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part of a small rebellion | by maryann johanson

from Facebook: imagine if black people were 31% of those we see onscreen (instead of 31% of those killed by police)

posted in:
easter eggs
  • Nathan

    That makes sense, the areas of the US where African Americans are most heavily represented are also the areas that feature the most trigger happy police officers. Police officers in Canada and the UK seem to be better at not killing people for some reason.

  • areas of the US where African Americans are most heavily represented are also the areas that feature the most trigger happy police officers.

    Really? Got a citation for that?

    Police officers in Canada and the UK seem to be better at not killing people for some reason.

    I don’t know about Canada, but UK cops definitely kill black people without good reason: an killing that looked unjustified (and there’s still question about it today) was what ignited the riots in the summer of 2011. But since most UK cops aren’t armed, they have less opportunity to inflict lethal damage on a routine basis.

  • David

    Sweet! You PC bro?

  • David

    I don’t know how much representation matters since men of all races are highly represented in film and tv yet they face massive institution sexism. Just look at the numbers. Men make up about 50% of the population yet account for: 93% of those in prison!
    Almost 96% of police shootings!
    Men receive 63% more lengthy prison sentences than women do.

    We need to do something about the oppression of men in this society.

  • men of all races are highly represented in film and tv

    No, they’re not.

    yet they face massive institution sexism.

    Oh, you dear sweet child. No, men do not face massive institution sexism.

    MRAs are not welcome here. Go away.

  • David

    Wait a minute, you said that the higher number of black people being shot by police was indicative of racism. By that logic, then the far higher numbers of men shot by police is indicative of anti male sexism. So either men in general are oppressed more than women OR the higher rates of black people being shot is not proof of anti-black racism and there are other factors besides racism that explain the disparity .

  • Educate yourself, and come back when you’re ready to talk to the grownups. You will not find the engagement you’re looking for here.

  • David

    I’m just pointing out a logical inconsistency here. If racial disparities in the criminal justice system are evidence of systemic or institutional racism than gender disparities are evidence of institutional or systemic anti-male sexism. Based on this it’s only logical to conclude that neither systemic racism or anti male sexism exist in the legal system or that both exist. Believing that systemic racism exists AND that systemic anti-male sexism does not exist in the legal system is a contradiction. An example of doublethink. Unless your belief in one and not the other is not based on evidence and reason, but rather faith.

  • amanohyo

    Your argument is logically correct, but the relationship between race and crime in the United States is much more complicated than a simple either/or statement. Unfortunately, in order to make your point you are conflating race and gender in a way that creates a false equivalency between a group that has been in a position of relative privilege and power for thousands of years and a group that has been historically oppressed and discriminated against for arguably the entire history of this country.

    Let’s address the male/female disparity first. The percentage of violent crimes committed by men (~80%) is slightly lower than the percentage of men in the prison population (~90%). However, the recidivism rate for men (~35% at three years) is higher than that for women (~20%) which might explain the slightly higher incarceration rate and longer sentences. These percentages do not suggest a high level of anti-male sexism in the criminal justice system as a whole, but we would have to analyze individual police departments and specific cases to accurately determine the presence or absence of institutional anti-male sexism. It seems unlikely considering that the majority of positions of power in police forces and local governments are still held by men.

    Moving on to the separate issue of race, the percentage of violent crimes committed by African Americans is around 50%. Even if we were to assume this number is inflated by systemic racism in policing and reporting, it is significantly higher than the percentage of African Americans in the population (13%) and even the percentage that are killed by police (31%) and the percentage in prison (40%). Viewed from a simple either/or perspective, this would seem to support your point. Does the fact that less than 50% of police shootings have African American victims mean that there is no institutional racism in our criminal justice system?

    Not necessarily. These are national statistics – policing varies widely from region to region. It’s also possible for someone to commit a violent crime and then be shot and killed by the police without justification or be wrongly accused of committing a violent crime after being shot. In order to answer the question, we would ideally look at a specific police department in a specific community and do detailed investigations of specific cases as was done in Ferguson for example.

    There is a strong correlation between poverty, gender, and violent crime. That is, young men living in poor areas with poor access to socials services/education are more likely to commit violent crimes. The percentage of African American children who live in poverty (~45%) is much higher than the corresponding percentage of white children (~15%). For adults, the numbers improve slightly to ~27% and ~10%. There is a much smaller increase in violent crime rates for young women living in poverty compared to young men.

    Some important questions would then be:

    1) To what extent is the relatively higher rate of poverty of African Americans the result of cultural factors (personal and/or community responsibility), and to what extent is it the result of years of institutionalized racism (disparities of wealth, privilege, and power passed down through generations)? How are these two (African American culture and historic racism) related to each other? (Incidentally, Native Americans also have disproportionately high levels of poverty and crime)
    2) Why do young men living in poverty have rates of violent crime much higher than young women living in poverty? To what extent does an American masculine subculture of violence, competition, conflict, sexual objectification, and materialism contribute to violent crime if at all? Is there any reliable method to determine whether men are on average naturally/biologically more violent than women? Should “natural” inclinations be legally protected or privileged under the law?

    3) To what extent does the government as a whole, and the criminal justice system in particular work to improve the economic, educational, and physical health of people in neighborhoods with high rates of poverty? In broader terms, how should the criminal justice system function in relation to other social institutions?

    People much smarter and more experienced than us have been discussing questions like these for a long time, and there are no easy answers. I currently believe that a small, efficient federal government should focus the majority of its resources on providing a baseline level of quality, affordable housing, education, health care, transportation, and security to all of its citizens with benefits that taper off as families increase in size and/or wealth. Easier said than done of course, but it seems to me that racism is an economic issue at its core that could best be solved by reducing poverty in general, although that’s probably a cynical oversimplification. The most effective solutions aren’t going to fold neatly inside the boundaries of any one particular political ideology or candidate.

    tl;dr version: It’s logically inconsistent because you’re oversimplifying a complicated issue.

  • It’s not a “logical inconsistency.” Please educate yourself.

  • Your patience in educating this bigot is commendable, but it was not your job to do.

  • amanohyo

    You’re right – it’s just that I’m genuinely interested in the issue and hate to see it oversimplified it to the point of meaninglessness just to “win” an argument. I’m also stuck at home with a pinched nerve and no books to read. I’ll forgo the futile engagements and find a better use for my time in the future.

  • Hey, if you’re enjoying it, that’s fine. :-)

    Hope you’re feeling better…

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