Blog Credo

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken

Monday, September 8, 2014

This Is What Racism Looks Like In 2014

Charles Blow has a blog piece about how crime and race are linked in the minds of most white Americans.

This linkage is a matter of perception and not fact, but that perception creates facts like the overwhelming belief that minorities are more responsible for crimes than they are.

Michael Brown (allegedly) shoplifted some cigars.  When I was a year older than Brown, I shoplifted a cassette tape.  Brown's criminal act made him a "thug" and "no angel" and was released by the Ferguson police as a non-sequitar defense of shooting him dead in the street.  I got a fine and the humiliation of a court hearing and that was pretty much that.

The biggest lines are these:
• “White Americans overestimate the proportion of crime committed by people of color and associate people of color with criminality. For example, white respondents in a 2010 survey overestimated the actual share of burglaries, illegal drug sales and juvenile crime committed by African-Americans by 20 percent to 30 percent.”
• “White Americans who associate crime with blacks and Latinos are more likely to support punitive policies — including capital punishment and mandatory minimum sentencing — than whites with weaker racial associations of crime.”
The United State of Fear at work again, as white believe that minorities commit more crimes than they actually do and then condemn criminality because they associate it with "them."

But, Al Sharpton... blah blah blah.

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