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  1. #61
    insert random title here Randomnity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haight View Post
    Wrong. It's one of the worst answers.

    There is clear evidence in this drug-related example that blacks are being unfairly prosecuted, and that evidence is that blacks and whites report drug usage at similar rates. Actually, some statistics say that whites use MORE alcohol and drugs than black people.



    You're misusing your conservative rhetoric here. Perhaps you should look up the definition of "hate crime." It doesn't fit in this context.
    1) You didn't state that bit of information in your OP.
    2) drug use is not necessarily directly correlated with drug crime
    3) therefore, equal drug use does not automatically mean unfair prosecution
    3) type of drug, extent of use, method of obtaining drugs, involvement with the criminal subculture, amount of crimes committed, type/severity of crimes committed may differ racially, and almost certainly differ with regard to economic status (often correlated with race).
    4) Please point me to a specific, reliable source saying that white people are committing exactly the same crimes as black people and being punished differently.
    5) Please don't shove me into a political party because I disagreed with your assumptions.
    6) I didn't mean that this is a hate crime, that was me kinda going off on an internal tangent and thinking about (slightly) related things. Ignore that.

    EDIT: just to clarify, I did read the later posts and I would like to point out that your stats about drug use don't specify the type of drugs or the circumstances, which would have a very important effect on potential drug-related criminal actions.

    Also, I don't disagree that there is the possibility (even likelihood) of bias on the side of the police. And I'm not saying that racism doesn't exist or anything like that. I'd just like to point out that that probably isn't the sole reason for the discrepancy.

  2. #62
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nottaprettygal View Post
    --In seven states, blacks constitute 80 to 90% of all drug offenders sent to prison. In 15 states, black men are admitted to state prison for drug charges at a rate that is 20 to 57 times the white male rate
    Do you have any statistics on who sells drugs?

  3. #63
    Per Ardua Metamorphosis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nottaprettygal View Post
    --While blacks make up about 13% of regular drug users in the US, they make up 62.7% of all drug offenders admitted to prison.

    --While there are 5 times as many white drug users as black drug users, black men are admitted to state prison for drug offenses at a rate that is 13.4 times greater than that of white men. This drives an overall black incarceration rate that is 8.2 times higher than the white incarceration rate.

    --In seven states, blacks constitute 80 to 90% of all drug offenders sent to prison. In 15 states, black men are admitted to state prison for drug charges at a rate that is 20 to 57 times the white male rate
    Does "offenders" include dealers? Because, if so, then it still makes sense. (EDIT: PT beat me)

    Also, selective policing is inevitable. As I stated earlier, I would doubt that most low income neighborhoods in the area are predominately white, but there is bound to be more policing for drug activity in low income neighborhoods. I know plenty of whites who do, or have done, drugs and it was almost never in a circumstance that had really any chance of them getting caught.

    If black culture didn't partially demonize intellect and it's appearance, they would probably be more on the Irish/Italian path. Government participation through crime to achieve assimilation. The government is just the biggest gang after all.
    "You will always be fond of me. I represent to you all the sins you never had the courage to commit."

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    than to serve and obey them. - David Hume

  4. #64
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    Maybe white drug users/dealers are simply better at avoiding entanglements with law enforcement.

  5. #65

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    On Racism:

    gladwell.com: Defining A Racist

    On the "Drug War":

    May be of relevance:
    Drug War Facts: Economics

    You can track down the sources to see if you believe them or not.

    Also, it could be that drugs are always going to be a problem for us. The World Drug report linked below should keep us from thinking we can give a sound-bite answer to a problem this complex.

    WARNING:INCREDIBLY LARGE FILES (almost 10MB, almost 7 MB) LINKED BELOW

    http://www.unodc.org/pdf/WDR_2005/volume_1_web.pdf
    http://www.unodc.org/pdf/WDR_2005/volume_2_web.pdf

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
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    "As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance." John Wheeler
    "[A] scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy." Richard Feynman
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  6. #66
    Senior Member nottaprettygal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Randomnity View Post
    2) drug use is not necessarily directly correlated with drug crime
    In this situation, I am talking about using and/or selling drugs, not other crimes committed while using drugs.

    I cant speak to most of your other points because they all assume that I'm speaking of crimes that extend beyond drug usage and selling.

    4) Please point me to a specific, reliable source saying that white people are committing exactly the same crimes as black people and being punished differently.
    I believe that I did this in my subsequent posts. I'm also not sure why I'm the one who has to cite lots of stats to prove my point. Cite some of your own that prove me wrong.

    Quote Originally Posted by oberon View Post
    Yeah, I was clear on that. My question is "How do you know"?
    Oh, got it. It's done through polling and self-reported data. Obviously, the chance for inaccuracies are greater. People may lie in an effort to maintain an image or out of fear that offering this type of information will have negative consequences for them.

    This is just my own speculation, but I would imagine that black people would deny drug usage more often than whites out of a general fear of revealing that sort of info. So perhaps that can account for some of the difference. Regardless, I think it's very safe to say that blacks and whites use and sell drugs at very similar rates.

    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    Do you have any statistics on who sells drugs?
    I stated previously that whites and black sell drugs at the same rate. The arrests are probably due to the type of drugs that are being sold. For example, if someone got caught selling 5 grams of crack, they would be subject to a minimum five-year sentence. You'd have to sell 500 grams of cocaine to warrant the same sentence. That's a 1 to 100 ratio.

    85% of people in jail for crack offenses are black. It has devastated the black community more than any other drug. Why are the sentences for one drug so out of control? Can it be explained away without delving into issues of racism?

    (On a side note: There has been reform in crack sentences very recently)

  7. #67

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    Quote Originally Posted by Haight View Post
    So. . . here's the question:

    Why is San Francisco one of the wealthiest areas in the country (real estate prices were second only to NYC, the last time I checked), one of the most Liberal areas, and yet one that locks up blacks for drug crimes at a rate that is twenty times that of white folks in the same city?

    (Good luck.)
    Assuming your statistics are correct. A factor that might be essential to this issue is that San Francisco is also the "whitest" of most major US cities. There are almost no black people there - they keep them over in Oakland. New York, Chicago, Atlanta, New Orleans etc have sizable black populations that mingle with the whiteys. Go into a random bar or restaurant in SF and count the black folks, there about as rare as eskimos in SF.

    It could be when you are so unused to having black folks around, they are more likely to frighten you. But more realistically, if you are a black drug user or dealer in SF (which is the vast majority of the incarceration rates), you stick out a lot more. White drug users/dealers blend in with all the other white people so it's harder for the cops to single them out.

    The other possibility is that although SF has very little crime compared to LA, State laws that are used to police the more crime ridden areas in LA could spill over to affect a more benign SF.

    As far as the citizens of SF I don't think there necessarily more hypocritical than white folks in other cities. In fact my black friend who lives there now who left New York, says he gets laid far more in SF than NY (with white girls). And to me, fucking someone of another race is one of the best ways to determine if someone is racist or not.

    I've met extremely political liberal people, who would vote for a black president, march for civil rights etc but who tell me they are only attracted to other white people - that to me shows a more deep seated (and arguably benign) racism. Regardless, of what your political views are, the ick factor tells me something more deep in the person's psyche.

    I've met white people who make that ridiculous argument that there are niggers and there are black people; the crazy thing is one particular case - his best friend is black and so was his ex girlfriend. If someone who might come off as a bigot (don't get me wrong, most people who say nigger really are racist) but..... they would accept their daughter marrying a "black" person or if they themselves have no problem dating "black" people - to me, they are less racist then someone who says all the right things; but ultimately still has the ick factor for the mud people.

  8. #68
    Per Ardua Metamorphosis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nottaprettygal View Post
    I stated previously that whites and black sell drugs at the same rate. The arrests are probably due to the type of drugs that are being sold. For example, if someone got caught selling 5 grams of crack, they would be subject to a minimum five-year sentence. You'd have to sell 500 grams of cocaine to warrant the same sentence. That's a 1 to 100 ratio.

    85% of people in jail for crack offenses are black. It has devastated the black community more than any other drug. Why are the sentences for one drug so out of control? Can it be explained away without delving into issues of racism?

    (On a side note: There has been reform in crack sentences very recently)
    I've never seen any statistics on this, but I would suspect that even if whites and blacks do sell drugs at roughly the same rate, I highly doubt that it is the same drugs. It seems very unlikely that there are as many white crack dealers as there are black ones, or that there are as many blacks selling MDMA and prescription drugs as there are whites. A crack dealer is significantly easier to catch because they sell to crackheads, where as X, Xanax, etc. isn't sold in the same day-to-day way...at least as far as I've ever known.

    And the reason crack has decimated the black population isn't just because of the sentencing. It's because it's too damn cheap and easy to make. Most of the low level crack dealers never would have been able to sell heroin or cocaine without having it fronted to them.
    "You will always be fond of me. I represent to you all the sins you never had the courage to commit."

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    than to serve and obey them. - David Hume

  9. #69
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nottaprettygal View Post
    I stated previously that whites and black sell drugs at the same rate. The arrests are probably due to the type of drugs that are being sold. For example, if someone got caught selling 5 grams of crack, they would be subject to a minimum five-year sentence. You'd have to sell 500 grams of cocaine to warrant the same sentence. That's a 1 to 100 ratio.
    Well, no you didn't - you said using and/or selling. This leaves the door open for the underclass (often racial line) to be dealing drugs in greater amounts to the consumption of drugs, which would have higher sentences and arrest rates. Even if it didn't make the threshold, courts treat dealers (known dealers or repeat dealers) differently.

    I'm asking if you have any sort of statistic that says that the dynamics are similar (amount, type, purpose) – aggregate counts are limited without that information.

    I didn't consider different types of drugs - I figured that would of been accounted for already... is the disparity equal after accounting for severity of trafficking (even along the drug schedules, which are also false, since weed would fall in line with cocaine in Schedule I drugs)?

    Without that adjustment, I would have to question the validity of the statistics (it is especially important now that you mention different sentencing laws – if the statistics show clear racial law differences that can be explained that way, then we can control for that to see how much of an influence that direct cause is. That’s critical information.).

    85% of people in jail for crack offenses are black. It has devastated the black community more than any other drug. Why are the sentences for one drug so out of control? Can it be explained away without delving into issues of racism?
    There is a racial line, but I was thinking of three different influences off the top of my head...

    1) Race and economic situation are correlated (racist or otherwise), therefore leading to an underclass that is more criminally minded (trafficking, dealing) and more susceptible to risk taking and being caught.

    2) Race influences sentencing (either justifiable as in "gang banger" social risk vs "executive" risk or unjustifiably as in prejudiced judging in equal situations), which could also has an economic influence (the poor being sentenced harsher than the rich due to perceived risk)

    3) Selective arresting (just race based, although this might also be economic, due to concentrations of dealing/networks/users/etc).

    That is to say that if it can be said that both demographics are involved with drugs exactly the same way and in the exact same environment, it would be easy to know that it is direct racism (leading to arrests and sentencing). I don't think that is the case and that there is a particular social/economic situation putting pressure on certain drugs and so forth, even though it is likely escalating tensions along race lines. The root cause would likely be racism either way, but with a very different emphasis - the problems can be solved easier if it is just a bad court system but if the courts are at the mercy of social forces (political, economic) then a bandaid will barely cover the problem.

    My original explanation had to do with an rich overclass not being kept to the same laws as the underclass - this is often along racial lines in the US. But that's a much larger social problem (the underclass is having trouble surviving and is undertaking increased risks to deal with the pressure - the overclass is demanding security/safety and politicians increase pressure on the underclass) that happens to divide along racial lines (and feeds it no less).

    I question that now that I look at the numbers - it seems bad all across the country. That's highly indicative of widespread racism (either class stratification or court issues).

    The point I originally made is that liberal tendencies are subject to much more primal human reactions and social pressures. Being liberal is relatively irrelevant if the issues are along class lines. No one is open when they feel threatened (or if their position is threatened, as is more likely the case).

  10. #70
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    Here is one thing to chew on. Undoubtedly, no matter how civil this debate is, someone will be labeled as a racist sooner or later. I have seen it happen many times. Is everyone currently discussing this topic prepared for that to be you!

    I don’t have a problem with discussing it or being labeled myself. If you do you might want to creep out the back door.

    You see these types of things are hard to prove or reason to either side of the debate. Those that feel there is a conspiracy will see the data completely different from the other. There is no convincing them.


    My father is Schizophrenic. He thinks the entire world is out to kill him. No matter how much you logically argue that if the whole world wanted him dead, he would be dead by now, it wont convince him. Any proof you present will be looked at from his perspective and dismissed or turned around.

    The same can be said of people that have been convinced that a system exists that aims to eliminate, oppress, or alienate them from the rest of society for his/her gender/race/sexual preference etc...

    On the other hand, nothing my father says will ever convince me that the whole world is out to kill him. If he is not truly delusional, and his doctor is in fact part of the conspiracy, then I have been the one that has been guilty of not listening to reason because I'm convinced he's nuts.
    Last edited by samIam; 11-30-2007 at 06:11 PM. Reason: it won't let me post it all. y?

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