If you've already criminalized so much of daily life that there's an essentially unlimited amount of "criminals" to go out and fine whenever you need a little extra cash, you've ceased to be "law enforcement" at all and have simply implemented a brutally regressive tax scheme, Sheriff of Nottingham style.
- Nobody really expects the cops to sweep the dorms at NYU for marijuana, even though this would probably turn up a ton of arrests. Smoking a joint while looking like a minority and being in a minority part of town carries a much higher probability of being arrested.
- Crossing the street against the light at or around the front of MIT doesn't get you cited for jaywalking, ever.
- All of New York City has (had?) a prohibition on open containers of alcohol. This prohibition is generally unenforced in non-minority areas.
- Open carry laws in Georgia are not meant for dark-skinned Muslim men.
Funny you should bring that up, but not only it's true, there's some considerable history there. Few people are aware of it these days, but historically, South was actually very restrictive with respect to right to carry arms - most of it prohibited _all_ forms of carrying outright (look at this: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a8/Rtc.gif - and note where the red color is concentrated in mid-80s).
These laws mostly date to the post-Reconstruction era, and during Jim Crow (and later, but that's when it was most prominent) were effectively enforced or not enforced on the basis of race, and, to some extent, political affiliation (say, if you're a white dude who's travelling around the state to help blacks register in the 50s).
Nor for dark-skinned men in California: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mulford_Act
* technically it is, but the fine was set to $1 many years ago in order to effectively make it legal
Genuine question as I don't know. But essentially laws like that become tools with which law enforcement can excercise malice toward individuals if they please.
I am reminded of a story of a man out on probation, who used a knife for his work. He had been out for a while, normally the knife was concealed as it's required to be. But it was visible when he was stopped on his way home from work. The state of New York has pretty strict laws at their disposal, and they chose to use them in this case, and the man who had been getting his life back together was thrown back in jail over what is essentially a technicality.
Laws that seem harmless and unenforced should be removed, less they be abused. Just like it is best to remove a deprecated function when it's no longer in use, lest it become a risk.
The original point is still valid, it was just a bad example. No one gets cited for jaywalking here.
The point is they enforce whatever, whenever. There are far too many laws and they are very unevenly enforced.
Its a long read but worth it.
The issue was the knife itself being illegal in New York -- a knife that could be bought at almost any hardware or art supply store in the city. Concealed or not, the guy was violating a poorly written law meant to criminalize switchblades in the mid 20th century. But cops had been using it to arrest African American men if they saw the telltale pocket clip while stopping them for something else.
They classified this certain kind of utility knife as a "gravity knife", even though it wasn't. The law outlaws knives opened with a flick of the wrist, and it took a cop five tries to flick one open in court once because they aren't designed to be opened that way. But that one time was all it took.
To bring this back to the original question: in a just world, an arrest for owning one of these knives -- again, one that you could buy at any hardware store shouldn't violate someone's probation. Neither should jaywalking, something I do countless times a day.
The point is that behavior is only effectively legal when it's actually legal and not only made so by convention, because relying on convention leads to selective prosecution.
I wonder whether removing the decision making from the police, or at least attempting to, helps in getting laws more evenly enforced.
We've decided to create special jurisdictions where certain laws are ignored for certain people. Campus Police are basically this practice codified into law and organization. Your student ID is a pass that gives you immunity from prosecution from certain violations.
Now that the local constable has a legal reason to stop and detain due to the criminal act of jay-walking, a round of questioning and a search for other violations may begin in earnest. It's part of the shakedown machine.
While Georgia allows open carry of long-guns without a permit, white people walking around with AR-15 rifles would probably be stopped and questioned by the police regardless.
Open carry of handguns, and concealed carry of any weapon, in Georgia is only legal with a Georgia Weapons Carry License, which is only obtained after a background check and review by a local probate judge.
While someone of darker complexion might run into trouble with certain racists on certain police forces, I don't think it's fair to damn the whole state's laws based on that. So called "Terry" stops are not allowed, no matter what color someone's skin is.
Let's assume that's correct. It doesn't address the point that every citizen could not be expected to be afforded this treatment. A group of dark-skinned men who carry long guns into a store are likely to spend some time on the pavement, or worse. (It's a very big subject so I won't post citations, but there have been ample publications indicating that unarmed people of color are killed by police at a higher rate than white people. That's a long way from questioning.)
The right to carry long guns in public places is created by legislation that is dependent on our understanding that the police can figure out who should not be allowed to enjoy this right. If our shared understanding was that the outcome of these laws would be vast numbers of swarthy men carrying AR-15s in all public places, an armed minority teenager behind us at every ATM, our public debate around guns would be very different.
> So called "Terry" stops are not allowed, no matter what color someone's skin is.
If you believe this is how the law is actually enforced in America, you really should spend more time with people outside your current circle of acquaintances. If you don't believe that this is how our laws are currently enforced, then you are in agreement with my post.
I'd argue that this statement would stand, even without the racial qualifiers. I don't think I've seen an AR-15 outside of a shooting range or gun show. If "vast numbers" of people felt the need to carry them in all public places, I think I'd look for somewhere else to be, where I could feel safe without being armed.
That's the beauty of open-carry, you don't have to be armed because everyone around you is! /half-ironicly, half-pointedly
In a large group of people, there's also a good chance that a percentage of them wouldn't know what they're doing and just kill whatever kind of safety benefit everyone else imagines they've got.
I think groups might be less likely to stir trouble than a single individual, for a variety of reasons. But I could be wrong, it would depend largely on the responding officers, I imagine. If the citizens are being peaceful and do not act in threatening ways, I would not expect trouble.
In the same vein, pedestrians in the city of Providence have the right of way at all crosswalks unless a walk signal is present, in which case the jaywalking rule above applies.
Again, the point of TFA was that minor ordinances are selectively applied ("generally"). What you say is true only in some neighborhoods. But in neighborhoods where the police are looking for a pretext to stop someone, jaywalking ordinances are a handy tool.
Selective enforcement of the law has been written about quite frequently, and is a well-studied phenomenon. As such, I won't try to rehash the body of work, but here's an example from NYC I found in a few seconds:
"A look at the precincts that report comparatively significant numbers of jaywalking citations over the past few years reveals a pattern: the South Bronx, Harlem, north Brooklyn."
(TL;DR; those areas were not selected due to particularly high accident fatality rates.)
I'm not sure about jaywalking citation stats in Boston and Providence, but random stops have been a part of life in poorer neighborhoods in both cities.
"Nobody really expects the cops to sweep the dorms at NYU for marijuana, even though this would probably turn up a ton of arrests."
Switch out "NYU" with "ghetto" and your statement is instantly absurd. These laws you're sleaking of are intended to be enforced, selectively. This is HN, we all love statistics. What is the probability that a person standing trial for possession marijuana who was apprehended in their home and where the primary reason provided in seeking the exercised warrant or reasoning provided explaining exigent circumstances was suspicion of possession or use of marijuana and the person on trial is white? Black?
You can't be evidence based when it suits your world view, but not when it doesn't. The term for that is confirmation bias.
The thing that gets missed is that a ton of laws on the books are written with the expectation that they will not be applied evenly.
You should read before jumping down someone's throat.
"I totally agree..."
And everything else is pretty much still good to go. Sorry. I'm pretty opinionated on this topic. As someone with dual degrees in political science and economics, followed by 15 years of all this great country has to offer the white male, and then living in Baltimore during the uprising, listening to my neighbors, marching with fellow Baltimoreans (?), almost getting arrested for holding a sign while on a public sidewalk during a march, staring down rows of cops 10 deep, having motorcycle cops rev their engines with protestors just feet on front of them laid out on the ground, having the National Guard lock down our city for a week, having government sigint airplanes flying overhead, and then riding my bicycle home, to a safe, warm meal and going to my good paying job with benefits the next day, while some black kid follows his mother's advice and walks into a police station on his own volition to surrender to the ppolice for vandalizing a cop car and then having his bail set higher than what was set for the police officers who where arraigned for manslaughter. But yeah, i blew it all out proportion in that comment.
I would argue it's borderline racketeering, since the police are trying to "solve" a problem that doesn't exist.
It's literally highway robbery.
Is it though, or is that just the hook being used to drive traffic?
They found a correlation between the size of the African American population and the percentage of government revenue from fines, but what evidence is there that the cause is actually racism? The article essentially explains the cause -- African Americans tend to live in higher crime areas, which leads to more police presence in those areas and thus more fines.
In other words, the real problem is that the cops can fine anybody for no real reason (and some municipalities use this for revenue generation), and that problem disproportionately affects African Americans because they have more proximity to more cops.
The problem with framing it as racism is that support for a cause is generally motivated primarily by self-interest, and if you paint it as "this is a problem for black people" then the majority of voters hear that as "this is not a problem for you" when in actual fact it is a problem that affects everyone.
It's always been about money. The people who have it and the people who don't.
Why would they write more tickets on a population that doesn't respond to them (context: according to TFA some already have fines for "missed court dates" etc)?
If you want to generate revenue, wouldn't you go hard on writing tickets in a middle-class neighborhood, where the population makes enough money to pay the fines but not enough to have the time/resources to fight?
 please Google the name - information is readily available, but the links are too politically charged for this particular discussion.
And a many-armed one, at that!
A car is a multiton killing machine if used improperly. Speeding is substantially more dangerous than jaywalking, and it moves the risk to other people.
Actually driving the speed limit would be quite dangerous - the speed differential between lanes, coupled with the impetus for those behind you to do a lot of lane-changing, is not pleasant.
If we genuinely believed the speed limits mattered, we could enforce them uniformly against everyone using ANPR cameras and timestamps. Instead, squad cars pick a few random unlucky souls (out of the hundreds of people going roughly the same speed in their vicinity) to be slapped with a fine.
They are more likely to do this at the end of the month, when ticket quotas are due. In some random jurisdictions you may pass through on a road trip, they are more likely to ticket travelers passing through, who aren't voting on the next sheriff. And yes, in some cases they are more likely to pick you if you're black (particularly if also driving a nice car).
I'm not objecting to ticketing of drivers who are going substantially faster than traffic, weaving through lanes, etc. I am objecting to the fact that the normal daily driving behavior required to not cause an accident (i.e. go with the flow, 10-15mph over the speed limit) is criminal and enforcement is "random" with some opportunity for bias against people the local cops don't like.
If the speed limits were raised to a level where speeders were genuinely unsafe without a major attitude adjustment among drivers, the roads would be considerably more dangerous.
1) most people actually drive slightly below the limit, since vast majority of cars are not comfortable cruisers at 90mph, sure you can get to 90mph in your 1.4 Polo but it will be very loud inside and uncomfortable.
2) Even less people drive significantly above the speed limit, so the police does not see patrolling motorways as worth their time - even if you were doing an otherwise crazy 120mph(200kmh) the largest ticket they could give you would be like ~$100 and a few points on your licence(you need 21 to lose it). So it's not worth their time.
As a result, when I drive there I don't have to worry about constantly being 5-10mph over the limit, since 90mph is fast enough. Setting the speed limit on a 4-5 lane highway to 50mph like in some places in the States is just asking for trouble,and I'm sure it's an excellent source of revenue for the local law enforcement.
> Poland has one of the highest death rates for traffic accidents in the European Union, with 93 deaths per million persons per year, compared with the EU average of 55.
EDIT: hang on.
Road fatalities per 100,000 inhabitants per year
The non-motorway roads may be death traps.
I have -never- seen a police officer pull someone over for violating this law.
I also agree with the sibling poster that points out that the speed limits on roadways seem low.
I know of a few residential areas where the roads are improperly not arterial (but should be due to traffic volume) leading to lower speed limits than they would otherwise appear to support.
Highways should also have condition based speed limits; but really I'd prefer the HOV lanes are replaced with 'self driving car' lanes that have a speed limit in law, but based on the evaluation of the automated vehicles. Probably carpools should be given a kick-back based on occupancy volume.
In a world of self-driving cars, maybe speeding will be less like a fine and more like a toll. So if you want to go over the speed limit, you pay a toll to the local municipality for the right to do so.
I'm not sure why that seems unlikely. African Americans commit a disproportionately large amount of violent crimes. It seems reasonable to expect that they also commit a larger amount of misdemeanors and minor infractions. It would be far more surprising if they had a higher propensity to break the law, but only when the violation is serious and the penalty heavy.
> Although African Americans and Whites report smoking marijuana at the same rates, African Americans are 3.7 times more likely get arrested for marijuana possession.
> An analysis of the National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that 6.6% of White people between the ages of 12 and 25 have sold drugs compared to 5.0% of Blacks. Yet Black people are 3.6 times more likely get arrested for selling drugs.
Is a good meta-analysis, which on this particular data point leads to:
And in the OP's substantive point about "violent crimes", the FBI's crime stats prove them definitively correct.
The discrepancy may be explainable simply by the police presence in the area.
I'd take it one step further:
I live in a medium to medium class neighborhood with a few lower priced apartments dotted throughout. One is actually next door to me. I had to call 911 last weekend when a bbq at the apt building next to me was close to violence. I listened through an open window as one calm male tried to disuade his friend from starting a fight as the latter ranted for 45 minutes in the street sometime after midnight. I heard male number one mention an open arrest warrant as an attempt to reason with male number two that violence was not going to end well. Male number two repeatedly dismissed this and periodically became hysterical with anger.
Between my initial call to 911 and the time when police arrived, I heard a new voice arrive, alerting the hostile guy that he (male number three) had called his cousin for backup and reminding everyone that his cousin is a Crip (a west coast gang, for those who are unfamiliar). I made a second 911 call to update the officers that the situation appeared to be escalating.
So, what I'm driving towards is the additional possibility that this type of behavior sticks out terribly in a quiet neighborhood where most residents have families and go to sleep by 10pm. The likelihood of someone notifying authorities is probably greater than in a high crime area because this is an extremely rare occurrence here.
Edit: yes, I live in a predominantly white neighborhood and the bbq attendees were all black, but that seemed less relevant until I remembered that someone is likely to ask.
This is exactly what I was talking about in my post above.
The instinct or intuition to notice danger is totally different. Call it paranoia, call it introspection, it doesn't matter, it is there and it is real.
> this type of behavior sticks out terribly in a quiet neighborhood where most residents have families and go to sleep by 10pm. The likelihood of someone notifying authorities is probably greater
This is why the recent migration from MENA to Germany is going to go very wrong. Combining Germans, a people notoriously for being 'societal correct' with young men from MENA is perfectly calibrated to result in violence. There are no two ways about it.
If people act like boors, it makes sense they are more likely to get arrested.
Another occasion he installed a wooden shed behind the council house (housing for the poor) he lived in. The council predictably told him they would kick his family out of the house if they didn't take it down. Again; another thing I would never have done in a million years because I would have assumed it was obvious I needed permission before building sheds on a property I do not own. Shit, I probably even need planning permission from the government, let alone the property owner in lots of cases.
I strongly suspect it is the same thing with smoking drugs. Some groups act in ways which are far more likely to get them arrested even if they commit those crimes at comparable rates to the native population example: smoking illegal drugs in the street vs smoking them in your own home.
I don't have an explanation for the underlying mechanism but I've seen the same thing time and time again in (five) black persons I've been working with. They're not bad people or stupid, certainly not the ones I work with, but their 'boundaries' just aren't the same as mine and other white coworkers. What is an immediate and definite red flag for trouble ahead to me is invisible to them, it is like there is a communication band they don't access. Which is weird because the five people I worked with were certainly more socially adaptive than I.
My rough guess is that I and other natives have, let us call it: a residual paranoia instinct that black foreigners do not. I expect different groups have different social relations and this is an invisible wall dividing people that hardly anybody feels comfortable thinking or talking about.
Blacks get arrested for drugs in about the same ratio to whites as they commit violent crime.
They were running from the cops and dove into bushes. But pretty white girls that lived in a place where the average house is over a million. No ticket or anything. Cops took them home and woke up their mom and they had their iPhones taken away for a month. That was all.
If they were black males doing the same the situation would have ended very differently.
from today: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/nyc-crime/fare-beating-t...
There is no obvious causal reason to link violent offenses and non-violent offenses. In fact, in my experience, I would expect an inverse causal relationship. I know quite a few ... people ... who would pick your pocket, steal from your house, etc. but would never actually physically assault somebody.
Your statement might be true, but some data is required.
In addition, non-violent offenses concerning alcohol are heavily skewed toward a racial component of white yet seem to not related to violent offenses at all.
You're going to have to work a lot harder to show causality.
The article data indicates that the fine rates are as high as 21 times the normal rate.
It does not look like the crime rate is enough to explain the fine rate.
This graph really doesn't seem to support their hypothesis AT ALL - the correlation looks really weak, and they give no strength statistics for it at all. Of the municipalities with the lowest revenue from fines, all of those with the highest percentages (from 80% up to around 100%) of African Americans are represented. On the other hand, in the scattering of municipalities with high revenue from fines (say, over 20%) the percentage of African Americans is anything from less than 5% to 80% with no clear pattern. I'm not convinced...
I think it would be interesting to look at the ethnic distribution of the police force vs that of local population, in case it offers a stronger signal? One needs the data to do it though and I can't see a link to a clean download.
It's like proving that everybody got rich in a town overnight since the average income shot up while Bill Gates came for a visit.
Rotate the image to the left (i.e. swap the X and Y axis).
And you can clearly see that the larger the black population the less they rely on fines.
There are some outliers, and those should be stopped.
I called and emailed the alderman office that would handle that spot and got zero results. Tried contacting media outlets, etc, but nobody wants to help out in fixing the spot. Hell, I even posted on reddit and got downvoted for "trying to help dumb people".
It's incredibly frustrating that it's seemingly impossible to get anything done in any large city as an individual who just wants to help out.
Keep kicking that story around, someone will eventually pick up on it.
Working with the data has been fun and all and has probably been the biggest learning experience of anything I've ever done... but doing it all on my own has been pretty stressful, especially after trying really, really hard to get some attention through conventional ways. It's really disheartening to have next to zero traction from the city and the local "open gov hack" groups. Many journalists and tech folks who want to help out have their own goals, but I've been finding more and more that their goals are (at the risk of the obvious) largely attention seeking, so "unsexy" stories don't get much attention.
It's a very strange dynamic where so many folk are interested in visualization of data over actually solving problems. I really don't get it. Taking a break from this sort of work will be nice.
Having a random Internet guy make a Sankey diagram to show G+ user numbers helped the hell in promoting that story.
If you're on Reddit, drop a request at /r/MKaTS
Mostly cleaned up (ignore the file name :p ): https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B8w4PnXvOPIia0J3RGVyd0tka2...
Give it a read/listen. It's incredible how many things will click into place, how drastically different you'll perceive the world before and after.
This means that you're understanding of poverty will lack nuance. If you're one kind of person, you'll think its just bad parenting and bad culture. If you're another kind of person, you'll think it's external causes from racism, bad schools, etc.
The fact of the matter is that most people I've encountered who actually grew up in and around poverty understand that Coates portrayal is heavily biased towards the "external" causes, as opposed to the other forms of literature heavily biased towards the "it's their fault they are poor."
Why is this? Because there isn't really a market for the nuanced truth: It's a mix of both. I grew up in an extremely poor county with about 50% white/black, and most of both were poor. I went to the same schools, and watched some of my friends go down one path, while most went down the other, very bad path.
The problem is people like you, whose parents did what I'm doing with my kids (keeping them away from these failing schools and bad neighborhoods), have no clue what's going on and are limited in your information to the two extremes of WHY this is happening.
Why did two of the extremely smart, black male friends of mine growing up go down such extremely different paths? They both were poor, both highly intelligent, but one decided he wanted to fit in with the overly masculine cultural norms in black youth culture, while the other went down the path of escaping the trap of poverty by getting financial aid and going to a great public university. Their paths diverged in 8th grade.
What book out there explains this, and if it exists, is there a market for it? Probably not.
I was born and raised in San Francisco and am first generation Chinese-American. However, as a son of working class parents, my friends and I have spent most of our lives growing up through the inner-city school system dominated by minorities -- black, Hispanic, Asian (mostly Chinese, Vietnamese, Cambodian, but no Korean or Japanese). While at the time, I couldn't understand the plights of those I went to school with, looking back, I can now see how difficult it was for them, particularly those who were African-American.
And for those that make it out of the "hood," they face institutional racism. It's like an uphill battle. Even if somebody were to be in good spirits about it, only to be shot down over and over again, they'll eventually become frustrated. They begin to feel trapped in a nation they were born into that they, too, consider their own, but have parents that don't want them and/or hate them.
I know how fortunate I am to be lumped into a group of "Asians" or "Chinese," where in this country, people discriminate across all lines -- be it racial, socioeconomic, attitudes, beliefs, etc.
Whenever I see things like this and seeing people argue that their plights are just "sour grapes", and to, "stop playing the race card", really has no idea. And it's even more difficult to institute change in a system run by the privileged who have no idea what the lives of the poor are like. Nobody choose to be born black or into poverty. It's easy to say, "play the hand that you're dealt, when you've started with aces in the hole, or a favorable hand."
Reading the article and looking at their chart, something stood out to me. The 38 municipalities they list appear to be extreme outliers with another 100 municipalities looking like relative outliers. It appears that if you remove those cities, trends would look quite different. For example, it actually appears that the median reliance on fine of high-percentage African American cities is lower than average.
Basically, it looks like most of the action is in a few place. Thus, it seems like Federal Government should be investigating those 38 or 100 city governments, just as they investigated Ferguson's government.
For-profit prisons create similar problems. It becomes in the best interest of those profiting from these systems to encourage systemic crime. The problem was exposed years ago in the media, why hasn't it been dealt with?
I think this is evidence that the people running those local governments are insane. Would a rational minded person ever support such a system? It doesn't take a genius to look at the long term consequences and think "Maybe this plan needs adjustment."
For an interesting perspective on private prisons, you should see what Gary Johnson has to say on the matter based on his experience as Governor of New Mexico: http://govgaryjohnson.tumblr.com/post/139039414105/private-p...
If you want to see some serious influence (for the worse), take a look at the prison guard and law enforcement unions. At least the private organizations are accountable, liable. They aren't bestowed with any magical priviledges or powers. Deals can be renegotiated, people can be fired, competitors can be pursued.
Who knows what we could achieve under private (wholly volunatary) policing. Organizations could actually compete on budget, effectiveness, community-fit, supplemental charity services. Don't like the service? Hire someone else.
I'm surprised no one has mentioned the lack of statistical significance, std deviation, p-values, etc. Opinions are great and charts are fun but I don't really know that the conclusion is justified outside of Ferguson and other specific municipalities.
Bonus, one pension one authority to negotiate contracts, etc.
The benefit is that you get more consistency between police training across the state and pooled resources. Certainly I think the police are more trusted here.
The current decentralization is resulting in abuse an lack of accountability. I'm sure we could devise community oversight over the state police force. At least the police could have less variance and without the pressure to raise funds from citing locals, provide a fairer police force.
1. During sentencing, does the sentence we are imposing on this man/woman markedly deviate from the sentence imposed on similar offenders in similar circumstances who come from different racial backgrounds.
2. Initially - would a reasonable person, giving rise to the circumstances have cause to believe that the defendant would not have been subject to scrutiny were he of a different race (and allow defense counsel to bring in statistical evidence to try and prove this.)
All we are trying to do here is to prevent differential treatment under the law, which seems like a very easy problem to fix.
Single-family zoning is explicit segregation, yet it's popular across America. You can only build the most expensive kind of home in those neighborhoods. A majority of white families live in that type of home. A minority of black families do. Surprise! Segregated neighborhoods!
We culturally define "good schools" not as schools that increase a child's chances of success relative to other schools, but as schools that rich white people attend. We buy homes in segregated neighborhoods so we can send our kids to segregated schools, and we fight against cheaper housing options like apartments because they will make our schools less segregated and reduce our property values as a result. Surprise! Segregation!
Wealthy selfish people use our governments as weapons against black families, yet it's their fault that there's an unintegrated subculture. God bless America, a nation that will never allow black families to thrive.
On the flipside, these policies keep out poor whites as much as poor blacks, for the exact same reasons.
Rich black basketball players, musicians, doctors and politicians have no problem living in mostly-white neighborhoods. Of course, rich Asians also have no trouble living in white neighborhoods, because there are no racial segregation policies.
I find it amazing how you attribute the simple dynamics of people sorting themselves by wealth, which have been very strong in all urban societies everywhere ever, and make them out as though they're some sort of racial targeting system. e.g. 19th century Paris was almost all white French and had the same wealth clustering patterns for the same fundamental reasons.
Go look at the wikipedia article on redlining.
And this is not a past problem, banks were charging higher interest rates for loans to blacks than whites before the recent recession.
Housing discrimination may be illegal, but that doesn't mean it's not still an issue. http://www.cbsnews.com/news/racism-alive-and-well-in-housing...
systemic racial injustice doesn't mean a racial targeting system. It doesn't even have to be conscious. It is the result of tiny acts of discrimination that add up to disadvantage people of color.
As for 19th century France, it wasn't until the 1840's that France outlawed slavery, and then it continued to discriminate against french colonial citizens of color, such as Algerians.
That's not to say that class and wealth have no role in affecting black people. But being discriminated against because one is black and being discriminated against because one is poor are not mutually exclusive; they are, if anything, mutually reinforced.
"It's just economic segregation" is the worst excuse I've ever heard. Yes, some level of segregation is inevitable and acceptable. That's not what I'm talking about. Repeal our segregation laws. Repeal them! Stop forcing families with less money out of your neighborhoods by law! Stop pretending this isn't a terrible thing!
The circle of hell that is the IQ race war is particularly unwelcome here, in all its idee-fixedness.
Or are you trying to say that people just assume most blacks are poor, and that's why discrimination on the basis of skin color isn't actually based on skin color?
Yes, that is the case with redlining, disinvestment, and lets not even get started with them being treated as a nonentity. Interstates and highways were built over and through predominantly black/minority neighbourhoods. White neighbourhoods did not want them because property values, black neighbourhoods weren't even asked.
It's the only race that seems have its own unintegrated subculture
It's so unintegrated white America can't stop adopting it. Rock and Roll was black. Today, you wouldn't be able to tell.
If I were a police officer interested in fining people, I'd head to the rundown parts of the city where the "broken window theory" says more crimes will be committed. And there seems to be more black people there. So I'd probably end up fining more black people than not.
If all you do is look for black criminals, yes that is exactly what you will find.
whatever gives black people a 'black accent' or voice is also what's responsible for the fining and bad subculture.
black children adopted by middle-class white families don't have this problem.
Oh, they find out soon enough, when being pulled over for "XXXXing while black" the police aren't concerned with who raised you, just the colour of your skin.
Not legal segregation (at least not anymore), but unbroken feedback loops that keep them there.
As a non-politically tinged example, look at black expats in China. They dis-proportionally go into the entertainment industry. Why is that? They usually come over as students (Sino-African friendship and all). Now most Caucasian foreign students find jobs as English teachers. However, many Chinese parents want white teachers as a bragging token, so most schools will not hire black English teachers. With the easiest option out, most of the circle of black friends you'd acquire as a black foreign student partying is involved in the entertainment industry, and suddenly you're a promoter too.
There's a barrier to entry in that example (for English teaching), and a self-perpetuating feedback loop (if you have predominantly black friends in China, your network is mostly in entertainment or leaves after finishing their studies).
Now back to Compton. Worse barriers to entry, and most of your network has shot someone. What color is your parachute?
"can talk back more aggressively than the others" - opinion.
"only race that seems have" - opinion.
"If I were a police officer" - I'm glad you aren't.
"I'd probably end up fining more black people" - clearly.
"My guess is that whatever gives black people a 'black accent' or voice is also what's responsible for the fining and bad subculture." - history is recorded so you don't have to guess. To fine someone for an accent is discrimination and illegal.
"they wouldn't be fined as much" - evidence please.
"I would also guess ..." - guessing is the basis of discrimination.
Rather than guess, I recommend researching for facts, ask why, make sure your facts are right, repeat. Bonus points for optimism, empathy, and assuming others want the same from life as you.
Ain't that exactly what TFA is about, though? Doesn't seem to matter when the people in charge of upholding the law flagrantly break it themselves.
African-American's after 1 or 2 generations were slaves, after 15 generations were still slaves, after 20 generations didn't have rights, after 23 generations are over-policed and incarcerated at rates unprecedented in developed countries.
Maybe there is a difference between descendants of slavery and those who came to America voluntarily, with every legal protection, and without the assumptions that come with a 'black accent' or being from a 'black part of town'.
The Broken Window Theory will find crime in places with broken windows. Like going through your innocent looking girlfriend's phone - surveil, search, stop and frisk any neighborhood and you will find what you are looking for.
Please keep in mind what won't show up in crime statistics because they weren't illegal:
Kidnapping 12.5 million Africans, enslaving them, raping them, taking their children, hanging them, burning their homes, terrorizing them, denying their right to language/religion/reading/home ownership/voting/education/use the same classroom, swimming pool, water fountain, bus seat, restaurant, hotel as white people, and being forced to live in the "'black part of town' is always some rundown ghetto compared to the rest" otherwise known as segregation.
The solution isn't adoption by middle-class white families but by treating black people fairly before the law tells you to do so.
Voluntary segregation is a two-way street. When black people move to white neighborhoods, white people don't have to move.
Same argument rehashed since the 1860's -
I am curious about studies of outlying areas, how much of their revenue is also disproportionately from minorities or do you just need to be poor?
The saddest part its not just fines that bury inner city poor, but all those little costs government imposes on people through fees and similar.
I do love your idea that all fines and confiscations must be refunded to the population as a whole. However I figure some communities might latch onto the local interstate for a boost.
I recommend you read Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisis Coates.
At least to me, this suggest it's perception of a culture under discussion - a culture that is concomitantly dominated by black members.
Could just be I'm being to generous in my reading though :)
For example, black people who are stopped and searched are less likely than white people to have drugs. (This doesn't mean that black people are less likely to have drugs, just that police are more likely to stop black people without probable cause.) 
1. Collect N voice samples from N people, and ask M people to classify whether each sample is 'black' or 'not black'. Don't tell the N people exactly how the rest of the experiment is being run, to avoid people intentionally trying to sound different.
2. Define a 'black index' for each of the N people that is the percentage of M people who voted "Sounds like a black person" over (the average percentage of "Sounds like a black person" for the N candidates as a whole). The denominator is said to be the "baseline" percentage.
3. I predict that the black index is positively correlated with frequency-of-fines. I'll further predict that white people with a higher black index are fined more than black people with a lower black index.
"Job applicants with white names needed to send about 10 resumes to get one callback; those with African-American names needed to send around 15 resumes to get one callback. This would suggest either employer prejudice or employer perception that race signals lower productivity.
The 50 percent gap in callback rates is statistically very significant...a white name yields as many more callbacks as an additional eight years of experience. Race, the authors add, also affects the reward to having a better resume. Whites with higher quality resumes received 30 percent more callbacks than whites with lower quality resumes. But the positive impact of a better resume for those with Africa-American names was much smaller."
It might not say anything at all about the relative worth of the individuals concerned, but it is the kind of social cue that will be picked up (possibly sub-consciously) by those having to sift through a large pile of applicants in order to produce an interview short-list.
The fact that this reaction actually says more about those having the reaction is beside the point.
Racial biases don't nearly concern me nearly as much "incentive biases", which I feel does far more harm to society overall, yet most people strangely do not pay it much mind.
This is a red herring, this is not relevant to a discussion about racism. That other forms of discrimination exist doesn't justify in any way racial discrimination.
It sounds like you're suggesting (between this post and an ancestor) that it's okay for the power of the state to be wielded against people whose accents are not in favor. But you can't actually be suggesting that, so what's the actual point you're trying to make?
As a bonus, could you connect this to the types of fines primarily covered in TFA (traffic tickets)? These fines are not assessed via telephone calls. How is any of your argument relevant to the practice of armed police officers driving to predominantly African-American areas to pull over moving vehicles for minor infractions, for the explicit purpose of generating revenue?
I tried to keep away from this thread, but since my puzzled comment in lieu of a downvote was itself being furiously downvoted, I thought it might be important to tell you that your comment is controversial, yet supported by your average HN reader. You should probably follow it up with a comment on how the size of womens' breasts are what's keeping them out of tech, and how you predict that with testosterone treatments, they could be fixed of their fear of logical thinking.
That I continue to be hired in this industry is a miracle. It's probably just people afraid of being sued. No wonder I feel like I have to be twice as good as everyone else.
But, your parent summed it up nicely. It's not just name-calling. It's a concise description of the thinking and attitudes that would produce such a misguided comment: pure racism.
Some people want to be racist, and for those who don't want to be, that fact may be difficult to understand. In their minds, it's just up to others to enlighten the racist. Perversely enough, it's frequently the targets of their isms that are expected to provide this enlightenment.
But, the happy (rac)ists need their hate and ignorance. It justifies them and gives them a worldview that makes them comfortable. It's a cozy blanket of tribalism via a shared mutual hate and, ironically, a posture of supreme victimhood. It's "I hate you because your existence is somehow harming me."
They cannot be educated because they don't want to be educated, and they are blisfully and willingly unaware that their current views are malformed.
The happy (rac)ists are a time, energy, and emotion sink--a lost cause.
Rather, it's defined by an overwhelmingly decent majority of participants, whom you're not welcome to slander here.
I notice that of all of you complaining about how racist that comment was, not one of you bothered to flag it. If you won't even do that much to help the community, in my view you forfeit the right to complain about it.
The problem is the well intentioned but naive opinions that are upvoted and popular. Do you remember the popular comments from the GitHub diversity posts? Any diversity post for that matter.
The demographic here is mostly male. In a homogenous environment, regardless of which combination of race, gender or anything else, people have blindspots. This remains true when the majority of participants are decent. For example, a group of polite dudes can create an environment full of casual sexism.
Lastly, I flag insults and one line jokes. Maybe you can help us understand what gets flags and what gets downvotes.
However, I am happy the comment is removed. You are right, maybe I don't give the moderation enough credit.
(a) not to dismiss HN as a bastion of racism and sexism, as doing so concedes the whole site to those ideas
(b) to challenge racist and sexist arguments on the site both reliably and civilly.
Most of the people putting those arguments forward are trolls, and are seen as such by the site (watch what gets flagged). One of the most effective strategies race and gender trolls have is to rile up thoughtful people so that they make dumb, angry arguments. It creates a kind of autoimmune disorder on the site. Don't enable them.
If you always have the patience for a and b then god bless you!
But the task of reliably and civilly challenging prejudice here gets a lot easier the higher that percentage gets, so for my own benefit, I prefer to dial it up as high as it can go, and I'm happier for it.
You can relax on challenging racism on HN sometimes. It gets tiresome! You can even walk away entirely. But please don't trash the site on the way out --- that makes the job harder for everyone else taking the time to call out toxic bullshit here.
You can't relax on being calm and civil, even in response to comments that don't deserve it. Think about it this way, because this is probably true: every time we fuck up and write a nasty, shrill response to a racist comment, we generate a light-grey negative-rated rebuttal to racism. If we're particularly bad about responding, we'll park that comment next to a racist comment that keeps a neutral score just out of sympathy.
Please don't do that.
Hacker News! Where reacting to racism is worse than actual racism.
If you don't want to comment in that spirit, please don't comment. It diminishes mutual respect.
Here are two comments in this very thread that are downvoted. This is not unique to HN, this is a symptom in society that many women and PoCs have written about. I'd be happy to share some links if you are interested.
ps oriental? I would have chosen a different link. :) In all seriousness, this is the cultural sensitivity and empathy HN lacks. Having been to South Carolina, I'm not surprised by outdated language, but I hope HN mods know better.
(a) your posts are going to get flagged, and people are going to see that they got flagged, and your "anti-racist" comments are going be penalized, often farther than the racist ones, and
(b) you're eventually going to get banned from the site
You can huff off to Twitter like the rest of the cool kids when that happens, but I'll observe that there's already a sizable contingent of cool kids claiming that HN is a bastion of misogyny and racism, and Lobsters is no closer to taking over the world for their efforts --- would that it were otherwise!
I guess I would sum this up as follows:
This is a real problem, and it doesn't have to be about you.
Furthermore, assumptions about me aren't productive but I doubt dang will say anything.
I do agree that moderation here is often out-of-line and I have perhaps seen (here and elsewhere) what could be termed "tone policing", which I agree is completely incompatible with the "principle of charity".
One problem I just discovered here is that you apparently cannot upmod 'flagged'/'dead' comments. So, an especially violent, and quick group can brigade posts completely out of the community discussion, with basically no hope of return except through an out-of-band appeal.
I had never seen a vouch button before. Does it only appear when you have invoked "showdead"? I'd guess most have never invoked it.
It appears I am still correct. Vouch will only appear after being censored and can only be reinstated by others invoking an obscure option. I also cannot upmod a dead post (at least, not from /newest).
| If you give me a box full of cats and squid, and I pull out a creature that only has 4 legs, and I say "Typical cat" I'm not insulting the cat, I'm simply correctly separating it from the squid.
Now try it by changing squid to white and cat to black and see if you still think it's a good argument.
The API readme does not contain the word 'flag'.
"Watch what gets flagged" just means look at the posts that get flag-killed.
Did you downmod my question before responding? How do legit questions get -1 karma?
Where can I watch the downmod feed?
I wonder how many devs work on HN. There are a number of features on my wishlist.
Nick (kogir) left to work on a startup over a year ago. As for features, come back in a few days and review what you said here.
It was a joke, I know you've put a lot of work into improving the site. And I'm usually the one pointing out that thread folding is coming every time it gets mentioned, as it does often, month after month, so it's not as if I don't defend you as well.
>As for features, come back in a few days and review what you said here.
I look forward to it. I seriously do.
Any chance of open sourcing and letting us contribute?
Why is this being downvoted? Parts of reddit are open sourced.
>Why is this being downvoted?
A very good question, particularly since this subthread is detached and off-topic. I actually think some have custom feeds (or at least, refresh a lot) largely just for delivering downvotes (w/ no other response).
Here is pg on open sourcing and features:
>pg 1272 days ago https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5025176
>I don't have time to manage such a project. I don't think it's necessary anyway. The reason HN lacks x cool feature is not that I expend no energy on the site, but that I expend all my energy on what users actually care about, which is not features but the content.
>actually think some have custom feeds (or at least, refresh a lot) largely just for delivering downvotes (w/ no other response).
I don't complain about downvotes, but lately I have noticed some of my comments seem to get -2 downvotes almost as a group throughout a thread. It's odd.
People have claimed to run networks of accounts specifically for downvoting, so maybe someone is trying to clean house, I don't know. Maybe off topic threads automatically get downvoted.
>>The reason HN lacks x cool feature is not that I expend no energy on the site, but that I expend all my energy on what users actually care about, which is not features but the content.
It's his site and he can have whatever priorities he likes, but I think it's obvious he's wrong about users not caring about both.
Vote reversal is a badly needed feature. I often hit the wrong one on touchscreens because the characters are so small and close together.
As for off-topic threads, I'm still looking for where I can find them. I asked a moderator and was threatened with banishment because I am supposedly expected to know the answer to that question already.
Certainly pg prioritizes as he pleases, but it seems like the content is very thin these days. Good content can be replicated in places with good features and good features allow good content to be produced.
We detached this subthread from https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12026394 and marked it off-topic.
It's a shame that actual facts are removed and rebutted with hyperbolic metaphor.
Is there a link to view off-topic threads?
Are you able to downmod this comment?
If you keep posting comments like this and insincere questions that you know the answers to, I'm going to call your account a troll and ban it.
You've inundated HN with far too much of this low-quality noise, and it's time to stop.
You post a huge number of comments complaining about HN, accusing and insinuating, and posing questions that come across as rhetorical if not trollish. Such meta-litigation reminds me of the addiction some people have to filing frivolous lawsuits. There's no discussing any of it; each reply just leads to reams more. By doing this, you make HN a worse and more tedious place.
It's time this stopped, so please stop. If you can't or won't, we're going to ban you.
Can you tell me where I can read more about frivolous lawsuit addiction? My cursory search has revealed nothing.
Here's one comment from tptacek that includes the words "vote" and "die".
It's still live, which is a criteria you included. It got upvotes, and there's no dang reply, so I'm not sure if it's the comment you meant. I'm not able to find any other comment that fits your description. Can you?
> The blub setter/getter comment really is the archetypical "dumb comment", isn't it? Nicely done.
> Users should live or die by their votes on that comment. If you vote up the blub comment, you should personally get the downvotes for it too. Upvotes should expose you to the karmic downside of superficial comments.
> Especially because the really good comments, the ones most deserving of upvotes, don't seem to get a lot of downvotes; watch the scores on a 'patio11 comment closely sometime to see an example.
I quoted the full thing because context. But it's really obvious that he's not talking about actually killing actual people. (Unlike some other HN users.)
My 'inability'? You have not even asked.
Search my history if you want to find it. Otherwise I'll bring it to you at my leisure.
Got rate-limit'd. Sorry for the delay.
No, merely slightly less racist than yours, which is basically don't act differently than white people or you're an animal. News flash, white isn't the only culture there is and speaking differently isn't a reason to be harassed by cops.
Arguing civilly about a divisive issue is one thing, but throwing Molotov cocktails (e.g. reducing race relations to "act like an animal, get treated like an animal") and being personally nasty count as trolling, and you can't do that here.
from 2011 to 2013, African Americans accounted for 95% of Manner of Walking in Roadway charges, and 94% of all Failure to Comply charges.
That actually surprised me: I expected racially biased policing to be confirmed, but I also expected evidence of bias against poor people. (Though targeting them seems like a terrible way to increase revenue.)
Edit: since they're analyzing cities relying on revenue from fines, this makes sense. You can fine poor people all you want, but if you end up jailing them when they stop even showing up to court, they're now a cost and not a source of revenue. Though there are businesses that somehow make money through fees on payment plans that only exist because they're for fines people can't afford to pay.
1) MLK jr. on turning working class whites against freed blacks.
2) Eleanor Rooselvet gets involved when Southern states give New Deal money disproportionally to whites.
I suggest this is mostly a problem with how law enforcement works across the board in America.
Also - going to see a 'judge' for a minor traffic ticket? That's crazy.
In Canada, you get a ticket, you pay it, done.
And there aren't crazy traps everywhere etc..
That African Americans happen to occupy the lower tier of the economic stratum (not saying this is right), means they are much more likely to be thrown by any disbursement of these fines: 'not showing to court' for tiny offenses can be worse than the offence itself.
Perhaps it's exasperated by racism, but it's more of a general problem.
I did not indicate or imply that one could not challenge a ticket in Canadian court. Of course you can.
I'm pointing to the fact that in many places if America - if you get a speeding ticket you have to go to court. Literally a day off work to standing in line, wait your turn for a 30 second process in front of a judge wherein they give you your $120 fine - and then you can pay it.
The idea that you have to go to court just to pay a speeding ticket is insane.
As someone who had to drive through Marin county daily - where there is a little gap where the speed limit is 50mph - and the cops pull over people all day long for $$, I can assure you that in many counties, you pretty much have to go to court.
They don't just 'give you a ticket' - they give you a summons.
Now - technically, you may be able to do a lot of stuff by mail, but it's a legal process.
Point being: they don't just 'give you a ticket you can pay' in many counties.
Because the court was on my way to work, I would stop in and spend a few hours waiting in line for my 'less than 30 seconds' in front of a judge. That's how it works.
It's absolutely nutjobs.
I should get the ticket, and pay online with my iphone 20 seconds later.
But the greater issue is the degree of enforcement: In the USA - the cops are crazy about ticketing and stopping for small stuff. Cops use tickets as a form of revenue. In most countries, it's not like that.
The likelihood of being arbitrarily stopped for some kind of small violation is 10x in California than it is in Ontario - and probably greater if you throw a little bit of racism in there.
Yes, dude, I'm well aware of American history, thanks for the deep insight.
Also, it's much more complicated than 'slavery and oppression'.