Saturday, July 16, 2016

The Secret, Non-Existent "Day of Rage"

   I didn't even hear about it until after it didn't happen.
   The vanguard of the American left is a lot, lot crazier than most of its target constituency, so it didn't surprise me a lot to find out that this was a thing/wasn't a thing/didn't happen.
   But this does highlight the need to get an answer to the straightforwardly factual/descriptive question: do the police, on average, treat blacks unfairly?
   Currently, I think that the answer is clearly: we don't know. The left tends to harp on extremely unsophisticated analyses that fail to take propensities to commit crime, especially violent crime, into account. The more plausible analyses I've seen indicate that the problem is far less severe than e.g. Black Lives Matter seems to be alleging. However even these analyses sometimes can't explain away all of the alleged disparity. (Sidebar: one side effect of exaggerating the problem is that the disparities that do seem to be more difficult to explain away seem trivial by comparison when they actually probably shouldn't seem trivial.)
   Anyway. We've got a lot of problems about race, but I'm skeptical that this is one of them. That might sound like good news, but I suspect it's actually bad news, because I suspect that the problems we're facing actually have to do with the legacy of 400 years of discrimination, including 250 years of slavery.
   Another problem is that some of the biggest problems we face can't be discussed openly and honestly. That's a meta-problem, and a very, very serious one.


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