Why is George Zimmerman allowed to roam free tonight?

Well, and the occasional crocodile.

Amoebic wrote:
Maq wrote:
Jonman wrote:
Paleocon wrote:
Jonman wrote:
Paleocon wrote:

His attorney is playing up that he is a "responsible gun owner" and "longtime member of the NRA".

He is not doing us any favors.

Jeez.

Everyone's a careful driver right up until the first time they plow through a crowd of nuns.

Jeez, Jonman. That was ONE TIME. How long am I going have to talk about that?

Nuns don't kill people. People kill people.

I want to have sex with this comment and watch it give birth to a litter of tiny puns. Puns who'd then go on to kill people.

Puns don't kill people. People kill people.

I thought we'd never get there =)

QuintinStone wrote:

See, I read these decisions and they seem pretty clear.

Yes, neither of those decisions support *either* the collective or individual right, but they *rejected* the idea that the Federal law protected the inidividual right to bear arms. By putting it in the agenda of states, they are going against your assertion that they supported an individual right based on the Second Amendment. As Cheeze pointed out, by the 1920's, when the issue did finally come up in 1939, Federal laws had gained more power over the states and the collective right was asserted based on the Federal bill of rights. (One decision actually cited a putative individual right written into the Second - "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms for self defense, shall not be infringed." It pointed out that that makes no logical sense with the first part of the sentence. Hunting could be put in there, too, and it has the same problem. And I think that Scalia is wrong for that and other reasons.)

The most one can say, I think, is that the issue was not really considered in the modern sense, at the Supreme Court level, until 1939, and that all subsequent SC decisions until 2010 held the collective right interpretation to be correct. In that very real sense, Scalia and the others reversed an interpretation that had been around for 200 years, but had only had precedent since 1939. I know that's kind of convoluted, but again, the idea that because it was not directly litigated until 1939 (or, indirectly, 1875 or so) that it was one interpretation and not the other is incorrect. The most we can say is that both interpretations existed, and that once it hit the Supremes, the collective interpretation held for 70 years before being overturned.

But the precedence you were referring to in 1875 and on -- that the entire Bill of Rights limits the feds, not the states -- was broken well before Heller. And the court decision in 1939 did not say anything about a collective right. It merely dodged the issue by saying "In the absence of any evidence tending to show that possession or use of a 'shotgun having a barrel of less than eighteen inches in length' at this time has some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia, we cannot say that the Second Amendment guarantees the right to keep and bear such an instrument." The absence of evidence may have had something to do with neither the defendant nor his lawyer actually showing up. The reinterpretation of Miller came many years later.

I think it's funny that the case about the shotgun stands for the idea that the Federal government has less power to regulate the ownership of shotguns than the ownership of tanks.

I think it's funny that the dudes with the "shotgun" aimed at the hapless killer-victim didn't blow the guy away when he went for his gun, and instead tried to drive away without firing a shot. Suuuuuure. I believe that. Riiiight. Because I would *totally* have done that myself. I mean, why shoot him when's he's shooting at me and I'm aiming at him and just threatened him? That's crazy talk, man! Better to take 8 shots at close range and drive away.

Riiiight. It's almost like they didn't have a weapon at all...

Reports say that Dunn never mentioned the fictional shotgun in his initial police interview. This even after he had 24+ hours after fleeing the scene to concoct his story.

It looks like it is pretty much a fairy tale conjured up by his defense attorney.

Jayhawker wrote:
jdzappa wrote:

Do you have any evidence that white vs black violence is skyrocketing? Because I'm seeing quite the opposite. The New Century Foundation did a study a few years back looking at violent crime statistics by race. Blacks are more than 2.5 times more likely than whites to be convicted of hate crimes and commit 85 percent of all interracial crimes.

http://www.colorofcrime.com/colorofc...

None of this is to excuse the centuries of oppression by whites or deny the existence of modern day white racism. But let's at least face facts when it comes to violent interracial crime.

Into the Mainstream

Jared Taylor, the man who heads the New Century Foundation* and edits its allied magazine American Renaissance, is a white nationalist who believes America should be "a self-consciously European, majority-white nation" which he argues was "the original conception of [the U.S.], and one that was almost universally accepted until the 1960s." The foundation and magazine, based in Oakton, Va., tirelessly advance pseudo-scientific theories linking IQ to race.

The foundation also puts on bi-annual conferences; the 2002 event was advertised like this: "In all parts of the world, whites are afraid to speak out in their own interests. The costs of 'diversity,' racial differences in IQ, the threat of non-white immigration — politicians and the media are afraid to discuss what these things mean for whites and their civilization."

Taylor also has noted approvingly that until 1967, "strong opposition to mixed marriage was enshrined in law" in 16 states. In "The Myth of Diversity," Taylor writes that "diversity" has led to civil rights claims by all kinds of groups he doesn't like. "Anyone who opposes the glorification of the alien, the subnormal, and the inferior can be denounced," he complains. "The metastasis of diversity is a fascinating story, but the disease began with race."

After 300 pages of attacking blacks and dismissing white racism, Taylor's 1992 book Paved With Good Intentions: The Failure of Race Relations in Contemporary America notes that most Americans would not agree to use sterilization or forced abortion on those whom the society considers less fit. His solution? Make "welfare mothers" accept a "five-year implantable contraceptive."

Taylor is allied with Wayne Lutton, whom he thanks in his book and who is the editor of The Social Contract, a journal published by John Tanton's The Social Contract Press*. Taylor, Lutton and Richard Lynn are on the editorial board of The Occidental Quarterly, a journal where Sam Francis, top editor for the racist Council of Conservative Citizens*, serves as book review editor. The Occidental Quarterly's first issue featured a story by the late Keith Stimely, who was also an editor of the Journal of Historical Review, a notorious Holocaust denial publication.

Mistaking Poverty for Race

But Taylor is plainly, demonstrably wrong.

Taylor uses an incredibly simplistic analytical method that flatly ignores the fundamental conclusion of decades of serious criminology: Crime is intimately related to poverty. In fact, when multivariate statistical methods such as regression analysis are used, study after study has shown that race has little, if any, predictive power.

This basic fact is so well understood among scholars of criminal justice that the preface to Minnesota's official crime data reports carries this caveat: "Racial and ethnic data must be treated with caution. ... Existing research on crime has generally shown that racial or ethnic identity is not predictive of criminal behavior with data which has been controlled for social and economic factors."

When more sophisticated methodology is employed, socioeconomic factors including poverty, education, social status and urban residence account far better for criminal behavior than race. Above all, income counts.

It is precisely because being black in America is closely correlated with being poor, suffering from high unemployment and having low levels of education that the black community has relatively high crime rates.

In 1994, the same year that Taylor's data comes from, the poverty rate among blacks was three times that of whites. In addition, nearly 40 percent of black children grew up in poverty.

So while it is true, for instance, that blacks rob whites far more than vice versa, that is hardly a surprise — whites, after all, own nearly 10 times the wealth that blacks do on average. They also own far more businesses. Thus, it is only natural that any rational robber would select whites over blacks as victims.

Allright, I need to say that I knew the New Century Foundation was right leaning but I posted that link mainly for the FBI statistics. I'm not a right wing hate monger and I reject many of Taylor's other assertions. In fact, I didn't know much about the org and found the crime article from the blog of a prominent conservative blogger.

I was also never trying to insinuate most black people are criminals, only that black vs white violence is higher in modern America than vice versa. If that became muddied or I came across as racist, it was not my intention and I apologize for any misunderstanding.

Final thought - It's incredibly disingenuous and insulting to the many poor people who live honestly to claim poverty is a leading factor for violent crime. I can completely understand property crime, but that's a far cry from engaging in murder, rape, etc.

jdzappa wrote:

In fact, I didn't know much about the org and found the crime article from the blog of a prominent conservative blogger.

I'm shocked! SHOCKED, I tell you!

Seriously though. This is why conservatives have a bit of reputation for being, how should I say it, old-fashioned in their views about race.

jdzappa wrote:

Final thought - It's incredibly disingenuous and insulting to the many poor people who live honestly to claim poverty is a leading factor for violent crime. I can completely understand property crime, but that's a far cry from engaging in murder, rape, etc.

http://cjr.sagepub.com/content/18/2/...

jdzappa wrote:

Final thought - It's incredibly disingenuous and insulting to the many poor people who live honestly to claim poverty is a leading factor for violent crime. I can completely understand property crime, but that's a far cry from engaging in murder, rape, etc.

The fact that criminal behavior is more prevalent in one economic cohort than another says nothing about the people who don't engage in it. Poverty has been shown to contribute to higher crime rates, and there are good reasons for that, but that does not make honest poor people less worthy of respect. It simply means that poor people are more likely to need to engage in criminal behavior as a source of income, or for secondary reasons (revenge, defense against criminals, etc.) than people who are not poor. And it's not *just* poverty, but that's a contributing factor.

jdzappa wrote:

I was also never trying to insinuate most black people are criminals, only that black vs white violence is higher in modern America than vice versa. If that became muddied or I came across as racist, it was not my intention and I apologize for any misunderstanding.

But the problem, which Jayhawker's quoted responses hits on, is that the stats don't show that black vs white violence is higher. The stats show that convictions for black vs white violence are higher, which is not the same thing at all.

And as Robear pointed out, the statistics do show that violent crime correlates with lower income brackets. But it's also much more complicated than just that.

jdzappa wrote:

Final thought - It's incredibly disingenuous and insulting to the many poor people who live honestly to claim poverty is a leading factor for violent crime. I can completely understand property crime, but that's a far cry from engaging in murder, rape, etc.

So why would you post an article showing mathematical statistics proving point A but shy away from point B? Statistics were all you needed before but now it's disingenuous and insulting?

Maq wrote:
jdzappa wrote:

Final thought - It's incredibly disingenuous and insulting to the many poor people who live honestly to claim poverty is a leading factor for violent crime. I can completely understand property crime, but that's a far cry from engaging in murder, rape, etc.

http://cjr.sagepub.com/content/18/2/182.abstract

I'd say that in light of that, it's incredibly disingenuous to refute the claim that poverty is a leading factor in violent crime, given the hard data backing it up.

It's also incredibly disingenuous to conflate the statistical correlation between poverty and violent crime with a claim that all people in poverty are violent criminals. Which seems to be precisely what you're doing with what I've quoted up there....

Farscry wrote:
jdzappa wrote:

I was also never trying to insinuate most black people are criminals, only that black vs white violence is higher in modern America than vice versa. If that became muddied or I came across as racist, it was not my intention and I apologize for any misunderstanding.

But the problem, which Jayhawker's quoted responses hits on, is that the stats don't show that black vs white violence is higher. The stats show that convictions for black vs white violence are higher, which is not the same thing at all.

And as Robear pointed out, the statistics do show that violent crime correlates with lower income brackets. But it's also much more complicated than just that.

Fair enough, but is there a counter-study showing that in 2012 lots of white hate crimes against blacks are getting swept under the rug? I can totally see a bias in conviction rates for drug offenses and petty crime, with whites often not being prosecuted or given community service/sentenced to treatment facilities. Conviction rates for murder by comparison tend to be pretty high, and a good lawyer is far less likely to get murderers completely off. Also, as we've seen in the Zimmerman and the gas station shooter, white vs black hate crimes quickly become national news. So that's why it's hard for me to believe there's an epidemic of unreported white hate crimes, which I think a number of posters were insinuating a few pages back.

SixteenBlue wrote:
jdzappa wrote:

Final thought - It's incredibly disingenuous and insulting to the many poor people who live honestly to claim poverty is a leading factor for violent crime. I can completely understand property crime, but that's a far cry from engaging in murder, rape, etc.

So why would you post an article showing mathematical statistics proving point A but shy away from point B? Statistics were all you needed before but now it's disingenuous and insulting?

Look, I'll own up to not doing enough to research the background of the original article. If the guy who wrote it believes blacks are morally or genetically inferior, that of course is complete BS. But I also find the notion that violent criminals are hapless victims of circumstance equally suspect. If that was the case, then crime would always skyrocket during recessions and especially during the Great Depression, when in fact the opposite was true. I haven't had time to go through all the links from the criminal studies, but I'm wondering how many of them also look at culture vs economics.

It's also incredibly disingenuous to conflate the statistical correlation between poverty and violent crime with a claim that all people in poverty are violent criminals. Which seems to be precisely what you're doing with what I've quoted up there....

Where did I say that I think most poor people are violent? I was trying to say the opposite - that the majority of poor Americans are law abiding and shouldn't be blamed for the actions of the criminal class.

jdzappa wrote:

But I also find the notion that violent criminals are hapless victims of circumstance equally suspect.

I think two questions get mixed together in these conversations and it leads to confusion. There's the question of what to do with someone who has committed a crime. There's another question though: how do we prevent crime in the first place. When someone says "poverty is a leading factor for violent crime" don't assume they're trying to find an answer to that first question. I think they're usually trying to answer the second question.

In which case it really doesn't matter if they are hapless victims of circumstance or not, does it? If you can prevent violence by only knowing enough about its causes to find the link to poverty, why keep digging to find out root causes just to make sure they're actually hapless victims? It's like trying to challenge the religious views of people who burn witches when you can prevent witch hunts just by giving old women government pensions: I'm not sure if a witch weighs more than a duck, but it's funny how all of a sudden nobody is interested in killing a golden goose.

America has incredibly high murder rates, which makes me think our culture of violence glorification is much more likely to blame than economics.

One thing I always think is that it's hard to compare America to other countries. We are both colony and colonizer. Imagine where those European countries would be in these statistical tables if we still counted their former colonies as part of their country.

The other thing is I'm not sure it's really glorification of violence. I can't remember where I read it, but someone made the point that America is one of the only first-world countries where democracy preceded a high level of state control over violence. Even in Canada, the frontier wasn't the Wild West. I don't know if it's the glorification of violence that's the cause as much as it's a symptom--a symptom of the democratization of violence in America.

jdzappa wrote:
It's also incredibly disingenuous to conflate the statistical correlation between poverty and violent crime with a claim that all people in poverty are violent criminals. Which seems to be precisely what you're doing with what I've quoted up there....

Where did I say that I think most poor people are violent? I was trying to say the opposite - that the majority of poor Americans are law abiding and shouldn't be blamed for the actions of the criminal class.

See, you're doing it again. You're railing against a fictitious claim that poverty=violence by pointing out that some poor people aren't violent.

Your point was that it's insulting to suggest that there's a correlation between poverty and violence because some poor people aren't violent. I'm saying that your point only holds true if the suggested correlation is 100%.

Which it isn't.

I may as well claim that it's insulting to suggest that bestiality is more prevalent amongst whites than non-whites by pointing out that I'm white and I've never banged a giraffe.

So what's the status on the Zimmerman case? Are they waiting for trial?

Yup, it's set for June 10th. Link

jdzappa wrote:
Farscry wrote:
jdzappa wrote:

I was also never trying to insinuate most black people are criminals, only that black vs white violence is higher in modern America than vice versa. If that became muddied or I came across as racist, it was not my intention and I apologize for any misunderstanding.

But the problem, which Jayhawker's quoted responses hits on, is that the stats don't show that black vs white violence is higher. The stats show that convictions for black vs white violence are higher, which is not the same thing at all.

And as Robear pointed out, the statistics do show that violent crime correlates with lower income brackets. But it's also much more complicated than just that.

Fair enough, but is there a counter-study showing that in 2012 lots of white hate crimes against blacks are getting swept under the rug? I can totally see a bias in conviction rates for drug offenses and petty crime, with whites often not being prosecuted or given community service/sentenced to treatment facilities. Conviction rates for murder by comparison tend to be pretty high, and a good lawyer is far less likely to get murderers completely off. Also, as we've seen in the Zimmerman and the gas station shooter, white vs black hate crimes quickly become national news. So that's why it's hard for me to believe there's an epidemic of unreported white hate crimes, which I think a number of posters were insinuating a few pages back.

I'm actually not willing to commit to either conclusion, because I don't feel that we have the data available to do so. There are points of information in this discussion and the links that can be leaned on to make both conclusions, but they require a certain perspective to take them that way.

For example, I looked at the blog/write-up that you linked, and the problem with the "statistics" there are that we're seeing conclusions, not raw numbers. Conclusions that, depending upon those raw numbers, could easily be blatantly misleading examples of manipulating how the data is interpreted. And not only are we not provided with the raw numbers, we're not provided with the source(s) for those raw numbers. We're also not provided with the contexts of the crimes. For example, while there has been aspersion cast on the concept of "hate crime," there's a clear difference between a poor black man gunning down a middle-class (or even wealthier) white man in a robbery gone wrong versus a black man with a history of racist diatribes against whites gunning down a white man with no discernible motive beyond previously demonstrated racist attitudes.

If you actually look into the PDF from that "color of crime" blog, it reveals that the primary source of information being used is a combination of UCR and NCVS reports. This is actually the first in a series of fundamental flaws in the NCF's arguments.

UCR data relies too heavily on voluntary reporting from law enforcement agencies (and police do not always write up reports of incidents for a variety of reasons; for example they are more likely to write up reports that fit within stereotypes, or where the victim is of higher socioeconomic standing) and focuses strongly on street crime (so organized crime and "white collar" crime goes underrepresented in UCR reports - the latter obviously being of less concern since we're talking about violent crime here); you can easily imagine the problems inherent there.

NCVS data underrepresents non-urban areas, and relies upon victims and/or witnesses being willing to respond to the survey (or even being available to do so).

So combining these two and using them as the sole source of raw data already messes with what conclusions can be reasonably drawn.

Interestingly, the NCF took some serious liberties in their interpretation of Hate Crime statistics; I'll be honest here, they jumped around so much in what they were saying and how they were trying to justify it that I really don't understand how they arrived at their (unsurprising, given their bias) conclusion that blacks somehow are more than twice as likely to commit a violent hate crime against whites than the inverse.

Their report is also seven years old, and going off of data that's ten years old. Looking at more recent information from the FBI's 2010 update, the raw number of offenders shows that were roughly three times as many white offenders of hate crime as black. However, the data also shows that a substantial percentage of these crimes were not violent in nature. 1510 violent hate crimes were committed by whites, 542 by blacks. So basically whites committed three times as many hate crimes as blacks in 2010. However, the population breakdown in the US puts us at roughly five whites for each black. Unfortunately, I've tried going through the other tables of data, and the problem is there's no table that breaks down the offenses committed by ethnic group broken down into what their bias was and against what ethnic group (I think I got that all down right...). So there's no specific breakdown to let us build any conclusion.

The short version of that last paragraph is, even trying to look as impartially at the data as I can (granted, I'm no statistician), there is insufficient data to draw any legitimate conclusion. And this isn't even taking into account the aforementioned flaws in how the data is even gathered.

It's a mess, is what it is. And none of this changes the clear fact that this latest jackass in Florida abusing the Stand Your Ground law is clearly in the wrong.

Farscry wrote:
jdzappa wrote:
Farscry wrote:
jdzappa wrote:

I was also never trying to insinuate most black people are criminals, only that black vs white violence is higher in modern America than vice versa. If that became muddied or I came across as racist, it was not my intention and I apologize for any misunderstanding.

But the problem, which Jayhawker's quoted responses hits on, is that the stats don't show that black vs white violence is higher. The stats show that convictions for black vs white violence are higher, which is not the same thing at all.

And as Robear pointed out, the statistics do show that violent crime correlates with lower income brackets. But it's also much more complicated than just that.

Fair enough, but is there a counter-study showing that in 2012 lots of white hate crimes against blacks are getting swept under the rug? I can totally see a bias in conviction rates for drug offenses and petty crime, with whites often not being prosecuted or given community service/sentenced to treatment facilities. Conviction rates for murder by comparison tend to be pretty high, and a good lawyer is far less likely to get murderers completely off. Also, as we've seen in the Zimmerman and the gas station shooter, white vs black hate crimes quickly become national news. So that's why it's hard for me to believe there's an epidemic of unreported white hate crimes, which I think a number of posters were insinuating a few pages back.

I'm actually not willing to commit to either conclusion, because I don't feel that we have the data available to do so. There are points of information in this discussion and the links that can be leaned on to make both conclusions, but they require a certain perspective to take them that way.

For example, I looked at the blog/write-up that you linked, and the problem with the "statistics" there are that we're seeing conclusions, not raw numbers. Conclusions that, depending upon those raw numbers, could easily be blatantly misleading examples of manipulating how the data is interpreted. And not only are we not provided with the raw numbers, we're not provided with the source(s) for those raw numbers. We're also not provided with the contexts of the crimes. For example, while there has been aspersion cast on the concept of "hate crime," there's a clear difference between a poor black man gunning down a middle-class (or even wealthier) white man in a robbery gone wrong versus a black man with a history of racist diatribes against whites gunning down a white man with no discernible motive beyond previously demonstrated racist attitudes.

If you actually look into the PDF from that "color of crime" blog, it reveals that the primary source of information being used is a combination of UCR and NCVS reports. This is actually the first in a series of fundamental flaws in the NCF's arguments.

UCR data relies too heavily on voluntary reporting from law enforcement agencies (and police do not always write up reports of incidents for a variety of reasons; for example they are more likely to write up reports that fit within stereotypes, or where the victim is of higher socioeconomic standing) and focuses strongly on street crime (so organized crime and "white collar" crime goes underrepresented in UCR reports - the latter obviously being of less concern since we're talking about violent crime here); you can easily imagine the problems inherent there.

NCVS data underrepresents non-urban areas, and relies upon victims and/or witnesses being willing to respond to the survey (or even being available to do so).

So combining these two and using them as the sole source of raw data already messes with what conclusions can be reasonably drawn.

Interestingly, the NCF took some serious liberties in their interpretation of Hate Crime statistics; I'll be honest here, they jumped around so much in what they were saying and how they were trying to justify it that I really don't understand how they arrived at their (unsurprising, given their bias) conclusion that blacks somehow are more than twice as likely to commit a violent hate crime against whites than the inverse.

Their report is also seven years old, and going off of data that's ten years old. Looking at more recent information from the FBI's 2010 update, the raw number of offenders shows that were roughly three times as many white offenders of hate crime as black. However, the data also shows that a substantial percentage of these crimes were not violent in nature. 1510 violent hate crimes were committed by whites, 542 by blacks. So basically whites committed three times as many hate crimes as blacks in 2010. However, the population breakdown in the US puts us at roughly five whites for each black. Unfortunately, I've tried going through the other tables of data, and the problem is there's no table that breaks down the offenses committed by ethnic group broken down into what their bias was and against what ethnic group (I think I got that all down right...). So there's no specific breakdown to let us build any conclusion.

The short version of that last paragraph is, even trying to look as impartially at the data as I can (granted, I'm no statistician), there is insufficient data to draw any legitimate conclusion. And this isn't even taking into account the aforementioned flaws in how the data is even gathered.

It's a mess, is what it is. And none of this changes the clear fact that this latest jackass in Florida abusing the Stand Your Ground law is clearly in the wrong.

Farscry, I'd like to thank you for an excellent breakdown - and maybe I'm completely wrong and there is indeed a marked increase of white hate crimes. I don't want to derail this thread any further but if there's interest I'd be willing to create an income inequalityand its consequences to society thread (or ressurect the old one).

I may as well claim that it's insulting to suggest that bestiality is more prevalent amongst whites than non-whites by pointing out that I'm white and I've never banged a giraffe.

Don't knock it until you've tried it.

jdzappa wrote:
Jonman wrote:

I may as well claim that it's insulting to suggest that bestiality is more prevalent amongst whites than non-whites by pointing out that I'm white and I've never banged a giraffe.

Don't knock it until you've tried it.

I'm just bragging about the iron will I've displayed in resisting the siren's call of those sexy sinuous necks....

Jonman wrote:
jdzappa wrote:
Jonman wrote:

I may as well claim that it's insulting to suggest that bestiality is more prevalent amongst whites than non-whites by pointing out that I'm white and I've never banged a giraffe.

Don't knock it until you've tried it.

I'm just bragging about the iron will I've displayed in resisting the siren's call of those sexy sinuous necks....

Impala? I 'ardly know her!

Jonman wrote:
jdzappa wrote:
Jonman wrote:

I may as well claim that it's insulting to suggest that bestiality is more prevalent amongst whites than non-whites by pointing out that I'm white and I've never banged a giraffe.

Don't knock it until you've tried it.

I'm just bragging about the iron will I've displayed in resisting the siren's call of those sexy sinuous necks....

So slender...

jdzappa wrote:

Farscry, I'd like to thank you for an excellent breakdown - and maybe I'm completely wrong and there is indeed a marked increase of white hate crimes. I don't want to derail this thread any further but if there's interest I'd be willing to create an income inequalityand its consequences to society thread (or ressurect the old one).

Well, I'm glad that rambling wall of text was useful even just a little.

And just to reiterate, I'm not even saying you were wrong, just that I don't think there was sufficient data to support the NCF's conclusion. My self-admitted bias is that, based on what I've seen and heard in my life, I suspect that there is more violent hate crimes conducted by whites against blacks than the inverse. However, I would be remiss if I didn't step back and be willing to review data impartially and accept the reality regardless of whether it matches my preconceived notions.

As for the derail, I'd certainly read (and inevitably post in) a break-off thread about the influence of socioeconomic standing on crime.

Farscry wrote:

As for the derail, I'd certainly read (and inevitably post in) a break-off thread about the influence of socioeconomic standing on crime.

I'm definitely interested in this.

jdzappa wrote:

Where did I say that I think most poor people are violent? I was trying to say the opposite - that the majority of poor Americans are law abiding and shouldn't be blamed for the actions of the criminal class.

See, this is true, but it misses the point. The argument that I and others put forward here is that for a large number of reasons - fewer services, less policing, less community, poor education, bad food, even a higher likelihood of exposure to lead - people in poor areas have a higher rate of crime than do those in areas that are better off. Note that "a higher rate" does not mean "all or most of the poor are criminals". It means that most of them are law abiding, but a few more are likely to not be than in areas that are better off.

Some people would like to see government services go away, so they often select data that supports the idea that crime is in all ways a *moral* failure, that there is little influence of the environment on people's behavior. Others would like to see government much more involved, so they select data that supports the idea that crime is mostly unrelated to morals; that there are few "bad" people by nature, and that most crime is opportunistic and driven by need. What you need to do is to find the unaffiliated sources. Don't go to Cato or Heritage for your conclusions; look to universities or think tanks dedicated to the *problem* rather than those pushing an ideology. Then reason from there.

What I and others are saying is that if violent crime is running at say 1.5% in the general population in an affluent area, we might not be surprised to find that it's 3% in a terribly poor urban area (I just made the numbers up to avoid hours of research). I doubt you'd find that controversial. But if you come at it with pre-packaged conclusions from ideological sources, that idea gets lost in a sea of rhetoric. I don't believe the poor are all morally weak or that they are all doomed to repeat the failures of their parents. But it seems like you're starting from one of those points and evaluating in, rather than looking at the data and drawing your own conclusions.

It's not a simple thing, that's for sure. I'm very leery of the "crime rates dropped during a recession, so poverty is not a cause of it" reasoning, because it's got some assumptions that don't make sense. For example, recessions don't seem to me to lead to many people actually dropping into such severe situations that they have to move from the middle class to a ghetto. It doesn't affect the moral reasoning they make, or create instant criminal associations for them. Mostly, it reduces spending for people, which is a far cry from putting them into Watts or West Chicago. So you have to be careful with that sort of analysis, and make damned sure that the people pushing it are not biased before you just accept it. "Sweet Reason" by Tom Tymoczko has a number of chapters (close to half the book) on informal logic, which can be used to evaluate arguments in books, articles, conversations and the like. If you're inclined to use actual logic in everyday life as a part of critical thinking. If not, that's cool too.

There's not an easy way to sum up a decade or so of observation of poverty and crime, but you do have to remember it's not *just* money.

Funny thing about severe poverty. It's a bit like tar, it's got a LOT of grip. No money, less opportunity to get to school, either primary or college-level (Pell grants help a lot. But logistics are still a huge problem.), which leads to poorer work experience (Or limited work experience), which makes it even harder to get a job.

Then, well, you're basically unemployable, and angry, and need money.

I'm simplifying a lot, and not going into gangs in poor areas. It may seem silly to join a gang as a measure of saftey, but, well, I've lived in a few places that I could see it. (Also, the only reason I made it out of that mess without a criminal record is that I'm a white kid. All the cops assumed anyone else was already in a gang.).

It's a complicated, messy problem.

Kannon just wrote everything I would have said, down to the white kid/gangs part, so I'mma just +1 all that.