National

This Matters

Everyone needs to watch this video. Okay, not really. White people need to watch this video. I can’t even imagine having to have this conversation with my children. Grab your tissues, this is heartbreaking.

16 comments on “This Matters

  1. Progressive @ Heart

    This is very sad, but as a Progressive Democrat myself I can’t help but try to understand the statistics:

    Blacks commit 36.7% of murders while only making up 13.3% of the population. Whites commit 30.2% of the murders while making up 77.1% of the population.

    Genuine question that I have always struggled with: How does this happen and why is it racist? I am supportive of pulling people out of poverty and attacking racism when presented with individual instances, but I fail to see how videos like these help our cause.

    • Steven Newton

      The answer to this is pretty simple. The association of ethnicity and murder rates is only correlational. Almost every study ever done has concluded that. And there is a far stronger correlation between poverty and murder than between ethnicity and murder. There is also a stronger correlation between being Black and being poor than there is between being White and being poor.

      So it is racist because people harp on a weak correlation about ethnicity and treat it as if it were causation, and then demand that policy be made, or explanations be given, based on something they think they’ve proved about Black people.

      • As usual, thanks, Steve. I read the first comment several times and kept shaking my head. For the life of me, I couldn’t figure out how anyone could watch the video above and not have their heart broken by those beautiful children’s reactions. No child should have to live under these “rules”.

        • But that is exactly the argument that this commenter was gearing up to make. That the violence of the few entitles the rest to be treated suspects every day, at all times. Because some of us are not entitled to liberty and justice for all.

          I saw a comment on FB today noting that George Zimmerman is the proud owner of 6 official mug shots, while Trayvon Martin has one obituary. Demonstrating that thugs who assault black kids get to be thug heroes for those who want to pretend that black people get all of the violence coming to them.

          • I gave the commenter the benefit of the doubt (new commenter/new blog), but every time I read that comment I begin to wonder if I should have. How anyone could watch that video and leap to murder rates and how it “doesn’t help our cause” makes me think we’re dealing with a troll. It was an amazing leap.

            Guess we’ll have to wait and see their future comments.

      • Progressive @ Heart

        I understand your argument Mr. Newton. However, if, according to you, the relationship between race and murder rate cannot be used in this case, why are similar relationships used in support of evident racism, in aggregate, in areas such as race with respect to police shootings, and/or race as it relates to employment rates (implying demonstrable discrimination)?

        One simply cannot refuse to acknowledge statistical relationships because they don’t fit the narrative while using similar correlations to support the original argument in the same breath.

        • snewton929

          OK you clearly don’t understand statistical relationships or you’re just ideologically committed here. No other possible answers. Anybody who uses correlation as causation, and anybody who doesn’t control for other variables is simply spouting numbers to make a point they already believe in.

          Correlation: a police officer who shoots a Black suspect is distinctly less likely to face disciplinary action or charges than a police officer who shoots a White suspect, even if you control statistically for the nature of the incident (whether a life-threatening crime was under way, etc. etc.). It’s not causation because police departments around the country have a wide variety of different mechanisms of examining such cases, and state laws differ. But the correlation is strong enough to suggest a real-world linkage.

          Causation: employment and fair housing studies have actually been able to demonstration statistical causation of race as a factor in discrimination, backed up with qualitative data.

          Misuse of statistics: Blacks account for over 45% of the nonviolent drug arrests while comprising only about 17% of the population. This often leads ideologues (like, I begin to suspect, yourself) to wring their hands and say, “Well, is it racist to say more Black people use illegal drugs if that’s what the statistics show?”

          But even US Government statistics show that drug use among Whites and Blacks occurs at the same rate (always well within margin of error). So what accounts for the difference? Byrne grants. The Federal government capitates local police departments for every drug conviction. Statistically, in urban areas, police are far more likely to get convictions from arrests when arresting Black suspects, because (again, statistically) those Black suspects are far less likely to have adequate legal representation. Therefore arrested Blacks far more often plea bargain (which counts as a conviction) or get found guilty. Therefore it is a good strategy for police to arrest as many Black drug users as possible in order to maximize their department’s funding. Think this doesn’t happen? In Kentucky most years 97% of all nonviolent drug arrests are Black people. Do you really believe that in the entire State of Kentucky Blacks do 97% of the illegal drugs. (Actually, maybe you do.)

          Your approach is calling “lying with numbers.” I’d call it “lying with statistics,” but I don’t think you understand statistics well enough to lie with them.

  2. nathan arizona

    having your “heart broken” is not a political position. it is not political theory, even if it makes you a good person. racists evoke feelings too. steve newton’s explanation, on the other hand, is useful. it could be challenged based on facts and numbers, but i think his position would prevail.

    • “having your “heart broken” is not a political position”

      Then it’s a good thing this wasn’t a political post.

  3. nathan arizona

    do you guys ban comments that hurt your feelings? or maybe i just i screwed up on the computer. or maybe it just takes a while.

    • No, we do not. I was out of town and just got home and saw your comments. They were trapped in our spam filter. If this happens again, please let us know through the Contact Us link at the top of the page.

      • snewton929

        So, nathan, I assume this means you have already corrected the banning accusation you made over at Delaware Liberal?

  4. nathan arizona

    also, the comment i made about relying on feelings is a legitimate political point. liberals helped trump when they were so moved by their feelings that they didn’t think they could be disputed. they just assumed enough people would share those feelings that beating trump would be easy. they couldn’t be bothered to appeal to those who weren’t feeling properly. this is important because we have to see what didn’t work when we tried to keep a fascist out. we need to be hard-headed. squishy is fine, but not good in a political argument.

    • snewton929

      … but if you don’t think that the Trump campaign also relied heavily on “feelings” then you really missed what was going on. Feelings permeate our system on all sides.

  5. nathan arizona

    sorry for my online clumsiness yesterday. i will learn patience, or my name ain’t nathan arizona.

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