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  #3581  
Old Posted Today, 6:37 PM
lio45 lio45 is online now
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Originally Posted by Pavlov View Post
What do you mean by "criminals"? People who have been convicted of criminal offences? Or people who, through omniscience, we know have committed crimes (but have not necessarily been tried and convicted)?

If you are referring to the second meaning, its an entirely hypothetical proposition because we will never know this.
Obviously, the latter, and it's pretty logical to infer it from the fact that the statistics for arrestees happen to be in line with the statistics for the description of people who have committed crimes (suspects), combined with the fact that for the police to put someone under arrest, they need reasons (i.e. if "Karen" frivolously calls the police on a black "suspect", it won't generate an arrest, and the fact that arrests % are matching suspects % proves frivolous suspects are essentially a nonfactor in the data.)

But okay, if you insist that we should stick to proven data, let me rephrase then:

The police's task is to track suspects, arrest them. If a certain group is x% of suspects, and x% of arrestees, the police is doing exactly the job they're supposed to do and there's nothing there that's "their fault".
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  #3582  
Old Posted Today, 6:55 PM
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Originally Posted by lio45 View Post
rousseau's point, entirely correct, was that if African Americans make up 30% of criminals, 30% of suspects, 30% of arrestees and 30% of accidental police killings, then the main problem isn't on the side of the police at all.
A tiny bit of reading up on the statistics will show that this has not been the case, hence the existence of this thread
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  #3583  
Old Posted Today, 6:59 PM
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Originally Posted by lio45 View Post
Obviously, the latter, and it's pretty logical to infer it from the fact that the statistics for arrestees happen to be in line with the statistics for the description of people who have committed crimes (suspects), combined with the fact that for the police to put someone under arrest, they need reasons (i.e. if "Karen" frivolously calls the police on a black "suspect", it won't generate an arrest, and the fact that arrests % are matching suspects % proves frivolous suspects are essentially a nonfactor in the data.)

But okay, if you insist that we should stick to proven data, let me rephrase then:

The police's task is to track suspects, arrest them. If a certain group is x% of suspects, and x% of arrestees, the police is doing exactly the job they're supposed to do and there's nothing there that's "their fault".
What if the police choose (consciously or unconsciously) to focus their investigative resources on certain crimes (let's say, drug offences) in certain areas (let's say, poor, black neighbourhoods) rather than on other crimes (let's say, so-called "white collar" offences) in certain areas (corporate board rooms dominated by white men). Could that amount to systemic racism, in your view?

Or what if individual police officers subconsciously tend to give white people breaks (ie, warnings, no charges, or reduced charges) on minor offences (mischiefs, minor drug possession, etc) more breaks than non-white?

There are many ways that these types of statistics can be skewed by discriminatory policies and practices.

Now, of course, few people seriously doubt that the most marginalized groups tend to commit more criminal acts (black people in the United States, indigenous people in Canada) due to a number of reasons, including pervasive poverty, historic damage to family systems, etc. But nearly every serious observer of our justice and policing systems (including a number of public inquiries as well as the Supreme Court of Canada) acknowledge that it is only one of many reasons. Also, the pervasive poverty and marginalization of these groups was caused and is continued, in many ways, by systemic racism in other institutions.

So I don't think your position is a tenable one.
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  #3584  
Old Posted Today, 7:00 PM
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Originally Posted by dleung View Post
A tiny bit of reading up on the statistics will show that this has not been the case, hence the existence of this thread
So, you're claiming rousseau's NY Times link is "fake statistics"...?

If yours are different, you're welcome to provide them for a fair analysis.
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  #3585  
Old Posted Today, 7:10 PM
lio45 lio45 is online now
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Originally Posted by Pavlov View Post
What if the police choose (consciously or unconsciously) to focus their investigative resources on certain crimes (let's say, drug offences) in certain areas (let's say, poor, black neighbourhoods) rather than on other crimes (let's say, so-called "white collar" offences) in certain areas (corporate board rooms dominated by white men). Could that amount to systemic racism, in your view?
Again, that's the system, not the police. The fact that the police arrest 0 people a year in 2020 for marijuana possession versus X people a year for it a couple decades ago, or 0 people a year for being gay (things like "getting charged with the criminal offense of being found in a common bawdy house") instead of Y people a year a few decades ago, is not the police's fault. They're doing the work they're asked to do, which is to make sure the laws are respected and suspects are arrested.

And the statistics on official suspects aren't the police's output. If 30% of suspects are black, the police has nothing to do with that. They work with what the general population gives them.

If white collar crimes were denounced more often, then there would be a higher % of suspects that would be suspected of a white collar crime, and they'd also get arrested more often. Again, not the police's fault.
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  #3586  
Old Posted Today, 7:13 PM
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Originally Posted by lio45 View Post
rousseau's point, entirely correct, was that if African Americans make up 30% of criminals, 30% of suspects, 30% of arrestees and 30% of accidental police killings, then the main problem isn't on the side of the police at all.
These quotes are taken directly from the NY Times article which rousseau cited:

Quote:
Instead, there is another possibility: It is simply that — for reasons that may well include police bias — African-Americans have a very large number of encounters with police officers.
Quote:
In fact, the deeper you look, the more it appears that the race problem revealed by the statistics reflects a larger problem: the structure of our society, our laws and policies.

The war on drugs illustrates this kind of racial bias. African-Americans are only slightly more likely to use drugs than whites. Yet, they are more than twice as likely to be arrested on drug-related charges. One reason is that drug sellers are being targeted more heavily than users. With fewer job options, low-income African-Americans have been disproportionately represented in the ranks of drug sellers. In addition, the drug laws penalize crack cocaine — a drug more likely to be used by African-Americans — far more harshly than powder cocaine.

Laws and policies need not explicitly discriminate to effectively discriminate. As Anatole France wrote centuries ago, “In its majestic equality, the law forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, beg in the streets and steal loaves of bread.”
The article argues that the data in fact demonstrates significant systemic racial discrimination in policing policies and practices in the United States which is a significant cause of the disparity in numbers of police killings of black people.
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  #3587  
Old Posted Today, 7:16 PM
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Originally Posted by lio45 View Post
Again, that's the system, not the police. The fact that the police arrest 0 people a year in 2020 for marijuana possession versus X people a year for it a couple decades ago, or 0 people a year for being gay (things like "getting charged with the criminal offense of being found in a common bawdy house") instead of Y people a year a few decades ago, is not the police's fault. They're doing the work they're asked to do, which is to make sure the laws are respected and suspects are arrested.

And the statistics on official suspects aren't the police's output. If 30% of suspects are black, the police has nothing to do with that. They work with what the general population gives them.

If white collar crimes were denounced more often, then there would be a higher % of suspects that would be suspected of a white collar crime, and they'd also get arrested more often. Again, not the police's fault.
Yes, I agree: individual police officers are not one of the most significant problems. Policing policies and practices are, however, a significant problem. That is exactly what systemic racism means.
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  #3588  
Old Posted Today, 7:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Pavlov View Post
One reason is that drug sellers are being targeted more heavily than users. With fewer job options, low-income African-Americans have been disproportionately represented in the ranks of drug sellers.
But that has nothing to do with race. As a society choice, we've decided to target drug sellers more heavily than drug users. Period. And there's some valid colorblind logic in that. (With your position there, I gotta say you remind me a bit of that person who tried to claim that Toronto's anti-murder laws were racist.....)

If we wanted to be more lenient on drug sellers, we could do that. For some reason, we don't.

The fact that African Americans are disproportionately represented among the ranks of drug sellers is not the fault of the police. The police is told to do their job, which consists, among other things, of arresting drug sellers, regardless of the color of their skin. So they go and do that.

Imagine that blacks were 2% of 1980s Toronto's population but 40% of 1980s Toronto's gay population. Compiling all gay bathhouse raids arrest statistics, you find that "blacks are only 2% of the population but 40% of arrests!!!!!" OMG, the Toronto Police is totally racist!

Correct conclusion: no, they aren't. They've been told to arrest gays, and they're doing that in a perfectly colorblind manner.
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  #3589  
Old Posted Today, 7:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Pavlov View Post
The article argues that the data in fact demonstrates significant systemic racial discrimination in policing policies and practices in the United States which is a significant cause of the disparity in numbers of police killings of black people.
There is undoubtedly still some hangover from the U.S.'s racist past that accounts for lower outcomes or a higher percentage of contacts with police among African-Americans.

But what the article makes clear is that black Americans are no more likely to be shot and killed by police than people of other races. The premise of BLM that black people are being indiscriminately killed by police, that calling the police on a black person endangers their life, is false.
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  #3590  
Old Posted Today, 7:35 PM
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Originally Posted by lio45 View Post
But that has nothing to do with race. As a society choice, we've decided to target drug sellers more heavily than drug users. Period. And there's some valid colorblind logic in that. (With your position there, I gotta say you remind me a bit of that person who tried to claim that Toronto's anti-murder laws were racist.....)

If we wanted to be more lenient on drug sellers, we could do that. For some reason, we don't.

The fact that African Americans are disproportionately represented among the ranks of drug sellers is not the fault of the police. The police is told to do their job, which consists, among other things, of arresting drug sellers, regardless of the color of their skin. So they go and do that.

Imagine that blacks were 2% of 1980s Toronto's population but 40% of 1980s Toronto's gay population. Compiling all gay bathhouse raids arrest statistics, you find that "blacks are only 2% of the population but 40% of arrests!!!!!" OMG, the Toronto Police is totally racist!

Correct conclusion: no, they aren't. They've been told to arrest gays, and they're doing that in a perfectly colorblind manner.
It's often argued in American circles that the War on Drugs was actually the War on Black America in disguise.
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  #3591  
Old Posted Today, 7:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Pavlov View Post
Yes, I agree: individual police officers are not one of the most significant problems. Policing policies and practices are, however, a significant problem. That is exactly what systemic racism means.
It looks like the militarization of the police in the U.S. since 9-11 is a significant problem for everyone. It does not appear to be race-specific.
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  #3592  
Old Posted Today, 7:41 PM
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Originally Posted by lio45 View Post
But that has nothing to do with race. As a society choice, we've decided to target drug sellers more heavily than drug users. Period. And there's some valid colorblind logic in that. (With your position there, I gotta say you remind me a bit of that person who tried to claim that Toronto's anti-murder laws were racist.....)

If we wanted to be more lenient on drug sellers, we could do that. For some reason, we don't.

The fact that African Americans are disproportionately represented among the ranks of drug sellers is not the fault of the police. The police is told to do their job, which consists, among other things, of arresting drug sellers, regardless of the color of their skin. So they go and do that.

Imagine that blacks were 2% of 1980s Toronto's population but 40% of 1980s Toronto's gay population. Compiling all gay bathhouse raids arrest statistics, you find that "blacks are only 2% of the population but 40% of arrests!!!!!" OMG, the Toronto Police is totally racist!

Correct conclusion: no, they aren't. They've been told to arrest gays, and they're doing that in a perfectly colorblind manner.
In Canada, police departments are granted broad discretion in terms of how they fulfill their legislated mandates. They have significant control over their policies and practices (including, for example, carding etc.)

I don't really understand the point of your gay bathhouse hypothetical. One would need to know how the gay bathhouse raids effect broader statistics regarding the over-representation of black people in police arrests, police killings and incarceration.

It does raise interesting questions though: for example, how many resources are the police spending on these raids that have such a disproportionate effect on black people? are there legitimate reasons for spending so many resources on gay bathhouse raids rather than on investigating other offences? or are there some unconscious stereotypes which may be affecting the police's policies and practices?

This question would also raise similar questions regarding lawmakers' (and society's) decisions to enact these laws which have such a disproportionate effect on black people? Is it justified? Or is it partially based on stereotypes?

And how does the justice system deal with these types of offences?

My point, I suppose, is that the idea that the police and justice system have achieved some state of "colourblindness" is a gross oversimplification.
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  #3593  
Old Posted Today, 7:44 PM
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Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
There is undoubtedly still some hangover from the U.S.'s racist past that accounts for lower outcomes or a higher percentage of contacts with police among African-Americans.

But what the article makes clear is that black Americans are no more likely to be shot and killed by police than people of other races. The premise of BLM that black people are being indiscriminately killed by police, that calling the police on a black person endangers their life, is false.
OK, I more or less agree with that. However, it is those racist "hangovers" in the United States and Canada which I have been arguing (a) exist; (b) should not be tolerated by our society; and (3) should be addressed (in accordance with the democratic process, and based on expert advice, judicial experience, etc). Plenty of people in this thread have disagreed with me in those regards.
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  #3594  
Old Posted Today, 7:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Pavlov View Post
OK, I more or less agree with that. However, it is those racist "hangovers" in the United States and Canada which I have been arguing (a) exist; (b) should not be tolerated by our society; and (3) should be addressed (in accordance with the democratic process, and based on expert advice, judicial experience, etc). Plenty of people in this thread have disagreed with me in those regards.
Has anyone actually argued that that's all in the past and that people should just get over it, since there is (allegedly) no more discrimination in our systems and everyone has an equal chance?

That view is definitely out there, but not on this forum AFAIK.

Most everyone agrees that what systemic problems are there should be addressed. The disagreement comes from how pervasive those problems are, and how they should be addressed once identified.
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  #3595  
Old Posted Today, 7:51 PM
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Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
There is undoubtedly still some hangover from the U.S.'s racist past that accounts for lower outcomes or a higher percentage of contacts with police among African-Americans.

But what the article makes clear is that black Americans are no more likely to be shot and killed by police than people of other races. The premise of BLM that black people are being indiscriminately killed by police, that calling the police on a black person endangers their life, is false.
The question of how much the (real) historic legacy of discrimination and oppression truly *forces* certain present-day African-American males into a life of crime, in order to simply survive, is a matter of great debate.
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  #3596  
Old Posted Today, 8:03 PM
lio45 lio45 is online now
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Originally Posted by Pavlov View Post
I don't really understand the point of your gay bathhouse hypothetical.
I'm skeptical of that, it was pretty clear


Quote:
My point, I suppose, is that the idea that the police and justice system have achieved some state of "colourblindness" is a gross oversimplification.
Of course. I agree. Note that it doesn't contradict my (data-backed) point which is that (the approximation that) the police is nowadays "colorblind" is MUCH closer to reality than the competing approximation which is the premise of BLM that black people are being indiscriminately killed by police.
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  #3597  
Old Posted Today, 8:09 PM
lio45 lio45 is online now
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Originally Posted by Pavlov View Post
OK, I more or less agree with that. However, it is those racist "hangovers" in the United States and Canada which I have been arguing (a) exist; (b) should not be tolerated by our society; and (3) should be addressed (in accordance with the democratic process, and based on expert advice, judicial experience, etc). Plenty of people in this thread have disagreed with me in those regards.
The Indian Act isn't a racist "hangover", it's a racist ongoing drinking binge, with no end in sight (we're not even supposed to know that we're drunk, let alone mention it or discuss it.)
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  #3598  
Old Posted Today, 8:12 PM
lio45 lio45 is online now
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Originally Posted by Pavlov View Post
OK, I more or less agree with that. However, it is those racist "hangovers" in the United States and Canada which I have been arguing (a) exist; (b) should not be tolerated by our society; and (3) should be addressed (in accordance with the democratic process, and based on expert advice, judicial experience, etc). Plenty of people in this thread have disagreed with me in those regards.
I'd be curious to see an actual example of something you suggested to address this that was shot down / disagreed with by other SSPers in this thread. (I honestly don't remember any.)

I recall some suggestions over the last ~180 pages ("grab a random indigenous person and immediately make them director of the closest RBC branch, regardless of how unqualified they are") but none that were compelling.
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  #3599  
Old Posted Today, 8:24 PM
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It's often argued in American circles that the War on Drugs was actually the War on Black America in disguise.
And I can agree with that to a degree; my point here (in case it wasn't already clear) is that if the population in general / the politicians collectively decide that War on Drugs is what we'll do as a society, then that's what the police will be told to do. The "problem" isn't the police here, it's the people who make the laws that the police are then tasked with enforcing.

I'm sure there are some Toronto policemen with careers spanning decades who did gay bathhouse raids when asked to do bathhouse raids, and stopped to do bathhouse raids when asked to stop doing bathhouse raids. Simply doing their work, at all times. During different eras, with different results, but still the same police work.
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  #3600  
Old Posted Today, 9:05 PM
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Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
It looks like the militarization of the police in the U.S. since 9-11 is a significant problem for everyone. It does not appear to be race-specific.
Quote:
Some scholars and commentators do still claim that there is no racial inequity in police killings. In 2019, David Johnson at the University of Maryland and his colleagues published a study in PNAS claiming no evidence of anti-black disparities in police shootings.

Similarly, African-American economist Roland Fryer, also at Harvard University, has argued that there is no evidence for racial disparities in police shootings. These studies have received widespread media coverage.

The problem is that these studies focus solely on people who interact with the police, for instance by being stopped, says Feldman. The underlying argument is that if black people commit more crimes, a higher rate of police killings would follow.

“You can’t do that in a valid way,” says Feldman. “If there’s racial bias in why police stop people or investigate crimes in the first place, it’s going to obscure the racial bias in police shootings or police killings.” The 2019 study has received multiple critiques from other scholars because it didn’t account for this problem.

There is evidence that police stop black people more often than the stop white people. For instance, under New York City’s stop-and-frisk policy, black and Hispanic people were stopped more than white people, even accounting for estimated differences in crime rates. Furthermore, a 2015 study found that rates of police killing don’t follow crime rates.
https://www.newscientist.com/article...#ixzz6S6wygqEk
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