Why Accuse George Zimmerman and Grocers of Bogus Bias When the War on Drugs is Plenty Racist?

AsparagusEvan-AmosHumans being what we are, every culture seems to divide itself over some version of tribalism, and there's no doubt that, in the United States, this has meant troubled relation based on skin color. Racism has dogged this country since its beginning, when it was written into the Constitution. And racial divisions remained in the laws of the country until a surprisingly few decades ago. But, while some disparities remain in the treatment of people with different skin colors — especially in how the criminal justice system and drug prohibition affect young, black men — we've come a hell of a long way in a relatively short period of time. Because there are still real concerns with racial bias in our society, there's no benefit to be had in crying "racism" every time we're unhappy with an outcome — whether it's verdict in a criminal trial in Florida, or the way asparagus is displayed in a grocery store in St. Louis.

Yes, asparagus. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that a member of the city's human relations commission accused a local grocery chain of bias over the way it displayed its vegetables. Writes Stephen Deere for the Post-Dispatch:

UNIVERSITY CITY • A dried-out batch of asparagus has touched off a debate about racial discrimination, grocery stores and the role of citizen-led commissions.

It started in May when resident David Olander was perusing the produce section of the University City Schnucks. He noticed the asparagus weren’t resting in a tray of water.

“It was just sitting there dried out,” said Olander, a member of the city’s human relations commission.

Olander summoned an assistant manager, and then he asked the question: Did the quality of the asparagus have any relationship to the store’s location in a black neighborhood?

“‘I certainly hope not,’” Olander recalled the manager saying.

Olander’s experience prompted him to write a letter to Schnucks CEO Scott Schnuck, and out of that came a meeting with Schnucks employees.

But the letter and meeting were tinged with allegations that the St. Louis area’s largest grocery chain was discriminating against minority communities — accusations that Schnucks vehemently denies.

Olander's concerns were ostensibly raised by the difference between the appearance of asparagus at the University City store and the asparagus at another store, eight miles away. The result was a meeting including Olander, commission chairwoman Kathy McGinnis, a chamber of commerce representative and three people from Schnucks. The Schnucks people defended the quality of their stores and promised to try harder, while Olander credited them for "showing good faith."

But the Post-Dispatch reports that a recording of a human relations commission meeting reveals slightly different motivations on Olander's part.

Olander admitted to being in an “ornery mood” the day he visited the store. “I just felt like stirring it up a little bit, letting them know that somebody cares,” he said, according to the recording.

For the record, a member of a city commission charged with improving human relations apparently leveled an (always highly charged) accusation of racial bigotry and dragged representatives of a business into a meeting, apparently because he was in a pissy mood.

Yesterday, in a much higher-profile and greater-stakes matter, Attorney General Eric Holder joined the chorus evoking race in the trial of George Zimmerman for killing Trayvon Martin. Speaking before the NAACP, he said, in part:

Independent of the legal determination that will be made, I believe this tragedy provides yet another opportunity for our nation to speak honestly – and openly – about the complicated and emotionally-charged issues that this case has raised. 

Years ago, some of these same issues drove my father to sit down with me to have a conversation – which is no doubt familiar to many of you – about how as a young black man I should interact with the police, what to say, and how to conduct myself if I was ever stopped or confronted in a way I thought was unwarranted.  I’m sure my father felt certain – at the time – that my parents’ generation would be the last that had to worry about such things for their children.

Since those days, our country has indeed changed for the better. The fact that I stand before you as the 82nd Attorney General of the United States, serving in the Administration of our first African American President, proves that.  Yet, for all the progress we’ve seen, recent events demonstrate that we still have much more work to do – and much further to go.  The news of Trayvon Martin’s death last year, and the discussions that have taken place since then, reminded me of my father’s words so many years ago. And they brought me back to a number of experiences I had as a young man – when I was pulled over twice and my car searched on the New Jersey Turnpike when I’m sure I wasn’t speeding, or when I was stopped by a police officer while simply running to a catch a movie, at night in Georgetown, in Washington, D.C.  I was at the time of that last incident a federal prosecutor.

Trayvon’s death last spring caused me to sit down to have a conversation with my own 15 year old son, like my dad did with me.  This was a father-son tradition I hoped would not need to be handed down.  But as a father who loves his son and who is more knowing in the ways of the world, I had to do this to protect my boy.  I am his father and it is my responsibility, not to burden him with the baggage of eras long gone, but to make him aware of the world he must still confront.  This is a sad reality in a nation that is changing for the better in so many ways.

But, as Attorney General, Holder presides over the Federal Bureau of Investigation. He knows that the FBI already looked into this case — a shooting that normally would have been handled by state and local authorities — and found no evidence of racial animus. As the New York Post reports:

An FBI report on the Trayvon Martin killing could drown out the growing chorus calling for a civil-rights prosecution of acquitted shooter George Zimmerman, legal experts said yesterday.

In the report, FBI agents quoted the lead investigator describing the neighborhood-watch volunteer as “overzealous and as having a ‘little hero complex,’ but not as a racist.”

The April 2012 report says Sanford, Fla., Detective Chris Serino found “Zimmerman’s actions were not based on Martin’s skin color” but “on his attire, the total circumstances of the encounter and the previous burglary suspects in the community.”

The FBI's report doesn't mean that everybody is required to be pleased by the outcome of the Zimmerman trial, but it does mean that there's little evidence to support accusations of racial bias in Zimmerman's actions. Interviews with a juror since the trial reveal a great deal of thoughtful deliberation and no bias there, either.

That's not asparagus, but continued evokation of racial bias in cases big and small risks defusing the impact of legitimate charges of bigotry. And such charges are justified elsewhere.

For instance, the ACLU has reported that ""In 2010, the Black arrest rate for marijuana possession was 716 per 100,000, while the white arrest rate was 192 per 100,000." The Washington Lawyer's Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs found similar disparities for simple drug possession in the nation's capital. As Reason's own Mike Riggs wrote, "Yes, there's a county in the U.S. in which blacks make up 12 percent of the population and 100 percent of the marijuana arrests. The drug war is racist as hell."

Likewise, the death penalty is disproportionately applied based on skin color. Amnesty International reports that "the single most reliable predictor of whether someone will be sentenced to death is the race of the victim" and cites research that finds that, in Connecticut, "African-American defendants receive the death penalty at three times the rate of white defendants in cases where the victims are white."

And New York City's controversial stop-and-frisk policy is apparently deliberately targeted at minorities even though searches of whites are more likely to reveal drugs and guns.

For the Cato Institute, John McWhorter wrote in 2011 (PDF):

The main obstacle to getting black America past the illusion that racism is still a defining factor in America is the strained relationship between young black men and police forces. The massive number of black men in prison stands as an ongoing and graphically resonant rebuke to all calls to "get past racism," exhibit initiative or stress optimism. And the primary reason for this massive number of black men in jail is the War on Drugs.

The treatment of African-Americans by the criminal justice system and by police is a matter of real concern. But you heard none of that from David Olander in St. Louis and barely a hint in Eric Holder's speech to the NAACP. Holder certainly made no references to drug prohibition, which is a policy that he supports.

That's a shame, because we have real issues to discuss in this country about the treatment of minorities in general, and young black men in particular. And we need to address those issues before bogus allegations based in unrelated criminal cases and (of all things) asparagus strip the word "racism" of its power.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • ||

    Oh look, more outrage! Isn't that grand?

  • Pro Libertate||

    "Florids?" I'm fucking outraged at the insults directed at my state.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I love how these poster children for whatever cause are created out of the aether, while hundreds, thousands, even millions suffer far more egregious acts of oppression, with nary a whimper on their behalf.

  • JW||

    "Never attribute to incompetence, to what can easily be explained by racism." That's the quote, right?

  • ||

    Oh my fucking God.

    It's like the food dessert bullshit brigade has joined forces with Al Sharpton.

    The quality of produce in supermarkets has to do with the quality of product that consumers demand. If consumers in black neighborhoods aren't demanding fresh asaparagus then supermarkets aren't going to stock fresh asparagus. Moreover, produce quality depends on a lot on turnover. You have to have enough people buying it in order to use it all before it starts to rot. Produce sections iwll be smaller and have less fresh products if consumers in the area aren't purchasing a lot of produce.

    Perhaps Olander should stop accusing the grocery stores of racism and start asking why black people in his neighborhood have such shitty diets.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I used to shop at a ghetto grocery store when I lived in downtown Chicago. I bought produce there, for the record. And boxes of "hamburgers."

  • ||

    It's like the food dessert bullshit brigade has joined forces with Al Sharpton.

    I'm sort of torn on this one. I mean, I really hate Al Sharpton, but I'm a BIG fan of food desserts. They're just so sweet and tasty.

  • Steve G||

    i see what you did their

  • Rhywun||

    It's memes all the way down.

  • Robert||

    I wouldn't've caught that was a typo if you hadn't made the joke, thanks. I really thought the issue was something about desserts and that the redundancy "food" had gotten into it. I'd forgotten all about the "deserts" thing and figured there was some new to-do about desserts.

  • Torontonian||

    Easy solution for supermarket chains... stop locating stores in predominantly black neighborhoods.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    Fucking incentives, how do they work?

  • Enough About Palin||

    No that's what's known as "red-lining" which as we all know is racist.

    Against Native Americans.

  • JD the elder||

    I used to live in a majority-Caribbean neighborhood. It was impossible to get horseradish in any of the stores. At some stores they didn't even know what it was. CLEARLY this is evidence of anti-Semitism!

  • PapayaSF||

    I don't think it's fair to say that racism was "written into the Constitution." The 3/5ths compromise had to do with slavery, and not all blacks were slaves, and not all slaves were black. Is there some other racial aspect to the Constitution that I've forgotten?

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    The 14th and 15th Amendment, maybe?

  • Killazontherun||

    PapayaSF was responding to 'Racism has dogged this country since its beginning, when it was written into the Constitution' so it is a fair narrowing of the texts in dispute on his part. He is also right to point out that the 2/3rds compromise was put in so slave states would not be able to exploit the population of captives for a gain in power.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    I know, I was just busting balls.

  • Killazontherun||

    But, you could have busted Tuccille's balls instead. It's more fun going after the editors.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Somewhat OT, but how did "I was just busting your balls" become a mitigation or minimization of what you're saying? I mean, to certain people (eg, male people) it would seem to aggravate the situation. "Not only am I criticizing you, I am metaphorically destroying your very manhood."

    /George Carlin-style linguistic rant

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Aww cripes.

  • Killazontherun||

    When I was in fifth and six grade, at the time our balls start dropping, it was pretty much the common game to kick each other in the nuts for a good hearty laugh. Kids don't do that anymore?

    I'm serious.

  • Rich||

    The first time I got kicked in the nuts -- in elementary school -- it was done by a girl known as "Laughing Susan".

    I'm serious.

  • Killazontherun||

    Oh, that is a game that girls can't play. I hope that Laughing Susan was severely punished for her actions.

  • Rich||

    Since she was rather, um, big-boned I imagine she's been punished repeatedly.

  • Enough About Palin||

    I bet she's still laughing.

  • Brett L||

    Kids don't do that anymore?

    Hell, I know a set of men who are relatives to each other (brothers/cousins) and grew up together who think, in their late 20s and early 30s, it is still the height of hilarity to be standing around talking and one just pop another in the nuts with his fist. I supect they all know how many they owe whom, as well.

  • Rich||

    It's even funnier to goose a guy while he's taking a leak.

  • Enough About Palin||

    The voice of experience, Rich?

  • Zeb||

    But only blacks were slaves.

  • Robert||

    But not because of any US Constitution provision.

  • PapayaSF||

  • Robert||

    Race wasn't mentioned then in the US Constitution, unless you count "Indian tribes".

  • Killazontherun||

    And racial divisions remained in the laws of the country until a surprisingly few decades ago.

    I must have missed the news headlines the day Affirmative Action was repealed.

  • Sevo||

    "For the record, a member of a city commission charged with improving human relations apparently leveled an (always highly charged) accusation of racial bigotry and dragged representatives of a business into a meeting, apparently because he was in a pissy mood."

    But, see, these regulations won't cost anything! They'll only be applied in blatantly obvious circumstances! We have highly paid professionals enforcing them!

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    In a sane and just world, Dave Olander would be dragged by an angry mob into the public square and stripped naked. A sexually mature boar would be led into the square and it would be placed so it could mount and sodomize Olander. After this humiliation, he would then be beaten with wooden staves until he curled up into a fetal position. His bruised body, covered with his own blood and feces, would then be thrown into the bottom of a brazen bull. A fire would then be set under the bull and the crowd would dance and shake timbrals in joy as Olander's cries of pain bellow out from the inside of the bull as he is slowly roasted to death.

    Alas, our would is neither sane nor just.

  • Swiss Servator - past LTC(ret)||

    Assassin!

    You must have known I would be starting lunch while reading that comment....and darn near choked to death due to the laughter and the subsequent inhalation of a large spoonful of split pea soup.

  • Swiss Servator - past LTC(ret)||

    But I lived...and am still wiping away tears of joy at survival, and for the reading of that comment.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    To have tasted death (i.e. pea soup) is to truly appreciate life.

  • KWebb||

    As a grocery store employee, I would settle for making them work the customer service desk at Walmart and deal with assholes who think the best use of their time is berating the employees over a three dollar bunch of vegetables or a 60 cent can of beans.

  • The Original Jason||

    Is your grocery breeding RACISTS?

  • Rich||

  • creech||

    I wonder if WOD, minimum wage unemployment, and other government policies which adversely effect blacks will ever change as long as 90+% of black voters continue to blindly support one party which doesn't give a damn because those votes are captive and another party which doesn't give a damn because those votes are captive to the other party?

  • JW||

    Ah, I didn't see this before posting a similar thought way below.

    The questions we need to keep asking the statists who complain about problems caused by the statist system they repeatedly condone and endorse: "How's that working out for ya?"

  • sarcasmic||

    Sometimes an asparagus is just an asparagus.

  • Spartacus||

    OMG! Publix, Sweetbay, Albertson's, Walmart,... they're all racist!

  • BakedPenguin||

    Winn-Dixie... oh, wait.

  • Rich||

    LOL

  • gaoxiaen||

    Piggly-Wiggly

  • Steve G||

    Bias is assumed until proven otherwise...

  • Marc F Cheney||

    This can't be said often enough:

    Aren't you glad that electing Obama finally put an end to our odious national discourse on race?

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    Posts like this make it really hard not to think racist things. Just being honest here.

  • Jeff||

    But was the arugula okay?

  • SugarFree||

    I thought black people didn't eat asparagus because their community is so homophobic.

  • BakedPenguin||

    No, it's because they don't like water sports.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Black people don't "go down" on each other, so it's not the asparagus pee smell thing.

  • Killazontherun||

    I knew a few women of color (try wording it the less PC way, no flow) who would let a whitish boy go down on them back in the day though.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Yeah. My wife is black. She takes, but she doesn't give.

  • sarcasmic||

    Q: What's the difference between a job and a wife?

    A: After a few years the job still sucks.

  • Killazontherun||

    I'm just so glad I married a total whore with an insatiable appetite for sex.Life is too short and fleeting to settle for a good girl.

  • sarcasmic||

    Give it a few years.

  • Killazontherun||

    I have and it is still good. Heh, when we were dating I even asked her ex when I got to know him if the sex life ever waned. He confirmed that it didn't and that wasn't the problem.

  • JW||

    I'm just so glad I married a total whore with an insatiable appetite for sex.

    Is she free this Saturday?

  • Killazontherun||

    Saturday night is my night, but Friday she is on shift at the hospital. Do something like shoot your foot and walk in limping. I'm sure she'll give a complimentary blow job after patching you up. Tell her I sent you!

  • General Butt Naked||

    Doesn't give?

    Oh man, that's rough. I couldn't imagine that.

  • Killazontherun||

    I get it, but I prefer giving. To be honest, it feels like I'm more in control when I'm giving than receiving.

  • C. Anacreon||

    In a very old NatLamp, a woman lamenting that her husband never gave her oral sex:

    My husband says "Any man who'd lick a hole would lick a damn pole, and I ain't no damn queer."

  • KDN||

    Basically every track on Chronic 2001 says otherwise.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Quick, name a soul food dish that features asparagus!

    That, ladies and gentlemen, is your reason as to why the asparagus is not selling in that market.

    I wonder if Olander wanders into his gentrified Trader's Joe or other "White People's Mart" and demands to see the collard greens or hamhocks.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    HM, there are no such things as cultural differences between white people and black people. Report to the nearest reeducation center at 8 AM tomorrow.

  • Rich||

  • Brett L||

    From the URL: .../desserts/fruits/chitlins...

    Is this some sort of security through obscurity virtual folder structure?

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Yeah, but you forgot the money quote:

    Dad would also put asparagus on his greens. I hated asparagus. Aspargus [sic] is slimmy.

    My point stands.

  • JW||

    I worked in grocery stores in poorer, black neighborhoods in my yout'. Shit tons of okra, greens, corn and an extensive "fruit" punch section, that far outstripped the milk section. And with the milk, whole milk was king. The skim milk had these pitiful narrow rows of only a few gallons.

    I always dreaded the WIC vouchers coming to my lane. It would take fucking FOREVER to check them out. No, Sunny D isn't orange juice, please try again. WIC vouchers are evil incarnate.

  • Brett L||

    IT SAYS WIC RIGHT ON THE FUCKING PRICE TAG IN FRONT OF THE JUICE!!

    Goddamn. You don't even have to be able to read. Just match the fucking letters on your card to the letters on the shelf tag. And this was in a richer, whiter neighborhood. Stupid doesn't have anything to do with skin color.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    "an extensive "fruit" punch section"

    Went to Lo-Lo's in Scottsdale,AZ a few weeks ago. They had Kool-Aid on tap. When I ordered, the waitress asked me what flavor I wanted. I said "purple". She didn't bat an eye.

    http://www.loloschickenandwaffles.com/

  • ||

  • Swiss Servator - past LTC(ret)||

    Purple Drank?!

  • SugarFree||

    The Kroger in town with the worst produce is the one near where I live, which is a pretty ritzy area. Maybe it has to do with everyone working there having an IQ slightly less than a gerbil.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    I didn't know you lived down the street from me.

  • Killazontherun||

    And Kroger just bought out Harris Teeter our upscale mart. I am not happy about that at all.

  • Enough About Palin||

    When I lived in Druid Hills (Atlanta) the Sage Hill Harris Teeter was teh awesome. I think Publix bought them out but I had already moved away when I heard that it had happened.

  • Brett L||

    Kroger was my first employer. At least in 1995, if you showed any brain at all, they trained you to run the cash registers because it was the most demanding job, mentally. IIRC, they were a union shop. So there you go.

  • RightNut||

    Olander admitted to being in an “ornery mood” the day he visited the store. “I just felt like stirring it up a little bit, letting them know that somebody cares,” he said, according to the recording.

    What a pathetic little thug. He's no different than the mob enforcer who forces local businesses to pay for "protection".

  • Jeff||

    Sure he is. Those people do it for the money while Olander does this shit to get his progressive jollies.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    If you want to keep your appetite, try not to envisioin Olander rubbing one off the an episode of the PBS civil-rights documentary "Eyes on the Prize."

    Thank you.

  • creech||

    Oh for the day when a Dagny Taggart or Hank Rearden can have an officious little mofo like this thrown out of their offices.

  • RightNut||

    Fuck throwing them out, I long for the day when they can be tarred and feathered for this type of idiocy.

  • Rich||

    Did the quality of the asparagus have any relationship to the store’s location in a black neighborhood?

    I don't know. Did the quality of the sidewalk litter have any relationship to the store’s location in a black neighborhood?

  • BigT||

    I wonder if it had anything to do with the quality of the employees of that store?

  • Enough About Palin||

    Really, what's up with that. In my neighborhood, it's broken bottles. Glass fucking everywhere.

  • SIV||

    Watermelons, bananas and now asparagus. It is getting hard to keep up with all the implicit racism in the produce department.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    Don't forget collard greens and black-eye peas.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Eggplant.

  • sarcasmic||

    Okra.

  • SIV||

    Eggplant is the only one that really comes close to watermelons and bananas but it is Wop-centrically subtle.

  • Mainer2||

    Melanzane.

    I used to work near an old ethnic Italian neighborhood in Chicago, and the annual street fair had a "Dunk the Melanzane" dunking game.

  • Invisible Finger||

    Reminds me of a local grocery tv ad campaign years ago where produce morphed into human faces. Naturally there was outrage when the eggplant morphed into a black woman's face.

    Anyone else remember "coolie bags" for the frozen food items?

  • ||

    The asparagus in my supermarket is not in trays of water. Check your Whole Foods privilege, bitches!

  • ||

    I'm totally going to check my Whole Foods to see if they do this next time I wander by there. I know for a fact that the Walmart I do most of my shopping at doesn't do it.

  • SIV||

    I used to see it in crushed ice but not lately. The Ingalls supermarkets have the thunderstorm sound effect warning before the automatic sprinkler/mister starts.

  • Swiss Servator - past LTC(ret)||

    The Jewel(s) near my house has the thunderstorm sound as a warning, then plays "Singin' in the Rain" while the spray is on.

    I always wanted to engage in such ultra-violence that my Litso felt drained of my old red-red kroovy when that happened.

  • Steve G||

    "recent events demonstrate that we still have much more work to do" Yeah, Eric, you all do.

  • Number 2||

    Sure. He has a lot of work to do to make us forget Fast and Furious, the AP, charging journalists as espionage agents, the NSA, the IRS scandals, etc.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "Asparagus" all the race-baiting.

  • Rich||

    Awful.

  • ||

    Donut judge!

  • Just Sayin'||

  • ||

    "said Olander, a member of the city’s human relations commission."

    Why the fuck does a city need to have a human relations commission? Is the city run by aliens who aren't sure how to relate with humans? Jesus Tap Dancing Christ.

    And if this little turd weasel has a fucking job then "FUCK YOU. CUT SPENDING!"

  • ||

    Why don't you take that one step farther and say that laws preventing stealing are racist. Blacks are eight times as likely as Whites to be convicted of property crimes.

    Because property crimes should be fucking crimes where as partaking in drugs shouldn't be.

    That shouldn't be a hard concept for any libertarian to grasp.

  • General Butt Naked||

    Not to mention that blacks use and sell drugs less than the rate of whites.

    If being a cosmotarian means not being that guy, then give me directions to the cocktail party.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    That's simply not true, and, as usual, you haven't provided one iota of evidence to prove your assertions.

  • Zeb||

    Well, the drug war was certainly racist in its origins. I suppose whether disproportionate effects on different races makes it racist is debatable. The fact is that blacks who use drugs are a lot more likely to get caught than whites. Interpret that as you will.

  • ||

    Oh, I see you're just American in drag.

    Nevermind, continue on with your racism.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    No, you're not a libertarian; you're a yokeltarian.

    And you're also an ignorant dumbass.

  • Calidissident||

    American, you lost all rights to use the term "cosmotarian" when you said that a poster making an obvious parody of Rockwell and Raimondo was "the perfect cosmotarian"

  • Calidissident||

    There used to a poster here named "Anti War Libertarian" who made posts satirizing Lew Rockwell, Justin Raimondo, and their cohorts. One time, under one of your pseudonyms, you made a post that was something along the lines of "Ha sounds like the perfect cosmotarian" in reply to AWL

  • ||

    If Al Sharpton were anything but a socialist racial racketeer, he'd be inciting violence to end his President's War on Drugs.
    IF...

  • JW||

    For instance, the ACLU has reported that ""In 2010, the Black arrest rate for marijuana possession was 716 per 100,000, while the white arrest rate was 192 per 100,000." The Washington Lawyer's Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs found similar disparities for simple drug possession in the nation's capital. As Reason's own Mike Riggs wrote, "Yes, there's a county in the U.S. in which blacks make up 12 percent of the population and 100 percent of the marijuana arrests. The drug war is racist as hell."

    Blacks, as a group, overwhelmingly keep voting for a system that perpetuates the situation above and literally does nothing to abate it. In fact, it explicitly sets out to worsen the situation.

    How's that working out for them?

  • Pro Libertate||

    I remain stunned that they keep voting so consistently Democrat, to the extent that their support is largely assumed and not sought out.

  • JW||

    I should feel sympathy for the blacks jailed under this absurd and unjust system, but at the same time, it's of their own making (voting-demographically speaking), so fuck 'em.

    Do you want change, real change? THEN STOP VOTING FOR THE CUNTS WHO KEEP THROWING YOU IN JAIL.

  • Pro Libertate||

    There's a lot going on that isn't addressed. First is the fact that blacks commit crimes at such a hugely disproportionate rate. What could solve that problem? Clearly, welfare and the race card have done less than nothing to help. The obvious answer, of course, is more affluence, which isn't coming as a gift from the government.

    Second, voting for people who are clearly just using you and not doing anything to improve your condition makes no sense, even from the statist perspective.

    Third, the WoD, which hits minorities really hard.

    And so on.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    I like how you provided volumious citations from reputable sources to support your bold assertions.

  • Swiss Servator - past LTC(ret)||

    The evidence is in that thing...that one...over there...

  • Enough About Palin||

    I remain stunned that they keep voting so consistently Democrat, to the extent that their support is largely assumed and not sought out sagging their fucking pants and walking around shirtless. Hey kids, Tupac died nearly twenty years ago. Come up with something new.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    The Drug War is not racist. It has a disparate impact. But it isn't racist.

  • ||

    The disparate impact MAKES it racist.

    Anything that has a disparate impact on minorities IS racist.

    You need to read more Jezebel.

  • BigT||

    The drug war is racist - against the human race.

  • Acosmist||

    Then racism isn't a bad thing. You sure you want to go there?

  • Calidissident||

    Whether or not you want to use the term "racist" if a law is enforced disparately against different groups, when actual violations of the law are similar amongst those groups, I would argue that at a very minimum such a law is biased. In this case, racially-biased, but it holds true if you use some other criteria to divide people into groups.

  • Killazontherun||

    For instance, the ACLU has reported that ""In 2010, the Black arrest rate for marijuana possession was 716 per 100,000, while the white arrest rate was 192 per 100,000."

    Extra scrutiny from cops has to be a large part of that, but you have to wonder, are they just not that very good at hiding their illicit activities?

  • JW||

    I'd like to see that stat broken down by economic status, rather than just ethnicity. Is it just poor blacks? Are middle-class blacks incarcerated at the same rate?

  • Killazontherun||

    I suspect there is as much cultural aspects to getting caught as there are ones due to biased policies (and I completely support doing away with drug laws), but in my experience I see young black guys hanging out and calling attention to themselves and what they are doing, and I just want to yell at that them, 'are you really that fucking stupid. A gated back yard is just ten feet from you. Smoke there and keep it quiet while your doing it, assholes!' But, I'm not stupid enough to warn the idiots.

  • Killazontherun||

    quiet while you're doing it

  • Killazontherun||

    is are as much many cultural aspects

  • Killazontherun||

    There is a place called 'The Hill' in Greensboro where dealers watch out for cops and think they are secure from their scrutiny. Idiots. I once gave a guy I was working with a ride to the locale so he could buy some pot. The place was wide open, and easily observable from several vantage points. If I was doing anything more than dropping him off, I certainly would not have done it there.

  • Swiss Servator - past LTC(ret)||

    They were Ravenous Bugblatter Beasts of Traal?

  • Killazontherun||

    Good reference.

  • Calidissident||

    It's definitely possible there's multiple factors involved. IIRC, the trend holds for the vast majority of counties in the US, so it's not just inner cities. As a related story, a couple months ago I was doing some charity work on skid row (if you're unfamiliar with LA, a lot of homeless people live there, and there's a lot of drug dealing in the neighborhood), and the lady who runs the program I was working with mentioned that she saw rich white kids driving nice cars by their drugs from local dealers all the time. Black dealers aren't just selling to other blacks.

  • Calidissident||

    *buy

  • Killazontherun||

    My experiences are only anecdotal, but if I were a social scientist, I'd probably ask, 'do young white males tend to fear incarceration as a greater level than young black males.' I suspect that is really what is at play when I see black males doing things publicly that white males tend to avoid. They are aware of the risks but are socialized to fear those risk less.

  • Killazontherun||

    incarceration ast a greater level than young black males

    I just like using the strike tags.

  • Calidissident||

    "Blacks, as a group, overwhelmingly keep voting for a system that perpetuates the situation above and literally does nothing to abate it."

    Well, so does every race regarding every problem with government these days. It's not like electing a bunch of Republicans (unless they were Justin Amash, Rand Paul, etc. who are a small minority currently) would do anything to end the WOD

  • Rich||

    You never hear about Black asparagus. *White* asparagus, though -- and it's supposed to be the best.

  • Killazontherun||

    You have obviously put a lot of thought into the idea that we are just the suckiest sucks whoever sucked in Sucktown. Perhaps, you should write a book on it. I'm sure it would be a best seller. Get you invited to all the right parties, and paid speaking tours at colleges, and even a chat with John Stewart on his show. Beware of the Charlie Rose appearance though. People have told me that after appearing there, they spent the night in the hotel room not being able to sleep due the self loathing realization that they have become the very thing they despise.

  • Swiss Servator - past LTC(ret)||

    Then you need to, perhaps, work on some reading comprehension and humor.

  • Killazontherun||

    V, if you can't take a little mild verbal raping for the stupid shit you spew, you should find another site to latch on to where the participants are as guileless as yourself.

  • Matrix||

    Olander summoned an assistant manager, and then he asked the question: Did the quality of the asparagus have any relationship to the store’s location in a black neighborhood?
    Die in a fire, ass clown

  • Loki||

    Dried out asperagus? Really? Do some people just go around looking for any excuse to get butt-hurt and sling the racism accusation? I mean, WTF. I had hoped that this particular form of retardation had peaked with the whole "Jar-Jar Bink is a racist black stereotype*" crap. I guess not. More proof that peak retard is a myth.

    *He wasn't a racist stereotype, he was just stupid and irritating.

  • Fluffy||

    When you give your retarded character a Jamaican accent...yeah that's kinda racist. Also kinda ableist, but I'm pro-ableist so I guess that part's OK.

    And when you make your Trade Federation guys act like Charlie Chan...yeah that's kinda racist.

  • Brett L||

    He did make Senator.

  • ||

    At least the Trade Federation guys didn't act like Saul Leibovitz.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Ferengis are Jews!

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Well, when every single actor cast to play a major recurring Ferengi character on DS9 was Jewish....you gotta wonder.

  • Loki||

    I don't think any of that was deliberate racism though. Perhaps Lucas should have had the retarded alien speak with a French accent and the Trade Federation aliens speak with Russian accents. Or maybe a nice cockney accent would have been more appropriate for the retard and a Norqegian accent for the Trade Federation.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    How does that explain the Trade Federation species having slanty eyes though?

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Top 10 Wet T-Shirt Movie Moments

    (It's German, and Zimmerman is a German name, so it's not OT)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZgeXniierMk

  • ||

    CNN: Juror wants laws changed

    "My prayers are with all those who have the influence and power to modify the laws that left me with no verdict option other than 'not guilty' in order to remain within the instructions. No other family should be forced to endure what the Martin family has endured."

    http://www.cnn.com/2013/07/17/.....index.html

    Awesome, now real life is becoming like an Onion article. I'd love to hear what she would like changed that would have allowed her to believe his story while also finding him guilty. Then I'd love her to tell me how that change would keep other tragedies from occurring. Because if say, the burden of proof were reversed, this might have had a reversed ending--with Martin shooting Zimmerman.

    "Oh sorry, your sonhusbandfather is dead. But hey, he didn't use *common sense*, so he really got what he deserved."

  • Loki||

    It's a tragedy, and all tragedies have to be blamed on someone. Preferably someone that can easily be villified, such as a white hispanic. Perhaps we should just go ahead and make it illegal for anyone to shoot anyone in self defense if their assailant has darker skin than them. No matter how reasonable their fear of bodily harm or death is at the time.

    It'll make suburbanite prog-tards who have never been poor or had to live in a high crime neighborhood feel better, and that's all that matters.

  • Calidissident||

    What law could be changed that would have altered the verdict? SYG wasn't relevant. So it's either changing the BOP in a self-defense case, or somehow making it illegal to be suspicious of someone in your neighborhood, follow them, ask them where they are, etc. Do people not see the unintended (or intended, depending on how you look at it) consequences changes like those could have?

  • Killazontherun||

    It's predictable, and comports well with Adam Smith's other great contribution, 'The Theory of Moral Sentiments'. People don't like to feel their sentiments lie outside the common range allowed by their associates, so she is splitting the difference to get to an equilibrium level as to obtain a measure of comfort. It doesn't matter if there is no logical basis for her to do this, negotiation is a greater human need than reason.

  • Robert||

    ...and in the other store, the asparagus was sitting in water, getting moldy.

  • BuSab Agent||

    And here I thought asparagus was white trash food...

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Video Game Nation: How gaming is making America freer – and more fun.
  • Matt Welch: How the left turned against free speech.
  • Nothing Left to Cut? Congress can’t live within their means.
  • And much more.

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement