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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Ain't Nothin' But A Thang:

Deconstructing Black Crime Stats For Racists


I've recently been indisposed among the blogosphere due to [The Great Blogger Blackout of 2011], and also because I've been completing my final examinations for this semester. However, I have just finished the final final, turned in the last essay, and now I'm ready to hop back into that proverbial saddle and get back to what I do best.

Debunking [racist pseudo-intellectual garbage]! Well, that, and [funny cat pictures].

Today's post will focus on the topic of Black crime: the statistical distortion and misrepresentation, as well as actually delving into the niceties of this issue which is a particularly sensitive one among the Black community for its pervasive links to structural racism.

Dare I ask, will ya'll join me on this adventure into the murky underworld of race, crime, and prejudice? If you're still reading then I'll assume the answer is a breathtaking yes.

The principal argument made by these haters may be neatly summarized as:

Black people are more criminal than White people.

With sub-arguments such as:

1. Most crime is committed by Black people, usually Black males.
2. Most Black criminals target White people.
3. That contrary positions fail to account for the statistical evidence readily available.
4. Police officers exhibit negligible amounts of racism to account for any skewing of results.
5. "High-profile hoaxes" are perfect examples of how Black people are more often criminals, and White people more often victims.
6. Due to the above facts, racial profiling is a Good Idea.

For more information, see the [flyer here] that I got the above from.


Well! With such bold statements contrary to popular opinion, the history of civil rights, and readily available data, I suppose we should meet the opposition point for point, no? Let the debunking begin!

#1 The failure to take into account the distortion of statistical evidence is a paramount problem with the argument. The NCVS data they found profiles 134 thousand people -- out of a country of over 300 million! [This is commonly called sampling error] when you take a limited sample-size and present the findings as representative of a much larger population.

Furthermore, the data on Black crime fails to account for the fact that the [majority of Black crimes are nonviolent drug offenses]. Basically, being arrested for smoking weed. Such crimes are essentially victimless due to marijuana's negligible effects, inability to overdose, wide availability and, more subversively, its overwhelming use by Whites in far higher rates than Blacks. Yet Whites are prosecuted for it at far lower rates, and when they are prosecuted for it they received far more lenient sentences.

With regard to violent crimes such as robbery, murder, and rape, the opposition again presents their data without scrutiny. For instance, one significant reason for Black crime disproportionately represented is that a disproportionate of Blacks (but not the majority of Blacks) are below the poverty-level. It is common knowledge among most social sciences that poor people commit more prosecuted violent crime due environmental stress: lack of education, stable families, lack of food, clothes, rampant drug use, sub-par housing, etc. (I say prosecuted, because while [the upper-classes do commit crime] at similar rates, they are prosecuted for them at far lower rates.)

Other reasons for the skew in Black crime stats is that there is a positive correlation between large Black communities and increased police presence, even when those communities are relatively crime-free! This social fact is an aspect of Racial Threat whereby Whites perceive increasing desegregation as a threat to the status-quo and act through formal structures to control Blacks. [See: Racial Disparity in Formal Social Control : An Investigation of Alternative Explanations of Arrest Rate Inequality. Graham C. Ousey and Matthew R. Lee. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency 2008 45: 322.] This reality occurs every day with police presence in low-income minority communities while similar communities composed primarily of low-income Whites (such as my work among meth addicts near the Salton Sea) are not subjected to a large police presence, and thus naturally experience fewer crime stats due to less enforcement in those areas.


Even more interestingly is that crime statistics, particularly the Uniform Crime Reporting data (UCR) is "one of the few areas of general agreement in the field of criminal justice" according to Michael Hindelang, and this was back in 1974! Some of the major problems with crime stats, particularly racially-based crime stats are:

1. The procedures and definitions are not consistent across agencies.
2. Many crimes are not included because citizens do not report them to the police and the likelihood of citizen reporting varies in systematic ways.
3.The police are selective in reporting crime and this filtering process is biased (not constant across social groups or areas).
4. Some agencies do not report or report incompletely, and missing data are poorly documented.
5. The major data collections do not provide information on the characteristics of offenders (such as age, race, and gender), and these must be inferred from arrest data.
6. The UCR is not a statistical program in the usual sense of the term. Rather, it is a ‘‘house organ’’ of the police (Lejins 1966, 1016) and reflects the organizational interests of agencies that may use the data to further those interests.

Yet they are widely used in research because they are often the only available data, which is often tragically decried by criminal justice experts. On the whole, crime stats are considered a dubious source to make essential claims about nationwide trends in crime. [See: The Use of Official Records to Measure Crime and Delinquency. Colin Loftin, David McDowall. Published 25 September 2010.]

There is also the fact that Blacks are, in general, more likely to be victims of gun assaults (regardless of region), yet not as likely to be victims from unarmed criminals. Even stranger is that "patterns of weapon use primarily reflect the race of the victim not the offender" according to one study, and even provides evidence that Blacks are less likely to experience crime unless the assailant has a gun because, much like with Southern Whites (who are also documented in the study), Blacks are "perceived as a greater threat." [See: Firearms and fisticuffs: Region, race, and adversary effects on homicide and assault. Richard B. Felson, Paul-Philippe Pare. Department of Sociology, Pennsylvania State University, 201 Oswald Tower, University Park, PA 16802, United States. Department of Sociology, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada N6A5C2] In the end, many Blacks experience less violent crime due to this perception of their greater threat to the potential criminal, even if that criminal is also Black!

The opposition also doesn't take into account the misconceptions promulgated by the media regarding the presentation of crime in mainstream programing whereby Black criminals are often overrepresented as criminals, even compared to the skewed crime rates being utilized! [See: Symbolic Racism and Whites' Attitudes towards Punitive and Preventive Crime PoliciesAuthor(s): Eva G. T. Green, Christian Staerklé , David O. SearsSource: Law and Human Behavior, Vol. 30, No. 4 (Aug., 2006), pp. 435-454.]

This has actually created a documented stereotype, entitled the [Criminal Black man stereotype].


#2 The above evidence should satisfy crime stats in general, however with regards to specific claim that Black criminals target Whites primarily, I would kindly present the opposition with [this article] detailing that White on Black crime does happen, only it is not called that, nor is it perceived that way. Further, White on Black crime is disproportionately carried out by Whites in positions of power, and typically remain free from consequences. (Note the earlier article on poor people versus rich people in regards to crime, which also applies across racial boundaries.)

Honestly, the focus on Blacks targeting Whites seems disingenuous in a society where not too long ago (and maybe even still) Whites could kill Blacks with impunity in many parts of the country. [See: The Civil Rights Movement]

And yet [no focus on White crime]... Ever. Hmm. Strange. Perhaps the opposition has a proverbial axe to grind regarding Black people? I think they do, but more on that later.

Nonetheless, the point must be addressed. And [addressed it is by none other than anti-racist expert Tim Wise], who (along with myself and the opposition) notes that since Hispanics are considered "Whites" even though most Whites do not consider them White, and since they are typically in the same socio-political situation as Blacks with regards to race, racism, crime, and other issues, grouping them into crime stats of Black on White crime is extremely misleading, almost to the point of deliberating manufacturing outright falsehoods.

Factoring in Hispanics (9 in every 10) makes the crime stats where Whites are victims go up, naturally, especially with regard to Black criminals since Blacks and Hispanics live in close proximity to each other. This is also an important distinction because the opposition at first made the point that the rate of Black on White crime should be higher when you factor out Hispanics who are counted as White. Yet, then they conveniently forget about it when talking about White victims of Black criminals. This kind of contradiction and hypocrisy is the hallmark of a true pseudo-intellectual.

More importantly, Tim Wise makes the point I did above that portraying Blacks as more dangerous than Whites due to "official" crime stats is hyperbole when you consider "[W]hites far and away lead the pack in all kinds of destructive behaviors: corporate pollution, consumer fraud, violations of health and safety standards on the job, and launching wars on the basis of deceptive evidence, to name a few. Each year, far more people die because of corporate malfeasance, occupational health violations and pollution than all the street crime combined, let alone street crime committed by African Americans." [See: Jeffrey Reiman. …And the Poor Get Prison: Economic Bias in American Criminal Justice. (Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 1996); Lisa Cullen. A Job to Die For: Why So Many Americans are Killed, Injured or Made Ill at Work, and What to Do About It. (Monroe, ME: Common Courage Press, 2002).]

#3 As you can see, I've painstakingly taken into account the statistical data, and have provided ample support for my position from numerous sources: statistics, testimonials, experts, and peer-reviewed articles. The opposition has only provided skewed crime stats and their interpretation of them, which is beginning to seem downright ignorant, if not deliberately racist.

#4 With regards to police-officers and their high level of professionalism, morality -- and lack of racism -- we would point the opposition to the [notorious example of Bed-Stuy's 81st precinct] which is a case-study in racism, sexism, corruption, and general malfeasance among law-enforcement.


But there are others too! See [here], [here], [here], and [here]. See also: Driving While Black: Bias Processes and Racial Disparity in Police Stops. Warren et al. Crimonology Vol 44 #3. 2006. See also: Black in Blue: African-American And Police Officers And Racism, by Kenneth Bolton Jr. See also: Race and Policing in America: Conflict and Reform (Cambridge Studies in Criminology). Ronald Weitzer, and Steven A. Tuch.

I mean this seriously: if you think the police aren't racist, then you have been watching too many crime dramas on prime-time television. I grew up in the boring 'burbs of Southern California, and even I know that far too many cops are racist, sexist, and outright prejudiced. In fact, in the suburbs they are sometimes even more prejudiced than the cops I've seen in major cities.

#5 The high-profile hoaxes documented in the opposition's flyer seem to be a manifestation of confirmation bias and sampling error whereby because a small number of highly publicized cases where a hoax occurred, that suddenly everything they have said above must be true & correct. Sadly, life is not a Just-So Story, and just because the stripper at Duke wasn't sexually assaulted does not prove anything except in regards to that specific situation. Yet we already know White on Black crime happens quite often, as shown above, and thus these "hoaxes" appear more to be Red Herrings designed to portray Blacks consistently as criminals, and Whites consistently as victims -- something which is demeaning to the latter and racist for the former.

Take, for example [this list of White criminals]. Should we make generalized, sweeping essentialist statements about White men from this comparatively small, yet well-known list of White male criminals? If we hold to the opposition's reasoning, then surely we must, though it be fallacious to the 3rd degree.

Such examples effectively neuter the opposition's stance by showing the ridiculous lengths they will go to in order to prove their prejudice against Blacks justifiable, even as they protest that they're not racist...


#6 However their final claim that racial-profiling is a Good Idea is the height of ignorance, prejudice, discrimination, and outright hilarious racism! This is akin to saying it's okay for Black people to shoot cops since cops shoot Black people so often. Or that [men should always vote not-guilty] in rape trials even when the accused is clearly guilty. It's the kind of ridiculous statement that indicates a person has reached The Point of No Return, and must be shunned for the bigoted scumbag they have admitted themselves to being.

But don't take my word for it! See what [the ACLU] has to say about it. See what [Time magazine] has to say about it. See what [The American Prospect] has to say about it. Most everyone can agree with the fact that racial profiling is morally reprehensible and practically, pragmatically, realistically speaking... fucking stupid.

Yet such are the arguments made by racist pseudo-intellectual garbage. And I hope this post has demonstrated the utter fail of the argument that Black people are more criminal than White people, when the reality is far more complex, and yet still so simply put: we're all just the same.

As a Saboteur Academic, a writer and musician and anthropologist, as a lover and a fighter I cannot sit idly by and let the haters talk their way into relevancy a la [Last Man Standing]. The subversion of our society by prejudicial ignorance and racist-sexist-classist-paranoid pathological hatred is something I stand against with my entire being.

Because unlike many of the kids in my generation... I actually believe in something. It's called trying to be a Good Person.



Cheers

59 footnotes:

Unamused said...

You've really embarrassed yourself here, Zek. Nearly everything you wrote here is debunked in the flyer itself. Maybe you should have read it. In any case, the interested and unbiased reader will have no trouble seeing exactly where you've gone wrong.

PS Speculation is not the same as argumentation.

serpentus said...

"I got arrested...development on dvd."

Holy crap that crap is so funny. lol. I've seen a lot of those pics with the text and black guy. Is there a site where you can find them all?

Zek J Evets said...

Unamused,

I did read the flyer. If you'll notice I make frequent references to it. Good try at reading comprehensively though!

In any case, the interested and unbiased reader will have no trouble seeing exactly where you've gone wrong.

Haha, do you mean the unbiased readers from your blog? You do realize that you and they consistently preach obviously biased conclusions yourself, right? Such as how White nationalism is a good idea, or that Black people shouldn't be upset about useage of the N-word, or that racism doesn't exist anymore, or that scientific racism is actually valid science... Actually, maybe you don't.

But look at my blog -- even racists read it! (Yourself being a prime example.) I consistently present the opposition's position, and a wide range of arguments, including their comments -- even yours! Yet with the exception of my lurking, it seems your blog and your followers are all linked into the same groupthink. Judging by the comments, you'd think racism was common sense! It's a fascinating combination of cognitive dissonance and Orwellian doublespeak.

Meanwhile, the interested and unbiased readers seem to agree with me on some level, judging from how the mainstream position is mine, and yours is the one people despise.

But seriously, this is your puny attempt at bitching & moaning that I've embarrassed myself somehow by proving your argument a la bigotry is wrong? It'd be cute if it weren't so pathetic ; )

Anyhoo, I appreciate the traffic you generate for my site! Keep on... keeping on? Something like that.

P.S. racism is not the same thing as realism.

Zek J Evets said...

Serpentus,

http://imgur.com/a/862UL#omVDq

Franklin said...

How did I know Unamused was going to be the first poster here, with a vague "Nuh-UH!"-esque post that he confuses with a legitimate rebuttal?

Zek J Evets said...

Franklin,

Haha, because that's all he can do! Until he's gone back and consulted with his favorite demagogues as to why their twisted logic doesn't work in real life.

Thanks for stopping by too!

Honky Dory said...

Do you believe race should never be considered when profiling?

Zek J Evets said...

Honky Dory,

I believe exactly what I've said, and what the evidence I have provided has proven ad infinitum: racial profiling is both morally reprehensible, and ineffective. And that goes for any group, whether they be Black, Muslim, White, young, old, rich, poor, foreign or domestic.

However it seems you'd disagree with this, and while that's to be expected from what you've written on your blog (I took a quick look) it is also to be lamented.

Honky Dory said...

"I believe exactly what I've said, and what the evidence I have provided has proven ad infinitum: racial profiling is both morally reprehensible, and ineffective. And that goes for any group, whether they be Black, Muslim, White, young, old, rich, poor, foreign or domestic."

So then what type of profiling is OK? Gender? Anything? There's a difference in what people call "racial profiling" and profiling people by a number of things, up to and including race.
The reason I ask is because profiles have to be made when investigating a crime.

For instance, say there's a string of robberies in a neighborhood which is predominately black. The victims are store owners of black hair supplies, wigs, etc. Would you be OK with police saying "we are probably looking for a black male"? It would likely be. I use this example, because this is a true story going on in Houston right now. (the perps were caught on video so we now know their race).

This of course is different than just stopping a black and assuming he's doing something criminal ONLY because he's black. I reckon this is the racial profiling to which you speak.

Do you have a problem with admitting that men are more likely to be criminals than women?

"However it seems you'd disagree with this, and while that's to be expected from what you've written on your blog (I took a quick look) it is also to be lamented."
Not gonna hurt my feelings of course. But thanks for dropping by! Got my hit count up to 3 today!

Profiling, to me, is important and necessary in the context I mentioned above. Otherwise, we would have to be told to "look out for a human on the loose" after a series of murders, robberies, etc.

I notice you are IMMEDIATELY hostile. I am not being facetious in my questions here. I'm honestly trying to get a grasp of your view.

Mira said...

This post is a good example of cultural differences. I mean, I understand what's going on intellectually, but since I know nothing about racial profiling, it's difficult for me to see this issue the way US people do.

I didn't know racial profiling was normalized, though (or that so many people think it should be normalized). Heck, I didn't even know it existed.

George said...

The NCVS data they found profiles 134 thousand people -- out of a country of over 300 million! [This is commonly called sampling error]

Your argument is that 134,000 is too SMALL to be representative? And that it's just a coinkidink that the survey data matches arrest rates? Have you ever taken a stats class?

Furthermore, the data on Black crime fails to account for the fact that the [majority of Black crimes are nonviolent drug offenses].

Why would one take into account victimless crime when using data from a victimization survey?

Your argument goes:

1)Most crime committed by group A is of type X.
2)Therefore, group A is not more criminal than group B where it concerns crime of type Y.

You really have no sense of logic. That's just one example. It's astounding.

lifeexplorerdiscovery said...

If only there were more people like you maybe racism would go away. But I fear that the majority are like Unamused as Fox News and its conservative supporters reinforce their anti-black views.

Zek J Evets said...

George,

Your argument is that 134,000 is too SMALL to be representative? And that it's just a coinkidink that the survey data matches arrest rates? Have you ever taken a stats class?

Haha, have you? Sampling error is a fundamental methodological flaw in making a causational argument for a mere correlation. Especially when said correlation is speciously measured.

And again, you need to actually look at the evidence I provide as to WHY those stats are misleading, and often outright wrong. I provide both statistical evidence, experiential testimony, experts, and my own rationale. All you seem to have is outrage. Good luck with that ; )

Zek J Evets said...

Honky Dory,

You're right, I am immediately hostile/suspicious, because I looked through your blog and have taken your words at face value. That you haven't made those arguments here is no excuse for me to consider what you've said in the past when I converse with you.

Your questions regarding profiling though seem earnest, and I will attempt to answer you, though I am not an expert on criminal justice (merely a hobbyist, like the opposition).

Case profiles are important, especially for serial killers, and I agree with their useage, but not profiling of random people as potential criminals waiting to happen. That is far different than the "profiles" you mention, as those profiles are based on crimes after-the-fact, whereas profiling is a priori assumptions about who is more likely to be criminal, and thus positioning greater enforcement around them despite no actual evidence towards their supposed criminality.

I do have a problem saying that men are more likely than women to commit a crime, because that is an essentialist argument that contradicts the ability of all peoples (even the most lowly members of society) to commit heinous acts. I have personally seen rich people act just as culpable as the poor, and Whites act just as criminal as Blacks, and women commit crimes as bad as those men do.

And one of the many reasons I believe this is that statistical correlations are not causation, which is a fundamental tenet of social science (indeed, of all science) and I firmly subscribe to that methodology, especially when the arguments against it are based on prejudice.

Anyhoo, I hope that answered your questions, however I still remain suspicious of your intentions on my blog. Nonetheless, thanks for your interest =)

Zek J Evets said...

lifeexplorediscovery,

Haha, you're really too gracious. Merely a few years ago I believed far differently than I do now, though not as differently as those who troll my blog right now. It took a lot of experience, learning, and sense-knocking to help broaden my perspective to the social reality of people in America who don't live the somewhat privileged life I have led.

Either way, thanks and please comment again!

RR said...

Zek,

I’m glad to see you back at it.

There are a couple of problems with the sub-arguments as you stated them:

1.Most crime is committed by Black people, usually Black males.

Most crime is not committed by black people, although a disproportionately large amount of crime (especially violent crime) is committed by black people.

4. Police officers exhibit negligible amounts of racism to account for any skewing of results.

I’m inclined to agree with this. Rape arrests offer what I consider solid evidence of negligible amounts of racism in policing. I participated in a rather long discussion on rape statistics over at Abagond’s. I’ll quote myself here:


It seems to me that white racists and others (like me) use rape to illustrate two points:

1) Rape is a crime in which police bias is minimized – Typically, liberals try to get around the fact that black men commit much more crime than other groups by stating that the police hate black men and consequently are inclined to arrest them disproportionally. White racists circumvent this argument by quoting rape statistics because the police don’t conduct rape sweeps as they do with drugs or guns. Innocent black men are not ensnared in this fashion with respect to rape, thus it provides a clearer picture of criminal propensity.

2) Rape is a crime in which blacks (for the sake of argument, blacks in this context means American blacks) are disproportionately represented among the perpetrators and victims (referring to male/female rape).


The most glaring error you make in your initial post is your assertion that most blacks are arrested for non-violent drug offenses. A cursory review of the data shows this not to be the case. The Bureau of Justice Statistics reports that for the year 2007, black drug offenders constituted only 22% of the state prison population. The largest percentage of black offenders (54%) was convicted of violent crimes. The data is accessible through the link below (data is in CVS format, so you will need a spreadsheet program to view it):

http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/index.cfm?ty=pbdetail&iid=1572

The story may be different at the Federal level though. Most people in federal prison have been convicted of drug offenses (http://www.drugwarfacts.org/cms/node/63). I could not find a breakout of federal crimes by race and type of crime, so it is difficult to say with certainty whether blacks commit more federal drug offenses than other types of federal offenses. Of course, being that state prisons hold a significantly higher percentage of offenders than federal prisons, the federal stats regarding drug offenses would not significantly undermine the argument that blacks engage in violent crime more often than drug related crime.


It is common knowledge among most social sciences that poor people commit more prosecuted violent crime due environmental stress

But then how do you explain the lower rates of crime among American Indians as compared to blacks? On average, American Indians are significantly poorer than blacks and have serious alcohol/drug addiction problems, but commit significantly less crime overall.

I say prosecuted, because while [the upper-classes do commit crime] at similar rates, they are prosecuted for them at far lower rates.

They are prosecuted at lower rates because they are arrested at lower rates. And they are arrested at lower rates because they commit less crime, on a per capita basis, than lower classes do. I think you are clouding the issue. Let’s stick to making apples to apples comparisons. If you are going to compare groups, use a single crime category in making the comparison. I suggest we use rape for comparison.

RR said...

Other reasons for the skew in Black crime stats is that there is a positive correlation between large Black communities and increased police presence, even when those communities are relatively crime-free!

Did it ever dawn on you that maybe those communities are crime free precisely because of the police presence?

George said...

No really, you have no sense of logic.

Another case in point:

I do have a problem saying that men are more likely than women to commit a crime, because that is an essentialist argument that contradicts the ability of all peoples (even the most lowly members of society) to commit heinous acts.

An essentialist argument would be that men are more likely to commit crime because they are essentially different. Saying that men are more likely to commit crime is an observation. Only if you attribute the difference to categorical difference in essence will it become an essentialist argument. Attributing the difference to statistical differences in traits or life trajectories between the members of the two categories is not an essentialist argument. For example, if high testosterone is causal for violent crime, and men are more likely to have high testosterone than women, then the difference is not essential, but resulting from statistical differences in an identifiable parameter, not from differences in "manness" and "womenness".

Then you say that the argument contradicts the ability for ALL people to commit crime. Well no. Saying that there are some groups of people who NEVER commit crime would contradict that.

Truly astounding. And no, you haven't studied statistics.

Zek J Evets said...

RR,

Thanks I do what I can.

1. I'm just repeating the arguments they've made which is that Black people are more criminal than White people, and one of those points was that Black commit more crime than White people If you have a problem with that, take it up with the people making the argument, like I did ; )

4. Your comments regarding rape are tangential at best. I was pointing to prejudice in law enforcement with regards to race specifically, but included other factors as well. And you have yet to contradict the notorious example of Bed-Stuy or the other studies I presented.

And yes, the majority of Black offenders are for nonviolent drug offenses. Check the stats I present and how I deconstruct them, especially with regard to their inherent misrepresentation by the opposition and lack of trustworthiness as shown in another study I cited.

With regards to American Indians, again that is a tangent off the subject of what I am specifically talking about, which is: Black crime.

You consistently do this RR, and while I am familiar with your need to justify your personal views by bringing up unrelated information, it is something I find difficult to understand.

Lastly: Did it ever dawn on you that maybe those communities are crime free precisely because of the police presence?

This is on topic, and so I will answer your question with a series of questions. If your assumption is correct, then how do you the supposedly crime-free nature of White suburban communities? Or the lack of police enforcement I documented among Salton Sea communities that consisted of poor Whites? Or poor Black communities that are overly policed yet still experience high amounts of crime? Complexity is important in social science. Your question -- and its assumption -- attempt to "dumb down" something that is far more complicated. This is something which the opposition I present does all the time, and that is why they end up with bigoted conclusions.

Anyhoo, feel free to reply. I know you will want to. But remember: stay on topic, please.

Zek J Evets said...

George,

No, really my logic is fine. You're simply upset that you fail to comprehend it. So you blame me.

And apparently you need to look up the definition of "essentialist". Here it is: one of a number of related doctrines which hold that there are necessary properties of things, that these are logically prior to the existence of the individuals which instantiate them, and that their classification depends upon their satisfaction of sets of necessary conditions.

By assuming that by virtue of being Black, a Black person is more likely to commit crime, and is inherently more criminal, is an essentialist argument. Why? Because you root this observation in the assumption that Blackness is the causation of said observation. (And in this example we're not including the point that the observations are very often flawed, ans I pointed out, numerous times during my post.)

Again, you seem super-upset, and while to you that may seem like a good reason to dismiss my arguments, it is unfortunately not a convincing one to most people.

Also, my degrees aren't in statistics, but I deal with them on a regular basis, particularly when I'm working on a bio-anthro project. That said, if you cannot comprehend the concept of sampling error, then you are far more of a laymen than any of your accusations towards me.

But by all means, keep throwing random shit and watch me turn it into diamonds ; )

George said...

And apparently you need to look up the definition of "essentialist". Here it is: one of a number of related doctrines which hold that there are necessary properties of things, that these are logically prior to the existence of the individuals which instantiate them, and that their classification depends upon their satisfaction of sets of necessary conditions.

You conflate necessary conditions for classification (which in categorizing social groups, even sex, aren't entirely non-arbitrary, but that's another topic) with non-necessary qualities that happen to differ in frequency between different groups. Saying that men are more likely to be criminals is not an essentialist argument because likelihood is not a necessary quality used for classification and possessed by all members of the group.

By assuming that by virtue of being Black, a Black person is more likely to commit crime, and is inherently more criminal, is an essentialist argument. Why? Because you root this observation in the assumption that Blackness is the causation of said observation.

No. That is a strawman. "Black people are more criminal" is an observation, not an argument in favor of causation. Black people are more criminal because of "blackness" is an essentialist argument, which nobody is making.

Again, you seem super-upset,

That's projection. It's normal to have your feelings hurt when a commenter calls attention to such an embarrassing overstepping of your limitations, but I don't think that the way you deal with it is healthy for you in the long run.

That said, if you cannot comprehend the concept of sampling error,

How is it that you think you're fooling anyone? I ask you to explain your claim that the results of the victimization survey of 134,000 people were unreliable due to sampling error despite being corroborated by another data set. You dodge by give me the definition of sampling error, by way of explanation, proving your dishonesty and amateurishness. I make note of that. Now you claim that I am the one who doesn't know what he's talking about.

Astounding.

Zek J Evets said...

George,

Black people are more criminal because of "blackness" is an essentialist argument, which nobody is making.

Check the opposition. Read the flyer. Do I have their position wrong? If so, then I'm sorry, but it does seem they're making that argument when they say, point blank: Black people are more criminal than White people. And then provide a distortion of evidence to prove that Black people, by virtue of being Black (because the opposition believes in HBD) are inherently more criminal because they're Black.

Have I really got them all wrong? Or are you merely attempting to defend the indefensible?

How is it that you think you're fooling anyone?

Oh, I'm not fooling anyone. I'm being quite blunt, actually. One-hundred thirty-four thousand out of three-hundred MILLION is not a representative sample, especially considering the methodology for collecting those surveys is incredibly flawed. Again, read the evidence in the post. Because so far you haven't brought anything to actually disprove it, other than your own vitriolic. It's not my job to prove something to you that I've already proven in the post. YOU need to READ before commenting.

So, yeah... Come back when you've got a real argument. Cheers.

RR said...

Zek,

Your statement that “Most crime is committed by Black people, usually black males” is nowhere to be found in the flyer. I defy you to show otherwise. A more accurate summary of the flyer would have been “Blacks commit more violent crime than any other group”. This is an accurate summary of the flyer.

Being that rape is a crime, and that black men clearly commit more of it than other groups on a percentage basis, the topic of rape is directly relevant to the discussion of black crime, which supposedly is the topic of your blog entry. You seek to refute the notion that blacks commit more violent crime than other groups. You attempt to show that police are biased against black men and police bias inclines the police to arrest black men more frequently than white men. Rape matters here because the possibility of police bias is minimized with respect to rape. The police don’t conduct rape sweeps like they conduct drug sweeps. There is no policy equivalent to “stop and frisk” when it comes to rape, so the chance that innocent black men are arrested due to police bias is minimized with respect to rape. Without question some black men are wrongly arrested/convicted of rape. This does happen, but the fact remains that black men commit a disproportionately large amount of rape that can’t be rationally attributed to police bias. So, a discussion of rape is hardly tangential to the topic of your post.

You wrote:

And yes, the majority of Black offenders are for nonviolent drug offenses.

This is not the case. Let’s take a look at the reference you cited. From “The Truth About Black Crime” we have the following data:

1)62% of persons admitted to Federal prison and 31.1% of those admitted to State prison for the first time were sentenced because of drug offenses.

2)The National Institute of Drug Abuse estimated that while 12 percent of drug users are black, they make up nearly 50 percent of all drug possession arrests in the U.S.

3)According to the National Drug Strategy Network, although African Americans make up less than one-third of the population in Georgia, the black arrest rate for drugs is five times greater than the white arrest rate.


These points emphasize the fact that blacks are disproportionally arrested and convicted of drug offenses. This may or may not be a product of police bias. The author doesn’t really prove her case either way. Let’s give her the benefit of the doubt and assume that blacks are arrested disproportionally in drug cases due to police bias. What of other types of crimes. From the same reference we have:

4)According to the U.S. Department on Justice, property and drug offenses account for 76.4 % and 56.4% respectively of crimes by individuals admitted to Federal and State prison for the first time. Most criminal convictions are, therefore, not for violent crimes.

There are a couple of things that jump out about this particular statistic:

a)She lumps in property crimes (larceny, burglary, auto-theft, theft, arson, shoplifting and vandalism) and drug crimes, which inflates the numbers of non-violent crimes. I gather she thinks we shouldn't be concerned about burglars and car-thieves.

b)She only counts first time offenders, despite the fact that most offenders are repeat offenders.

c)She doesn’t cite references for her figures. Nor does she cite the years for which the data was collected.

From Wikipedia:

In 2000, 22 percent of those in federal and state prisons were convicted on drug charges.



The references I cite from the BJS and Wikipedia show that a minority of offenders were incarcerated for drug crimes. The BJS data clearly shows that most men (especially black men) were incarcerated at the state level for violent crimes.

RR said...

Zek,

You wrote:

You consistently do this RR, and while I am familiar with your need to justify your personal views by bringing up unrelated information, it is something I find difficult to understand.

This is a baffling statement. How is rape unrelated to crime, especially black crime? How is comparing the crime rate of other groups unrelated to the topic of black crime?

This is on topic, and so I will answer your question with a series of questions.

Could you just answer my question with…an answer? I will answer your questions after you have answered my question.

I think George has a legitimate point. It is not essentialist to notice differences between groups of people. It is not essentialist to notice that, on average, men are taller than women. This does not mean that there aren’t women who are taller than most men or that there are men who are shorter than most women. Sex is not causal with respect to height, although height is correlated with sex. Similarly, it is not essentialist to note that blacks commit a disproportionately large amount of violent crime. It isn’t essentialist to note that some behaviors and physical attributes are not uniformly distributed among human populations. We can debate why people aren’t similar, but noting human dissimilarities to begin with is not essentialist.

Brotha Wolf said...

I see Unamused still has a thing for your mind Zek lol.

I was wondering, how do you think this plays into the news media both local and mainstream? The reason I asked is because some people think the news is a viable source of information when it come to their communities and the world.

Since the news is focused more on crimes committed by blacks or in black communities as opposed to whites, do you think this helps with the racist assumptions most people have about blacks?

Zek J Evets said...

RR,

I do believe I have answered your question by asking you questions that you haven't asked which reveal your lack of perspective/understanding of the issue. That you missed this -- albeit subtle -- rhetorical turn is kinda lame. Let me put it more directly: if police presence indicate crime-free communities then why do so many communities which are obviously not crime-free have a large police presence? I believe, and so does most of the evidence of criminal justice, that police presence doesn't reduce crime long-term when that police presence is based not on enforcement but on suppression. (However if we pursue that, we'll end up far afield of the topic. Suffice to say, police presence doesn't indicate whether a community is crime-free or not; it merely indicates a community has a police presence.)

When you go to the original crime stats that the flyer uses -- I mean, when you go to the original source, you see the "blacks" referred to are overwhelmingly Black males. (Crime stats often include gender, though usually only as an after-thought in many cases.)

despite the fact that most offenders are repeat offenders.

Source, please? Because my evidence indicates otherwise. Nonviolent drug offenders are typically first-time offenders who receive extraordinarily unjust sentencing.

the chance that innocent black men are arrested due to police bias is minimized with respect to rape.

Hahaha! Tell that to the young men from Hofstra. Or the Scottsboro boys. Or

That aside, the evidence disagrees with you: 93% of all sexual assaults are intra-racial. This means that White men are the primary perpetrators of sexualized violence against White women, and likewise African-American women and women of color are most commonly assaulted by African-American men and men of color. Of the 7% of sexual assaults that are interracial, 3.4% involve the assault of a Black woman by a White man, while 3.3% involve the assault of a White woman by a Black man (Menachem Amir, criminologist, 1991).

Also, Wikipedia does not count as a source. Please get something legitimate. Meanwhile, check this additional source regarding nonviolent drug offenses: http://www.justicestrategies.org/incarceration-rates-nonviolent-drug-offenses-raceethnicity-june-30-2004

So... yeah. Wrong again! But notice we're supposed to be talking about inherent criminality among Black people, which you've yet to actually address (piggy-packing on George doesn't count, I think). The entirety of your comments are nit-pickings of the stats instead of actually tackling "the meat", shall we say, of the post.

Yet even in your nit-picking you seem unable to refute anything, except my opinion of your understanding of the conversation. The evidence, experts, articles, studies, and evidence seems to agree with me. That you do not says quite a lot about your grasp on the subject, especially since you present little in the way of legitimate evidence.

Zek J Evets said...

Brotha Wolf,

Haha, well... When you're popular!

I think the news is culpable for their presentation of Black people in general. Remember Katrina? They seemed intent on focusing on looters despite the fact that the entire city was left to drown for a couple of days. They seemed to ignore the people struggling to survive. They did this with the riot over the verdict for Oscar Grant's killer -- even portraying certain looters and violent rioters as part of the protest despite the fact that the protesters tried to stop them even before the police! (And to add insult to injury, many of these people were White. I know; I was there.)

The examples go on and on, but I also recognize that the media is merely a reflection of our society as well. We consume these images and stories because they're what entertain us, and so to a large extent the double-standard of reporting in America regarding Black people is simply our own fetishization of our latent racism.

However, there are news sources which can be trustworthy, at least to an extent. Even major places with an obvious slant such as MSNBC, or Fox News, can be useful sources if you know how to question the information you're being given. People too often take Just-So-Stories for granted without actually thinking critically about the information they're being given. (I include myself in this as well. We all to it to some extent. Especially when that information would reinforce our own point-of-view.)

Zek J Evets said...

Mira,

I just realized I forgot to respond to your comment!

Yeah, racial profiling is a rather big issue here, even though it's supposedly illegal (except, recently, in Arizona). If I may suggest, take a gander through the Wikipedia article on it.

Mira said...

I've read the article and I know about the Arisona thing. I don't know what to say except that some aspects of racism are just getting stronger and stronger (or so it seems).

RR said...

Zek,

You clearly dodged my question because you aren’t really interested in debating this issue, which I can understand. You, like R. Jeneen Jones, believe that all groups of people are the same. In her essay, she states the following:

In my opinion, there is an equal distribution of criminals (and law abiding citizens) among all racial and ethnic groups and blacks are no more likely to be criminals than are whites.

You seem to believe this also, and no amount of data to the contrary is going to convince you otherwise. I get that. I can even sympathize with your view to a degree. It would be much simpler if everyone had the same proclivities and aptitudes and if we all just minded our manners and didn’t discriminate, life would be grand. Unfortunately for those of us who have to live in the real world, it is apparent that people (as individuals and in groups) vary widely in terms of behavior and ability.

You wrote:

Source, please? Because my evidence indicates otherwise.

Your “evidence” is not compelling. My previous reference from the Bureau of Justice Statistics, which you evidently didn’t bother to check, shows clearly that black drug offenders constitute a minority of offenders. The chart is displayed below:

Appendix table 11. Estimated percent of sentenced prisoners under state jurisdiction, by offense, and year end 2005
All inmates White/a Black/a
Total 100 % 100 % 100 %
Violent offenses 53 % 50.1 % 54.6 %
Murder/b 12.9 10.5 14.3
Manslaughter 1.3 1.5 1.3
Rape 4.7 6.4 4.1
Other sexual assault 8 12.3 4.2
Robbery 13.7 8.2 18.9
Assault 10 8.6 9.5
Other violent 2.5 2.6 2.3
Property offenses 19.2 % 24.4 % 16.1 %
Burglary 9.6 11.6 8.5
Larceny 3.5 4.3 3.2
Motor vehicle theft 1.7 1.9 1.1
Fraud 2.5 3.8 1.9
Other property 1.9 2.7 1.4
Drug offenses 19.5 % 15.4 % 22.5 %
Public-order offenses/c 7.6 % 9.4 % 6.3 %
Other/unspecified/d 0.6 % 0.8 % 0.5 %


As you can see, for the year 2005, the percentage of black drug offenders is 22.5%. The percentage of violent black offenders is 54.6%. Note that the chart is an abbreviated version of the CVS file listed in the link to the BJS. Hispanics and women were also included in the original spreadsheet. Here is another BJS reference that buttresses my assertion that black drug offenders are a minority of black offenders. Here are a couple of snips:

Most federal prisoners are drug offenders, but almost half of state prisoners are serving time for violent crimes.


Among state inmates, approximately 21 percent are confined for drug offenses--about 13 percent for drug trafficking and 8 percent for other drug offenses.

Twenty-seven percent of federal inmates and 61 percent of state inmates had a current or past sentence for a violent crime.



That aside, the evidence disagrees with you: 93% of all sexual assaults are intra-racial.

It is you who is going off topic now. I never mentioned interracial rape. I mentioned rape in general. No matter how one slices it (inter-racial or intra-racial), black men commit more rape on a percentage basis than other groups of men do. Oops! I didn’t mean to sound essentialist with respect to sex. We all know that women sometimes rape men, but for the purposes of our discussion here, I think we can safely ignore female on male rape.

RR said...

Zek,

If you dispute the inter-racial rape stats presented in the flyer, please produce a link supporting your assertion, not just the name of a researcher who supposedly supports your position.

The Justice Strategies reference you cited doesn’t mention the percentage of drug offenders as compared to the general population of offenders. Thus far, you have provided very little evidence to support your contention that most black offenders are incarcerated for drug crimes.

But notice we're supposed to be talking about inherent criminality among Black people, which you've yet to actually address .

No. YOU were talking about the inherent criminality of blacks! You are doing the straw man Thaddeus dance again. You are being essentialist. My contention is that in the US, statistically speaking, blacks commit more violent crime on average than other groups do. Could you please stay on topic?

Zek J Evets said...

RR,

YOU were talking about the inherent criminality of blacks! ... Could you please stay on topic?

Okay, so if I'm talking about the inherent criminality of Black people, and that is the subject of my post, and that is what I clearly wish to discuss, then how again am I off topic? Claims of my doing a Thaddeus is funny considering I think Thad is pretty smart, and he's also outwitted you at Abagond's on more than one occasion. Are you trying to flatter me? ; )

If you dispute the inter-racial rape stats presented in the flyer, please produce a link supporting your assertion, not just the name of a researcher who supposedly supports your position.

Haha, RR, have you been reading my post? The evidence is linked for your convenience, not just because I like linking things. And I've clearly incorporated the evidence into my rebuttals. However, since you don't "believe" me, I feel it important to link my evidence so you don't then start claiming I'm pulling things out of my ass. Like you seem to be doing now.

You seem to believe this also, and no amount of data to the contrary is going to convince you otherwise. I get that. I can even sympathize with your view to a degree.

And apparently you're also taking a page out of my book, using the same conversational rhetoric I employed about 2 or 3 comments ago.

However, flipping the script only makes you dyslexic. I presented the data in multitude throughout my post, and you are only now bringing up something to contradict it. Yet, the data you bring up, BJS numbers, are already addressed in my post as unreliable due to methodological and theoretical flaws. Again, read the post and look at the links! It's very important you do so if you want to actually understand my argument, instead of spinning in circles.

Seriously RR, I do get so tired of going around & around only to come back to the same place: you don't agree with the fundamentals of my argument, but since you can't disprove it, you merely nitpick it. I ask you to look at the evidence, and you come back having done no such thing. I then reiterate my arguments in the comments instead, and you ignore them and focus on something else.

It really does get boring, and more importantly, it doesn't further the discussion. It also makes you sound like a troll.

However, one last time, regarding Blacks/Black men and nonviolent drug offenses:

http://www.louisvillepeace.org/capa/drug_war.html -- Nationwide, black men are sent to prison on drug charges at 13 times the rate of white men

http://www.sentencingproject.org/doc/File/Drug%20Policy/dp_distortedpriorities.pdf -- four of every
five drug prisoners are racial and ethnic minorities-- 56% black and 23% Hispanic.

http://www.historyisaweapon.com/defcon1/streeracpripov.html -- Equally undeniable is the fact that Black incarceration rates reflect deep racial bias in the criminal justice system and the broader society

http://www.aclunc.org/news/opinions/why_most_americans_think_politicians%27_tough_on_crime_stance_has_gone_too_far.shtml -- While African Americans reportedly make up 13% of the nation's drug users, they are almost 60% of those in state prisons for drug felonies.

I could go on RR. Black people, specifically Black men are sent to prison for nonviolent drug offenses at rates far higher than any other group. The conclusions reached by nearly every important scholar studying this has included the factor of racism, and that crime stats do not represent the inherent criminality of Black people.

You can argue again, if you like, but keep in mind that it'll only prove, again, how stubborn you are willing to be when you're clearly wrong.

RR said...

Zek,

Look. This is your blog post. The title of the post is "Ain't Nothin' But A Thang:Deconstructing Black Crime Stats For Racists". You began attempting to refute crime statistics. Unamused mentioned nothing about the inherent criminal nature of blacks. You constructed this straw man because you couldn’t muster a better argument. No participant in this thread has made an essentialist argument except you.

As far as the “evidence” you have presented, none of it supports your contention that most black convicts are incarcerated due to drug offenses. THIS IS A MAJOR FLAW IN YOUR ARGUMENT! Let’s review our discussion again:

1)You identified a few points in the flyer that you found objectionable. You stated:

Furthermore, the data on Black crime fails to account for the fact that the [majority of Black crimes are nonviolent drug offenses].

You linked to a writer who supposedly showed how most black criminals were convicted on drug charges. Note, this is the ONLY piece of evidence you have presented to support your statement that most black offenders are convicted of drug crimes. I showed you in very precise terms why Ms. Jones argument was flawed which I will repeat below for convenience:

a)She lumps in property crimes (larceny, burglary, auto-theft, theft, arson, shoplifting and vandalism) and drug crimes, which inflates the numbers of non-violent crimes. I gather she thinks we shouldn't be concerned about burglars and car-thieves.

b)She only counts first time offenders, despite the fact that most offenders are repeat offenders.

c)She doesn’t cite references for her figures. Nor does she cite the years for which the data was collected.

You asked for a citation for b, which I provided. I also provided three separate citations refuting your argument that most black offenders are convicted of drug crimes. As I stated before, this is a major flaw in your argument. If you have any compelling evidence showing that most black offenders are convicted of drug crimes, please present it. Citing references that show blacks are disproportionally arrested for drug crimes as compared to other groups does not address the fact that most black offenders are incarcerated for non-drug related crimes.

However, flipping the script only makes you dyslexic.

Wow! Even your metaphors are incoherent. No wonder you admire Thad!

Brotha Wolf said...

"Brotha Wolf,

Haha, well... When you're popular!

I think the news is culpable for their presentation of Black people in general. Remember Katrina? They seemed intent on focusing on looters despite the fact that the entire city was left to drown for a couple of days. They seemed to ignore the people struggling to survive. They did this with the riot over the verdict for Oscar Grant's killer -- even portraying certain looters and violent rioters as part of the protest despite the fact that the protesters tried to stop them even before the police! (And to add insult to injury, many of these people were White. I know; I was there.)

The examples go on and on, but I also recognize that the media is merely a reflection of our society as well. We consume these images and stories because they're what entertain us, and so to a large extent the double-standard of reporting in America regarding Black people is simply our own fetishization of our latent racism.

However, there are news sources which can be trustworthy, at least to an extent. Even major places with an obvious slant such as MSNBC, or Fox News, can be useful sources if you know how to question the information you're being given. People too often take Just-So-Stories for granted without actually thinking critically about the information they're being given. (I include myself in this as well. We all to it to some extent. Especially when that information would reinforce our own point-of-view.)"

-Zek

Well said. I mentioned in one old blog that racist images and stereotypes are profitable because many folks are entertained of certain ideas about themselves and other people.

Zek J Evets said...

RR,

Unamused mentioned nothing about the inherent criminal nature of blacks.

Umm, yes he does. Over and over again, ad absurdum ad infinitum. Check his blog, if you're so inclined.

your contention that most black convicts are incarcerated due to drug offenses.

NONVIOLENT drug offenses. And I have already linked you, in my previous comments, plenty of information on this besides that in the post. (Because apparently you need a lot more than a couple of examples with links to more. You need a veritable tsunami of information overload to... well, continue not accepting reality. Oy vey.)

The majority of people held in prison today are for nonviolent drug offenses [Gilliard and Beck, 1998. p. 11.; Harlow, Caroline Wold, Profile of Jail
Inmates, 1996, Washington, DC: Bureau of Justice Statistics, 1998, p. 2.] and the majority of those incarcerated for this offense are Black. [http://www.sentencingproject.org/doc/File/Drug%20Policy/dp_distortedpriorities.pdf]

Now, this doesn't even account for arrests, or court-cases, or anything else which would be an additional measurement of "criminality" according to the opposition's stance.

Furthermore, continue looking at the sentencing project for confirmation that the majority of Black crimes are nonviolent drug offenses (which is even more specific than the original link in my post). When you calculate the proportions of data on each specific crime (via Sentencing Project, the Beckley Foundation report, etc): manslaughter, murder, rape, robbery and, of course, nonviolent drug offenses, you'll see that as you conduct a state by state examination, you'll see that the majority of Black crimes are nonviolent drug offenses, as I've presented.

Also, consider this source regarding "repeat offenders", and remember my earlier sources regarding the unreliability of crime stat numbers (yes, even my own, because I mean ALL crime stats): http://www.cga.ct.gov/pri/archives/2001ricreportchap2.htm

Last thing: I noticed I never responded to your rape tangent. I cited some evidence because YOU brought up rape and defended it as important to MY discussion. But seriously, do you think intracial rape isn't covered under the general heading of rape? Is it a special rape that isn't really rape? Either way, I trust rape stats even less than I trust general crime stats, mostly because of two things: false reporting, and the lack of a consistent definition for rape that includes date rape, coercion, blackmail, and other forms of rape. However, that is still off-topic, but since you brought it up, there's my take. Maybe I'll even do a post on it! Someday.

Anyhoo RR, hopefully that covers your problem, which seems to be mostly limited to my assertion regarding the majority of Black crime being nonviolent drug offenses. If you want to contest the evidence (again) please try NOT to conveniently forget the previous million comments, okay? I hate having to scroll around all the time.

RR said...

Zek,

You referred to Unamused’s flyer (and the post accompanying the flyer). It seems to me that you are inveighing against the statistics he used in his flyer. His remarks are unflattering to blacks, but nothing struck me as essentialist.

You wrote:

NONVIOLENT drug offenses. And I have already linked you, in my previous comments, plenty of information on this besides that in the post.

You aren’t quite getting the point. Most black offenders have been convicted of violent offenses. Black drug offenders (whether non-violent or otherwise) constitute a minority of black offenders. All of your references regarding incarceration rates, except one, focus on the disparity between the arrest/conviction rate of black drug offenders as compared to non-black drug offenders. While this is important, it does nothing to strengthen the argument you are making regarding the alleged pervasiveness of police bias, which I thought was the point of your blog post.

The majority of people held in prison today are for nonviolent drug offenses [Gilliard and Beck, 1998. p. 11.; Harlow, Caroline Wold, Profile of Jail
Inmates, 1996, Washington, DC: Bureau of Justice Statistics, 1998, p. 2.]


Could you cite an online reference for this? I searched the Bureau of Justice Statistics pretty thoroughly looking precisely for this information and could only find the references I cited previously showing that most black offenders were convicted of violent offenses, not drug offenses (non-violent or otherwise).

Furthermore, continue looking at the sentencing project for confirmation that the majority of Black crimes are nonviolent drug offenses

Could you please cite an online reference for this?

Also, consider this source regarding "repeat offenders", and remember my earlier sources regarding the unreliability of crime stat numbers (yes, even my own, because I mean ALL crime stats)

If all crime stats are suspect, then what exactly informs your opinion? Are you going with your gut or what?

I noticed I never responded to your rape tangent.

It wasn’t a tangent. Last time I checked, rape was a crime that some black men commit. The subject of this blog entry is black crime stats. You seem to be under the impression that rape is not a crime, thus talking about rape is off-topic. I don’t get that. Maybe you don’t think rape is a heinous crime, but most people do. RAPE IS A CRIME!!!

If you want to contest the evidence (again) please try NOT to conveniently forget the previous million comments, okay?

None of your previous comments/references (save one poorly written essay) indicate that most black offenders are incarcerated on non-violent drug charges. Your comments/references indicate that blacks are disproportionately jailed on non-violent drug charges. This does not mean that non-violent drug offenders constitute a majority of black convicts. Could you please cite on line references supporting your assertion that most black offenders are convicted of non-violent drug charges?

Zek J Evets said...

RR,

Could you cite an online reference for this?

I am unsure where you could find it online (at least for free). I found it using my university's online system that gives me access to articles. Try looking up the authors and/or titles.

Could you please cite an online reference for this?

I already did earlier.

[http://www.sentencingproject.org/doc/File/Drug%20Policy/dp_distortedpriorities.pdf]

If all crime stats are suspect, then what exactly informs your opinion? Are you going with your gut or what?

I'm saying that since all crime stats are inherently untrustworthy, you need more than merely statistical evidence to back up any assertion. Yes, we can look at incarceration rates, conviction rates, compare prison populations, etc., but ultimately it require a more holistic perspective to truly understand the issue. THAT is what I believe in my gut, but the experts seem to agree since they do the same thing too.

And with regard to the evidence, I've answered every single one of your criticisms, point for point: whether police profiling exists, whether nonviolent drug offenses are the most common crime, whether Black people are most commonly convicted/imprisoned for nonviolent drug offenses, whether crime stats are truly reliable, whether Unamused was making the case that racial profiling is okay, whether Unamused was making the case that Black people are INHERENTLY more criminal than White people due to being Black, and finally I've also answered the unspoken question since the start of this conversation... whether you, RR, can ever possibly understand, and admit when you're wrong. Because right now you are. And honestly, arguing with someone who's gonna be bull-headed stubborn and refuse to admit to anything, even in the light of evidence, is not exactly my idea of enlightening conversation.

RR said...

Zek,

Do you think YOU could look up the authors on-line. After all, YOU made the assertion. When you asked me for a citation, I gave it to you. I didn’t ask you to look it up. And I made sure the reference was on-line. Could you extend me the same courtesy?

Regarding a supposed citation of yours, you wrote:

I already did earlier.

http://www.sentencingproject.org/doc/File/Drug%20Policy/dp_distortedpriorities.pdf


No, you didn’t actually. I didn’t ask you for a citation on the rate of drug incarceration rates with respect to race. I asked you to provide evidence to back up your assertion that the majority of black crimes are non-violent drug offenses. The paper you cite gives no information regarding the percentage of incarcerated black non-violent drug offenders as it relates to the total population of incarcerated offenders. The citation makes the case that black men are overrepresented among drug offenders, but says nothing indicating that drug offenses constitute a majority of convictions among black men. I defy you to show otherwise.

RR said...

Zek,

I found one of your references for the year 2002:

http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/pub/pdf/pji02.pdf

I think I have found the source of our disagreement. The reference above shows data for those incarcerated in jails for the given year. While the data I cited focused on people in prisons. There is a difference between jail and prison:
http://www.diffen.com/difference/Jail_vs_Prison

According to your reference, in 2002, black drug offenders constituted a majority (30.2%) of black offenders at the jail level as compared to violent offenders (22.3%) . Of course, the overwhelming majority of offenders are held in state prisons. Let’s look at the numbers

In 2002, there were 1,209,640 men in state prisons across the country. There were 151,618 men held in federal penitentiaries and 665,475 in local and county jails (http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/pub/press/p02pr.cfm). For those black men held in state prisons, 267,800 ( 49%) were violent offenders while 139,700 (25%) were imprisoned for drug offenses. Here is a choice snip:

The increasing number of violent offenders accounted for 64% of the total growth among male inmates and 49% among female inmates. Public order offenders accounted for another 21% of the total growth among male inmates and 16% of the growth among female inmates. The growth attributed to drug offenders has decreased from that of previous years (Prisoners in 2001, ). From 1995 to 2001 drug offenders accounted for 13% of total growth among female inmates and 15% of growth among male inmates.

Your reference indicates that approximately 30% of black men in jail during 2002 were there due to drug charges while 22% were in jail because of violent crimes. These percentages translate into 199643 and 146405 black men in jail for drug and violent offenses respectively. At the federal level, I couldn’t find disaggregated data for 2002, but I did find some for 2005 wrt to federal and state inmates. In 2005, 6% of federal offenders were incarcerated due to violent offenses while 43 % were incarcerated due to drug charges and blacks constituted 34% of the federal prison population. The federal data isn’t disaggregated with respect to race and type of offense, so let’s assume that 60% of black federal inmates were convicted of drug offenses and 7 percent were convicted of violent offenses in 2002. This assumption would show 30930 black men incarcerated in federal prison on drug charges and approximately 3608 black men imprisoned for violent federal offenses. Tallying the numbers, we have:

Number of blacks incarcerated due to drug charges: 199643 (jail, local and county) + 30930(federal) + 139,700 (state) = 370273

Number of blacks incarcerated due to violent offenses: 146405 (jail, local and county) + 3608(federal) + 267,800(state) = 417813

So, for the year 2002, the number of blacks incarcerated for violent crimes was significantly higher (11% higher) than the number of blacks incarcerated for drug offenses. And note that the federal number for drug charges was a high end estimate.

Zek J Evets said...

RR,

Except I already have provided evidence for my assertions and arguments, in multitude, from myriad sources. That my evidence isn't "good enough" for you is obvious, but unfortunately it is also not an convincing argument.

I am sorry you cannot look up more of the data online, but such is the nature of academic work. Sometimes you actually have to go that extra mile, as I have to do on a regular basis. And getting upset while pointing fingers that since I can't send you the article I'm referencing I must be wrong is also not a convincing argument.


With regard to The Sentencing Project, please read the paper again and pay close attention to their points:

58% of drug prisoners – an estimated 124,885 inmates – have no history of violence
or high level drug activity.
· Three-quarters of the drug offenders in state prisons have only been convicted of drug
and/or non-violent offenses; one-third of the total have only been convicted of drug
crimes.
· Four of every five drug prisoners are African-American (56%) and Hispanic (23%),
well above their respective rates (13% and 9%) of overall drug use.

Each point is part of the other, showing that nonviolent drug offenses constitute the majority of drug-related offenses, and is a part of the overall argument regarding how nonviolent drug offenses constitute the majority of "criminality" (based, on this evidence specifically via prison-based statistics, forgetting arrests, convictions, and all other crime data) of Black PEOPLE in America today.

And again, you MUST remember that the numbers we're working with are extremely shaky, even when they support my argument! Yet, expert testimony by various people supports my conclusions, and thus I feel comfortable making the assertions I do.

Meanwhile, I'm not sure what kind of math you're using but this quote (among others) confuses me as to how you're MEASURING things: 6% of federal offenders were incarcerated due to violent offenses while 43 % were incarcerated due to drug charges and blacks constituted 34% of the federal prison population.

Would this not support my position that the majority of Black people are being incarcerated for nonviolent drug offenses? Earlier you make similar statements, yet at the end of your comment you go back to your own numbers instead of the evidence I have provided. It'd be clever... except I actually read your comments.

Anyhoo, it seems you've gone from complaining about lack of evidence, to providing your own evidence which mine already talked about as flawed, to then criticizing/not reading my evidence, and then finally coming to the point where you start critically analyzing my evidence and then completely misrepresent or distort it -- albeit rather poorly, from what I've seen -- which leads me to wonder if you ever actually READ my post in the first place. Or do you just comment as soon as I post something?

Because, honestly, judging by your comments I can't tell the difference from whether you're not reading my posts, or just don't understand them. Either way, like Mr. T said at the beginning of my post: "I pity the fool!"

And seriously, that I really do.

RR said...

Zek,

It isn’t a question of your evidence not being good enough. It a question of the bulk of your evidence not being relevant to our point of contention. It is as if I asked you to name the player who led the major leagues in home runs last year and you respond by giving me the name of the player with the lowest ERA. Let’s look at the first statement you listed from your Sentencing Project citation:

58% of drug prisoners – an estimated 124,885 inmates – have no history of violence
or high level drug activity.


This is a good example of the type of data you cite which is completely irrelevant to the issue at hand. The above statement points out that 58% of drug prisoners have no history of violence. Great! But this tells us NOTHING about the percentage of inmates convicted of drug charges as it relates to the TOTAL number of inmates. You asserted that most black convicts are incarcerated due to drug offenses. The 58% mentioned in the citation refers to the percentage of drug offenders who have no history of violence. This does NOT mean that 58% of ALL inmates have been charged with drug offenses. Do you get that?

The only reference you cited that was relevant to the point we are discussing was the essay by R. Jeneen Jones. She stated the following:

According to the U.S. Department on Justice, property and drug offenses account for 76.4 % and 56.4% respectively of crimes by individuals admitted to Federal and State prison for the first time. Most criminal convictions are, therefore, not for violent crimes.

I pointed out the problems with her data already. So, the references you cited, save Ms. Jones’ essay, were not relevant to your assertion that most blacks are imprisoned due to drug offenses.

You wrote:

6% of federal offenders were incarcerated due to violent offenses while 43 % were incarcerated due to drug charges and blacks constituted 34% of the federal prison population.

Would this not support my position that the majority of Black people are being incarcerated for nonviolent drug offenses?


No. Remember, this statement is only true at the federal level. Our penal system consists of three entities: federal prisons, state prisons and jails (local and county lockups). Most inmates are held in state prisons. Recall that I stated:

there were 1,209,640 men in state prisons across the country. There were 151,618 men held in federal penitentiaries and 665,475 in local and county jails

Thus, in 2002, there were 2,026,733 men total (1,209,640[total number of state inmates] + 151,618[total number of federal inmates] + 665,475[total number of inmates in local and county jails]. Of these, men in state prisons constituted 59% of the total prison population (1,209,640/2,026,733 x 100).

I think I am capable of being persuaded by a good argument. I am not particularly stubborn. You have failed to make a good argument here.

Paul said...

Zek, Thanks so much for your fine work. We has a spam-poster-troll on the Asheville Rant and Raves, who spends his whole day posting his racist garbage. Would love it if you got on our board and help me debunk his ignorant ass. I mean, if you have time and all.
Thanks,
Paul

Zek J Evets said...

RR,

I think I am capable of being persuaded by a good argument. I am not particularly stubborn. You have failed to make a good argument here.

Yet your pattern of behavior on my blog, Abagond's blog, and others indicate that you aren't capable of being persuaded by a good argument BECAUSE you are, in fact, stubborn. If you disagree *shrug* but that's how I see it.

Meanwhile, most people think I've made quite a good argument. (This post was republished with LAH magazine, among other positive reactions.)

Zek J Evets said...

Paul,

Hey, you're welcome! I'd be more than happy to contribute to a discussion involving the debunking of pseudo-intellectual racist garbage =)

Just post the link in a comment so I can find the place, and I'll leave a couple of poignant thoughts.

Franklin said...

@ Zek

This is why I gave up on RR with the "blacks and natural athleticism" conversation. I poked holes in his entire argument and throughout the conversation, he kept trying to "cleverly" tweak it. Followed by slyly presenting the changed one as the initial statement of his that I was responding to.

RR said...

Zek,

I have to disagree with your description of me. I am perfectly capable of being persuaded by good argumentation and have admitted when I was wrong. The problem is that you, Abagond and others rarely present persuasive arguments. You all put sentiment above logic and reason. This blog entry is a good example of you favoring sentiment over facts and logic. I have read all of your comments and citations. I quoted some of your citations to you in my rebuttals. I even found a citation you mentioned, but couldn’t find on line for some reason, and quoted that citation to you. I dissected a point from one of your citations and showed why it was not relevant to our discussion. Just to recap:

Blacks are incarcerated more often for drug offenses at the federal and local/county level than for other types of crimes. Blacks are more often incarcerated at the state level for violent crimes and of the three penal facility types, 59% of those held in state penitentiaries were incarcerated for violent crime. Given this fact, the data show that the total number of inmates incarcerated for violent crime is was 11% higher than the total number of inmates incarcerated for drug offenses in 2002. And note, this is assuming that 60% (a high estimate) of black federal inmates were charged with drug offenses. Couple this with the fact that many in local/county jails are waiting trial and will not end up in a state or federal penitentiary and the 11% figure is probably low.

The folks at LAH might very well think your arguments are good, but then again, they already agree with you. People seem to love Amen Corners. Show me an argument you made that actually changed someone’s opinion.

Zek J Evets said...

Franklin,

Indeed. But what is perhaps even more annoying is the bull-headed response to anything which contradicts his (changing) argument. It always seems to come back to, "Well I disagree." Okay...

RR,

Haha! You didn't show me a case of you being persuaded by an argument. You showed me a case where you continued to argue even though everyone and all the evidence was against you!

Thank you for confirming my assessment of your character. I feel so much better ; )

RR said...

Franklin,

You gave up arguing because you didn’t have a good argument. I can understand that. The evidence just wasn’t supportive of your argument. You showed wise judgment in giving up.

Zek,

I gave you an example of an instance my incorrectly interpreting data and admitting to it. It was not supposed be an example of my being persuaded by an argument. You should have known this being that the hyperlink was labeled “admitted when I was wrong”. Most of the people at Abagond’s have their minds already made up and are looking to have their opinions validated, so yes most of them disagreed with me. Most people rejected the heliocentric view of the solar system at one time also, but the Copernican view ultimately won out. The point is that the majority isn’t always right. You would know this if you were actually interested in debate.

My objection to your assertion that the “majority of Black crimes are nonviolent drug offenses” has not changed since my initial response to your post. I showed how the data you presented was irrelevant to your assertion. This isn’t a question of my being bull-headed. It is a question of logic. Your citations don’t back up your assertion. If you dispute this, cite additional references or SHOW (not just assert) how I misinterpreted the data. You say you are a scientist, but you seem to be very averse to number crunching or detailed analysis.

Franklin said...

@ RR

"Negro", please...

You were on the ropes from response number one. The discussion was over after my initial post to you, but you chose not to respond to certain parts because they rendered your entire argument pointless. So you responded to what you could argue against, and during our back and forth you predictably tweaked your argument to showcase to everyone that you "originally meant" a tiny portion. All in typical, "I'll imply most blacks as usual and reflexively backtrack when called out!" , RR, fashion.

Throughout our discussion you ended up whittling your argument down to saying that "the best black" athletes are historically attracted to certain sports of a specific type. Thus agreeing with me, and canceling out your entire argument of blacks having a natural edge. Especially if it's in a sport where they, "the best of the best blacks", lost to white athletes over-seas. As I pointed out initially.

If you look at reality, this edge is just with the sports they've historically played and not with sports of the same category that blacks aren't prevalent in. Which is why certain asian groups are great at ping-pong, because they've played it rigourously for decades. It's almost as if you conflate "training" with "generational genetic manipulation." But we've been through all of this before, and you'll no doubt just go back to thinking I'm wrong. When in fact I've consistently demonstrated how flimsy your core argument is.

Now as for evidence, you've shown none. You were just being predictably stubborn, not correct. There's a difference between the two that you clearly have trouble seeing. So feigning victory because you (once again) chose not to admit you were wrong, and clinging your faulty position despite everything being against you, is quite dishonest. But then again you excel at dishonesty.

If you had actual "facts" you'd have used them a long time ago, instead of your typical "Nuh-UH!"-esque nonsense. Or even if you even had any sort of logic outside of hoping that by repeating your same theories that they would refute my examples.

(Which they clearly didn't...)

@ Zek

Your fortitude against fools is simply amazing. I don't know how you argue against people like this. What kind of vitamins do you take?

(Also I just realized that this post is going to divert from the topic at hand...)

Zek J Evets said...

Franklin,

Haha, I don't take vitamins really, but I think I'm just naturally fortified with an anti-idiot personality. I can deal with more than your average amount of bullshit for more than the average amount of time. But in the end, even I get tired of it after a while and just let it go.

However, that said, I do get a kick of dropping knowledge bombs on peeps every so often ; )

RR said...

Franklin,

I would be only too happy to continue our debate in the appropriate thread.


Zek wrote:

think I'm just naturally fortified with an anti-idiot personality.

I would disagree with your self-description. It isn't an anti-idiot personality that you have. You have an anti-fact personality. Any fact that offends your tender sensibilities doesn't exist in your world. In your world, you don't have to actually prove anything. Just making statements and asserting truthfulness (as opposed to demonstrating truthfulness) is all that is really required. No thought is required. No analysis is required. No fact checking is required. Just a lazy regurgitation of half-digested left-wing pablum is what passes for "dropping knowledge bombs" to you. Sentimental blather seems to be what you are partial to, which is cool. Some of my best friends blather on sentimentally. But don't claim to be a scientist.

Zek J Evets said...

RR,

Ain't nobody still listening to you. Just let it go and walk away.

Herneith said...

"You've really embarrassed yourself here, Zek."

No, you have embarrassed yourself with your inanities. I tried to read your blog as I love absurdities and good jokes. However, after the first paragraph I started going cross eyed.
After a cursory glance at the reams of garbage you typed, I left your blog. You could have at least thrown in some jokes to keep the readers interested! Insane ramblings do not count.

" Nearly everything you wrote here is debunked in the flyer itself. Maybe you should have read it."

I see you are still shilling for your blog. Do you have a job? You seem to have an inordinate amount of time on your hands. Either that, or you are independently wealthy. If so, find another hobby! Read what? Are you trying to give Zek eye strain?

" In any case, the interested and unbiased reader will have no trouble seeing exactly where you've gone wrong."

In any case the interested and unbiased reader will take a look at the bullshit you posted on the pamphlet and give it a pass. The only conclusions I can draw from your ranting's are 1) You are an asshole 2) You are obsessed with Zek? 3) You are a closet case obsessed with black men and their supposed 'thuggish' ways, a turn on for you since that is all you seem to write about 4) You are an asshole 5) Zek has the patience of Job, if you were to come to my blog and spew your bullshit, you would be made short work of. 6) You are an asshole. Ad-hominems and strawman arguments are all you deserve since that is all you know via your absurd dumbfuckery. Have a good day and find some other focus for your lunacy.

Zek J Evets said...

Herneith,

Hahaha! Thanks for the spirited contribution to post =)

When it comes to racist ish, there can be only one response (credit to my girlfriend who says this all the time): what is all this fuckery?

Brotha Wolf said...

Dumbfuckery lmao. I gotta remember that one, Herneith.

Herneith said...

"You clearly dodged my question because you aren’t really interested in debating this issue, which I can understand"

I see ol kerchief head 'RR' is back and in good form, hahahaha!!!!!! he didn't doge nothing. He probably can't stop laughing long enough to post! His responses are akin to the Onion online.

RR said...

Herneith,

How are you? I’ve missed interacting with you.

Sometimes I’m funny, but I’m definitely not being funny when it comes to black crime. Zek broke off the debate because he can’t substantiate his assertion that most black inmates have been convicted on drug charges. His lack of response is indicative of a lack of evidence. If Zek had relevant data, he would have referenced by now. But he doesn’t, so rather than admitting that he was wrong, he quits. That’s cool. I understand that.

Perhaps you will go where angels fear to tread. Can you substantiate Zek’s assertion? You seem to be given to argumentation. Display those powers of analysis here.

Zek J Evets said...

RR,

His lack of response is indicative of a lack of evidence.

My lack of response is a lack of interest. I have little interest in inane back & forth with someone who not only doesn't understand the issue, but can't even understand the evidence when it's handed to them on a proverbial platter to be served up. I mean, call me impatient! But I have better things to do than educate someone who actually wants to remain ignorant.

That said, you can try your luck with Herneith. But I guarantee you'll come off worse than you already are from my own savaging ; )

Hernsith said...

Look RR, I can tell you from personal experience, no I am not a criminal, that most of the black criminals in my neck of the woods, are in for drug charges, or drug related ones. Most of the diddlers, rape hounds and various perverts are overwhelmingly white, bank robbers, bikers, burgulars and so on. The gangstars are multi-cultural. You also have your lone wolves who work independantly, your fraud artists and myriad white collar criminals. The asian criminals are prone to being involved in grow-ops and meth. I doubt these divisions are much different in the States. Perhaps the assorted American criminals are 'tougher and meaner' as they have been at their 'craft' for a longer time and there is more of them. Stats come in handy, but many times anecdotal experiences are just as valid. No, I aint gonna pull stats out of my bunghole in order to debate you. I know what I know and it is first hand observations, not something I read in a book or saw on television.