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Author Topic: A Question on 'Racial' Issues . . .
Baldfresh
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posted 15 September 2004 12:15 PM      Profile for Baldfresh   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
al-Qa'bong stated this in the newbie thread, and rather than threadjack I thought I'd start a new one. Regarding the keeping for records indicating what race/ethnic group people belong to, specifically in this case just a matter of census:

quote:
Who cares how accurate they are? That stats regarding "race" should be kept at all is deeply disturbing.

I noticed, while once looking at mug shots of prisoners killed in Texas (part of a Dubya website, that "race of defendant" and "race of victim" were prominent in police records.


I disagree. I will certainly agree that in a perfect world there would be no need for racial stats, but it is far from an ideal situation we live in. There is certainly a possibility for abuse of such statistics, but even the example listed above is somewhat telling perhaps of problems not only inherent in the 'general' populace, but also with our institutions, the criminal law and justice system in particular.

To elaborate a bit, I saw a stat somewhere that said (approx, I'm too pressed for time to link) in America 90% of drug users are white, while at the same time 90% of the people in jail for drug offences are black or hispanic. This is a damn important statistic, and to ignore it (as is actually done, more or less) helps allow the underlying problems to continue unabated.


From: to here knows when | Registered: May 2004  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
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Babbler # 3469

posted 15 September 2004 12:21 PM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I always find it fascinating that many people oppose the gathering or keeping of crime statistics by race, but nobody ever seems to have a problem with them being kept by sex.

Knowing that x% of murders are committed by Black offenders is bad and regressive. Knowing that x% of assualts are committed by men isn't, apparently.


From: `,_,`,_,,_,, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
Briguy
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posted 15 September 2004 12:44 PM      Profile for Briguy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The knowledge itself isn't bad. The question is how to use the knowledge. For example, if a stat were produced saying that 75% of violent crime is perpetrated by black men (and that stat were correct) we could use it in different ways. We could guess that black men are being disenfranchised by society and consider violent crime a legitimate (or the only) option. Then we could try to address the societal conditions that leads to this disenfranchisement. Or, if we were ignorant and heartless, we could use this stat to justify racial profiling without questioning the conditions leading to the stat.

Notice how I'm avoiding the strawman but still trying to answer the question here.


From: No one is arguing that we should run the space program based on Physics 101. | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
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posted 15 September 2004 12:55 PM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
We could guess that black men are being disenfranchised by society and consider violent crime a legitimate (or the only) option

Couldn't we do better than "guess"?


From: `,_,`,_,,_,, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
nonsuch
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posted 15 September 2004 02:20 PM      Profile for nonsuch     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Couldn't we do better than "guess"?

Yes, we could. But not from a single statistic. We would need to compare employment, income, housing, education, life expectancy; funding of schools, health-care, infrastructure and law-enforcement in a high-crime area and a low-crime area; population density, gender and age balance... a whole lot of statistics.

Pulling one pair of numbers out of the hat is not much use in addressing societal problems. On the other hand, keeping accurate records everywhere and corelating them all could be very useful in finding out what's broken - if we actually wanted to fix it.


From: coming and going | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
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posted 15 September 2004 02:26 PM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
That I agree with.

What I don't agree with is blanket assumptions such as Briguy seems willing to make, wherein because racism hasn't been eradicated, THEREFORE all black citizens must be disenfranchised THEREFORE if they commit any crime whatsoever then that's why, THEREFORE we have to make special allowance for that.

Reminds me of the "Black Rage" defense that someone tried to pull a few years back in the States.


From: `,_,`,_,,_,, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
Briguy
rabble-rouser
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posted 15 September 2004 04:03 PM      Profile for Briguy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Another strawman, of which I can't actually discern the purpose. None of those THEREFORES can actually be attributed to me, from what I wrote. I simply made a guess, which could or could not be wrong, based on a fake stat I made up on the spot (like most stats on internet forums, I would suspect). I.E. this was not a real world exercise.

I use the words 'guess' and 'hypothesize' interchangably, but I prefer the word 'guess' when dealing with made up what-if scenarios which seem to mostly be pulled from one's buttocks (including my own). I also use guesses with sciences that I'm not really familiar with (such as the social sciences), and hypothesize about sciences that I know something about. I wouldn't want to step on the toes of any real social scientists.


From: No one is arguing that we should run the space program based on Physics 101. | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
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posted 15 September 2004 04:23 PM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
None of those THEREFORES can actually be attributed to me, from what I wrote.

You went so far as to introduce the alternative with "Or, if we were ignorant and heartless...", so I figured you were kinda leaning toward the knee-jerk reaction I described.

It also wasn't clear from "We could guess that black men are being disenfranchised by society and consider violent crime a legitimate (or the only) option.[i]" who is considering violent crime a legitimate option. Initially it looked as though you were suggesting that [i]we, as a society, should. Only now can I see that perhaps you meant the men in question.

I do, however, recognize that sometimes it's hard to make oneself quite clear in dry text, and if that's all then my apologies.


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Fidel
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posted 15 September 2004 08:04 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Recent reports show that poverty has increased among African-American's by 25-30% since this cosnervative regime took a minority of votes in the States.

African-American's are a disproportionate number of the American gulag population.

And we also have conservative cheer leaders in this town who often parrot that they've never witnessed or observed racism in their lives. I guess they wouldn't if they've never travelled in the U.S. of A.

Canadian's are a little more subtle with regard to racism. Here, it can be a difference in the spelling of your last name.


From: Viva La Revolucin | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Briguy
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posted 16 September 2004 09:13 AM      Profile for Briguy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
S'OK Magoo. I learned long ago not to take your strange logic personally.
From: No one is arguing that we should run the space program based on Physics 101. | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
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posted 16 September 2004 11:52 AM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I would like to note that the United States' various law enforcement agencies have been under compulsion by law or regulation to collect these statistics, partly so anyone can see if there is a disproportionate tendency to arrest and convict minorities.
From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Crimson
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posted 16 September 2004 03:31 PM      Profile for Crimson     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Please keep in mind that in the U.S. the census is only capable of tabulating those willing to participate. For many nameable reasons, minorities often choose not to participate. Results are therefor skewed.
From: The bug sky | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged

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