only bust the buyers and the sellers who are nearby.  Seen it happen many times.

          It happens when driving while black is a motive to stop a car, search, and provoke driver and passenger into something... anything.

          It happens when the police let the Asian and white kids sit on the lawn in front of the library and tell the black kids in the parking lot to move on or face arrest.  Seen it too, been to court on that one.

          It's not a fake orgasm; it's a real yawn.

          by sayitaintso on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 06:48:04 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  She was referencing violent crimes... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Wham Bam

            so drug busts are of no real issue here.  I agree that is a problem but its not the issue she was referencing.  She wasn't scared someone was oing to try and sell her weed.  She was scared someone was going to kill, rape or assault her.

    •  statistics (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Larsstephens, shanikka, sayitaintso

      The diarist was talking about statistics. The fact that he was questioning the accuracy of crime statistics as a representation of underlying facts they are presented as measuring does not mean he's talking about anecdotes instead of statistics.

      "I believe the statistics back up higher rates of street crime by young black men than any other demographic - in fact, I thought it was so well known that I'm surprised to see people question it. The diarist has refuted this with an unsupported claim that this is due to large amounts of unreported crime by white perpetrators."

      This gets down to the problem the diary is addressing: the assumption that US crime statistics by racial group reflect the prevalence of crime committed by these groups. You are surprised to see this challenged? One of the most well debunked areas where this has been shown false is with drug-related crime. Study after study has shown that black and white people tend to possess or do drugs the same amount or blacks even less than whites, yet are arrested and imprisoned for drug possession at far higher rates. What the police crime stats would supposedly "back up" is simply false, and perhaps even the opposite of what is actually true about this.

      And the diary is not saying this is just about crime by whites being "unreported". It's about the biases of surveillance practices, arresting or not arresting, charging or not charging, more or less severe charges, biased conviction rates, etc. etc. All of this stuff leads "the statistics" to suggest a greatly inflated picture of black crime. In the case of drugs it seems to flip a reality of whites being more likely to do the crime into one where blacks do it much more often.

      This doesn't necessarily mean there is no difference at all in crime rates among blacks and whites, and depending on which type of crime you're talking about, but it does mean that those crime statistics that are regularly trotted out to justify prejudiced views of blacks as especially dangerous do not accurately establish what these differences are. Yet they are constantly presented as doing so.

      •  statistics show black men... (0+ / 0-)

        commit violent crime at a higher rate than any other race.  Period.  Its not even close.  Even the most ardent progressive prison reform people know that to be true.  Now there are reasons for this that are built in to a still racially motivated social structure.  here is a good summary imo.

        "Prof. ALEXANDER: Yes, that's absolutely right. You know, most people assume that, you know, the prison explosion has been driven by violent crime rates. And it is true that African-American men do have higher rates of violent crime than white men.

        William Julius Wilson explored this in his book "When Work Disappears." He shows that, you know, people who are jobless have higher rates of violent crime, and in fact he cited research which shows that, you know, if you compare white, jobless men with black, jobless men, you know, the racial disparity in violent crime virtually disappears.

        So, you know, what we're dealing with when we're talking about violent crime is chronic joblessness in urban areas where work has disappeared due to the closing of factories, deindustrialization and globalization."

        •  again (0+ / 0-)

          see my comments above and elsewhere. "rates" do not scale down to individuals. thus, it is illogical to use claims about aggregates to gin up fear about individual people. you are fixated on the black bogeyman. thus my point of how this narrative does amazing work in this society. moreover, you are silent on "white" crimes--many of them violent. Again, my other point.

          If you want to be afraid of someone look in their mirror, they are likely going to be a member of your own group or someone you know.

          •  Wrong. (0+ / 0-)

            In my city, until recently, of Birmingham,al most violent crimes against whites and blacks were committed by young black men.  You are glossing over a HUGE issue.  Black men commit violent crimes at an astounding rate.

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