At 10:08 AM 8/3/01 -0700, Al Villalobos <firstname.lastname@example.org> cited:
> Lifetime chances of a person going to prison are higher for
> -- men (9%) than for women (1.1%)
> -- blacks (16.2%) and Hispanics (9.4%) than for whites
>Based on current rates of first incarceration, an estimated 28% of black
>males will enter State or Federal prison during their lifetime, compared to
>16% of Hispanic males and 4.4% of white males.
>Blacks: % of U.S. population 12
>Whites: % of U.S. population 74
and then commented:
>this information, If I were to posit that "Blacks commit WAY more crimes
>than Whites." Would that be a racist statement? And If so, why?
It would certainly be a non-sequitur, unless you think that everyone who
commits a crime goes to jail, or even that the same proportions hold among
those committing crimes, those caught and charged, and those who serve
time. Is it just possible that proportionately more rich or middleclass
whites get away with more crime, violent and otherwise, than poor blacks
(or poor whites)?
The figures above suggest that a statistical black has 40 times as many
chances as a statistical white of committing a crime leading to a prison
sentence. (Many of those, of course, being `victimless' drug crimes.) Is
the racism of US society such that this disproportion results from
differential levels of pursuit, prosecution, defense and sentencing? Some
of it, surely; presumably not all. But then that's hardly surprising. The
racist heritage of the nation plainly conduces to crime becoming a viable
profession among black Americans (as among wretched poor and culturally
suppressed British and Irish whites in the 17th and 18th centuries);
addictions to neurotoxic drugs probably impairs the impulse control of a
lot of poor and desperate and already fucked up people. Those are not
racist observations, in my view; they're a tragic acknowledgement of past
and present injustices. What's to be done? I wouldn't go asking Fred Reed
for any pointers.
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