Why does this racial disparity exist?

Why are we still seeing this level of racial discrimination in the 21st century?

What percentage of total crime is accounted for by these groups?

The so-called “war on drugs” has caused incalculable harm to an entire generation of young black men and is a national tragedy.

I am outraged at the disparate enforcement, but the I think the repercussions of locking up young men–or even giving them an arrest record–for recreational drugs of any kind has tragic social consequences far beyond any beneficial affect from minimizing drug use.

Which is blatantly begging the question. We have no actual evidence of racial discrimination.

OK, so Hispanics aren’t discriminated against at all. The variation between 27% in population and 31% in sample requires no explanation.

Blacks are charged at about twice the rate that population would predict, and Whites about half. But is this evidence of discrimination? I think not.

Black people tend to live in poorer neighbourhoods, and those neighbourhoods tend to have a higher police presence, if only because they have more callouts. Secondly, as athelas notes, Blacks commit far more crimes than whites per capita. A person arrested or questioned over another crime is going to also be charged with drug possession if they have drugs on them. A person who is never questioned won’t be charged.

So I would expect Blacks to be overrepresented in drug possession cases. It’s not evidence of racial discrimination, as you claim. It is simply evidence of more criminal activity and higher police interaction.

Now if you can provide the statistics that show that less than half the Blacks who were charged with drug use have no prior criminal convictions and were not being questioned in relation to another offence at the time they were charged, then we can talk.

Until then all we have is evidence that criminals are more likely to be charged with crimes and Blacks are more likely to be criminals.

That is very telling. Note that the authors carefully avoid saying “mostly the only one”.

These authors have no problem trumpeting that “Most of the people arrested in New York had a small amount of marijuana…” or “most people arrested and jailed for possessing marijuana…”. So we can be pretty confident that if most people were only charged with marijuana possession, the authors would have said so.

So I think we can safely declare that most people charged are also charged with other crimes and then found to be in possession as well.

Since Blacks are far more likely to commit other crimes in the first place, would you not expect them to be found with marijuana far more often as well?

Possession of marijuana is not a criminal offense in NYC, public display of it however is, so when you stop someone on the street and tell them to empty out their pockets and they happen to have some marijuana on them they are now able to be charged with a misdameanor.

You can’t safely say anything, since the vast majority of people stopped did nothing wrong at all.

Irrelevant, the stop and frisk data indicate that at least 80 percent of the people stopped had comitted no crime and weren’t arrested and those stopped are primarly black and latino whole comitted no crime and weren’t arrested.

There’s a lot more risk to dealing than the using. In my experience, minorites not only use but deal as well. Sure some white guys deal but they are more likely to buy only. This alone puts them at much less risk.

To compare stats, you have to compare like to like, exactly and these statistics usually fall far short of that.

In other words you need to compare

Black Males 18-25 income XXX to White males 18-25 income XXX and Hispanic Males 18-25 income level XXX

As soon as you weed stuff like this out to similar = similar you find the disparity usually goes way down.

Also remember incarceration rates climb as people commit crimes and don’t forget parole.

Suppose I steal and get sent to jail. I serve six months and am out on parole. Now I smoke some weed and get busted and sent back to jail. Had I not been on parole, I might have gotten probation or a fine or community service, but now I am on record of going to jail for a drug violation, when the actual cause is breaking parole

There’s tons of examples like this that can also skew statistics

You are missing the point.

The police are mostly telling these people to empty their pockets because they have already committed another crime. Since Blacks commit more crimes, they are more likely to be asked to empty their pockets.

There is simply no evidence of any racial bias here.

No, it does not indicate any such thing.

Actually, the evidence of racial discrimination in drug cases is so historically well-documented that even trying to address this amounts to a case of ad homenim.

Do you have any statistics which suggest that arrest and imprisonment rates of black people were significantly less disparate during the decades prior to the so-called war on drugs?

And are you unaware of the gang wars and drive-by shootings and other vicious criminal activity that a disproportionate number of ‘young black men’ engage in due to drug-related activity?

Of all the people in this country who need to be and deserve to be locked up, it’s the people engaged in the violent business of gang life and dealing drugs who deserve it the most and who society is best protected from.

The fact of the matter is that street crime is always higher among a country’s lower income populations. Once upon a time in the U.S. it was communities of European immigrants that had disproportionate crime rates. Once they assimilated into the rest of society both socially and economically, their crime rates began to reflect those of the population at large. Now the predominate areas of lower income lie within the black and Hispanic communities. As the black and Hispanic populations become economically and culturally assimilated into the rest of society (I say ‘culturally’ because it is very difficult for an ethnic group to acheive economic parity while remaining culturally segregated), you can expect their arrest and imprisonment rates to equalize also.

Greater than 80% of the people they stopped and frisked were not arrested and had done nothing wrong. The busts for pot were primarly just for pot and nothing else, check the facts please.

Poor shtetl Jews were with some significant exceptions never a criminal underclass. Greeks were running diners AFAICT. There are a good handful of Vietnamese boat people on death row in Texas but beyond that your assertion is gonna have a hard time dealing with any poor monoglot Asian immigrants as to both crime rates and rapid economic parity.

If drugs were legal there would not be a huge black market that causes the turf wars that lead to the drive by shootings and gang activity you are worried about.

bottom line. Blacks commit much more crimes than any other ethnic group. FACT. now, how can we solve this?

…but only if you’re standing around on the corner. A few years ago, I lived in a very poor neighborhood in Oakland. I called the cops because a guy with a gun was climbing through our second-story kitchen window!

They arrived an hour later.

I had locked my bedroom door from the inside, and climbed out my bedroom window onto the Amityville-Horror-style roof. Left the phone dialed to 911 on my bed.

We call war the continuation of politics by other means. It’s what leaders do when diplomacy, sanctions, etc., either don’t work or begin to threaten their image.

It’s hard to say what exactly is the continuation of racism by other means - policing? economic decisions? social welfare assumptions? - but society finds a way.

Huh? What did I miss here? athelas doesn’t state that blacks commit more crimes per capita, you do. And you repeat that in later posts. I’m gonna need a cite.

I don’t believe this is an accurate statement of the law.

It’s true that the basic charge of Unlawful Possession of Marijuana (PL Section 221.05) is a violation, not a criminal offense. (Although if the quantity exceeds 25 grams, it becomes a criminal matter).

But the act of police requiring you to empty your pockets cannot transform your possession into a crime, since you had no criminal actus reus.

That’s a rather incredible conclusion. Since being stopped requires at least a reasonable, articulable suspicion of wrongdoing, I’d expect the majority to have done something wrong.

What’s your evidence for this claim?