Monday, July 18, 2016

Three More Cops Murdered...In Response To Possibly Fictional Patterns Of Injustice

Three more.

   We don't even know whether there is actually a pattern of injustice in play--and we know that we don't know whether there is a pattern of injustice in play.
   I'm not happy favorably referencing Rumsfeld, but what we have here is a known unknown. We have very powerful reasons to conclude that we do not know whether or not there is widespread, disproportionate use of force against blacks by police. Some analyses say there is, some say there isn't. Which means we don't know. In fact, it seems to me that the analyses that indicate that such bias exists are typically less good than the ones that say there isn't.
   This is such an important issue that we (obviously) can't be satisfied with a stalemate. We need good reason to believe that policing is fair. We certainly can't be satisfied with it might be fair. However, the orthodoxy du jour became policing is not fair before people like me really realized what was what. (This seems to be happening a lot these days... But that's a whole 'nuther thing, as we'd say back home...)
   I think what needs to be done is this: the insta-orthodoxy needs to be crushed and replaced with the truth. The liberal/lefty view that there is widespread racial prejudice in policing must be exposed for what it is and replaced with the truth: that we just don't know whether there is such prejudice.
   Now, we don't know whether or not there is widespread racial bias in policing would normally be very bad news. Like...very, very bad news. But as compared to the new insta-orthodoxy, it's good news. But whether it's good or bad, it's just true.
   But liberals and the anti-liberal left are strongly biased in favor of certain bias hypotheses (those having to do with race and sex and sexual preference and gender and even fabricated categories like "gender identity"), and they don't seem to want to admit that we don't know. (Conservatives and farther-righties seem to be in basically an equal and opposite boat, but I can't exactly tell because I barely read them anymore.) That kind of intellectual dishonesty is bad in itself, and it's the kind of bad I'm normally interested in...but now we also have people being shot and killed because of it. And that's a kind of bad that really just can't be ignored.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

As your post went on it seems you may have conflated racial prejudice in police use of force and racial prejudice in policing as such. A case can be made for the jury still being out on the former; the latter, however, seems much more clear cut.

8:44 AM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

Do we have clear evidence that there is widespread racial prejudice in other aspects of policing? I honestly don't know.

8:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Drug arrests and convictions are a fairly good place to start to look for this. For example, by way of contrast, while there are racial disproportions in sentencing for certain gun crimes, these can be defended--in the short term, anyway--by the differing crime rates between the various racial groups in question. Drug arrests and convictions for blacks and Hispanics, however, are almost impossible to defend based on the numbers, i.e. the total percentage of drug users these groups make up versus their rates of arrest and conviction. This is made more troubling by the fact that drug crime, usually, anyway, is something the police have to go out of their way to look for. Usually, though not always, nobody calls the police about a drug deal, versus, say, an armed robbery. My point is simply that higher drug arrests/convictions for minorities are directly related to higher rates of, what I deem to be, unconstitutional searches and seizures (something the recent Supreme court ruling concerning the 4th amendment will make even worse). Ultimately, it's something you should look into, as nothing I've presented here is compelling enough in itself. But consider something like the NYPDs use of stop and frisk searches, and then look at the racial discrepancies in who gets stopped and frisked. This is something that hits home for me, as a white guy, because back in high school, college (and hell, even now, occasionally) there were times when I walked around my neighborhood with a joint or two in my pocket. Did I ever get stopped and frisked walking around my neighborhood? Of course not, and neither did any of my friends, because the police only came to our neighborhood if someone called them. But if I were a black or Hispanic kid in NYC, the odds of me getting in trouble for said joint(s) is already way higher, just because of how common it is to be "randomly" stopped and frisked, etc. Again, not an open and shut case based on what I have here, but that's just my shooting from the hip pre-coffee tip of the iceberg.

9:10 AM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

Groovy, thanks.

I mean...not groovy at all, of course...but it's a good gesture at something to start looking at.

I WAS semi-consciously/semi-unconsciously thinking that shootings and other uses of force would also tell us something about other possible prejudice... I *will* say that I'm a little skeptical of the move, common on the left, in which every time a prejudice hypothesis is disproved, it's replaced with another, harder-to-disprove, version of a prejudice hypothesis... So I was worried you were going to pull that move...but I don't think you did, because this stuff should be either provable or disprovable, right?

Of course we have to wonder right off the bat whether maybe its the prevalence of crime that draws police to a neighborhood and prompts them to stop people...but that's kinda getting ahead of myself.

Thanks for the tip, I'll keep an open mind on this.

9:22 AM  

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