Is Any One Crime To Blame...

Hello, Cecil and crew.
In your story on Crime that published today, in the paragraph just above the Conclusion, your numbers of Whites, Blacks, and Hispanics in America add to 110 percent. :smiley:

“Rather, it’s resulted from get-tough-on-crime laws that have fallen most heavily on black men.”

What a politically correct response!

Is it just possible that “it” has fallen most heavily on black men because it is black men most heavily committing violent crimes?

And is it possible that circumstance is a result of the deliberate destruction of the black family by arrogant, condescending white liberals?

Or maybe the destruction of black families came about when arrogant white conservatives ruled that in order to receive aid to their families black men had to abandon them.

Link to the column.

Do you really think that is the order that things happen?

“Gee, if I leave my girlfriend, she’ll get public assistance. What a great idea!”

many people are mixed-race these days.

Something that strikes me here is that 4 of the first 5 posts are by users that I’ve never heard of before, yet none of them are new here.

Okay, on topic: A common diagnosis I’ve seen discussed over the years addresses the apparent association of crime with blacks: Poverty. High crime rates tend to be endemic in lower-economic-status (read: poverty-stricken) communities. And due to our country’s sad history of discrimination (up to and including current history), there is a high correlation between race (particularly blacks) and poverty. This applies to Hispanics too, to a large extent, especially the more recent immigrants. Ergo, by the transitive law of transitivity, we see high crime rates among blacks and Hispanics.

Piled on top of that, we also see disproportionately high rates of law enforcement directed at blacks and Hispanics, to the extent that doing almost anything while black or Hispanic is criminalized. (See, for example: Maricopa County, Arizona, bailiwick of the esteemed Sheriff Joe; or the Stop-and-Frisk campaign in New York.)

Cecil ignores some important facts about the failed Drug War. While the number of people incarcerated for specific drug crimes (trafficking, possession, what have you) may not make up the bulk of the prison population, there’s the fact that a lot of violent crimes are drug-related: people knocking over liquor stores for drug money, or gangstas shooting each other over turf (viz, the monopoly of being able to sell illegal drugs in a specific area). Legalize drugs, and the cartels are going to go out of business overnight, and it will put the Bloods, Crips, etc. in a bad position as well.

I don’t believe those rates for China. :dubious: Of course, I don’t blame Cecil for using the official Chinese figures, but they are about as believable as anything that comes out of Trumps mouth on any given day…possibly less so.

Regardless, our numbers are horribly skewed and it’s definitely something we need to address in this country. Every time my dad goes off on a rant about how the US is so soft on crime and that what we REALLY need is to lock up more people I point out that we have the highest incarceration rate in the world (though, as I said, I totally don’t believe those Chinese figures…and only marginally believe the Russian ones as slightly more credible). I think that the War on Drugs has a lot of indirect effects, as HeyHomie is pointing out, and that if we address just that it will have not only an immediate effect but also a cascading effect, since I also believe that a lot of the violent crime that isn’t being associated with the WoDs in Cecil’s figures would also be impacted by sweeping change on that front. It’s a place to start, anyway.

Recently, it came out that 15% of the inmates of Rikers Island (1,500 out of 10,000) have been detained for over a year just waiting for trial and not convicted. In the same article, 400+ people have been on Rikers for over two years awaiting trials and not convicted. According to the Mayor’s Office, if people who cannot make bail are removed from Rikers Island, the jail population would shrink by 25%.

One of the biggest issues are the overly long sentences criminals in the U.S. get. In most countries, it’s rare for convict to get more than 10 years in prison. In Norway, the maximum sentence is 21 years. Compare that to people who are sentenced to decades in prison in the U.S.

In fact, over 40% of the U.S. prison population is over 40 years of age. 17% are over 50 years old. Many of these are people convicted in their late teens and in their 20s (the age when men tend to be the most violent) and sentenced to decades (or even life) in prison.

My son interned at a county D.A.'s office. Before, he did that, he wanted to be a judge. After seeing the justice system close up, my son has decided he wants nothing to do with it any more. Backed logged cases, people pleading guilty to crimes they didn’t commit just to get out of jail, plea bargains galore. Mistakes that cost people their livelihood. He said that everybody on both sides of the bar (defense and prosecutors) are more concerned with shoveling cases through the system than any sense of justice.

Excellent post.

I used to be a get-tough-on crime conservative, but I’ve started to see the “justice” system for what it is, which is basically a way for politicians to get re-elected and make the general public feel safer. It’s only when white men get their nutsacks grabbed by airport security that people begin to say “OMG, we’ve gone too far!”

“YAH! Profile that guy, he looks scary!!!”

Until “that guy” is me, that is.

I think Cecil leaves people to draw their own conclusion, and probably wisely so.

Crime is mostly a symptom of poverty, and to the extent that blacks commit more crimes, it’s mostly because they’re typically poorer than whites. And liberal policies are designed to help people get out of poverty. One can argue how successful they are at that goal, but they’re certainly not deliberately designed to destroy families.

Sure, we can see correlation between poverty and crime, but what’s the causation?
“I’m poor and black, so I’m turning to crime.” Where does this attitude come from, and why not “I’m poor and black, so I’m going to study hard, graduate from high school, and go to an Ivy League college for free” ? Yes, education is important, but can you really blame poverty-area teachers for the seeming lack of motivation in students?
Teacher quality has no bearing on whether or not you bother to memorize your multiplication tables and spelling/grammar rules.

You can drive through a blighted area and correlate poverty with squalid living conditions. But wait a minute – it doesn’t cost anything to pick up the trash and pull the weeds in front of your house! Poverty and obesity is another match that I don’t understand: “They don’t have access to healthy food.” Really? Can’t find the time to take a trip to an actual supermarket once or twice a week? Much cheaper to roast a chicken for dinner and eat the leftovers for lunch tomorrow than constantly eat fast food and junk from the mini-mart!

I’m no right-winger, but I’m starting to agree with our Republican friends that it is Liberal attitudes and policies (aw, they’re just poor, downtrodden minorities and can’t help themselves…) that have created/perpetuated these conditions.

I think there is one crime to blame. When I was 5 someone stole my scooter. I noticed the crime rate rising ever since.

Well, they must be inferior! Look how they choose to live! I mean, what do those people people want food and shelter?

One of the rarest assets owned by the poor is time. I have time. I can take time off from my job. Heck, I can even work from home. If I need to do something during the day, I can hope in my car.

If you’re making $10/hour, you don’t have a car. It’s also likely that if you take time off from work, you don’t get paid. Go to a supermarket? Where? Most poor communities don’t have them. To get to a decent market may mean spending hours on buses. Time that you just don’t have.

Pick up garbage? Why bother? You simply don’t have the time to spend hours policing the neighborhood. Besides, you don’t own it. You’re merely renting. My neighborhood is nice and clean because 90% of the people who live there own their homes, and own them for years. I’ve been living here for almost two decades. If a neighbor started trashing their property, we know who to blame, and we’d have the support of the community to make that person clean it up.

You live in a blighted area, you’re lucky to get the landlord to fix the plumbing or the elevator. Besides, it’s likely you’re going to be moving in a year, so why bother.

As for education: 90% of what you learn is from your parents. If your parents can’t read, you’re not likely to learn to read. If your parents aren’t around, or if they’re too busy to help, you’re not going to get help.

Besides, it’s hard to learn in a classroom when almost every student in a class has issues. Poor school districts have lousy teachers. Poor school districts have lousy facilities. Poor school districts are overwhelmed with students with various issues. These can include family problems, not eating, homelessness, fear of walking down the street, bullying, etc.

You’re not so different from those very people you despise. The choices they made are likely to be the very choices you’d make if you lived in their shoes.

This American Life looked at a poor school district in Missouri and what happened when that district lost its accreditation. Surprisingly, 1/4 of the students were willing to spend hours on a bus to go to a decent school in another district. And, they didn’t get the warmest of welcomes either.

The main story is about a mother who was trying to get her child into a decent school. You can see what a poor school is like as they follow an honor student around the school for a day.

Well, I doubt that the poor working $10/hour jobs with no time to shop or clean up are the ones turning to crime…

Wanna bet? A fair number of people who sell drugs or steal do so because they can’t make enough working a wage-paying job. Many of these people are also stuck in a lather-rinse-repeat cycle because a drug conviction disqualifies them from federal student aid, so they can forget about paying for school; from housing, so they can forget about public housing and some private housing; from many higher-paying jobs; and so forth.

In any event, $10 an hour is meaningless when your employer only gives you 20 hours a week.

Ran out of time to edit, but many, many people commit crimes to feed a drug or alcohol habit. They’re functional enough to work, but they can either buy food or they can buy drugs, but not both. So they get free drugs or money if they sell, or they steal and sell what they steal.

Weird, I can’t find it but there was a discussion that I replied to on the SDB in regards to whites versus blacks and prison populations. I actually pulled up some real numbers. One thing that I noticed when I found the statistics that were publicly available by the US Government, is the definition of incarceration. After looking around on the Internets it became very obvious to me that a lot of people are using the legal definition of incarceration and quickly and without clarification saying that they are prisoners (true, they all were at one point) and presenting those numbers as current prison population. But, not clarifying that those numbers, see below:

Incarceration in the US includes everything from being in the drunk tank for any small amount of time, to being on death-row, to being on parole/half-way house/work release program. That’s really broad.

So, back to my first paragraph, people are going for the "shock-and-awe
comparison of the US versus other countries and manipulating the mass “folk-belief” that someone who is incarcerated is in an actual prison with walls and guards, etc. With that in mind, we need to really compare everything down from drunk tank to murderers to get an accurate picture of this.

To be honest and a bit critical, I really wish Cecil had performed more research before replying to the question. As looking at the definition and the numbers, etc, really gives the Straight Dope on this topic.