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View Diary: Hey Zimmerman, Most Thieves Are White With Video And Graphs (52 comments)

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  •  Like I Said (10+ / 1-)

    This data destroys the most powerful motivator for white bigotry

    No it doesn't.

    You want to make your case, make it. You want to treat your target audience like they're stupid, the internet is a big place.

    I won't be coming home tonight, my generation will put it right - Genesis 9:3

    by superscalar on Fri Jul 12, 2013 at 07:13:50 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  HR Racism (0+ / 0-)
      •  You Keep Using The Word Over And Over (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        auapplemac, johnny wurster, Zornorph

        Use it every chance you get.

        Pretty soon calling someone a 'racist' is going to have about as much impact as calling them a 'fuckwad'.

        I won't be coming home tonight, my generation will put it right - Genesis 9:3

        by superscalar on Fri Jul 12, 2013 at 07:29:00 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Horace not an appropriate HR (6+ / 0-)

        You should remove it.

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Fri Jul 12, 2013 at 07:54:45 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  HR for racism?? The poster made the logical (4+ / 0-)

        comment that the data presented by the diarist "destroys the most powerful motivator for white bigotry."  The data presented do not really address that issue at all, let alone destroy it.  Besides the fact that it looks at one small dimension of that issue, one of the key problems with it is that it fails to take population proportions into account.  That's not racism.  That's math.

        •  Your ignorance is showing. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Conceptual Guerilla
          Mass media have played and will continue to play a crucial role in the way white Americans perceive African-Americans. As a result of the overwhelming media focus on crime, drug use, gang violence, and other forms of anti-social behavior among African-Americans, the media have fostered a distorted and pernicious public perception of African-Americans. 1

          The history of African-Americans is a centuries old struggle against oppression and discrimination. The media have played a key role in perpetuating the effects of this historical oppression and in contributing to African-Americans' continuing status as second-class citizens. As a result, white America has suffered from a deep uncertainty as to who African-Americans really are. Despite this racial divide, something indisputably American about African-Americans has raised doubts about the white man's value system. Indeed, it has also aroused the troubling suspicion that whatever else the true American is, he is also somehow black. 2

          Racism

          Before attempting to understand racism and mass media, one must understand the history of racism. Race has become an institutional part of American society. From the Founding on, race has played an integral part in shaping the American consciousness. David Goldberg's Racist Culture argues that racial discourse may be interpreted as aversive, academic, scientific, legalistic, bureaucratic, economic, cultural, linguistic, religion, mythical, or ideological. 3 He also stresses that racialized discourse and racist expressions towards African-American have been widespread. Race matters exist in different places and at different times under widely varying conditions.

          American race relations provides a case study in Marxist class theory. Marx argued that society has two classes: the exploited or working class, and the exploiters or owners of the means of production. He further stressed that one class will ultimately overpower the other using any necessary means. Looking at American society we can clearly see the development of the two class system. There were slave owners and slaves, and racism served as a means to overpower the exploited class.

          Segmentation Theory

          In the 1980's, Michael Reich developed the Segmentation Theory or the Divide and Rule, which attempted to explain racism from an economic point of view. In this theory, Reich proposes that the ultimate goal in society is to maximize profits. As a result, the exploiters will attempt to use any means to: (1) suppress higher wages among the exploited class, (2) weaken the bargaining power of the working class, often by attempting to split it along racial lines, (3) promote prejudices, (4) segregate the black community, (5) ensure that the elite benefit from the creation of stereotypes and racial prejudices against the black community.

          Reich argues that the major corporations in the U.S. (e.g. Time Warner, Coca Cola, General Motors, etc.) all have at least one member on each other's corporate boards of directors. As a result, it is in the interest of these members to maximize profits while employing the above devices. The mere fact of these corporate executives' sharing economic corporate power, combined with the quest for economic profit has now paved the way for economic discrimination. But the question still remains, is the media one of the tools used to promote racism? Does the elite use the media to ensure profits are maximized by corporations?

          The U.S. Media And Racism

          Media have divided the working class and stereotyped young African-American males as gangsters or drug dealers. As a result of such treatment, the media have crushed youths' prospects for future employment and advancement. The media have focused on the negative aspects of the black community (e.g. engaging in drug use, criminal activity, welfare abuse) while maintaining the cycle of poverty that the elite wants.

          There are no universally accepted and recorded codes or rules, which apply to journalists in news selection and production. The media have devoted too much time and space to "enumerating the wounded" and too little time to describing the background problems of African-Americans. 4 What is not a crisis is not usually reported and what is not or cannot be made visual is often not televised. The news media respond quickly and with keen interest to the conflicts and controversies of racial stories. For the most part, they disregard the problems that seep beneath the surface until they erupt in the hot steam that is the "live" news story.

        •  ooops (0+ / 0-)

          forgot to note that the poster states:
          "No it doesn't." after "This data destroys the most powerful motivator for white bigotry"

      •  I appreciate your concern Horace (0+ / 0-)

        But I want to have this discussion.  That is why I posted the diary.

    •  You seem to think that I am stupid, and you (0+ / 0-)

      obviously think that you are very smart, wait, let me change that--you obviously think that you are very, very smart. So, you should have no trouble giving me a one-word answer to the following question. If I live in Florida and I am victimized by a thief, what color will that thief most likely be: white, black, or some other color?

      Just give me one word, no ducking and weaving, just one simple word. I can understand a one-word answer.

      Thank you very much.

      Might and Right are always fighting, in our youth it seems exciting. Right is always nearly winning, Might can hardly keep from grinning. -- Clarence Day

      by hestal on Fri Jul 12, 2013 at 07:29:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I Am In A Closed Room With Ten People (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        johnny wurster

        Eight of them are pink and two of them are blue, and someone raises their hand.

        What are the statistical odds that the person raising their hand is pink?

        You seem to think that I am stupid

        Do I? Wow ... okay.

        Just give me one word, no ducking and weaving, just one simple word

        Simple things are oft times simple for a reason.

        I won't be coming home tonight, my generation will put it right - Genesis 9:3

        by superscalar on Fri Jul 12, 2013 at 07:35:56 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You are exactly right. (0+ / 0-)

          If someone in that same room steals your lunch money, who is most likely to be the perp?  The pink people or the blue people?

          •  Re (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            johnny wurster, Neuroptimalian

            Yeah, but let's assume that one of the two blue people and one of the eight pink people has stolen lunch money in the past.

            Given these facts, would you rather leave your lunch money next to a random pink person or a random blue one?

            (For any morons accusing me of being racist, I'm merely trying to prove a point here only so go screw).

            (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
            Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

            by Sparhawk on Fri Jul 12, 2013 at 09:09:18 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Not racist, just not understanding the gambler's (0+ / 0-)

              fallacy.

              Nor the idea that you can't generalize from one person to another. Especially not based on one case each.

              Ou sont les neigedens d'antan?

              by SouthernLiberalinMD on Fri Jul 12, 2013 at 11:47:30 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Lol (0+ / 0-)

                What about the Gambler's fallacy do I "not understand"?

                Nor the idea that you can't generalize from one person to another. Especially not based on one case each.
                I'll take "missing the point" for $200, Alex.

                (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
                Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

                by Sparhawk on Fri Jul 12, 2013 at 12:01:19 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  past rolls of dice don't determine future rolls (0+ / 0-)

                  and one pink person's action doesn't determine the actions of the next pink person you meet.

                  Ou sont les neigedens d'antan?

                  by SouthernLiberalinMD on Fri Jul 12, 2013 at 12:07:13 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  The Fallacy of the Gamblers' Fallacy (0+ / 0-)

                    This comment sequence is a good demo why devolving into the world of marbles can be foolish when we were working with a perfectly good example from real life (see other comments on this diary).

                    In the data from Sparhawk you have available, the risk of being of a thief is associated with being blue.  The more data you have, like an entire statewide database, the better your predictions.  If you re-sample another person, you are selecting from within the sampling frame that has already been used to determine the risk of thievery.  So the average risk for a blue is higher than a pink.  

                    The true probability for any single blue or pink is either 0 or 1.0--meaning, there are determining and unknown (or unavailable to the observer) factors other than blueness or pinkness (which are almost certainly not causal, but merely are just correlated).  But if all you have to go on is the color, then it is mathematically correct to assume that  any individual blue is, on average, more likely to be a thief.

                    A lot of these issues are really about making informal Bayesian predictions, and humans aren't always very good at that.

          •  Pink. duh. (0+ / 0-)

            Ou sont les neigedens d'antan?

            by SouthernLiberalinMD on Fri Jul 12, 2013 at 11:46:31 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  I think you're asking the wrong question (4+ / 0-)

        I think the more relevant question is: "I see a person of X race.  What are the chances that they are a thief?"

        I think that's the more relevant question because that seems to be the direction that these issues arise from: specific cases, not generalities.

        •  THAT is the relevant question (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          johnny wurster

          without understanding that, the whole discussion is meaningless.

        •  The relevant question. . . (0+ / 0-)

          . . . from Zimmerman's point of view is who is most like committing the breakins.

          If you ask whether an individual is a criminal, lower class people are more likely to be criminals, and black are disproportionately lower.

          But if you focus on the particular crime ... who stole YOUR TV . . . they are more likely to be white.

          And the proportions, I repeat, are way overblown.

          There is no justification for profiling black people, while white criminals are virtually invisible . . . and yet more numerous.

          See Horace's comment on the prevalence of media coverage of "black crime."

          •  there had just been a break-in (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Zornorph

            committed by a black teen a few weeks prior.

          •  Even if the proportions are overblown... (3+ / 0-)

            ...and the hype/fear levels around black crime is too high for what it deserves, that still doesn't change the fact that blacks are still committing thefts at a much higher rate, and so statistically speaking each individual is more likely to be a thief.  Thus it is not surprising that someone would be more suspicious of them.  It's more than double if the stats listed are correct.  That's huge.

            And if we consider the Zimmerman situation specifically, young black men HAD been burglarizing the neighborhood, and so his reasons for suspicion would be even higher.

          •  Sorry, but that's not correct (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            johnny wurster, Sparhawk

            The relevant question from Zimmerman's point of view is when he observes someone in his neighborhood, is that person more likely to have been committing the breakins if that individual is black.  After all, isn't making that assessment like that what "profiling" is?

            Using the State of Florida's data you have presented, and the US Census data, then it would be a correct mathematical assessment to infer that an individual black person is more likely to be a thief than an individual white person.  Hence, profiling.

            Sure, there is a hell of a lot more to it than that.  But if there isn't a mutual understanding of what the numbers mean then, well, it's tough.

          •  Well, we could also talk about (0+ / 0-)

            what constitutes "crime," but that's another discussion I guess.

            Break into your house and steal your TV--criminal.
            Break into your bank and steal your house--successful Wall St broker

            Ou sont les neigedens d'antan?

            by SouthernLiberalinMD on Fri Jul 12, 2013 at 11:49:11 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Probably white since most people in FL are white. (0+ / 0-)

        Are you including Hispanics as white? If so, even greater chance.

        Ou sont les neigedens d'antan?

        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Fri Jul 12, 2013 at 11:45:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Uprated to counter the improper HR (4+ / 0-)

      Nothing racist in the post.  

      "I'm a progressive man and I like progressive people" Peter Tosh

      by Texas Lefty on Fri Jul 12, 2013 at 07:41:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I've made my case, sir. (0+ / 0-)

      There are more white thieves, by far, than black thieves.  Therefore, if you are a victim of theft, the perp was more likely to be white.

      If you are profiling blacks to find your stolen TV, you're profiling the wrong people.

      Any fear you have of "black criminals" is overblown.

      And I haven't yet finished accounting for income.  It may turn out that criminals are disproportionately poor whites.

      The ballpark analysis goes like this.  Whites on food stamps are 33% greater than blacks on food stamps.  White thieves are 50% greater than black thieves.  This suggests that there is higher concentration of white thieves among lower income whites.

      Unless you want to argue that doctors, lawyers and engineers of any race are burglarizing houses in their spare time.    

      •  All Of Which Is, Again, Indicative Of Nothing (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sparhawk

        Whites on food stamps are 33% greater than blacks on food stamps

        And if the population was 100% white, whites would be 100% 'greater' -- which in and of itself is indicative of nothing.

        You still can't extrapolate from this number that whites are more likely, as a percentage of the total population, to be on food stamps than blacks. This is 'the case' you seem to be trying to make here.

        What you don't seem to understand is that you haven't made 'a case'. You've stated a statistical fact to which my response is,  given the proportionality we are discussing, well ... duuuuuh.

        I won't be coming home tonight, my generation will put it right - Genesis 9:3

        by superscalar on Fri Jul 12, 2013 at 09:18:46 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Again, if you're talking crime (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Horace Boothroyd III

        black people are pikers compared to white people.

        How many Wall St bankers are black?

        Ou sont les neigedens d'antan?

        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Fri Jul 12, 2013 at 11:50:23 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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