Skip to comments.Is the Criminal Justice System Racist?
Posted on 08/17/2014 6:53:50 AM PDT by Kaslin
Events in Ferguson, Missouri raise this question: Is the criminal justice system unfair to minorities, especially blacks? Liberal blogger Ezra Klein says it is. And libertarian Rand Paul agrees. Klein serves up these statistics:
· Of people impacted by a SWAT deployment, at least 54 percent were minorities.
· White and black people are similarly likely to use drugs, but black people are 3.6 times likelier to be arrested for drug use than white people.
· Until 2010, triggering the mandatory 5-year sentence for cocaine, which is used more often in the white community, required possession of 100 times as much of the drug as for crack, which is used more heavily in the black community. After the 2010 reforms, the disparity was brought down to a (still huge) 18:1.
· Prison sentences for black men tend to be almost 20 percent longer than prison sentences for white men who commit similar crimes.
· The result is that more than 60 percent of the people in prison are minorities. Among black males in their 30s, more than one in 10 is in prison on any given day.
Neither Klein nor Paul are saying that judges are racists. Or legislators. Or even cops on the beat. What they are saying is that the system has a disparate impact on blacks.
But what Paul surely realizes, if Klein does not, is that most government intervention has a disparate racial impact including interventions favored by liberals like Klein.
If you started out with the goal of ensuring that our prisons are going to be filled with thousands of young black men, its hard to think of anything more effective that trapping poor black children in rotten public schools and then imposing labor market restrictions that prevent them from obtaining entry level jobs.
Economist Walter Williams, who knows what it is like to grow up in a single-parent, low-income, black household, has this to say:
The best way to sabotage chances for upward mobility of a youngster from a single-parent household, who resides in a violent slum and has attended poor-quality schools is to make it unprofitable for any employer to hire him. The way to accomplish that is to mandate an employer to pay such a person a wage that exceeds his skill level.
To show the disparate impact of government intervention in the labor market, Williams writes:
As detailed in my recent book Race and Economics (2012), during times of gross racial discrimination, black unemployment was lower than white unemployment and blacks were more active in the labor market. For example, in 1948, black teen unemployment was less than white teen unemployment, and black teens were more active in the labor market. Today black teen unemployment is about 40 percent; for whites, it is about 20 percent. The minimum wage law weighs heavily in this devastating picture.
Do advocates of a higher minimum wage realize that they are advocating intervention that will have a disparate impact on blacks? If they do, they are certainly not going to admit it. But back when it wasnt politically incorrect to say such things, they were quite explicit. According to Williams:
If you look at the justification for the David-Bacon Act, which is the federal minimum wage or super minimum-wage -- if you look at the legislative debate in 1931 unions were major supporters and they wanted to protect white workers from having to compete with black workers in construction.
What about the welfare state? As I wrote previously:
The lefts entire approach to poverty is to segregate the poor into inferior public provision, while the rest of society enjoys the benefits of quasi-private provision. Its as though the left wing in American politics wants socialism for the poor and capitalism for everyone else.
Does this have a disparate racial impact? Of course it does. Although as Charles Murray has shown, the impact on below-average income whites is increasingly devastating as well.
If you live in a middle-class household, you generally expect your needs to be met through the marketplace. You buy or rent housing in the real estate market. When you arent driving your own car, you catch a taxicab or maybe even hire a limo. You or your employer buy health insurance, and you choose your doctor in the medical marketplace.
For most poor families, the experience is very different. Regulations designed to protect entrenched special interests have succeeded in raising the costs of basic services so much that low-income families have been priced out of the market for many essential services. Middle-class and poor communities differ not just by income. For the middle class, basic needs are met by markets and they benefit from the customer-pleasing innovations that competition produces. All too often, the poor must turn to public programs with all of the customer-pleasing attributes of the Department of Motor Vehicles.
As for affirmative action, that too has unintended and devastating side effects.
In fact, Williams began in the 1970s to offer colleagues a "certificate of amnesty and pardon" to all white people for Western Civilization's sins against blacks and "thus obliged them not to act like damn fools in their relationships with Americans of African ancestry."
The majority by ethnic groups committing the crimes are the blacks, closely followed by the latinos.
You coddle criminals, and they propogate like mice.
I forgot the numbers, but IIRC it is 8% of the population committing 30% of the crime.
Want to look at the social impact? 2 parent families see much less crime than 1 parent families. So if we want to solve black crime, which will take a generation at the minimum to reduce, he solution is to push for 2 parent families.
School Vouchers, and letting black people CHOOSE the school to send their kids would be a good start..
There, fixed it.
“Prison sentences for black men tend to be almost 20 percent longer than prison sentences for white men who commit similar crimes.”
The crime itself is only one predictor of sentencing. Another factor is is the person’s criminal history. I venture to say, criminals convicted of violent crimes with similiar criminal arrest histories serve virtually the same time. This is just another attempt to cherry pick a particular stat and use it to convey a misleading point.
And rightly so.
This is not a matter of race, it is a matter of culture. And there is no law against bias toward a threatening culture.
It’s a legal system, not a justice system.
I do not think that's possible. Maybe within the same year but even that would be a stretch. Certainly not within the same, say, week or month. Also, less than 2% of Blacks use cocaine???
If illicit drug use was the same, drug dealers would locate in affluent suburban neighborhoods -- more available money there for profit and inventory. Plus they are much safer than Black neighborhoods! Gov't -- massage the statistics, until they produce the desired PC result.
"We're from the gov't. Tell us if you use illegal drugs." Odds are that whites are more likely to answer in the affirmative (to be "cool") and Blacks less (fear of "The Man"). GI=Go.
Not really. It only spreads the problem around. If the people don’t value education, or actively attack it, vouchers won’t work.
We need to stop enabling the current culture.
If you noticed the article isn’t about Holder so no fixing the title was necessary. That said, I do agree with you that he is racist and there is no doubt about it
Goodman and townhall are going the way of other once-conservative commentators and publications. God help us!
It doesn’t appear that any of the responders to this post actually read the entire article....
The "justice system" doesn't make anyone ruin their life by smoking crack -- it's trying to prevent it!
“School Vouchers, and letting black people CHOOSE the school to send their kids would be a good start..”
Yes. Housing vouchers (Section 8) and food vouchers (SNAP) have worked so well we need another big federal voucher program.
Nah, it’s not racist. It’s an equal opportunity abuser.
Also, less than 2% of Blacks use cocaine??? Haha
Total BS! More like 20 percent easy. For people that think that stat is high - if they only spent some time in the hood or sec 8 they’d realize.
re: It doesnt appear that any of the responders to this post actually read the entire article....
I think youre right. I dont think they read Walter Williams assessment of the educational and economic disaster that socialism has brought upon the middle class and the poor.
The point of the article is that while liberals think more socialism is the answer, Rand Paul and Walter Williams are saying that it is the socialism that is promoting the the destruction of black family economically, educationally, and morally. This is why there are more blacks in prison, not because of racism, but because of the pernicious effect of socialism.
40 FBI agents will try their best to convict the Police Officer
I can use the same argument liberals use to justify black violence: that it is not race-based, but “poverty” based.
That is, instead of comparing the race of people in their treatment by the justice system, compare their social class and wealth.
That is, don’t compare an unemployed black person living in subsidized housing with white, middle class people living in suburbia. Instead compare them with unemployed white people living in subsidized housing.
This changes the headline to “Is the Criminal Justice System Classist?”
While there is no doubt still some dissimilarity, I bet the two groups are a lot closer in their treatment by the criminal justice system.
By that statistic alone half the people in prison should be black.
It favors the criminals, Holder's peeps and Obama's sons, and prosecutes the victims, everyone else.
Condescension of criminals as unconstitutional public policy.
The Just-Us System under Eric “The Red” Holder is.
At this point in time, everything is racists.
I knew it wasn’t about Holder. I just simply rejected the premise of the article in favor of what I believe is the true problem with the criminal justice system.
Goodman writes some interesting columns, but he proves that many conservative writers are as clueless as lib scribblers when it comes to the problems with black Americans. Black Americans create the conditions where they suffer. They make the rotten schools rotten. They commit the crime. No gov. official or KKK member makes them commit crimes in such staggering numbers. They gladly vote for pols who promise them the world and steal from the producers to give them a very small part of the world. In short, blacks create their own problems.
From experience, I say with certainty that it’s about not acting White. The saying “Get Rich or Die Trying” from 50cent’s song is a Black ethic. Whites are fair game in any situation, even one that’ rigged.
And another thing: if the system is rigged, it’s by Holder’s application of his own brand of ‘racial justice’ for ‘my people.’ He has NO interest in Justice.