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Author Topic: Black Lives Matter (lil' bit of a rant)  (Read 2997 times)

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Offline la dame en noir

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Re: Black Lives Matter (lil' bit of a rant)
« Reply #50 on: August 10, 2016, 02:24:27 AM »

Yes, but the first step to doing away with those boxes is to stop using them yourself. Some of the problems African-Americans face are shared by anyone in low-income areas, of any race, so why not broaden those specific issues to include them and try to help with poverty in general? The "you have to start somewhere" retort doesn't really work when a given issue has the same set of solutions that need to be looked over.

I've said this myself...towards my girlfriend(who is white). The reason WHY we mention race and class second is because America has been doing that since the first colonist landed here. I know, we all know, that its rich against the poor.

But, we also know that people will say

"Black people are more likely to steal"
"Black people are dangerous inherently"
"Black people commit most of the crime"
etc
etc
etc

Without taking into account the poor, in general, are treated like dirt and are put in situations where they're not only uneducated, but more willing to take matters into their own hands because no one is willing to help. Americans, in general, need to fucking help each other. SO, BLM is around to raise awareness of police brutality. There have been cases of white people getting shot for no goddamn reason and I wouldn't have known if it weren't for my friends(who also support BLM) shared that info for me in the first place.

There was one instance where BLM twitter shared the photo of that white teenager that was shot multiple times saying "It's not just us, they're shooting everyone. Remember and say his name. #blacklivesmatter"

This is about awareness, not separation.

Offline Renegade Vile

Re: Black Lives Matter (lil' bit of a rant)
« Reply #51 on: August 10, 2016, 02:30:54 AM »
I've said this myself...towards my girlfriend(who is white). The reason WHY we mention race and class second is because America has been doing that since the first colonist landed here. I know, we all know, that its rich against the poor.

But, we also know that people will say

"Black people are more likely to steal"
"Black people are dangerous inherently"
"Black people commit most of the crime"
etc
etc
etc

First off, why does it matter that your girlfriend is white?
Second, why exactly does it matter that you have people taking over the discussion and making those generalized claims about black people? -You- can change that narrative to be about poor people in general. Because poor people -are- more likely to steal, because they don't have means. And then you can move on to talk about how it's not their fault that they need to resort to crime to make end's meet, and how this is a dire and unfair situation that needs to be rectified. If they want to drag skin color into it, so be it, you can always bring the discussion back to where it should be.

Without taking into account the poor, in general, are treated like dirt and are put in situations where they're not only uneducated, but more willing to take matters into their own hands because no one is willing to help. Americans, in general, need to fucking help each other. SO, BLM is around to raise awareness of police brutality. There have been cases of white people getting shot for no goddamn reason and I wouldn't have known if it weren't for my friends(who also support BLM) shared that info for me in the first place.

I agree, there seems to be something severely wrong with police training, where there seems to be a marked increase (or it has always been high) of fatalities at the hands of police, or even just the police themselves being too harsh. Just look at how drug offenders are treated in the US. But again, do we need BLM for that? Why can't an individual make those claims and think long and hard for themselves what their stand is? I reiterate, I'm not objected to what BLM -stands- for, I'm objecting to the methods of their prominent core.

There was one instance where BLM twitter shared the photo of that white teenager that was shot multiple times saying "It's not just us, they're shooting everyone. Remember and say his name. #blacklivesmatter"

This is about awareness, not separation.

That's all well and good, but again, why do you need a group to say that it's wrong?

Offline Cassandra LeMayTopic starter

Re: Black Lives Matter (lil' bit of a rant)
« Reply #52 on: August 10, 2016, 02:31:10 AM »
Precious few of them over time have ever really made much of a difference, and those that did were more often the ones centered around a single individual speaking out calmly and rationally against something, and rallying people behind them through open dialogue (except violent civil wars such as the French one, of course, but... let's ignore chopping off heads for the time being...).
The Green movement in the 80s had enough protests where people chained themselves to powerplants or railways and its fair share of fights with the police. And look what's come out of that - parties that are respectable plaers on the political stage and, in some countries, even part of governments.

It's exactly what's happening with BLM right now. No matter how they started out, now they are known for cop killing chants, violence, doxxing, etc. So how exactly is that group helping matters in the slightest? It's moderate members are never heard through the shitstorm, and its extremist members are taking over.
That the moderate members are not heard enough may not be entirely their fault - or a sign that extremists in the movement are becoming more numerous. Extreme statements and scenes sell more copy and create higher viewer numbers. Is it possible that the media are at least in part responsible for the impression you get of BLM?

Yes, but the first step to doing away with those boxes is to stop using them yourself. Some of the problems African-Americans face are shared by anyone in low-income areas, of any race, so why not broaden those specific issues to include them and try to help with poverty in general? ...
Because the problems for African-Americans are different from those of the White or Hispanic poor. For Blacks the problems are more multi-generational. White people from poor neighbourhoods stand a much better chance of moving out of poor areas, or at least their children stand a better chance of being raised in more affluent areas. The situation for African-Americans is factually different in this regard. Just pouring money into poor areas is not enough because it will often not lead to the permanent change black communities need more than other communities.

Offline la dame en noir

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Re: Black Lives Matter (lil' bit of a rant)
« Reply #53 on: August 10, 2016, 02:35:08 AM »
First off, why does it matter that your girlfriend is white?
Second, why exactly does it matter that you have people taking over the discussion and making those generalized claims about black people? -You- can change that narrative to be about poor people in general. Because poor people -are- more likely to steal, because they don't have means. And then you can move on to talk about how it's not their fault that they need to resort to crime to make end's meet, and how this is a dire and unfair situation that needs to be rectified. If they want to drag skin color into it, so be it, you can always bring the discussion back to where it should be.

I agree, there seems to be something severely wrong with police training, where there seems to be a marked increase (or it has always been high) of fatalities at the hands of police, or even just the police themselves being too harsh. Just look at how drug offenders are treated in the US. But again, do we need BLM for that? Why can't an individual make those claims and think long and hard for themselves what their stand is? I reiterate, I'm not objected to what BLM -stands- for, I'm objecting to the methods of their prominent core.

That's all well and good, but again, why do you need a group to say that it's wrong?

Because it matters. Thats why I mentioned it. Because she is a white woman that grew up in Southern United States and even I don't have to explain to her why it matters, she knows.

You've already stated that you're European, not American - so WE need it, not you.

I'm at a loss for words. But, I think I got my point across.

Offline la dame en noir

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Re: Black Lives Matter (lil' bit of a rant)
« Reply #54 on: August 10, 2016, 02:38:30 AM »
Extreme statements and scenes sell more copy and create higher viewer numbers. Is it possible that the media are at least in part responsible for the impression you get of BLM?

This! ^

The media is definitely responsible. My mother went to a BLM protest and not one violent incident happened. There was a BLM protest in Atlanta, aside from the blocking the freeway ( D: ), nothing violent happened. BLM does not want to be associated with violence and any fool that chants "Kill cops" are just the dumbest.

Offline TaintedAndDelish

Re: Black Lives Matter (lil' bit of a rant)
« Reply #55 on: August 10, 2016, 02:46:23 AM »
White people from poor neighbourhoods stand a much better chance of moving out of poor areas, or at least their children stand a better chance of being raised in more affluent areas. The situation for African-Americans is factually different in this regard. Just pouring money into poor areas is not enough because it will often not lead to the permanent change black communities need more than other communities.

Maybe I'm missing something, but If you are a dirt-poor white person, how is it that you stand a better chance to get a job and earn a living than a black person who's in the same predicament? Likewise, if you are on public assistance, how is it any easier for a while person to make the leap to having a self sustaining career?

If you are poor, you cannot live in an affluent area. You won't be able to afford it regardless of your skin color, religion, or heritage.





Offline Renegade Vile

Re: Black Lives Matter (lil' bit of a rant)
« Reply #56 on: August 10, 2016, 02:47:54 AM »
Because it matters. Thats why I mentioned it. Because she is a white woman that grew up in Southern United States and even I don't have to explain to her why it matters, she knows.

And again, my point is, that it shouldn't have to matter, and we can start on that by making sure we don't let it matter anymore.

You've already stated that you're European, not American - so WE need it, not you.

I'm at a loss for words. But, I think I got my point across.

There is merit to an outsider's perspective, lady La Dame, no matter where that perspective comes from. Additionally, racism is not an issue unique to America, though this specific breed of it seems to be. Belgium has had a rather... troubled history with Congo, for example... to say the least. And even beyond that, eyes looking inward from the outside can have useful things to say you wouldn't have otherwise considered. That's what happens in Europe all the time to begin with, given what a patchwork continent we are.



The Green movement in the 80s had enough protests where people chained themselves to powerplants or railways and its fair share of fights with the police. And look what's come out of that - parties that are respectable plaers on the political stage and, in some countries, even part of governments.

True, but again, how many movements have been successful?

That the moderate members are not heard enough may not be entirely their fault - or a sign that extremists in the movement are becoming more numerous. Extreme statements and scenes sell more copy and create higher viewer numbers. Is it possible that the media are at least in part responsible for the impression you get of BLM?

That the moderate members are not heard -isn't- their fault at all, that's exactly what I was saying. That's what I mean by BLM being highjacked by extremists, which is what happens to a lot of movements, nowadays more than ever. Yes, the media controls everything with a filter, and social media will always be flooded with the most extreme statements as they create the biggest buzz. That -is- the flaw in an ideological group. And unless we make the media honest again (something that should happen, but probably never will...), what can we do?

Because the problems for African-Americans are different from those of the White or Hispanic poor. For Blacks the problems are more multi-generational. White people from poor neighbourhoods stand a much better chance of moving out of poor areas, or at least their children stand a better chance of being raised in more affluent areas. The situation for African-Americans is factually different in this regard. Just pouring money into poor areas is not enough because it will often not lead to the permanent change black communities need more than other communities.

I honestly don't think multi-generational poverty is an issue only African-Americans face. There are plenty of neighborhoods in the US that are predominantly white and have been as poor as the street (literally translating a Dutch saying here, not sure if there's an English equivalent) for generations. And pumping money in, as far as I know, never helps a poor neighborhood, no matter how many generations it's been like that. Education and job opportunity are two of the major factors at play. Again, I believe the solution is the same no matter what race you are.



This! ^

The media is definitely responsible. My mother went to a BLM protest and not one violent incident happened. There was a BLM protest in Atlanta, aside from the blocking the freeway ( D: ), nothing violent happened. BLM does not want to be associated with violence and any fool that chants "Kill cops" are just the dumbest.

We agree on that, but the extremists are there, and you're probably not going to be able to get rid of them. And those people are going to continue poisoning your argument through their actions and the fact that the media loves a good scandal.

Offline Cassandra LeMayTopic starter

Re: Black Lives Matter (lil' bit of a rant)
« Reply #57 on: August 10, 2016, 04:00:16 AM »
Maybe I'm missing something, but If you are a dirt-poor white person, how is it that you stand a better chance to get a job and earn a living than a black person who's in the same predicament? Likewise, if you are on public assistance, how is it any easier for a while person to make the leap to having a self sustaining career?

If you are poor, you cannot live in an affluent area. You won't be able to afford it regardless of your skin color, religion, or heritage.

Quote from: Renegade Vile
I honestly don't think multi-generational poverty is an issue only African-Americans face. There are plenty of neighborhoods in the US that are predominantly white and have been as poor as the street (literally translating a Dutch saying here, not sure if there's an English equivalent) for generations.
Bit of a complicate topic and I am still in the middle of reading up on the factors that can, and do, lead to multigenerational poverty  and its prevalence in the Black communities, but I'll give it a try, based on the limited information I have.

Poor neighbourhoods where White people live may exist for generations, but the people living there stand a better chance of moving out eventually. Social mobility among whites is higher, even among the poorer parts of society. Poor neighbourhoods may persist, but among whites the population of those neighbourhoods is more likely to change, i.e. the next generation of poor in those areas may be entirely different people and families. For Blacks the situation looks different. They are more likely to inherit their living conditions and pass them on to the next generation. The reasons for this are - as so often in life - complicated.

One factor almost certainly is that white people have an easier time finding a job than black people, all other things being equal. Here's an example (I'll have to dig around a bit to find where I read about this study, but I can, if someone is interested in the details): For a study, job advertisements were answered by a black and a white applicant with equal qualifications. In each case one of them claimed during the job interview they had a criminal record, the other person stated they didn't have one. Half the time the black applicant made that claim, half the time the white person. Success of the job application was meassured by who got a call back from the company hiring. Here's the frightening thing: Not only did Whites do better with their applications than Blacks, despite similar qualifications, even the Whites who had claimed they had a criminal record did better than the Blacks who had stated they did not have a criminal record. I think that says a lot about the chances of White people of advancing their economic situation vis a vis Blacks.*

A second factor is housing discrimination. Even almost 50 years after the Fair Housing Act, housing discrimination is alive and well in the US. Real estate agents, banks, politicians can and do take meassures to keep neighbourhoods segregated. A White person trying to move out of a poor neighbourhood has an easier time of it than a Black person, which does give them better opportunities to improve their lot in life.

A third factor is where the Black poor live. They are concentrated in inner cities, and those inner city areas have seen a severe decline in job opportunities and workplaces over the last several decades and perhaps more so than many other areas of the nation. Many black people are stuck in those declining areas after they had the misfortune to move into them just before the manufacturing jobs in those areas went into a severe decline.

There are other, sociological factors at work, but I am still in the middle of reading up on those. For anyone who wants to do their own reading I recommend "Patrick Sharkey: Stuck in Place - Urban Neighborhoods an the End of Progress toward Racial Equality" (It's where I get many of the statistics I could quote to show how bad the situation for Blacks is when viewed through the lense of multi-generational neighborhood poverty.)

EDIT: *Okay, found my source for this again: I read about it here: http://ac360.blogs.cnn.com/2008/08/09/study-black-man-and-white-felon-same-chances-for-hire/
The article about it in the American Sociological Review can be found here: http://scholar.harvard.edu/files/pager/files/asr_pager_etal09.pdf
« Last Edit: August 10, 2016, 08:38:13 AM by Cassandra LeMay »

Offline Renegade Vile

Re: Black Lives Matter (lil' bit of a rant)
« Reply #58 on: August 10, 2016, 08:31:56 AM »
Bit of a complicate topic and I am still in the middle of reading up on the factors that can, and do, lead to multigenerational poverty  and its prevalence in the Black communities, but I'll give it a try, based on the limited information I have.

Poor neighbourhoods where White people live may exist for generations, but the people living there stand a better chance of moving out eventually. Social mobility among whites is higher, even among the poorer parts of society. Poor neighbourhoods may persist, but among whites the population of those neighbourhoods is more likely to change, i.e. the next generation of poor in those areas may be entirely different people and families. For Blacks the situation looks different. They are more likely to inherit their living conditions and pass them on to the next generation. The reasons for this are - as so often in life - complicated.

I still think this is heavily dependent on where you look. It's a bit of a white stereotype, but the cliche of trailer trash is something that very often continues on from generation to generation. Okay, their kids may move somewhere else, but the same troubles and vices tend to follow them around as they would anyone else in that situation. I will say this, you do have a point that it may occur among black communities much more often that they cannot even get out of the same neighborhood, let alone attempt a better life; your arguments are certainly convincing.

One factor almost certainly is that white people have an easier time finding a job than black people, all other things being equal. Here's an example (I'll have to dig around a bit to find where I read about this study, but I can, if someone is interested in the details): For a study, job advertisements were answered by a black and a white applicant with equal qualifications. In each case one of them claimed during the job interview they had a criminal record, the other person stated they didn't have one. Half the time the black applicant made that claim, half the time the white person. Success of the job application was meassured by who got a call back from the company hiring. Here's the frightening thing: Not only did Whites do better with their applications than Blacks, despite similar qualifications, even the Whites who had claimed they had a criminal record did better than the Blacks who had stated they did not have a criminal record. I think that says a lot about the chances of White people of advancing their economic situation vis a vis Blacks.

I've read this one multiple times. I'm still a bit iffy on it. The problem I have is that I do not know how one can reliable test it, even with similar qualifications. I mean, so much depends on difficult to measure circumstances you can only know if you sit in on the conversation.

A second factor is housing discrimination. Even almost 50 years after the Fair Housing Act, housing discrimination is alive and well in the US. Real estate agents, banks, politicians can and do take meassures to keep neighbourhoods segregated. A White person trying to move out of a poor neighbourhood has an easier time of it than a Black person, which does give them better opportunities to improve their lot in life.

This I can actually weigh in on, since something similar happens over here, but on a political level. I don't know if that's a thing over there, but here, a lot of politicians hire immigrants (of any race, really, so long as their country of origin is poor) for jobs around their house. Fine on paper, but they pay criminally low wages for the hard work these people do, on top of make damn sure they live nowhere near the lovely big villa neighborhoods these politicians live in. Then they go on tv telling people to be more accepting of immigrants in their neighborhoods. Hypocrisy run wild.

A third factor is where the Black poor live. They are concentrated in inner cities, and those inner city areas have seen a severe decline in job opportunities and workplaces over the last several decades and perhaps more so than many other areas of the nation. Many black people are stuck in those declining areas after they had the misfortune to move into them just before the manufacturing jobs in those areas went into a severe decline.

Again though, the solution here is the same as it would be anywhere else, for any other race: education and job opportunity. Granted, given that those manufacturing jobs are now gone (reminds me of the steel industry of northern England, which impacted families like my wife's) it's not easy to replace them with anything, but that's still the bottom line.

There are other, sociological factors at work, but I am still in the middle of reading up on those. For anyone who wants to do their own reading I recommend "Patrick Sharkey: Stuck in Place - Urban Neighborhoods an the End of Progress toward Racial Equality" (It's where I get many of the statistics I could quote to show how bad the situation for Blacks is when viewed through the lense of multi-generational neighborhood poverty.)

I agree that the reasons for the poverty might be very different, but aside from the job application one, I still don't really see why the solutions would be different.

Offline Cassandra LeMayTopic starter

Re: Black Lives Matter (lil' bit of a rant)
« Reply #59 on: August 10, 2016, 09:05:56 AM »
I've read this one multiple times. I'm still a bit iffy on it. The problem I have is that I do not know how one can reliable test it, even with similar qualifications. I mean, so much depends on difficult to measure circumstances you can only know if you sit in on the conversation.

You posted while I was editing my previous post with these links (re-posting here for convenience and ease of finding):
I read about it here: http://ac360.blogs.cnn.com/2008/08/09/study-black-man-and-white-felon-same-chances-for-hire/
The article about it in the American Sociological Review can be found here: http://scholar.harvard.edu/files/pager/files/asr_pager_etal09.pdf

I have not yet read the full article, only the post on CNN where I originally came across this, but we are talking about a study undertaken by sociology professors from Harvard and Princeton so I am willing to give them the benefit of the doubt when it comes to their methodology.


Again though, the solution here is the same as it would be anywhere else, for any other race: education and job opportunity. Granted, given that those manufacturing jobs are now gone (reminds me of the steel industry of northern England, which impacted families like my wife's) it's not easy to replace them with anything, but that's still the bottom line.

I agree that the reasons for the poverty might be very different, but aside from the job application one, I still don't really see why the solutions would be different.
I am still researching the topic myself therefore I can't give you a definite answer, but I'd say a concentration of the African-American poor in urban settings makes a difference. If you are dealing with poverty in rural communities or suburbs you might have a lot more opportunities of bringing in more job opportunities as you have a lot more space to start new companies, create "business parks", and so on on a greenfield site. Changes to existing urban neighborhoods are probably a bit more difficult because you can't just create new infrastructure; you are restricted by the existing urban environment.

If, instead you create the jobs elsewhere and want the people from the inner cities to commute there you need public transportation. Again that is something not easily done in densely settled urban environments, especially when new bus, subway, or light rail lines run from poor inner city areas to the suburbs. The more neighborhoods and districts you go through, the more planning authorities and agencies may have to become involved. That's a definite drawback for changes to large cities. You might also run into more resistance from people in areas surrounding the poor inner city areas who don't want any way for the poor to easily reach their surrounding, more affluent neighborhoods.  You might not have those problems if you just bus people around a rural, empty countryside.

Just moving the people out of the inner city ghettos isn't really an option either - unless you have serious changes in social factors, especially housing discrimination. It would be easy to say if making the poor areas better is difficult, lets move the people to better areas. But you might end up creating just another ghetto elsewhere, thanks to discrimination and segregation being widespread. Moving White people - even poor White people - into a more affluent area might be far easier and lead to better results because they might more easily integrate into their new neighboorhood (which is likely to be white to begin with, thanks to uneven wealth distribution).

Offline la dame en noir

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Re: Black Lives Matter (lil' bit of a rant)
« Reply #60 on: August 10, 2016, 02:30:31 PM »
I just want to clear up some assumptions.

The corruption that has found its place in a movement that was meant to be positive...I don't agree with.

For those to actively want police officers to be harmed

I do not agree with

Whaat I agree with is Police officers being held accountable for their actions and not receiving a slap on the wrist.


I think whats happening here is that people assume that I'm all about the violence and radicals, but that is not the case.

Offline Renegade Vile

Re: Black Lives Matter (lil' bit of a rant)
« Reply #61 on: August 10, 2016, 03:12:40 PM »
You posted while I was editing my previous post with these links (re-posting here for convenience and ease of finding):
I read about it here: http://ac360.blogs.cnn.com/2008/08/09/study-black-man-and-white-felon-same-chances-for-hire/
The article about it in the American Sociological Review can be found here: http://scholar.harvard.edu/files/pager/files/asr_pager_etal09.pdf

I have not yet read the full article, only the post on CNN where I originally came across this, but we are talking about a study undertaken by sociology professors from Harvard and Princeton so I am willing to give them the benefit of the doubt when it comes to their methodology.

I will take a look at it as soon as I can. Thank you for the link, it'll help me make my mind up about how to feel about those results.

I am still researching the topic myself therefore I can't give you a definite answer, but I'd say a concentration of the African-American poor in urban settings makes a difference. If you are dealing with poverty in rural communities or suburbs you might have a lot more opportunities of bringing in more job opportunities as you have a lot more space to start new companies, create "business parks", and so on on a greenfield site. Changes to existing urban neighborhoods are probably a bit more difficult because you can't just create new infrastructure; you are restricted by the existing urban environment.

That's true, but I think there are solutions for it. I think it'll mostly impact the type of business you end up creating. Small shops that need some staff, maybe run by locals, might be a good try? Of course, they'd be competing with big business, but than... don't we all nowadays? Maybe another option are smaller technological businesses. You see a lot of those cooped up in tiny buildings and apartments for a significant amount of their early years over here as we have a serious problem with space in urban environments. Of course, for that, we'd need to work on education in parallel, but making small business owner an attractive option could be good?
Getting off-topic *waves a hand*.

If, instead you create the jobs elsewhere and want the people from the inner cities to commute there you need public transportation. Again that is something not easily done in densely settled urban environments, especially when new bus, subway, or light rail lines run from poor inner city areas to the suburbs. The more neighborhoods and districts you go through, the more planning authorities and agencies may have to become involved. That's a definite drawback for changes to large cities. You might also run into more resistance from people in areas surrounding the poor inner city areas who don't want any way for the poor to easily reach their surrounding, more affluent neighborhoods.  You might not have those problems if you just bus people around a rural, empty countryside.

I'm not sure it's that hard. If you look at Ghent over here, it's not the best organization, but essentially, tram lines and buses run through the entire city. Compared to America, the city isn't huge, but it is very dense and almost all the streets are old and very small. It's not like in the US where civic planning was a thing early on in the development of urban areas. Here, we had to work with what was already there, which wasn't much. The push-back from the affluent will definitely be an issue, no argument there. But I think it's a matter of changing methodology rather than it being harder per se. Get some experts with knowledge of those circumstances involved, and it can be planned.

Just moving the people out of the inner city ghettos isn't really an option either - unless you have serious changes in social factors, especially housing discrimination. It would be easy to say if making the poor areas better is difficult, lets move the people to better areas. But you might end up creating just another ghetto elsewhere, thanks to discrimination and segregation being widespread. Moving White people - even poor White people - into a more affluent area might be far easier and lead to better results because they might more easily integrate into their new neighboorhood (which is likely to be white to begin with, thanks to uneven wealth distribution).

Moving people is never the solution, I don't think that works even when you're white. This is personal experience so I know it's not exactly waterproof, but you know that type of judgemental neighbor that has something nasty to say about anyone who comes live near them that doesn't fit their view? They would harp on race, but they'd harp on a family of less well-off white people just as much. Granted, that's experience from over here. Maybe it's different there. But from where I'm sitting, if you come from a poor neighborhood, no matter who you are, or what race you are, you're going to get looked at from the corners of eyes.

Regardless, I think we're derailing the conversation here. I don't mind continuing over PMs if you don't, especially when you get done reading that book. There's some interesting food for thought here about poverty.



I just want to clear up some assumptions.

The corruption that has found its place in a movement that was meant to be positive...I don't agree with.

For those to actively want police officers to be harmed

I do not agree with

Whaat I agree with is Police officers being held accountable for their actions and not receiving a slap on the wrist.


I think whats happening here is that people assume that I'm all about the violence and radicals, but that is not the case.

Lady La Dame, I don't think anyone here thought you were advocating violence or radicals, you never said anything that implied you did, as far as I know.

Offline Cassandra LeMayTopic starter

Re: Black Lives Matter (lil' bit of a rant)
« Reply #62 on: August 10, 2016, 04:07:27 PM »
I will take a look at it as soon as I can. Thank you for the link, it'll help me make my mind up about how to feel about those results.

...

Regardless, I think we're derailing the conversation here. I don't mind continuing over PMs if you don't, especially when you get done reading that book. There's some interesting food for thought here about poverty.

Now that I have read the full article I must admit that I may have been overstating the "white with criminal record vs. black without one" point. The success ratio for the former is higher than the latter, but the difference may be too small to be statisticly significant. But the whites who said they had a criminal record certainly did no worse than the blacks with a clean slate. But that aside, the methodology of the study looks very solid to me and the results do reveal a definite bias towards whites over blacks (and latinos).

That aside, I guess you are right. Debating different aspects of how to tackle persistent poverty may be an entirely different topic if we wanted to go into details.


Lady La Dame, I don't think anyone here thought you were advocating violence or radicals, you never said anything that implied you did, as far as I know.
^That.  :-)

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Re: Black Lives Matter (lil' bit of a rant)
« Reply #63 on: August 11, 2016, 02:49:05 PM »
"Black people are more likely to steal"
"Black people are dangerous inherently"
"Black people commit most of the crime"

Statements like these fail to take into account, as you note, the general socioeconomic status of a given community.  Let's talk about theft - theft is almost exclusively a 'poor person' crime.  Why?  Because rich people don't need to worry about starving or being thrown out on the street, they already have (economically speaking) everything that they need, so if they choose to steal, it's because they want to and not because they feel they have to.  Or look at drugs like weed and crack - you don't see Wall Street businessmen getting arrested for dealing it (no, usually they get busted for having it), because when you make a six figure salary, you don't need to sell pot on the side to make ends meet.

Studies done by the DoJ have shown a correlation effect between poverty and crime - in that increasing the former increases the likelihood of the latter.  This is true if you look in poor white communities, too - the book Methland details one such instance in a town in Iowa.  (https://www.thefix.com/content/methland-reding-heartland-Oelwein8072?page=all; This is an interview with the author of the book.)  Meth in general has ended up as a fairly big drug in poor white communities, and I would go out slightly to say that it's become the white equivalent to crack in the black communities, for almost the exact same reason: it's cheap to acquire the ingredients and easy to make.

The increased perception that blacks are more responsible for crime is partly due to the fact that blacks are more likely to live in poverty - according to federal statistics, 26.2% of the black community lives in poverty, compared to only 10.1% for non-Hispanic whites.  If you go to childhood poverty (IE, rates of poverty for the under-18 crowd), the white number stays roughly the same (10.6 vs 10.1%), whereas the black poverty rate jumps from 26.2% to 38.3%.

Now, the Bill O'Reillys of the world would point out that blacks constitute only 13% of the US population, whereas non-Hispanic whites make up a little over 62% of it.  They would argue that this means that there are actually fewer blacks in poverty than in whites.  This statement is numerically correct - 26.2% of the black population is only 3.406% of the US population, and 38.3% of it is 4.979%; compared to 10.1 and 10.6% of the white population, which comes out to 6.262 and 6.572% (respectively) of the US population. 

But it ignores a larger problem so that they can continue their political narrative.  You have higher rates of poverty - which studies have shown increases the rate of criminal offenses - amongst a smaller portion of the population.  This has an amplification effect - resulting in situations where you get crime rates disproportionate to the actual populations, which contributes to racial reputations.

One factor almost certainly is that white people have an easier time finding a job than black people, all other things being equal. Here's an example (I'll have to dig around a bit to find where I read about this study, but I can, if someone is interested in the details): For a study, job advertisements were answered by a black and a white applicant with equal qualifications. In each case one of them claimed during the job interview they had a criminal record, the other person stated they didn't have one. Half the time the black applicant made that claim, half the time the white person. Success of the job application was meassured by who got a call back from the company hiring. Here's the frightening thing: Not only did Whites do better with their applications than Blacks, despite similar qualifications, even the Whites who had claimed they had a criminal record did better than the Blacks who had stated they did not have a criminal record. I think that says a lot about the chances of White people of advancing their economic situation vis a vis Blacks.*

CLM, there are questions I would raise about this particular study - while it was good that the study did have all the participants claim the same crime (and thus avoid the pesky problem of racially-perceived crime trends), the crime claimed, a drug crime, can end up having different effects due to perceptions between that crime and the race.

One of the key things to anticipate in this case is rate of recidivism - what employers will believe about whether or not a person will commit a crime again after they are released.  The only statistics I can find on them don't break down by racial background, so it's worth looking into.  Let's say, though, that half of all criminals who relapse are black, one third are Latino, and the rest (17%) are white.  That means, on average, a black person is three times more likely to relapse.  That would stack against them in a job interview, because nobody would want to hire someone who is going to break the law again.

Drug crimes also tend to get a bit sticky because of how they work.  The study mentioned that the drug in question was cocaine - there's no available information, though, to suggest what sort, so I'm going to assume powder cocaine because I think if they meant crack, they would have said so in the study.  Powder cocaine is very expensive to make and distribute; it requires infrastructure that is rarely available to one person.  That usually implies gangs, or some sort of criminal organization.  Rates at which various races get involved with gang operations (as opposed to the Mafia and other organized crime outfits) would help answer this question.

Now, those don't factor into clean black applicants vs white drug felons, but there is one other thing that came up to be considered - what I call the 'network' effect.  That is, how likely are you to know people who break laws and interact with them on a daily basis?    As noted before, criminal activity (the visible sort) tends to get concentrated in more impoverished areas like the inner city.  A 'boy made good' - a black kid from the 'hood' that graduated and became a success story - may not have been involved in gangs or broken any laws, but how likely is he to know people that are or do?  This may be an unfair perception, but I would reckon that it lurks at the back of the mind of employers.

Offline Cassandra LeMayTopic starter

Re: Black Lives Matter (lil' bit of a rant)
« Reply #64 on: August 12, 2016, 12:51:03 AM »
Now, those don't factor into clean black applicants vs white drug felons, but there is one other thing that came up to be considered - what I call the 'network' effect.  That is, how likely are you to know people who break laws and interact with them on a daily basis? ...
I think the study takes account of that to some extend by making the offence in question "possession with intend to distribute". To the average person reading it that probably implies some 'network', regardless of the person's race.

CLM, there are questions I would raise about this particular study - while it was good that the study did have all the participants claim the same crime (and thus avoid the pesky problem of racially-perceived crime trends), the crime claimed, a drug crime, can end up having different effects due to perceptions between that crime and the race.

....
I suspect you may be overestimating the influence of the drug in question and how much influence it might have had for several reasons:
1) I am not sure how much the average employer would be aware of differences between powder and crack cocaine.
2) Even if they are aware of it there is no way to tell how much they would have thought about it if that had been stated in the applicants CV.
3) If it had been a major factor for the potential employer I suspect there would have been mention in the study of questions about details coming up in the job interviews.
4) I'm not sure about hiring practices in the US, but I assume that for entry-level positions in low-wage jobs the hiring process, and job interviews, are relatively quick and not all that detailed. At least some of the situations were "sign in the window, walk-in interviews" where decisions might be made relatively quickly.

But it ignores a larger problem so that they can continue their political narrative.  You have higher rates of poverty - which studies have shown increases the rate of criminal offenses - amongst a smaller portion of the population.  This has an amplification effect - resulting in situations where you get crime rates disproportionate to the actual populations, which contributes to racial reputations.

It's even worse than that, if you consider incarceration for things like failing to post bail. Once bail was intended as an instrument to keep high flight risk offenders from going underground or for keeping violent offenders behind bars. It was never intended to be levied against everyone and their grandma. But the trend has been towards requiring bail for even minor infractions from people who are neither violent nor a high flight risk. Not being able to make bail affects poor people most. It turns prisons into debtor prisons with the debt created by the courts.

There's also an "amplification effect" at work that explains, at least in part, the multigenerational nature of black poverty. Put a young adult behind bars and you interrupt their education. A criminal record is bad enough, but a criminal record + lack of education is worse. It almost guarantees problems on the job market, which, in turn, will make it more difficult for those people to give their children the support they need to break out of poverty. And speaking of children - having a parent in jail does have negative effects on mental health and social outcomes for children.

Yes, poverty and crime go hand in hand, lets not paint too rose a picture of poor communities here. But overzealous policing and an unfair justice system can - and do - lead to far worse outcomes for black communities than there should be.


Now here's a related question for the Americans: I read that having a criminal record can make one "ineligible for public assistance". How accurat is that? Can anyone give me some examples of how a criminal record can impact benefits programs?

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Re: Black Lives Matter (lil' bit of a rant)
« Reply #65 on: August 12, 2016, 02:17:52 AM »
I think the study takes account of that to some extend by making the offence in question "possession with intend to distribute". To the average person reading it that probably implies some 'network', regardless of the person's race.

Not what I meant.  Consider this - two black boys grow up in the inner city.  One of them performs well at school, graduates, goes to college, and comes home to find a job.  The other drops out after his freshman year, joins a gang, and gets involved in crime and drugs.  But they keep in touch over the years, talking to each other, because they're good friends.

Now, our friend the college graduate would normally have no problem finding a job...except one of his buddies is in a gang, and the guys doing the hiring know about it, and are hesitant to hire for that reason.  It's nothing our collegiate success story has done, it's all about the fact that he's friends with a known gangbanger.

That's what I mean by the network effect - it's not that you are one, it's that you know people who are.  It should not have anything to do with whether you get hired, but...

It's even worse than that, if you consider incarceration for things like failing to post bail. Once bail was intended as an instrument to keep high flight risk offenders from going underground or for keeping violent offenders behind bars. It was never intended to be levied against everyone and their grandma. But the trend has been towards requiring bail for even minor infractions from people who are neither violent nor a high flight risk. Not being able to make bail affects poor people most. It turns prisons into debtor prisons with the debt created by the courts.

Check out Last Week Tonight's segments on Bail AND Municipal Offenses for more details, but I thought I would say a few things here.  More and more judiciaries are turning to these methods as a way to increase revenue without having to utter the dreaded T word.  Because people have gotten it in their heads that they're somehow entitled to all the money they made...and have absolutely no responsibility to the community that helped them make that money to begin with.  (Pop Quiz, hotshot!  If nobody comes through the doors of your business, how much money do you make?)

The opposite is also true - if you are rich enough, you can buy your way out of anything: Robert Durst was accused of murder and his bail was set at a quarter of a million dollars, but he paid it and was released, even though Durst had a...questionable history, and certainly the means and opportunity to flee to a country with no extradition to the US.  Now, you can have cases where bail is denied and the defendant in the criminal case is simply remanded to jail until the trial, but I'm willing to bet it happens more often on TV than in real life.

The idea of bail was engendered in an age where if you were released from prison, it was fairly easy to escape and disappear, and then start over as someone else.  It's not exactly historical, but Valjean from Les Mis shows quite amply this in effect.  Today, with social media and GPS and modern tech - even something as simple as a house arrest bracelet! - it's a lot harder to escape the police if you decide to run.

It's also worth pointing out that the architects of the Constitution considered this an issue to be addressed.  Most people know it by another phrase, but here is the full text:

    Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

This was included in the Bill of Rights.  Your average person usually remembers it for the 'cruel and unusual punishment' clause, but bail and fines are in there, too.

There is good news, though, as the LWT clip shows that 'Pre-Trial Services' are being field-tested across the country, and they are not only succeeding, but they're saving the courts money while doing it!

There's also an "amplification effect" at work that explains, at least in part, the multigenerational nature of black poverty. Put a young adult behind bars and you interrupt their education. A criminal record is bad enough, but a criminal record + lack of education is worse. It almost guarantees problems on the job market, which, in turn, will make it more difficult for those people to give their children the support they need to break out of poverty. And speaking of children - having a parent in jail does have negative effects on mental health and social outcomes for children.

The usual thing about being put behind bars as a minor is that depending on your offense, you can get anything from a couple of weeks in juvenile detention to being held in there until you're 21.  (Though to be fair, that one is usually reserved for very serious offenses.)  Studies of both adult and juvenile prisons have shown that being inside tends to stunt emotional growth, which is something you need in order to be a mentally healthy adult who is capable of contributing to society in a meaningful way.

Yes, poverty and crime go hand in hand, lets not paint too rose a picture of poor communities here. But overzealous policing and an unfair justice system can - and do - lead to far worse outcomes for black communities than there should be.

Is the justice system unfair because they're black?  Or is it because they're poor?  Or something else, or a combination of things?  One of the great criminal justice conundrums of our time is figuring out which parts of the system are unfair for which reasons.  Now, unfair is unfair and they should all be dealt with, but misdiagnosing the cause will render the intended remedy ineffectual, or perhaps even counterproductive to the end desired.  Part of the reason for this conundrum is that in the decade that followed the civil rights movement, the Dixiecrats made headway into criminalizing being poor...because most blacks at the time were poor and it was an effective means of keeping them 'under foot.'

This had the side-effect of getting poor white families - their usual supporters - caught in the crossfire, but so far the Republicans have managed enough smoke and mirrors tricks to keep them in the dark.

Now here's a related question for the Americans: I read that having a criminal record can make one "ineligible for public assistance". How accurat is that? Can anyone give me some examples of how a criminal record can impact benefits programs?

Quite.  Though I would note that a lot of the ineligibility is mostly reserved for felons - people guilty of a misdemeanor can usually avail themselves of public assistance, unless the misdemeanor becomes a repeated offense.

The general rule for public assistance - whether at the state or federal level - is that if being a felon doesn't deny you access, it almost certainly limits the benefit you can receive from it.  Public assistance ranges from stuff like housing, food stamps, and medical care to provided cell phones, educational grants and loans to be able to afford higher education, and job referral programs.

I'll go with the educational angle first.  If you served time in a federal or state institution, you automatically become ineligible for federal student loans, as well as Pell Grants - you can get Work-Study funds, or a Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, but probably won't because those usually go to people who receive a Pell Grant.  In addition, convictions for drug offenses - particularly if they were while you were a student - can suspend your eligibility for aid.

Or take food stamps - Georgia has a ban on anyone with a felony on their record from receiving food stamps, even though it is a federal and not a state program.  Now, the children of felons are still eligible, but the benefit for the house will be reduced because of the person with the felony record.

Offline Cassandra LeMayTopic starter

Re: Black Lives Matter (lil' bit of a rant)
« Reply #66 on: August 12, 2016, 03:01:16 AM »
That's what I mean by the network effect - it's not that you are one, it's that you know people who are.  It should not have anything to do with whether you get hired, but...
I still think you might be overthinking this in terms of what may happen during an actual job interview, but I think we can both agree that race can and is used as a "shortcut" by employers to "identify" who might be a "risk" or not.

All in all we seem to be on the same page that
(a) poverty can lead to life circumstances that can become self-perpetuating through no fault of the poor person, and
(b) African-Americans are more strongly affected by that than white people.

Agree? Yes/No?

Check out Last Week Tonight's segments on Bail AND Municipal Offenses for more details, ...
Those segments are part of where I draw my information from on this particular topic.  :-) But where I first came across the topic of bail in this context was an article in Rolling Stone: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/jailed-for-being-broke-20150623

There is good news, though, as the LWT clip shows that 'Pre-Trial Services' are being field-tested across the country, and they are not only succeeding, but they're saving the courts money while doing it!

Yes, those pre-trial services work, but John Oliver probably overstated his point: http://www.politifact.com/punditfact/statements/2015/jun/12/john-oliver/john-oliver-hails-pretrial-services-florida-progre/
We are probably looking at a very human problem of looking at a short term gain and finding it preferable to a long term gain that is somewhat abstract and "predictive mathematics". Even without going into political ideologies I am pretty confident that there is a general tendency in humans to favor short term gain over long term prospects. Given that I am sceptical if those data will lead to anything. I'll believe it when I see it.

Is the justice system unfair because they're black?  Or is it because they're poor?  Or something else, or a combination of things?  One of the great criminal justice conundrums of our time is figuring out which parts of the system are unfair for which reasons.  Now, unfair is unfair and they should all be dealt with, but misdiagnosing the cause will render the intended remedy ineffectual, or perhaps even counterproductive to the end desired.  Part of the reason for this conundrum is that in the decade that followed the civil rights movement, the Dixiecrats made headway into criminalizing being poor...because most blacks at the time were poor and it was an effective means of keeping them 'under foot.'
As you have pointed out earlier, poorness is concentrated among people of color. Once you start herding people into ghettos based on the color of their skin the distinction between poorness and color becomes immaterial - when one becomes a synonym for the other it no longer matters.

The whole thing started before the end of the civil rights era and the (more or less formal forms of) discrimination in the housing and employment markets we see today. What I take away from my current reading right now is that the move of white people to the suburbs (in the 50s) was actively encouraged by the Federal Housing Agency and excluded black people for the sake of "community cohesion".

I can certainly see why black people are angry. Stick black people into the inner cities, do nothing (or little) to provide new jobs for them when the old inner city manufacturing jobs disappear, then police people based on the poverty of their neighborhood. That the question if a problem arises from poorness or blackness seems rather academic to many blacks when blackness and poorness go hand in hand, thanks to decisions made by white people, strikes me as not entirely surprising.


The general rule for public assistance - whether at the state or federal level - is that if being a felon doesn't deny you access, it almost certainly limits the benefit you can receive from it.  Public assistance ranges from stuff like housing, food stamps, and medical care to provided cell phones, educational grants and loans to be able to afford higher education, and job referral programs. ...
So, essentially, if you are caught up in the justice system for a felony you will not just be discriminated against by employers, you will also be denied support that might help you get through the problems that come from being unemployed?

This whole mess seems even worse then I had initially thought.  :-(
« Last Edit: August 12, 2016, 03:04:59 AM by Cassandra LeMay »

Offline Tairis

Re: Black Lives Matter (lil' bit of a rant)
« Reply #67 on: August 12, 2016, 07:11:46 PM »
I will be 100% on board with the idea of a social improvement movement the second that movement stops being just 'You're all racist and you need to fix it'.

Poor black communities have less upward mobility than other poor minority communities? Yea, you can definitely blame some of that on racial bias in hiring, school funding politics, and black families that have a lower base income to pay for various services, college tuition, etc. But you know what might also help? If the people in that community actually cared about addressing that problem themselves. I grew up in the deep South and for all the old bitter white racists that did exist there it wasn't them that stopped the black kids from excelling in school.

It was their friends. Their families. Their own freaking parents. The only thing that ever was celebrated was if a kid was good at sports, music, or something else that had nothing to do with anything that resembled a traditional career. And while I understand the underlying basis (these breakout careers were originally one of the only ways for any minority to make it 'big' in a heavily racially stratified society) it doesn't make it right. I had friends that had to borrow my calculator in middle school because their parents wouldn't buy them one, but were 100% willing to drop $500 on sports camp and assorted gear. I watched those same friends get made fun of by other black kids for reading.

And you know what? A few of them did make good. But a lot of them, ones that in middle school showed a lot of talent for math, science, and technology? By the time high school started they just went with the crowd. They stopped reading and putting in the effort because it wasn't cool and nobody at home ever complained. It wasn't a problem if they came home with Cs and Ds as long as they passed.

But if anyone points that out? They're racist. They're insulting 'black culture', flaunting their privilege or a dozen other buzzwords.

I'd add this culture is only compounded on by our broken school system that is determined to funnel every child into a 4 year college degree whether they need it, want it, or are qualified for it.

The fact of the matter is that you don't affect social change by just yelling loudly. You do it by yelling loudly with a purpose, a plan, and gathering support across a broad base of people. And that's not what 'Black Lives Matter' is now. It's just incoherent yelling and demands, with no solutions. You can't demand change and then refuse any change on your own part.

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Re: Black Lives Matter (lil' bit of a rant)
« Reply #68 on: August 12, 2016, 09:03:47 PM »
All in all we seem to be on the same page that
(a) poverty can lead to life circumstances that can become self-perpetuating through no fault of the poor person, and
(b) African-Americans are more strongly affected by that than white people.

Agree? Yes/No?

Yes.

We are probably looking at a very human problem of looking at a short term gain and finding it preferable to a long term gain that is somewhat abstract and "predictive mathematics". Even without going into political ideologies I am pretty confident that there is a general tendency in humans to favor short term gain over long term prospects. Given that I am sceptical if those data will lead to anything. I'll believe it when I see it.

Except you can't build civilization without looking at the long goal.  Consider agriculture - you spend all this time and effort into planting crops, watering them, making sure they grow, and maybe when the harvest comes around, you'll have enough to feed everyone.  We take farming for granted now, but that's because we've done it for thousands of years and know our way around it.  When the first civilizations were doing it, it was what you're describing - why do to all this effort when you can just be a hunter-gatherer (short term gain, you know you're not going to starve if you get the food you need for tomorrow today)?

Which ties into one of the big ideas I have: Civilization has rules.  And we ignore those rules at our own peril.  One of those rules is: leave behind a better world than what you had when you got hold of it.  But no, that would be asking people to 'restrain' themselves.

As you have pointed out earlier, poorness is concentrated among people of color. Once you start herding people into ghettos based on the color of their skin the distinction between poorness and color becomes immaterial - when one becomes a synonym for the other it no longer matters.

I can certainly see why black people are angry. Stick black people into the inner cities, do nothing (or little) to provide new jobs for them when the old inner city manufacturing jobs disappear, then police people based on the poverty of their neighborhood. That the question if a problem arises from poorness or blackness seems rather academic to many blacks when blackness and poorness go hand in hand, thanks to decisions made by white people, strikes me as not entirely surprising.

Point, but there's a key difference to be made there.  You can't fix being black (as much as some racists would like that), you can fix being poor.  Yes, poverty and minority status can (and do) go hand in hand.  If a problem is had in the black community because they are black, that's racism and needs to be quashed.  If the problem is had because they are poor, the solution is to raise them up out of poverty.

There is a further question I would like to know the answer to, because it can tell us whether or not the war on poverty is working - the current poverty rate in the black community is just over 25%.  What was it in 2000?  1990?  1980?  Go back as far as you can.  One of the arguments I hear from Republicans is that the war on poverty isn't working, more and more people are falling into that economic status.  Now, they'll go and blame government policies without acknowledging the role of private industry in it, but I would like to know.

So, essentially, if you are caught up in the justice system for a felony you will not just be discriminated against by employers, you will also be denied support that might help you get through the problems that come from being unemployed?

This whole mess seems even worse then I had initially thought.  :-(

Oh yes.  Recidivism in the US is crazily high right now, primarily because once you have that record, it becomes impossible to avail yourself of big patches of the social safety net.  Which is insane - people coming out of prison need the kind of help and resources that it can offer to you.  And expect this trend to get worse if privatization of prisons spreads further, since they only make money when there are beds filled.

The American criminal justice system is one that says one thing, and practices another.  It's all couched in very nice sounding language - "paying your debt to society," "rehabilitation," and other such things - but it's sadistic to the core.  If the whole goal of prison and all its various attachments is to 'cure' or 'rehab' people of breaking the law, then when they're out, they should be treated like a law-abiding citizen.  They're not - it's hard for them to get the resources necessary in order to integrate back into society, to find a job, to become more.  (At least in that sense, the old saw about society being responsible for crime is true.)

This is because we've allowed ourselves to become deluded about the nature of prisons - all a prison can really do is remove people from general society.  Prisons do not deter on a broad scale, and they don't rehabilitate, either.  If we actually believed in prison rehabilitation, then why do we treat the people that come out of it no better than when they went in?

One of the smartest opinions I ever heard about criminal justice talked about the need for 'restorative justice.'  As opposed to today's system, which practices 'punitive justice.'  The idea of restorative justice is probably most famously codified in the concept of weregild, which is usually associated with the Vikings - the idea of making amends to the victim of your crime, rather than satisfying some nebulous system requirements involving a bunch of people you don't know.

The only time prison should be used, this individual said, is when the crime committed is so heinous that the person can no longer be trusted in society - murder, rape, the really serious offenses - and that removal of the criminal is the best option.

I will be 100% on board with the idea of a social improvement movement the second that movement stops being just 'You're all racist and you need to fix it'.

There's a hefty amount of irony in black people yelling at white people to 'fix their problems.'  What happened to we're just as good as you?  And the idea of accusing people of being racist, simply because they're white, is in itself racism.

Poor black communities have less upward mobility than other poor minority communities? Yea, you can definitely blame some of that on racial bias in hiring, school funding politics, and black families that have a lower base income to pay for various services, college tuition, etc. But you know what might also help? If the people in that community actually cared about addressing that problem themselves. I grew up in the deep South and for all the old bitter white racists that did exist there it wasn't them that stopped the black kids from excelling in school.

It was their friends. Their families. Their own freaking parents. The only thing that ever was celebrated was if a kid was good at sports, music, or something else that had nothing to do with anything that resembled a traditional career. And while I understand the underlying basis (these breakout careers were originally one of the only ways for any minority to make it 'big' in a heavily racially stratified society) it doesn't make it right. I had friends that had to borrow my calculator in middle school because their parents wouldn't buy them one, but were 100% willing to drop $500 on sports camp and assorted gear. I watched those same friends get made fun of by other black kids for reading.

And you know what? A few of them did make good. But a lot of them, ones that in middle school showed a lot of talent for math, science, and technology? By the time high school started they just went with the crowd. They stopped reading and putting in the effort because it wasn't cool and nobody at home ever complained. It wasn't a problem if they came home with Cs and Ds as long as they passed.

But if anyone points that out? They're racist. They're insulting 'black culture', flaunting their privilege or a dozen other buzzwords.

I wasn't going to bring this up, but since you did, I figure I should chime in.  (Warning, the following is anecdotal experience.)

I taught for a year in a majority-minority school.  It was crazy and insane and frustrating because I was having to pit myself up against a system, against a culture that discouraged academic achievement because that meant you were 'selling out.'  I had students in my class who would only come up to ask me about improving their grade...if they were failing and needed the class credits to graduate.

The worst of it was the school's policy on athletic eligibility.  When I was in school, athletes were required to have a B average.  You drop under that, you're out.  At this school, you were eligible...if you were passing half of your classes.  So if you were signed up for 6 classes, you could be failing 3 of them, and getting Ds in the other 3, and you were clear to play ball. 

I asked my master teacher how it was this came to be, and the story I was basically given was that a number of years ago, a bunch of angry parents came into the school and accused the staff of denying their kids 'the one good thing they have going for them' (a la Coach Carter), and how could they be so mean?  The school eventually changed its eligibility rules in order to keep attracting excellent athletic talent, and to silence the complaints of the parents - because, you know, it's more important that everything look okay than be okay.

You mentioned middle and high school.  Social pressures at that age to conform and be 'part of the crowd' are immensely huge - being an outcast is worse than being dead to some of these kids.  People talk about how we need to remove those pressures, but I disagree.  The pressures aren't going anywhere, because humans are social creatures.  What we need to go is change the pressures into something constructive and worthwhile rather than what we have now, which destroys rather than builds.

Finally, we need to recognize that not all cultures are equal.  You would not say the culture of 12th century France is just as good as the culture of France last century.  Multiculturalism has a bright side and a dark side - the bright side is in celebration of heritage, in the understanding that we can learn something from every culture, and that it is a way of self-expression.

We don't have that.  We have the dark side, which insists that every culture is valid and fine, that we have to spend equal amounts of time learning about each culture, and that if you don't somehow ascribe to this you are some sort of horrible cultural imperialist, wanting everyone to believe the same things you do.

I'd add this culture is only compounded on by our broken school system that is determined to funnel every child into a 4 year college degree whether they need it, want it, or are qualified for it.

This idea of 'everyone must go to college' is only a recent invention, with...really my generation.  My grandparents were part of the Greatest Generation - in their day, the only people who went to college were those that wanted something big for themselves: doctor, lawyer, something like that.  Both of my grandfathers were auto mechanics and they raised families quite adequately on just those salaries.  My parents - Baby Boomers - both went to college, but they had plenty of friends who didn't, who found jobs at small businesses or in manufacturing, which didn't require a college degree.  College was something you did if you wanted to get ahead.

Cue the Millennials - now everyone has to have a degree, because the only jobs that get by without one are stocking shelves and flipping burgers.  And more and more jobs are requiring people to have Master's degrees instead of the regular old BA or BS.  The problem we're eventually going to run into is degree devaluement - when I was in college, I made a joke at my table that the universities had better come up with some new degrees pretty soon, otherwise everyone's going to be running around with a PhD in Burger Flipping.  That doesn't seem so humorous anymore.

We need to recognize, as you noted, that college is not for everyone.  Trade schools get a bad rap - they're looked upon as 'college-lite' for those that don't have the talent to make it - but you know what?  I'm not calling a guy with an MS in Engineering when my toilet busts, I'm calling my plumber.  But I'm fearful that that won't happen, because colleges have become an industry unto themselves these days.

Offline Cassandra LeMayTopic starter

Re: Black Lives Matter (lil' bit of a rant)
« Reply #69 on: August 13, 2016, 01:00:30 AM »
The fact of the matter is that you don't affect social change by just yelling loudly. You do it by yelling loudly with a purpose, a plan, and gathering support across a broad base of people. And that's not what 'Black Lives Matter' is now. It's just incoherent yelling and demands, with no solutions. You can't demand change and then refuse any change on your own part.
I all fairness to BLM I must say we have moved quite a bit away from the core problem BLM is "yelling" about, namely people getting shot. Urban ghettoization and poverty are complex topics caused by a number of sometimes interrelated factors, some current, some historical. What our debate has drifted towards and what Black Lives Matter adresses may be related, but they are not the same. Lets please not lose track of that fact.

I also think it's a bit over the top to demand solutions from the people faced with a life-threatening problem. You wouldn't ask a sick person to prescribe their own cure unless they were a doctor. Why ask the BLM movement to offer solutions for problems that are largely beyond their capacity to create or implement?

Quote from: ReijiTabibito
There is a further question I would like to know the answer to, because it can tell us whether or not the war on poverty is working - the current poverty rate in the black community is just over 25%.  What was it in 2000?  1990?  1980?  Go back as far as you can.  One of the arguments I hear from Republicans is that the war on poverty isn't working, more and more people are falling into that economic status.  Now, they'll go and blame government policies without acknowledging the role of private industry in it, but I would like to know.

Sharkey offers some data in "Stuck in Place". There is one table that compares the percentage of blacks in five brackets of income distribution from 1971 to 2010 (i.e. the percentage of blacks in each fifth of income distribution). There is very little change there:
The percentage of blacks in the richest 20% went from 8% in 1971 to 9% in 2010. For the bottom 40% of incomes the total went down from 65% of all blacks to 58%. If you look only at the lowest 20% of incomes, 39% of all blacks were in that income bracket in 1971, in 2010 it was 33% of the African-American population.

What I find even more interesting is a table were he compares the percentage of blacks and whites born in neighborhoods with x% poor households for the generation born 1955-1970 and those born 1985-2000, i.e. people born and raised around the civil rights era and the young people of today. For whites there is some change in the number of people born in very afluent areas (went down a bit), but the number of people born in poor or very poor areas remained extremely low. For whites the number of people born in very poor neighborhoods (more than 30% poor households) held steady at 1%. For blacks the number went from 29% in the earlier generation to 31% for those born at the end of the milenium.
Compare with the most afluent neighborhoods (less than 10% poor households): For whites the percentage did decrease from 74% to 61%, but that is still far far better than the percentage of blacks born in rich areas, which was 9% earlier and has 'risen' to 10% for the current generation.

Online Darkcide

Re: Black Lives Matter (lil' bit of a rant)
« Reply #70 on: August 13, 2016, 10:14:34 AM »
I will be 100% on board with the idea of a social improvement movement the second that movement stops being just 'You're all racist and you need to fix it'.

Poor black communities have less upward mobility than other poor minority communities? Yea, you can definitely blame some of that on racial bias in hiring, school funding politics, and black families that have a lower base income to pay for various services, college tuition, etc. But you know what might also help? If the people in that community actually cared about addressing that problem themselves. I grew up in the deep South and for all the old bitter white racists that did exist there it wasn't them that stopped the black kids from excelling in school.

It was their friends. Their families. Their own freaking parents. The only thing that ever was celebrated was if a kid was good at sports, music, or something else that had nothing to do with anything that resembled a traditional career. And while I understand the underlying basis (these breakout careers were originally one of the only ways for any minority to make it 'big' in a heavily racially stratified society) it doesn't make it right. I had friends that had to borrow my calculator in middle school because their parents wouldn't buy them one, but were 100% willing to drop $500 on sports camp and assorted gear. I watched those same friends get made fun of by other black kids for reading.

And you know what? A few of them did make good. But a lot of them, ones that in middle school showed a lot of talent for math, science, and technology? By the time high school started they just went with the crowd. They stopped reading and putting in the effort because it wasn't cool and nobody at home ever complained. It wasn't a problem if they came home with Cs and Ds as long as they passed.

But if anyone points that out? They're racist. They're insulting 'black culture', flaunting their privilege or a dozen other buzzwords.

I'd add this culture is only compounded on by our broken school system that is determined to funnel every child into a 4 year college degree whether they need it, want it, or are qualified for it.

The fact of the matter is that you don't affect social change by just yelling loudly. You do it by yelling loudly with a purpose, a plan, and gathering support across a broad base of people. And that's not what 'Black Lives Matter' is now. It's just incoherent yelling and demands, with no solutions. You can't demand change and then refuse any change on your own part.

You know your experiences are your experiences, and that in other parts of the country, it is in many cases a completely different story right? It is important to me that you know that.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2016, 11:50:29 AM by Darkcide »

Offline Tairis

Re: Black Lives Matter (lil' bit of a rant)
« Reply #71 on: August 13, 2016, 01:00:33 PM »
You know your experiences are your experiences, and that in other parts of the country, it is in many cases a completely different story right? It is important to me that you know that.

Yep, but they're also not just my experiences as Reiji pointed out above. And it's certainly not the only examples. Let's take Charles Barkley as a very on topic example.

He's had interviews where he expressed his opinion on the police shootings and when taken as a whole they're pretty reasonable with his feeling in a nutshell being: There is definitely still racism that causes a great many problems but we as black people don't start a movement when one black person kills another even though that is happening constantly, and when a white cop kills a black person we only want to focus on the race and nothing else. If we want to make things better we have to work with the cops and our communities.

What was the result?

A barrage of tweets and other social media comments from the black community calling Barkley a sellout, a traitor, and idiot, etc.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2016, 01:01:39 PM by Tairis »

Online Darkcide

Re: Black Lives Matter (lil' bit of a rant)
« Reply #72 on: August 13, 2016, 02:48:36 PM »
They ARE your your experiences though, and they do not speak for the African American community as a whole. I live in Detroit, my experience is vastly different from yours. But all the same it is my experience. Just as any experiences Reiji had are going to be Reiji's experiences, and he even refers to it as being his experience.

What you are talking about isn't as simple as "Oh well gee blacks don't care anything about their community. They are just letting this happen. And they think education is stupid" That is a gross and offensive slap in the face to the millions of African Americans who are involved in their communities, and are trying to change things for the better within their community. That issue is a lot deeper than that, and it isn't as cut & dry as saying "We need to improve our community." It is easy to criticize without looking into the root of the problems that exist in the community.

Charles Barkley says a lot of really stupid things. He has the right to, sure. But I would not cite him as an example.

The notion of working with cops is a laughable one. Do I advocate harming them? No. Civil disobedience? Not necessarily. Am I even saying that all police suck? No. But completely removing the police killings from the equation, the fact that there is a concept like racial profiling that exists. And the fact that it is explicitly or implicitly practiced to the degree that it is, in the police departments that it is practiced in, means there is a serious problem. It means that law enforcement, and the people that give them their position of power are doing an absolutely shitty job at protecting and serving. If you have a large number of people of a given demographic feeling as if the people that are sworn to protect them are a threat to their very lives? That means the institution is fucked. Most the police responsible for these incidents of police brutality wind up back on the street. And when you have an instance where Dylann Roof can kill a bunch of black people, and get the treatment from cops that he did but Charles Kinsey who was not even committing a crime and who was complying with a cop gets shot, that doesn't inspire faith in the police. All these weekly instances, on top of a state government being complicit in the poisoning of an entire majority black city's water supply, creates the idea that the lives of Black Americans really don't matter. Whether BLM is effective or not. This is all shit that does need to be yelled about. All of this is absolutely unacceptable, and if enough people start yelling? Something is going to have to happen. Do you yourself do anything? Are you involved in the community at all?
« Last Edit: August 13, 2016, 02:50:07 PM by Darkcide »

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Re: Black Lives Matter (lil' bit of a rant)
« Reply #73 on: August 13, 2016, 05:11:46 PM »
They ARE your your experiences though, and they do not speak for the African American community as a whole. I live in Detroit, my experience is vastly different from yours. But all the same it is my experience. Just as any experiences Reiji had are going to be Reiji's experiences, and he even refers to it as being his experience.

I won't go into too much detail, but I live in New England, which is bluer than the ocean, and supposedly one of the havens of progress and equality as far as the country goes.  The real test would be to compare by region, see what the average 'black experience' is there.

What you are talking about isn't as simple as "Oh well gee blacks don't care anything about their community. They are just letting this happen. And they think education is stupid" That is a gross and offensive slap in the face to the millions of African Americans who are involved in their communities, and are trying to change things for the better within their community. That issue is a lot deeper than that, and it isn't as cut & dry as saying "We need to improve our community." It is easy to criticize without looking into the root of the problems that exist in the community.

Blacks are 13% of the US population.  That comes out to about 43 million people.  How much of that, as a percentage, do you think are people trying to change things within their community?  25%?  33%?  More?  And just as a point, are we seeing change?  All the good intentions and good efforts in the world don't mean a damn if nothing actually changes.

Yes, the problem is not just 'improve our community.'  But you know what?  It's definitely on the list, and it's something they have 100% control over.

Root problems.  You mean like the single parenthood rate, or the rate at which children are born out of wedlock, both of which hover around 70%, and studies indicate lead to higher crime rates and more widespread poverty?  Those kinds of problems?

The notion of working with cops is a laughable one. Do I advocate harming them? No. Civil disobedience? Not necessarily. Am I even saying that all police suck? No. But completely removing the police killings from the equation, the fact that there is a concept like racial profiling that exists. And the fact that it is explicitly or implicitly practiced to the degree that it is, in the police departments that it is practiced in, means there is a serious problem. It means that law enforcement, and the people that give them their position of power are doing an absolutely shitty job at protecting and serving. If you have a large number of people of a given demographic feeling as if the people that are sworn to protect them are a threat to their very lives? That means the institution is fucked. Most the police responsible for these incidents of police brutality wind up back on the street. And when you have an instance where Dylann Roof can kill a bunch of black people, and get the treatment from cops that he did but Charles Kinsey who was not even committing a crime and who was complying with a cop gets shot, that doesn't inspire faith in the police. All these weekly instances, on top of a state government being complicit in the poisoning of an entire majority black city's water supply, creates the idea that the lives of Black Americans really don't matter. Whether BLM is effective or not. This is all shit that does need to be yelled about. All of this is absolutely unacceptable, and if enough people start yelling? Something is going to have to happen. Do you yourself do anything? Are you involved in the community at all?

So, the practice of community policing - assigning certain officers to a particular area on a permanent basis so that they can get to know the people living in the area, something the Bureau of Justice shows is a highly effective form of law enforcement - is 'laughable'?  Because that's what community policing is.  The neighborhood working with the cops to help keep the peace and deal with crime.  There have been several interviews with cops or police officials in the wake of incidents like Michael Brown and Freddie Gray, saying that they're suspending their community policing programs and just having patrol officers drive around and only answer dispatch calls or intervene in active crimes (IE, the cop car turns a corner and someone is getting carjacked).  Result?  The crime rates shot up.

The cops end up back on the street because, despite the fact that whatever happened was tragic, the police followed protocol.  The FBI investigation into the Michael Brown shooting showed that Darren Wilson was justified in his use of force; the city of Baltimore spent over $7 million on the costs associated with the trials of the six officers Mosby charged with roles in Gray's death, and they failed to secure a single conviction.

You also can't compare Roof to Kinsey.  Yes, Kinsey did absolutely nothing wrong and got accidentally shot for actually trying to protect his patient.  But prior to walking into that church in Charleston, Roof hadn't broken any laws either.  Done questionable things?  Granted.  But nothing illegal.

As for Michigan, it's a political swing state.  But most of the information available indicates that the people responsible for making the decision that led to the Flint water crisis - Mayor Dayne Walling; Darnell Early, the emergency financial manager; Andy Dillon, the state treasurer - are all Democrats.

Online Darkcide

Re: Black Lives Matter (lil' bit of a rant)
« Reply #74 on: August 13, 2016, 07:25:01 PM »
I won't go into too much detail, but I live in New England, which is bluer than the ocean, and supposedly one of the havens of progress and equality as far as the country goes.  The real test would be to compare by region, see what the average 'black experience' is there.

Blacks are 13% of the US population.  That comes out to about 43 million people.  How much of that, as a percentage, do you think are people trying to change things within their community?  25%?  33%?  More?  And just as a point, are we seeing change?  All the good intentions and good efforts in the world don't mean a damn if nothing actually changes.

Yes, the problem is not just 'improve our community.'  But you know what?  It's definitely on the list, and it's something they have 100% control over.

Root problems.  You mean like the single parenthood rate, or the rate at which children are born out of wedlock, both of which hover around 70%, and studies indicate lead to higher crime rates and more widespread poverty?  Those kinds of problems?

So, the practice of community policing - assigning certain officers to a particular area on a permanent basis so that they can get to know the people living in the area, something the Bureau of Justice shows is a highly effective form of law enforcement - is 'laughable'?  Because that's what community policing is.  The neighborhood working with the cops to help keep the peace and deal with crime.  There have been several interviews with cops or police officials in the wake of incidents like Michael Brown and Freddie Gray, saying that they're suspending their community policing programs and just having patrol officers drive around and only answer dispatch calls or intervene in active crimes (IE, the cop car turns a corner and someone is getting carjacked).  Result?  The crime rates shot up.

The cops end up back on the street because, despite the fact that whatever happened was tragic, the police followed protocol.  The FBI investigation into the Michael Brown shooting showed that Darren Wilson was justified in his use of force; the city of Baltimore spent over $7 million on the costs associated with the trials of the six officers Mosby charged with roles in Gray's death, and they failed to secure a single conviction.

You also can't compare Roof to Kinsey.  Yes, Kinsey did absolutely nothing wrong and got accidentally shot for actually trying to protect his patient.  But prior to walking into that church in Charleston, Roof hadn't broken any laws either.  Done questionable things?  Granted.  But nothing illegal.

As for Michigan, it's a political swing state.  But most of the information available indicates that the people responsible for making the decision that led to the Flint water crisis - Mayor Dayne Walling; Darnell Early, the emergency financial manager; Andy Dillon, the state treasurer - are all Democrats.

There is no black experience.

And do you live in a predominately black community, or were you raised in one?
« Last Edit: August 13, 2016, 07:33:56 PM by Darkcide »